Hip and knee joint replacements offer a significant and often dramatic improvement in the comfort, function, and quality of life for most recipients.
However, like most things in life, nothing is perfect. Even the best-performing joint replacement might wear out in your lifetime. If this happens, but has given you 15 -20 years of improved quality of life, then to me this is a success, not a failure!
Other reasons might lead to a joint replacement malfunctioning or failing in a much shorter timeframe. Clearly, this is not quite so desirable.
Rest assured, there are very few situations that nowadays can’t be rectified or substantially improved, should this occur. Generally, this does require further surgery, referred to as Revision Joint Replacement Surgery.
The key is to identify precisely what has led to the failure or malfunction of the artificial joint, so that any remedial surgery accurately addresses the problem. This often requires extensive investigation and imaging before such surgery can be recommended, and is not undertaken lightly.
Nevertheless, very few situations are now “inoperable”. It used to be said that “You can only have one re-do operation”. Ideally, of course, you don’t have any further surgery, but there is no absolute limit to this with improved techniques, better technology and advances in implant design.
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