Many people put off having knee replacement surgery. Some of this has to do with avoiding a major surgical procedure, whereas others are trying to get as much use out of their current knee as possible so that they can get a new knee at just the right time to make it last.
Typically, knee replacements are expected to last for approximately 15 years. Different studies are constantly being conducted to determine how well these new joints work for patients, though there is a wide range of variability from one case to another.
Which Factors Affect the Life Expectancy of My Knee Replacement Most?
Modern technology has come a long way in recent years in regards to orthopedic surgery. Combine these advancements with the skill of an experienced orthopedic specialist, and you have a high chance of getting a knee replacement that will last for 20 or more years.
However, this is certainly not a guarantee as there are several key factors that will impact the long-term success of your knee replacement, such as:
- Your Age. The younger you are, the healthier you will hopefully be. Those near the age of 50 who undergo a knee replacement are unlikely to experience complications so long as they are in good health. However, these young patients will also likely require a revision knee replacement later on in life since they will need their replacement to last much longer than 15-20 years.
- Your Weight. Having too much weight pressing down on a joint is never a good situation. Often times, obesity is a major contributor to the need for a knee replacement in the first place. By maintaining a healthy weight you can ensure the longevity of your knee replacement while also combating many other health issues that can arise from being overweight.
- Your Activity Level. Similar to being overweight, some more intense activities can put undue stress on your knee joints. These activities may not be painful, but they will certainly cause your joint to deteriorate much faster if you aren’t careful.
- Related Health Conditions. Some patients may experience more difficulty with their joint replacement due to another medical condition such as osteoporosis, which can make you more prone to bone fractures.
How Can I Make My Knee Replacement Last Longer?
One of the best things that you can do for yourself and your new knee is to take all the time you need to recover. Joint replacement surgeries are rather extensive, so you will need to heal for approximately 12 weeks after your procedure. During this time it is important to not push yourself or your new joint, as this will only harm you in the long run. Follow your doctor’s advice carefully to ensure optimal results.
After the healing process is over, you can get back to daily activities and eventually also additional activities that you enjoy like golf or gardening. The primary reason most people undergo knee replacement surgery is to get back to their beloved hobbies and active lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of your new, pain-free outlook on life. Just remember not to overdo it, as placing too much stress on your knee joint will cause it to wear out much more quickly than it should.
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