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  1. Best, Janie T.


For thousands of patients with advanced degenerative joint disease, total joint arthroplasty provides improved function, decreased pain, and the opportunity to resume a more active lifestyle (Drake, Ace, & Maale, 2002). Although hip and knee replacements are both successful interventions for degenerative joint conditions, complications may arise that require revision of the original surgery. In 1999, approximately 25,000 revisions of knee replacements (ICD Code 81.22) and 30,000 revisions of hip replacements (ICD Code 81.53) were performed in the United States (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons [AAOS], 2002). Approximately 10,000 revision total hip arthroplasty procedures were performed on Medicare patients in 2000. The total cost of revision surgery, including the 10,000 total knee revision procedures performed on this same patient population during that year, exceeds $3 billion (Bourne, Maloney, & Wright, 2004).


Descriptions of the risk factors and indications for revision total hip and total knee arthroplasty are included in this article. Nursing interventions and patient education specific to these patient populations are outlined, and a discussion of complications following revision total joint arthroplasty is included.