Revision total knee replacement

What is a revision total knee replacement?

Revision total knee replacement is an operation to take out your old knee replacement and put in a new one (see figure 1).

A knee replacement can fail for the following reasons.

  • Wearing out of the artificial joint.
  • Infection in your knee replacement.
  • Dislocation.
  • Fracture around your knee replacement.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should be able to walk better and do more of your normal activities.

Revision total knee replacement diagram

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Surgery is the only treatment for a knee replacement that is failing.

If your knee replacement keeps coming out of joint, you can wear a brace.

If you have an infection, you can sometimes prevent your knee replacement from failing by taking antibiotics.

If you have a fracture, you can sometimes have an operation to fix the fracture, without changing your knee replacement.

What does the operation involve?

Various anaesthetic techniques are possible.

Your surgeon will make a cut on the front of your knee. They will remove your knee replacement and any cement.

Your surgeon will put in a new knee replacement. This is fixed into the bone using acrylic cement.

The type of surgery you need can be more complicated if you have an infection, or the bone is thin or broken.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clots
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke


Specific complications

  • Split in the bone
  • Damage to ligaments or tendons
  • Damage to nerves
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Infection in your knee
  • Loosening
  • Dislocation
  • Continued discomfort
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of your knee

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after 4 to 7 days.

You will need to use crutches or walking sticks for a few weeks.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

A revision total knee replacement can fail with time.


If your original knee replacement fails, you can usually have another operation to do your knee replacement again. If this revision operation is successful, you should be able to continue many of your normal activities.

Self-pay guide price

From £14,000


Self-pay package details

Revision total knee replacement is performed at The Foscote Hospital by

  • Mr Luc Boizot

    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Dip MP, Dip Orthopaedic Surgery

    Learn more
  • Professor Max Gibbons

    Prof Max Gibbons

    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


    Learn more
  • Mr Geza Kordas

    Mr Geza Kordas

    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

    MD PhD

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  • mr james owen orthopaedics

    Mr James Owen

    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

    MA MB BChir FRCS

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  • Mr Bijan Shafighian

    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

    MD FRCS Royal College of Surgeons

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Author: Mr Stephen Milner DM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright ©

This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Copyright © 2018 EIDO Healthcare Limited. The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and used under licence by The Foscote Hospital. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use.