Are you considering a total knee replacement?
Besides worrying about surgery and recovery time, many potential patients also question whether they’ll need to go through the process again when their knee implant wears out.
So how long does a total knee replacement typically last?
Fortunately, 90% of total knee replacements work well for 15 to 20 years and often
We’ll talk about all the specifics (and more!) in today’s article.
Don’t forget to take our free knee function assessment when you’re done reading this article to find out if you might be a good candidate for total knee replacement surgery.
For now, try to answer these five questions to help you shed more light on the right choice.
Here’s How Long a Total Knee Replacement Typically Lasts
With today’s technology, there’s a high chance (read: 90% probability) you’ll still be able to enjoy your new knee 20 years after your surgery. And in some cases, even longer.
Keep in mind, those results are typical with total knee replacement surgery.
Partial replacements won’t last as long and some patients find they may need to be adjusted every 10 years or so.
One of the best ways to ensure that your knee replacement lasts as long — if not longer than the average — is to opt for a kinematically aligned surgery instead of a mechanical one.
We’ll discuss this big difference next.
Kinematically Aligned vs. Mechanical Knee Replacements
Don’t let the technical terms overwhelm you.
In a kinematically aligned knee replacement, the implants are custom fit to a patient’s knee joint to restore your natural alignment.
On the other hand, a mechanical knee replacement uses a one-alignment-fits-all approach and positions the implant in a place best suited for the “average” patient.
Many patients with mechanical knee replacements report that the natural alignment of their knee and leg are often thrown off as result.
When this happens, patients end up wearing away other joints since the body must compensate and work around the new implant.
These issues are less likely with a kinematically aligned knee.
Thanks to the customization that comes standard with this surgery, your body won’t have to readjust.
And since it’s not having to do that, you won’t wear down your knee replacement as fast. That means you’ll be well on your way to reaching the 20+ year mark with your implant.
To learn more about the differences between each surgery, we encourage you to check out this article.
Many patients also wonder whether being too active lowers the durability of their total knee replacement. We’ll answer this question next.
How Activity Affects Your Knee Replacement
With a total knee replacement, you’re free (and encouraged) to remain active.
Most patients are happy to say they can freely move about, continue to exercise regularly, and enjoy activities — such as golfing, tennis, racquetball, bike riding, hiking, skiing, and swimming — they used to enjoy before they had knee pain.
These types of activities will not help you stay healthy, and do not over stress the knee.
Many aging athletes find they can play basketball and even run on their total knee replacement. While the short-term effects of these vigorous activities are well tolerated by the knee, the long-term effects have not been determined.
On the flip side, there are some exercises that can have just the opposite effect on your knee replacement.
Constant, heavy lifting and high impact sports like running or high intensity training can cause unnecessary strain on your knee replacement, resulting in more wear and tear on the implant. This can drastically reduce how long it lasts.
Kneeling for extended periods of time can also add pressure to your knee replacement and can negatively impact its shelf life too.
Learn More About a Total Knee Replacement Today
If you’d like to continue reading about a total knee replacement, aside from how long an implant will last you, we encourage you to head over to this page where we discuss everything you need to know about total knee replacement surgery.
Still not sure if you’re a good candidate for a total knee replacement? Take our fast, free knee function assessment and you’ll have an answer within minutes.