At University Orthopedic Surgeons, we are committed to providing the joint revision care patients need to excel. We proudly serve our communities in Knoxville, Sevierville, and the surrounding areas with specialized and compassionate care from our highly trained and skilled doctors, surgeons, and staff. 

When a patient undergoes arthroplasty, or joint replacement surgery, they are told by the doctor that most artificial joints typically last 15 – 20 years. From a knee replacement to a hip or ankle replacement, the joint prosthesis may need to someday be replaced due to the age of the implant or other complications. Some joint replacements have a higher rate of complication than others. Occasionally, there are problems with artificial joint implants after a primary joint replacement, and a second joint replacement procedure must be performed. This process is called joint revision, or revision, surgery.

A patient should consult with a joint revision specialist when they start noticing issues with their artificial joint; for example, if the joint starts to feel loose. Complications can occur with either partial or total joint replacements before the end of the implant's expected lifespan, especially if the patient is active and uses the joint frequently. 

The joint replacement doctor will review the patient’s history and perform a physical exam as well as order X-rays or other imaging tests to assess the joint damage. From there, the joint revision doctor will know how to proceed with the revision procedure. Because revision surgery is more complex than initial arthroplasty, patients should seek out joint doctors with a high level of expertise in revision surgery.

Patients visit a joint revision doctor for many common reasons, such as: 

  • Dislocation or other complications involving the artificial joint prosthesis
  • Infection (if you suspect an infection, see your doctor immediately)
  • The implant has reached the end of its normal lifespan
  • You have been active and joint is in need of a revision procedure before the end of its normal lifespan

Watching for signs of joint pain after a partial (unicondylar) knee replacement, total knee replacement, hip replacement, shoulder replacement, or ankle replacement is important for two reasons. First, if a joint issue is diagnosed and treated early on, you will likely avoid further joint damage and continued pain. The other is that when you pay attention to your symptoms, you can share this information with your doctor. Doing so allows your joint revision doctor to offer the best care for you, since he or she will then have an understanding of the background of your condition. 

Visiting a medical doctor is recommended if your condition meets any of these criteria:

  • You experience pain in your artificial joint after falling or an accident
  • You experience pain with any weight-bearing activities
  • You have difficulty walking or are walking with a limp
  • You have redness or warmth around the joint
  • Your affected joint feels rigid
  • Your joint feels as if it is coming out of place repeatedly
  • Your pain comes on suddenly

Choosing a doctor to diagnose and treat your joint pain is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your care. Approach this process carefully and become well-informed. Before you make an appointment, confirm that the doctor has a high level of proficiency in revision surgery and procedures specific to your needs, such as revision hip surgery or caring for fractures related to an implant. 

Finally, keep in mind that good joint revision doctors will always exhaust all conservative treatment options before recommending surgery. However, your joint may be severely damaged, and if so, joint revision surgery may be the best choice for you. 

At University Orthopedic Surgeons, our joint revision specialists understand that pain can keep you from living life to the fullest. To schedule an appointment with one of our joint revision doctors, call (865) 546-2663 for our UT Medical Center and Sevierville offices, (865) 218-9300 for our West Knoxville office, or request an appointment online.

Exceptional Care at University Orthopedic Surgeons

Our years of experience and advanced training devoted to the care of orthopedic issues, including those that arise after joint replacement surgery, make us who we are, but our compassionate care of our patients is what makes us dedicated to you. Our joint revision specialists, Dr. Michael Eilerman, Dr. E. Michael Holt, Dr. Michael McCollum, Dr. Philip McDowell, Dr. William Oros, Dr. Christine Seaworth, Dr. Scott Smith, and Dr. Brian Tonne, are unparalleled experts in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating joint injuries and conditions in a broad range of patients, and they continuously strive to exceed our patients' expectations in the delivery of care.

If you're experiencing complications after a joint replacement procedure, consult with one of our specialty-trained joint revision surgeons by requesting an appointment online or by calling (865) 546-2663 for our UT Medical Center and Sevierville offices or (865) 218-9300 for our West Knoxville office.