Revision Total Joint Arthroplasty

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • Revision total joint arthroplasty (AHR-thro-plas-te) is surgery to fix or replace an artificial (fake) joint used in a previous arthroplasty. A joint is an area between two or more bones where movement occurs. An artificial joint is implanted to replace a damaged or worn-out joint, especially of the hip and knees. When the implant causes problems, such as severe pain, infection, or fracture (break), a revision arthroplasty is needed. This may also be needed if the implant gets worn-out or becomes loose and out of place. You may also need this surgery if the bone around the implant gets weak or damaged over time.

  • During a revision arthroplasty, your caregiver carefully separates the implant from nearby tissues. Special tools are used to free the implant from your bone. Your caregiver checks the area for other problems and makes necessary adjustments. A new implant is put in place and then attached to the bone. Your wound is closed using stitches (threads) and covered with bandages.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.

  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.

    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.

    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.

    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

  • Blood thinners: Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots from forming. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. If you are taking a blood thinner:

    • Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin and a soft toothbrush on your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports, such as football.

    • Be aware of what medicines you take. Many medicines cannot be used when taking medicine to thin your blood. Tell your dentist and other caregivers that you take blood-thinning medicine. Wear or carry medical alert information that says you are taking this medicine.

    • Take this medicine exactly as your caregiver tells you. Tell your caregiver right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much. You may need to have regular blood tests while on this medicine. Your caregiver uses these tests to decide how much medicine is right for you.

    • Talk to your caregiver about your diet. This medicine works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and other foods, such as cooked peas and kiwifruit.

  • Warfarin: Warfarin is a type of medicine that helps prevent clots from forming in the blood. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Using warfarin may cause you to bleed or bruise more easily. If you are taking warfarin:

    • Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin, and a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. Doing this can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports.

    • Many medicines cannot be used when taking warfarin. Talk to your caregiver about all of the other medicines that you use. Tell your dentist and other caregivers that you take warfarin. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you are taking this medicine.

    • You will need to have regular blood tests while taking warfarin. Your caregiver uses these tests to decide how much medicine is right for you to take. Take warfarin exactly how your caregiver tells you to. Tell your caregiver right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much.

    • Talk to your caregiver about your diet. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of Vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and certain other foods.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Ask your caregiver when you need to return to have your wound checked and the stitches removed. You may also need to have blood tests.

Caring for your wound:

Do not let your wound get wet. Always keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe or shower, carefully wash your wound with soap and water. Afterwards, put on clean, new bandages. Change your bandages every time they get wet or dirty. Ask your caregiver for more information about care of wound.

Physical therapy:

You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.

Using crutches, cane, or walker:

You may need to use crutches, a cane, or a walker. They may help you get around, and decrease your chance of falling or being hurt. It is important to use your crutches, cane, or walker correctly. Ask your caregiver for more information on how to use crutches, a cane, or a walker.

CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.

  • You have more pain and swelling in your joints even after taking pain medicines.

  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, surgery, or medicine.

SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:

  • Your bandages become soaked with blood.

  • Your incision is swollen, red, has pus coming from it, or it has come apart.

  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.

  • You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.

Copyright © 2012. Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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