The hips and knees are hardworking joints in the human body. As such, it is not uncommon to find many people with problems with these joints, such as chronic pain and/or repetitive use or traumatic injuries. Fortunately there are solutions that can reduce pain and improve quality of life, such as medication, physical therapy, or joint replacement. Hip or knee joint replacement surgery becomes an option once other methods of pain management prove unsuccessful. Surgery is the last resort because it is a serious intervention which requires recovery time. Surgery is also a long term solution, making it a worthwhile option for those suffering from persistent and otherwise untreatable joint pain.
How long will a hip or knee replacement typically last?
In an ideal situation, the artificial joint would last the rest of the patient’s lifetime. However, since no surgery is 100% guaranteed and many factors affect the health of the joint, some replacement joints eventually require revision. Some of the factors that affect joint health are: age of the patient, activity profile, and the type and material of implant. For example, a young patient who practices a high impact sport might require a revision sooner than an older patient who practices low-impact activities.
A 2017 study by medical journal The Lancet revealed the following:
- 15% of hip replacement patients required revision by the 20-year mark
- 10.3% of knee replacement patients required revision by the 20-year mark
- Patients over 70 required a revision only 5% of the time, while younger individuals in their 50s required a revision 35% of the time
Who is a good candidate for hip or knee replacement surgery?
The best candidates for joint replacement surgery are those who have pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, muscle weakness, or swelling, and for whom other interventions did not prove sufficient. When these symptoms affect the hips and knees, people often have difficulty with everyday activities. Walking, bending, climbing stairs, and exercising may be too difficult, dramatically reducing one’s quality of life. These symptoms are often due to osteoarthritis or an injury, and if symptoms are persistent or debilitating surgery becomes a favourable option.
In order to undergo a surgical procedure, one must also have good overall health. More specifically this means no smoking or poorly managed health problems. Prehabilitation is a useful way to prepare for a joint replacement and set yourself up for a successful operation.
How can Duval Orthopedic Clinic help?
At Duval Orthopedic Clinic in Montreal, Quebec, we specialize in and have performed thousands of procedures for the hips and knees. Our surgical experts and excellent nursing staff are here to support you through any issues you may have with these joints. From consultation to surgery and recovery, all our services are available in our state of the art surgical clinic. For any questions or to book a consultation, please reach out to us by clicking here.
*This article is not exhaustive and is not an official medical instruction document. Always speak to your doctor about medical concerns and choices.