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Revision Total Joint Arthroplasty


Revision total joint arthroplasty is surgery to fix or replace an artificial joint. You may need a revision arthroplasty if your artificial joint becomes loose, moves out of place, or breaks. You may need this surgery if the bone around your artificial joint gets weak or damaged over time. You may also need this surgery if you have severe pain or an infection in your joint.



  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Blood thinners: Blood thinners help prevent blood clots from forming. Clots can cause strokes and heart attacks. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. Do the following if you are taking a blood thinner:
    • Watch for bleeding from your gums and nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth and a soft toothbrush. This will help keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver.
    • Know what medicines you take. Many medicines cannot be used when you take blood thinners. Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers 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 healthcare provider tells you. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you forget to take the medicine or if you take too much. You may need to have regular blood tests while you take this medicine.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider 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 peas and kiwifruit.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or orthopedist as directed:

You may need to return to have your wound checked and stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Wound care:

Do not let your wound get wet. Cover it when you bathe. When you are allowed, carefully wash your wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Physical therapy:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Use crutches, a cane, or a walker as directed:

These devices help you move around easier and may prevent a fall.

Contact your healthcare provider or orthopedist if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have a cough, or you feel weak and achy.
  • You have more pain and swelling, even after treatment.
  • Your skin is itchy and swollen or you have a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, and draining pus.
  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.