Considering knee replacement surgery but unsure about the right time to do it? You’re not alone. Choosing the right time for knee replacement surgery is crucial for its success and your overall satisfaction.
Here, we look at factors such as age, overall health, and the severity of your knee condition, that all play a significant role in determining the optimal timing for this life-changing procedure.
Additionally, we’ll explore the longevity of knee implants and discuss a study published in the Lancet to help you make an informed decision.
Knee replacement surgery – factors to consider
When it comes to considering a knee replacement operation, several factors come into play. These are:
Severity of pain and mobility limitations
One of the most significant factors in deciding to undergo knee replacement surgery is the severity of pain and mobility limitations you are experiencing. For those with osteoarthritis, it can cause debilitating pain and significantly impact the quality of life. If conservative treatments like medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes have not alleviated your pain or improved your movement, it may be time to consider surgery.
Age and longevity of knee implants
While there is no specific age to undergo knee replacement surgery, age plays a crucial role in determining the longevity of knee implants. According to a study published in The Lancet, about 82% of total knee replacements and 70% of partial knee replacements last for 25 years. This information is of greater importance for younger patients, as they may require a revision surgery later in life if their implant wears out.
Overall health and surgical risks
Before opting for a knee replacement, it’s vital to assess your overall health and potential surgical risks.
As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications. Common complications include infection, blood clots, and stiffness in the knee joint. However, advancements in surgical techniques and post-operative care have significantly reduced the likelihood of these complications.
Your surgeon will evaluate factors such as your weight, existing medical conditions, and history of prior surgeries to determine your suitability for knee replacement. Ensuring that you are in the best possible health before surgery can lead to a more successful outcome and faster recovery.
Benefits of knee replacement surgery
The most significant benefit of knee replacement surgery is the relief from pain allowing improved exercise tolerance and quality of life. Patients often experience increased mobility, allowing them to return to their daily activities and even participate in sports and recreational activities. Additionally, timely surgery can prevent further deterioration of the joint and surrounding tissues, leading to a better outcome and sometimes reducing the need for more extensive procedures in the future.