Total knee replacement is one of the most successful procedures in medicine. Patients have been able to live more actively and live pain free for many years after surgery. In time, however, a knee replacement may fail for one of several reasons. Your knee may become painful or swollen or it can even feel unstable, or give way. Reasons for total knee failure include:
- Implant loosening – metal parts loosening from bone or excessive plastic wear
- Infection – where a bacteria or fungus adheres to the metal implant
- Fractures – bone breaks due to fall or an accident
- Poorly done primary total knee – the knee may have never felt right to begin
It is best to seek the care of a fellowship-trained total joint surgeon to have the knee assessed by a specialist who is an expert in replacing knees. In a revision knee, the doctor would remove the old components, place new specialized implants, and re-balance the knee.