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Painful Total Knee Replacement


Total knee replacement is an effective operation at relieving pain and restoring function.  In some cases problems can arise after undergoing knee replacement which can result in pain and stiffness.  This can be due to a wide variety of reasons, and it needs very careful examination and investigation to establish its underlying cause.

Causes of Total Knee Replacement Pain

Painful knees can be due to a wide variety of reasons.  It can be generated from within the knee joint, outside the knee, or referred from problems in the hip or spine.

Problems Within the Knee:

  • Infection
  • Loosening
  • Wear
  • Wrong sized components
  • Malaligned components
  • Soft tissue impingement/irritation
  • Knee cap maltracking
  • Scarring/Arthrofibrosis

Problems Outside the Knee:

  • Fractures
  • Soft Tissue Irritation
  • Tendinitis
  • Neuromas/Nerve Problems



Investigations need to be carefully tailored depending upon the likely cause of the pain.  These would typically involve:

  • Blood Tests looking for infection
  • X Rays
  • CT Scans: looking for loosening and rotational problems
  • SPECT Scans looking for loosening
  • EOS Scans
  • Aspiration (fluid sampling): a needle extraction of fluid from the knee replacement

Once a cause for the knee pain has been established then treatment can be decided upon.

Above: A loose total knee replacement


Treatment can be either operative or non operative.  Non operative treatment may take the form of:

  • Physiotherapy a
  • Medications
  • Bracing

Operative Treatment may involve:

  • Arthroscopy: to diagnose as well as treat causes of knee pain
  • Partial revision/exchange of the total knee replacement
  • Complete revision of the total knee replacement



In the majority of cases there is a distinct cause of knee pain after total knee replacement.  If a cause for your knee pain is found, then it is highly likely that we will be able to successfully treat it and give you long lasting relief.  Please contact us today for an appointment to assess your painful knee.  Dr Slattery routinely gives second opinions and is able to see patients at short notice.

For all after hours referrals fractures/broken bones CALL
0475 582 244 mobile
We aim to see all fractures within 24hrs