A Reliable Surgical Approach to Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty

Jonathan Quinn*, Peter Jones, Ray Randle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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The surgical exposure obtained in revision total knee arthroplasty should facilitate the utilisation of instrumentation and implants, including adjuncts such as stemmed prostheses, bone allograft, and artificial augments. We have previously identified within this cohort of revision total knee arthroplasty patients a high satisfaction rate of 93.5% at a mean 6.5 years of follow up and a high level of postoperative function. We, therefore, seek to describe in detail the operative technique and perioperative care and report the early postoperative complications. 


We report on the surgical approach, closure technique, and postoperative care used by the senior author for revision total knee arthroplasty procedures. The patient demographics, intraoperative details, and postoperative outcomes are also reported. We aim to provide a clear description of the intraoperative technique and postoperative outcome, facilitating adoption or comparison with other surgeons or techniques. Patient inclusion criteria were revision total knee arthroplasty performed by the senior author using the PFC (Depuy) prosthesis at John Flynn Private Hospital with a minimum of 2-year postoperative follow-up. A retrospective chart review was combined with a structured telephone assessment questionnaire to assess outcomes. 


A total of 202 revision total knee arthroplasties were available for follow-up in 185 patients. The mean 1-year postoperative range of motion was 110°. Key features of surgical approach include incision planning, soft-tissue plane development, parapatellar scar debridement, safe removal of implants, management of bone defects, and closure technique. The overall 90-day complication rate was 9%, including 4.4% requiring manipulation under anaesthesia and 3% superficial surgical site infections (1 patient requiring intravenous antibiotics). 


We suggest that the described technique is reproducible and reliable. It rarely requires modification and facilitates successful postoperative outcomes with a low complication rate. The adoption of this surgical technique allows surgeons to approach complex knee arthroplasty with confidence in the appropriate exposure of anatomy, facilitating subsequent steps in their arthroplasty procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalCiOS Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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