In the initial stages of its introduction, there were a lot of misconceptions and speculations about the success of knee replacement surgeries and the durability of the total knee implants. In the 60’s or 70’s it was largely believed that the implants would last only for 10 years, which is why, the knee replacement surgery was advised only for the elderly. It was only with the passage of time that it was discovered, that the durability of these implants was much longer lasting around 20 years or more.
Over the past two decades there has been extensive research and advancement in the field in terms of the surgical techniques, materials, design of the implants and their fixation, which has led to an increased durability of knee implants extending their life to well beyond 20 years. In fact there are a number of patients whose knee implants were fixed in as long as 30 years ago and are still active and mobile. Each human body is different though and the longevity of their knee implants vary from patient to patient depending on the varying physical conditions, activity, weight, the surgeon’s skill in placing the implant and other such factor.
It is for this reason that the age limitations for knee replacement surgery have been discarded, however, the concern among young people that the implant might not last as long for them as it does in older people still lasts. The wear of the implant has always raised concerns among those considering the surgery at a comparatively younger age. However, what needs to be understood is that implant differs in design from the hip implant which means that the wear in this case is much less of a problem than perceived.
The one concern that does however exist in the knee implants is loosening of the implant. In order to avoid this from happening, the patients are instructed to avoid repetitive heavy lifting, stay fit, and maintain their body weight, refrain from participating in high impact sports and avoid kneeling altogether.
However, in case your knee implant does begin giving you grief and pain, it is important to consult your orthopedicians immediately and get medical attention. In rare cases, there are advises of a second knee replacement as well.