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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.


The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need to have blood, urine, or imaging tests. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

The night before your surgery:

  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
  • Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.


What will happen:

Your joint area will be cleaned. Your healthcare provider will make an incision over the joint. The artificial joint will be repaired or removed. If necessary, a new artificial joint will be placed and attached to the bone with hardware, such as wires or screws. The incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

After surgery:

You will be taken to a room where your heart and breathing will be monitored. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. A bandage may cover your wound to help prevent infection. You may be able to go home after healthcare providers see that you are okay. If you had general anesthetic, an adult will need to drive you home. Your driver or someone else should stay with you for 24 hours. If healthcare providers want you to stay overnight, you will be taken to a hospital room.


  • You cannot make it to your appointment on time.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have a skin infection or an infected wound near the artificial joint.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • You have severe pain or trouble moving your joint.


  • You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. You may need a bone graft if the bone around your artificial joint is badly damaged. Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, or muscles may be damaged. Your joint may become stiff, numb, and more painful. Your joint movement may not be the same as it was before. You may have trouble doing your daily activities.
  • You may get a blood clot in your leg. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. This problem can be life-threatening. Without surgery, pain and other problems that you have with your joint may get worse.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.