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Bone & Joint 03 5752 5020 mobile

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

Pain after knee surgery 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.

Loose TKR
Above: A loose total knee replacement


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

  • Physiotherapy
  • 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.

Discuss your knee replacement pain with our orthopaedic surgeon

Dr David Slattery has extensive experience providing diagnosis and treatment for patients experiencing pain after partial or total knee replacement. Providing consultation in person at three locations across Melbourne and via telehealth services for rural, remote and interstate patients, he makes it easy to find a time that suits you to discuss your health. 

If you wish to make an appointment to assess your painful knee, please request a consultation via our online contact form or call us at our rooms at Glenferrie Private Hospital on 03 9819 6934 to book. Dr Slattery routinely gives second opinions and is able to see patients at short notice.



To book an appointment please contact Dr Slattery’s rooms on
03 5752 5020 mobile
We aim to see all fractures within 24hrs