Knee replacements are among the most commonly performed and highly successful orthopedic surgical procedures. A knee replacement is done when the knee joint has worn out, most often as a result of wear-and-tear arthritis.
However, not everyone has a pain-free knee after the procedure. About 10% of patients complain of persistent pain around their newly replaced joint. The most common causes of pain after knee replacement include:
- Loosening or Wearing of the Implant – This is most often the cause of pain years or decades after the knee replacement; it is seldom the cause of persistent pain right after surgery.
- Infection – Most often, the signs of infection are obvious, but subtle infections may be the cause of persistent discomfort.
- Kneecap Problems – Significant forces are applied to the kneecap, even with normal activities, such as getting up from a chair or walking down stairs. Getting a kneecap to perform well with a replacement can be technically challenging even for a skilled surgeon.
- Alignment – A poorly aligned implant may not function well, no matter the brand. Surgeons are investigating if computer navigation will help improve implant alignment.
Other issues that can cause persistent pain include bursitis, complex regional pain syndrome, and pinched nerves.
Symptoms of Residual Knee Pain:
- Pain in or around knee joint
Treatments for Residual Knee Pain:
- Medication Management
- Genicular Knee Radiofrequency Ablation
- Physical Therapy
- Revision Surgery