Life Expectancy of a Knee Replacement – How Long Can a Knee Replacement Last?

Sydelle Enoch 

Research has shown that those who have had a knee replacement for up to 20 years and have shown at least moderate activity at that time are still going strong.

If you think about it, the whole point of a total knee replacement is to have a functional knee that will hold up to act for years to come. This recent study shows that they are holding up for 20 years or more.

In fact, experts claim that if you receive a good knee and take care of it, and you live long enough, you can expect the life expectancy of a knee replacement to last through the moderate activity for even longer than 20 years.

Life Expectancy of a Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery is usually spurred by a need to relieve pain and restore use of the knee joint, most often in those suffering from severe arthritis.

It involves the surgeon removing damaged cartilage and bone, and implanting an artificial knee. These fake knees are made of polymer, metal alloy, and plastic, and they can be customized by design for specific patient needs. Of course, this type of surgery carries certain risks, just as any surgery does. These include infection, and many also worry about the life expectancy of the knee replacement or how long it will be functional.

Current studies have eased some of these fears, however. In one study it was noted that a great majority of the patients who were still alive at their 20 years follow up could climb stairs and walk at least 5 blocks. Many could walk indefinitely, and some were participating in high impact sports with a double knee replacement.

While these are preliminary findings and there may be outside factors that must be considered, the fact that many of those assessed were at or beyond the 20-year mark shows that the life expectancy of a knee replacement can be 20 years or more.

These are important findings for those who are still relatively young, like in their 50s and considering knee replacement surgery. They are most definitely wondering about the life expectancy of a knee replacement.

They want to know how long it will remain functional. This study should give them great hope and encouragement to bite the bullet, get rid of the pain, and live a higher quality of life now.

Before this study, the life expectancy of a knee replacement was usually stated to be between 15 and 20 years. Yet, though more research is definitely needed, this new study indicated they could be good for 20 years and beyond.

The success rate of these surgeries is stated to be from about 90 to 93 percent, with non- successful surgeries consisting of a very few infections and some being unhappy with the results, probably due to pain.

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