One of the most common questions we receive when consulting with patients about their potential hip or knee replacement operation surrounds the durability of the implant and how long they can expect the joint to last. There’s no straight answer, and a number of different factors help to determine how long your new implant is expected to last. We cover those factors and talk about replacement joint durability in today’s blog.
Will My New Knee Or Hip Need To Be Replaced?
The good news is that as medical technology continues to improve, so does our ability to provide patients with longer lasting artificial joints. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the industry standard was about 10 years for a joint replacement, and it creeped up towards 15 years as we neared the turn of the millenium. Nowadays, the average longevity for a knee or hip replacement is about 20 years. Considering that replacement operations are typically reserved for individuals who are 60 years or older, it’s easy to see how someone may only need one replacement operation for the rest of their life.
While 20+ years is considered the industry standard for artificial knee and hip joints, other factors play a role in whether or not you may need another replacement operation. Those factors include:
- Your age – The younger you are when you receive the implant, the higher the likelihood that you will live to an age and still be fit enough for surgery where a second joint replacement operation is feasible.
- Your PT – Physical therapy following your knee replacement goes a long way in predicting the success of the artificial joint and its longevity. Make sure you are participating in your strengthening routines following surgery to ensure the soft tissues surrounding the joint are as healthy and supportive as can be to help take pressure off the joint.
- Your size – Speaking of taking pressure off of the joint, overweight individuals will put more stress on their new hip or knee, and that can cause the artificial joint to wear down more quickly. Losing weight can help extend the life of your new joint.
- Type of replacement – Partial knee replacements are less likely to last as long as total knee replacements. Although they both can last for decades, about one in 10 people needs a secondary surgery following a partial knee replacement after 10 years.
- Lifestyle and activities – A final factor that can influence the shelf life of your new artificial hip or knee is the lifestyle you lead following your replacement. We want you to be active on your new hip or knee and do activities that were once too painful, but all this activity can take its toll over the years. If you work a physical job or do a lot of running on your new joint, it may need a replacement before 20 years.
Dr. Botero and his team are skilled at doing everything in their power to extend the life of your implant, so if you are in the market for a new hip or knee, look no further than Dr. Botero’s office. For more information, or to see if you may be a candidate for knee or hip replacement, contact his clinic today at (865) 558-4444.