When you have a progressive condition of the knee like osteoarthritis, the question may be when you’ll require joint replacement, not if you’ll need it. An increasingly popular surgery that reduces pain and restores mobility, knee replacements keep active American adults on their feet.
The knee replacement experts at Total Joint Specialists can help you plan a strategy for the best time to schedule your surgery based on your condition and the expected life of your prosthetic. The best age for a knee replacement depends on a balance of factors.
Average ages for knee replacements
The primary balance point for choosing when to have knee replacement surgery weighs the severity of your current condition against the expected life of a prosthetic compared to your current age to minimize the need for revision surgery, that is, replacing the replacement.
Since contemporary joint replacement techniques and prosthetics are still in a relatively young state of development, the life expectancy of current prosthetics is largely estimated. In most cases, you can expect a knee replacement to last between 15 and 20 years before maintenance surgery becomes necessary.
Assuming a life expectancy of 80 years, surgery at the age of 60 to 65 might be sufficient to avoid surgery at a later date. The average age of knee replacement patients currently sits around 66 years old.
The trend toward earlier surgery
The estimated lifespan of knee prosthetics is increasing, meaning that you have a better chance of your prosthetic lasting longer. This means you could have your surgery at an earlier age if your situation warrants it.
Often, it comes down to your degenerative condition and how it affects you. The most common cause for knee replacements is osteoarthritis. Every patient experiences the condition in a unique way in terms of mobility restrictions, pain, and rate of deterioration. Osteoarthritis has no cure, though treatments and lifestyle changes may slow its progress.
If you experience symptoms that are resisting conservative treatment efforts, your current age might be a determining factor. For example, if you’re 56 with symptoms that begin to resist treatment, it may be possible to manage pain and mobility for another four years until you reach the threshold at age 60.
However, postponing surgery another decade might not make sense if your arthritis started sooner and you reach those symptoms at age 50. Though you could require additional surgery in 20 years, the improved quality of life now may offset this drawback.
The best age
It’s up to you to decide when it’s the best age for knee replacement, with some help from your surgeon at Total Joint Specialists. A detailed medical evaluation can occur only with a full examination and review of your health history. Then you and your doctor can discuss surgery's related pros and cons.
Contact our most convenient Atlanta area office to schedule your consultation. You can book at any of our 10 locations by phone or online. We’re standing by to arrange your appointment now.