Revision Joint Replacement
On average, joint replacement technology lasts 15 to 20 years. Over time, artificial joints can loosen, causing pain. This problem often occurs because friction between the metal and plastic components causes the polyethylene to release tiny particles. The body's immune response to these particles also attacks nearby bone, which gradually wears away so that the joint does not fit snugly.
Overly strenuous activities that put too much stress on the artificial joint can also cause it to loosen or break. In addition, in rare cases, the joint replacement site becomes infected. All of these problems may require surgery to remove the old joint replacement and install a new one. This is known as revision joint replacement.
Revision joint replacement is generally more complicated than initial joint replacement surgery, requiring removal of the old artificial joint and sometimes areas of surrounding bone and tissue. Often, the nearby bone is weaker than in initial replacement surgery. Revision operations have a success rate of approximately 85 percent.
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