The rate of revision surgery for total knee replacements (TKRs) varies from country to country. According to a recent study, England has the lowest revision rate at four percent. New Zealand and Australia have the highest rate at around nine percent. The United States comes in just below that at eight percent.
Research shows that surgeons who do the most number of these surgeries have the lowest rate of problems and revisions. Likewise, high-volume surgery centers also have the best results. They may have a more skilled operative team that coordinates pre- and post-operative care. Rehab teams take up patient management where the operative team leaves off.
There is some evidence to suggest the implants are partly at fault. The hope is that rates of revision will decline as implant design improves and surgeons gain experience using them.
Even with a revision TKR most patients say it was worth the cost and extra hassle. The pain relief and improved function increased their overall quality of health. Health economists say anything that costs less than $20,000 per well-year is an excellent deal.