If you have severe knee pain, it can make it difficult to exercise, do your job and even walk up and down the stairs. If medication, physical therapy, and other treatments haven’t done anything for your knee pain, your doctor may have suggested knee replacement surgery. Going under the knife is always a big deal and the benefits of risks of the procedure should be considered carefully.
One of the most common concerns people have about knee replacements is how long they will last. The truth is that artificial knees aren’t as strong as real knees and will wear out after time. Here’s an overview of how long they typically last and the factors that impact longevity.
Lifespan of Knee Replacements
While knee replacements might not last forever, they can last quite a while. In fact, if taken care of properly, they can last more than 20 years. That’s right. There have been many advances in knee replacement surgeries over the years and you can expect to enjoy your new knees for decades to come.
Factors That Impact the Lifespan of Knee Replacements
Knee replacements can last longer in some people than others. There are quite a few factors that affect the longevity of knee replacements, such as:
- Weight: It’s very important to maintain a healthy body to help your knee replacement last as long as possible. If you’re carrying around a lot of excess weight, it can put stress on your knee.
- Age: The younger you are, the longer you can expect your knee replacement to last. Younger people tend to be more active, which is essential for keeping an artificial knee in good shape.
- Activities: While it’s important to stay active after your knee replacement, you’ll want to stay away from activities that are hard on your joints, such as basketball, soccer, jogging, and powerlifting. Stick to light-weight activities, like walking, swimming, and cycling.
Other Things to Know About Knee Replacements
Before you get knee replacement surgery, it’s important to understand that it won’t feel exactly like your old knee. While you’ll definitely have less pain, you may have more trouble bending down. You may also notice your knee pop and click from time to time. It’s a little strange at first, but it doesn’t hurt.
When you go to the airport, you may need to spend a little more time going through security. Knee implants usually set off the metal detectors at airports. You may be searched more than once. It’s a good idea to let the TSA agents know ahead of time that you have a knee replacement.
Talk to a Surgeon
If you’re considering knee replacement surgery, you should schedule a consultation with a reputable knee surgeon. He or she can evaluate your condition and determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure or not. After your surgery, be sure to set up appointments with a physical therapist, like a physical therapist from AmeriWell Clinics. He or she will be able to help give you exercises to maintain your new knees.