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Joint replacement surgery is an effective method of treating osteoarthritis; however, a small number of patients may require an additional joint revision surgery, if an implant fails due to later trauma, infection, or dislocation. Joint revision surgery is a complex procedure requiring an experienced orthopedic surgeon, such as Dr. Pritchett, to diagnosis and treat the cause of pain. Schedule an appointment today to learn about Dr. Pritchett’s hip and knee revision specialties.

Joint Revision Surgery in Seattle, WA

Joint replacement surgery is a common procedure employed to restore the pain-free movement and functionality of a damaged joint that is interfering with the completion of daily activities. During joint replacement, the arthritic or damaged joint is carefully removed and replaced with a prosthetic (artificial) implant, also known as a prosthesis. Before recommending joint replacement surgery, Dr. Pritchett will consider several factors that will influence how long the prosthesis will likely last, including the patient’s age, weight, activity level, and bone strength.

Although joint replacement surgery is one of the most successful medical advancements of recent orthopedic history, occasionally the prosthesis can become loose and fail, requiring revision surgery to replace the old implant. Joint implants may fail for a number of reasons, including normal wear-and-tear over an extended period of time, post-operative trauma, infection, dislocation, and differences in the patient’s anatomy and physiology, both before and after surgery. If any of these instances occurs, an additional surgery, known as joint revision surgery, may be required to restore natural pain-free movement.

Tests & Diagnosis for Joint Revision Surgery

Joint revision surgery is a more complex procedure than traditional joint replacement, requiring expert diagnostics, procedure planning, and rehabilitation. When a joint implant fails, patients will notice a decrease in joint functionality and increasing pain symptoms. In order to determine if joint revision surgery is necessary to restore pain-free joint function, Dr. Pritchett will complete a multitude of tests to determine the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Tests that Dr. Pritchett will use when recommending joint revision surgery may include:

Dr. Pritchett will use these test results to determine if the entire prosthetic implant, or only one component, needs to be replaced. In addition, x-ray results will assist in determining if any structural changes to the joint have occurred since the original procedure.

Joint Revision Surgery

Joint revision surgery is a complex procedure, and Dr. Pritchett treats each surgery on an individual basis, assessing the full complexity of each case. During joint revision surgery, Dr. Pritchett will skillfully remove the damaged components of the existing prosthesis, while also focusing on preserving as many components of the original implant, as well as much of the natural bone, as possible.

Upon removal of the damaged components, Dr. Pritchett will then resurface the ends of the bones utilizing bone grafts. The resurfacing of the bones creates a smooth surface to which the new implant can be secured. Following the resurfacing, the new prosthesis is secured to the bone ends to mimic both the original implant placement and natural bone structure as closely as possible. Due to the complexity of the procedure, joint revision patients are required to stay at the hospital for approximately five days following surgery.

Joint Revision Surgery in Seattle, WA

James W. Pritchett, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee revision surgery. He provides treatment to patients in the Seattle, Washington area including the cities of Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, and Bellevue. To learn more about joint revision, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pritchett at his Seattle office.

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Last Modified: July 30, 2014