Joint replacement surgery is one of the greatest medical advances in the history of mankind. These surgeries have improved patients’ quality of life by easing pain, improving range of motion, and increasing activity levels. Although joint replacement surgery has been successful, approximately 10 percent of implants will fail. They require a second method, called revision, to remove the previously placed implants and replace them with new components. Joint revision surgery is a complex procedure that requires extensive pre-operative planning, specialized implants and surgical tools.
The decision to execute a revision joint replacement surgery will be based on several factors. The joint may become painful or swollen, due to loosening, wear, or infection. The function of the implant may deteriorate, resulting in a limp, stiffness, or instability.
Reasons for failure:
Joint surgery may fail due to varied reasons and factors for example, the large metallic objects or the cement.
- Loosening: When the implants are initially placed, they are supposed to be fixed for a long period of time. Cement may be used to hold it in place or the implant would be so placed that the bones would grow on its surface. In either case the implant was fixed to the bone. However, in due course of time, the implants rub against each other and causes wear and tear of the implants. The wear and tear causes disintegration of the particles and get accumulated in the joints. The bonds joining the implant to the bone thus, weakens the bond is broken .In the process, the body digests the particles of the implant and thereby also the normal bones. The loosening of the bond cause pain, swelling and deformity and instability.
- Infection: The implants used in the surgery makes a suitable ground for the bacteria to latch itself to the bond and thereby causing infections. The Tissue had altered its blood supply, thereby not being able to fight off the infection. The chronic fight against infection may even cause death of the patient.
- Dislocation: Another failure of the surgery is Dislocation. The Implant is caused to move out of its position. The dislocation is caused by loosening, inadequate soft tissues, bony or scar pigmentation or patient compliance.
- Patient-related factors: Young and more active patients are more prone to undergo revision surgery. People with obesity also have higher chances of loosening the implants. The wear and tear is greater in obese patients.