Revision Surgery

Revision surgery is necessary for patients who have undergone a surgery that did not adequately correct their injury, arthritis issues, degenerative changes, carpal tunnel, or other conditions affecting the upper extremities. 

Revision surgeries following failed procedures for conditions like carpal tunnel or De Quervain's Tenosynovitis are relatively uncommon but can occur. If your symptoms have worsened or returned after healing from surgery, you may feel hopeless. Fortunately, advanced treatments and revision surgery conducted by our highly specialized surgeons can help reduce or eliminate these symptoms.

Conditions Treated

  • Ulnar Nerve Surgery
  • Carpal Tunnel Surgery
  • DeQuervain's Surgery
  • Brachial Plexus Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
Procedure Time
1 - 3 Hours (depending on severity)
Treatment Location
Our Surgery Center
General Anesthesia
Recovery Time
Weeks - Months (depending on severity)

Types of Revision Surgeries

From addressing nerve complications to correcting structural concerns, our surgeons specialize in various types of revision surgeries that can alleviate pain or discomfort and help patients improve function, including:

  • Tendon Repair: Reconnecting damaged tendons by sewing the fibers back together or inserting tendon tissue from another part of the body
  • Nerve Repair: Reattaching nerves or using a nerve graft to restore feeling and function
  • Skin Grafts and Skin Flaps: Replacing or missing or damaged skin with healthy tissue from another area of the body
  • Joint Replacement: Restoring function to a destroyed joint using synthetic material or tissue from another area of the body
  • Replantation Revision: Correcting or refining aesthetics or function after a finger or hand has been reattached

Are you a candidate?

Identifying the need for revision surgery involves recognizing specific signs that might indicate an unsuccessful outcome or the emergence of new issues post-surgery. While symptoms can vary based on the patient, condition, and the initial procedure, here are some indicators to consider:

  • Loss of Sensation
  • Intense Pain or Discomfort
  • Swelling or Redness
  • Unexpected Sensations
  • Reduced Range of Motion
  • Persistent Tenderness or Stiffness
  • Severe Scarring or Poor Wound Healing
  • New or Worsening Symptoms

Find Your Surgeon

When patients lose hope, they turn to The Center for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction. Our surgeons are fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity specialists with years of focused training in complex conditions. We perform a high volume of revision procedures each year with excellent success rates.

What To Expect


Before revision surgery, you will have a consultation with your surgeon. This pre-operative phase involves discussing your medical history, current symptoms, and the reasons for considering revision surgery. You might undergo physical examinations, imaging tests, and possibly additional diagnostics to help the surgeon understand the specifics of your case and prepare accordingly.


The specific details of your revision surgery will depend on the nature of the initial procedure and the issues prompting the revision. Generally, your surgeon will aim to address the failed or unresolved aspects of the prior surgery. This might involve correcting anatomical structures, removing scar tissue, releasing nerve compression, or addressing any factors contributing to the previous procedure's failure. The surgical team will ensure your comfort and safety throughout the procedure, often performed under anesthesia.


Following revision surgery, you'll be monitored in a recovery area before being discharged – usually on the same day, depending on the condition. You might experience soreness, swelling, or discomfort at the surgical site. The surgeon will provide instructions for wound care, pain management, and any restrictions or exercises to aid in the healing process. 



After an upper extremity revision surgery, the recovery process is crucial for optimal healing and restoration of function. Following your surgeon's post-operative guidelines, which may include wound care, medication, and physical therapy, will aid in managing pain, reducing swelling, and gradually improving mobility. While each person's recovery journey varies, diligent adherence to the prescribed rehabilitation plan can significantly enhance the speed and quality of recovery, allowing you to return to daily activities with improved function over time.

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Patient Resources

Visit our Patient Resource Center online to access useful information such as intake forms, tips for your first appointment, ways to prepare for surgery, and more.


How do I know if I need revision surgery?

You might consider revision surgery if you continue experiencing symptoms or complications from a previous surgery, such as persistent pain, loss of sensation, reduced function, or new issues arising after the initial procedure.

What are the risks associated with revision surgery?

Risks include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, recurrent symptoms, stiffness, scarring, and, in rare cases, the possibility of worsening symptoms or new complications.

Will my hand function fully recover after revision surgery?

Full recovery depends on various factors, including the initial condition, the extent of revision needed, individual healing, adherence to rehabilitation, and the success of the surgery. While many patients see significant improvement, full recovery may vary.

How long will it take to see improvements after revision surgery?

Improvements can be gradual and vary from person to person. Some notice improvements in a few weeks, while others may take several months to experience significant progress.

Can revision surgery be performed under local anesthesia?
Depending on the complexity of the procedure and patient comfort, revision surgery may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will determine the most suitable option for your case.
Are there any non-surgical alternatives to revision surgery for upper extremity conditions?
Non-surgical alternatives may exist, such as medication, physical therapy, or lifestyle modifications. However, if these options fail to address the issues from the initial surgery, revision surgery might be necessary.
What factors determine the success of revision surgery?

Success depends on factors like the skill of the surgeon, the nature of the original problem, the chosen surgical technique, and your body's response to the procedure.

Will I need physical therapy after revision surgery?

Physical therapy is often recommended to optimize recovery, regain strength and function, and minimize stiffness or scar tissue formation.

Can revision surgery address complications from multiple prior procedures?

Revision surgery can potentially address and correct complications resulting from multiple prior procedures, but the success depends on the specific situation and underlying issues.

How soon can I resume normal activities and work following revision surgery?

Resuming normal activities varies based on the individual, the extent of the surgery, and the type of work involved. Your surgeon will provide guidance on when it's safe to resume different activities.

Are there specific lifestyle changes or precautions I should take after revision surgery?

Your surgeon may recommend avoiding certain activities or ergonomic adjustments to protect the affected extremity during the recovery period. Following post-operative instructions is crucial for optimal healing.

What if I still experience symptoms after revision surgery?

Persistent symptoms should be discussed with your surgeon during follow-up visits. Additional assessments may be needed to determine the cause and appropriate next steps.

Is revision surgery covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for revision surgery depends on various factors, including your insurance plan, the necessity of the procedure, and prior authorizations. It's advisable to check with your insurance provider beforehand.

How experienced is the surgeon in performing revision surgeries?

Choosing a surgeon experienced in revision procedures is essential. It's recommended to inquire about the surgeon's expertise and success rates in performing these specific types of surgeries.

HUES Surgeons

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