One of the biggest questions most people have when considering whether to have joint replacement surgery is how long the new joint will last.

Until a couple of decades ago, the best guess was that joint replacements would last about 8 to 10 years. That expectation caused many people to delay surgery as long as possible so they wouldn’t need a second joint replacement in their lifetime. But over time, it became apparent those initial estimates were flawed.

In fact, 90% of people who have had total knee replacement and over 75% of people who have had total hip replacement can expect their joint to last 20 years or more. These statistics include people who received their prosthetic joint as far back as the 1980s. In other words, the original prediction of an 8 to 10 year lifespan has proven to be wrong and it’s certainly not valid for most people undergoing total joint replacement today.

“Joint replacement surgery can help you to get back to doing the things you love to do. You’ll be able to golf, play tennis and work out, and best of all, you’ll be doing it without pain.

Advancements in surgical techniques and high-tech implants have extended the life of most joint replacements up to 20 – 25+ years. Plus, patients are recovering quicker, with fewer complications and better quality outcomes.”

Dr. Michael J. Ostempowski

Buffalo Orthopedic Group, LLP

The Key to Recovery is Mobility

In addition to advances in design, materials and surgical techniques, another difference in today’s joint replacement outcomes is due to a more active approach to rehabilitation. Patients used to be immobilized for up to two weeks after a joint replacement procedure but now they are usually up the day of surgery and ambulating. This push toward rapid mobility results in a quicker return to active life.

This is good news for active adults who have exhausted non-surgical options like medication and physical therapy for their worn out joints. For many patients, the “right time” to have joint replacement surgery is no longer determined by how long a prosthetic joint is expected to last. Instead, decisions about joint replacement can be made based on how functional they are as well as their lifestyle, expectations, medical conditions and other personal factors.

People are now having knee and hip replacement procedures done earlier than ever before and they can feel more confident knowing their new joint will last.

To Find an Orthopedic Surgeon Near You
Call (716) 923-7153

To Find an Orthopedic Surgeon Near You Call (716) 9237153

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Date Last Reviewed: April 24, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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