How Long Do Joint Replacements Last?
Cory Calendine, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon
If you are a young, active person and you have been suffering from chronic pain due to osteoarthritis in your knees or hips for years, then you might be considering having joint replacement surgery. Joint replacements generally tend to be very successful - allowing most people to return to active lives free of chronic pain. However, while artificial joints are designed to last a long time, they won't always last forever. This means that if the surgery is done at a younger age there may come a point where it would need to be replaced.
We do have a rough idea of how long a joint replacements will last based on data from previous operations. During the 1980s and 1990s, studies estimated that between 90% and 100% of hip or knee replacements would endure for at least 10-15 years. However, with surgical technology advances, implant survival may be a lot better. With more thorough preparation (including "prehab" exercise and weight loss), superior implant materials, improved surgical methods and anesthesia, and enhanced physical therapy after surgery, your knee or hip replacement is more likely to succeed and last the rest of your life than ever before – and that is always our goal.
New Joint Replacement Technology
Who will require joint replacement revision surgery? According to the most recent studies of various joint implants, around 90% of contemporary joint replacements are expected to function properly 10 - 15 years later – and that percentage might be somewhat higher specifically for total hip replacements. Advancing implant material technology and improved surgical techniques are credited for improving joint implant survival rates.
A good example of a more recent technology is highly cross-linked polyethylene, a type of extremely durable plastic used in many joint implants which has exceptional low-wear properties. Time will more clearly tell if implants constructed of this material will last longer than previously used materials. Joint replacement surgeons are also experimenting with new technology, including robotic-assisted techniques, that they hope can assist joint replacement surgery survive longer.
Whether you need a partial or total joint replacement, there are many different types of artificial joints, and each person's requirements and experience will vary.
“What matters most is connecting the ideal implant with a patient's anatomy and condition,” Dr. Cory Calendine, Joint Replacement Surgeon explains, “Not every implant or surgical technique is appropriate for every patient at all times.”
- Returning to Exercise After Joint Replacement
- How Painful is Joint Replacement Surgery?
- Introduction to Robotic Joint Replacement
Optimizing Hip and Knee Replacement Survival
It is important to find a surgeon that looks at your joint replacement holistically – meaning he or she assesses your individual risk factors, helps you minimize them and creates a personalized plan to put you in the best possible position for a successful and long-lasting joint replacement.
There are also certain steps you can take after you've had your new knee or hip to help it last, inclucing:
- Staying active.
- Maintain a proper weight.
- Check in with your orthopedic surgeon on a regular basis.
“The new materials, innovative technical processes, and new medical knowledge that we are applying to today's surgery should have an impact on their longevity. Hopefully, in 20 years, the figures we're seeing now will be even better.”
Consult Cory Calendine, MD, Hip & Knee Replacement Specialist
Cory Calendine, MD is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee at Williamson County Hospital in Franklin, TN. Dr. Calendine is a joint replacement surgeon specializing in Hip and Knee Surgery. From diagnosis through treatment, the Orthopaedic Surgical experts at the Bone and Joint Institute use the latest techniques and technology to improve care for people with musculoskeletal problems. For more information, please contact our office or schedule your appointment today.