Longevity of Knee Replacements

Orthopedic Specialists Midland TXIf you’re suffering through ongoing knee pain, you may be considering knee replacement surgery. If so, you’re wondering how long you can expect your new knee to last. We perform knee replacements at Midland Memorial Hospital instead of our Texas Surgical Center.

Here’s some information on artificial knee lifespans.

Quality of life

If your knee pain is impacting your ability to walk and stay active, you’re probably thinking about a knee replacement. The procedure has become relatively commonplace, with most of us knowing at least one person who has had this surgery. In studies of 80-year-olds, those who have not had knee replacement rate about a 6 on a scale of 10 for their activity level. This means their knees aren’t precluding them from basic activities such as walking and such, but they are limiting some activities. Those in the same age group who have had knee replacement surgery report an activity score of 8.3 out of 10. This means they are very active, participating in things like golf, swimming, bicycling, and hiking.

That’s the goal of this surgery — to allow the you to stay active, as that is the key to a more satisfying later life, both physically and mentally.

How long will an artificial knee last?

There have been many studies on the longevity of artificial knees. One of the more recent studies of long-term outcomes of a commonly used knee replacement found the implant still functioning in 96 percent of patients 20 years after their replacement surgery.

Of course, the duration of an individual knee replacement is highly variable by the patient. Still, it seems at least two decades is a good barometer to look at. As materials continue to evolve, this lifespan will increase, as well.

Factors that influence lifespan

  • The age of the patient —Younger patients are having knee replacements, so they will probably require a revision knee replacement once in later life. Also, younger patients tend to be more active, placing more wear and tear on the prosthetic knee.
  • Activities— Some activities such as running or aerobic workouts can put excessive stress on the knee replacement, reducing its lifespan.
  • Weight— More weight puts more stress on the joint replacement implant.

If you have chronic knee pain, come see us at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists. Call us at (432) 520-3020 to schedule an appointment.

Posted in: General Orthopedics, Joint Pain & Replacement

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