Happy senior woman patient recovering in hospital bed with male doctor and female nurse looking at hip replacement x-ray

If you are a recipient of a hip or knee replacement, you know firsthand how it changes your life. You are no longer in pain and have your mobility returned to you––your quality of life has skyrocketed. But what happens if sometime after the replacement you find yourself in your original scenario, and your joint is continually causing you pain? Most likely you are a candidate for a revision hip or knee replacement. At Great Lakes Orthopaedic Center (GLOC), we successfully perform these revision replacements on a regular basis.

What Revision Replacements Are

In a joint replacement, either the entire or areas of your hip or knee joint are replaced with a metal, plastic, and/or ceramic prosthesis or implant. A revision hip or knee replacement is a follow-up surgery where either the entire prosthesis or select components are replaced as necessary. This surgery is different than the first one, as sometimes circumstances develop requiring more complex procedures, as our board-certified hip and knee specialists are rectifying an issue with scar tissue, infection, or other factors.

Typical hip replacements last ten to 20-plus years, while typical knee replacements last 15 to 25 years. Similarly, for 85 percent of patients, revision hip and knee replacements can last 15 to 20 years. Naturally, these ranges depend on each individual as well as the age, weight, and activity level of the patient. We find older patients with less intense activity seem to get more life from their replacements than those who are younger with very active lifestyles. This is primarily due to the level of continual stress placed on the joints. As you can imagine, patients carrying extra weight place more stress on their joints than those with a normal weight.

Causes for Revision Replacement

There are several reasons we see for revision hip and knee replacements. The most prevalent are infection, parts wearing out, loosening of the prosthesis, dislocation, and fractures. If you notice a sudden onset of pain or a sudden or gradual decrease in your joint’s range of motion, contact one of our GLOC specialists here in Northern Michigan immediately. Or if you notice redness or inflammation at the joint, whether it’s shortly after your replacement or years later, you need to call us. We will promptly assess your situation to determine the best course of action.

What We Do

When we perform a revision hip or knee replacement, since it’s much more complicated than your original replacement, only our most experienced orthopaedic surgeons assist to assess the cause, as well as perform the actual surgery.

If you’re a candidate for a revision hip or knee replacement, our specialists need to determine which type of revision surgery you need. Depending on the cause, you may only need components replaced, or you may require a total revision replacement. We use specialized implants and tools specifically designed for revision surgery. Factors like infection, scar tissue, and bone complications demand distinctive remedies.


Success of revision hip and knee replacement depends on your adherence to post-operative rehabilitation. If you follow all instructions faithfully, your recovery will be complete. When our patients actively participate in both physical and occupational therapy, as well as homecare, we usually see a total recovery within six months.

Our orthopaedic specialists remain educated and trained on the newest technology and procedures when it comes to revision hip and knee replacements. At GLOC, you have world-class care right in your backyard.


Office Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.