Joint replacements are usually very reliable procedures, and remain one of the fastest growing areas of orthopaedics. The number of hip replacements alone is predicted to jump 175% by 2030, and total knee replacements five times that number.
Today’s implants are designed to last many years, but at some point in the future – typically 15 to 20 years – your prosthetic will break or wear out. If you’re overweight or engage in high-impact activities such as running or court sports, the device may fail sooner.
Common issues include:
- loosening of the implant
- fractures around the prosthetic joint
Hip replacements may fail for several reasons, as friction from normal wear produces debris that causes inflammation in tissues around the joint. Over time, bone erodes and the implant loosens, leading to pain and decreased function. Implants can also dislocate – meaning the metal ball slips out of the socket – often within the first few weeks after a hip replacement.
Knee replacements may fail as a result of loosening over time, wear and tear to the prosthesis components, or in the rarest cases – infection.
Failed hips and knees must be removed and replaced in a complex revision surgery that poses challenges far beyond the initial replacement, with bone loss making the new implant harder to anchor. Greater than 90% of patients who undergo revision procedures can anticipate good to excellent results, however expectations should be realistic depending on each situation.
Dr. Gregg Terral is Baldwin County’s only fellowship trained Joint Reconstruction specialist, with extensive experience over the past 20 years. He and Dr. Jay Savage share a commitment to take on patients who may assume there’s no solution for their discomfort and lack of mobility. If you’ve had difficulty with a prior hip, knee or shoulder replacement – let Bayside Orthopaedic consult on the potential for a total or partial revision joint surgery.