Knee replacements are made to complete replace worn-out or damaged knee joints. It is a major surgery and involves taking out a section of the lower and upper leg bones, taking out the kneecap in its entirety, and replacing each with hardware that has been specially designed to fit you specifically. The change in pain and function are immediate. The recovery and rehabilitation are tough, but the relief and return of activity a replacement knee provides is worth it. Before surgery, you'll be able to find out answers to many questions, including how long knee replacements last.
You may be experiencing a lot of should I or shouldn't I moments. However, if like many patients before you, whose knees have reached the point of no good return; knee reconstruction surgery is the only option available that can lead them back to a normal, active, lifestyle. While there will be many questions associated with the prospect of surgery, one of the most oft-asked questions, as mentioned above, that you may have, as well, is how long do knee replacements last? Like most patients, you will want to know the outcome is worth the surgery and recovery period you are facing.
The implants contain materials, like plastic and metal, which over the years begin to thin. However, the news is not all that bad. While no one can give you the exact length of time of how long your replacements will last, chances are good it's going to be many, many years. In fact one study done a few years ago found that 96% of knee reconstruction recipients were still getting along well with their knee implant 20 years after replacement surgery. However, keep in mind that the majority of people who have this surgery are over age 50. If you are younger and active, the replacement knee may wear out more quickly.
When considering how long knee replacement hardware will last, it will depend, as well, on factors such as over health, size, weight, you strength level, ability to tolerate pain, and various other conditions. In general, it really varies from person to person; although again, the more active you are after knee replacement, the more stress will be placed on the joint. It's important to remember that while the join needs to remain active to work properly, overuse will only serve to wear it down much more quickly. Because of this, a happy medium must be determined.