Thank you for participating in the online chat on Hip and Knee Replacements. We had a lot of really great questions. We received a few questions a couple times so we will highlight the answers to those questions here!
What is the longevity of knee replacements?
The lifespan of a knee replacement is related to the body weight and activity level of the individual who receives the replacement. Individuals who are very active often reduce the longevity of their knee replacement because high activity can put extra stress on the implant leading to loosening of the implants from the bone or “wearing” of the parts used to replace the joint. Being overweight increases the forces on implant and can also lead to early failure. In general, 15 year survivorship of modern knee replacement designs used in good candidate is around 90 percent.
Typically for younger patients, if x-rays do not show complete loss of cartilage, “bone on bone”, I recommend waiting as long as possible to have the knee replacement surgery. However, if there is “bone on bone” arthritis, knee replacement is the most effective treatment, but the risks of early failure are increased.
What exercises can I do for a total knee replacement?
Low impact aerobic conditioning 4-5 times per week for 4-6 weeks prior to surgery is best. Low impact activities include swimming, elliptical, or stationary bike.
“Prehabilitation” is rehabilitation to get your body ready for the surgery so you can recovery as quickly as possible after surgery. Instruction during this period should be focused on strengthening the muscles around the joint. The prehabilitation period should last for several weeks before surgery.
How long is recovery after hip/knee replacement?
It is best to think of how long it takes to reach recovery milestones -
• For hip replacement, pain is typically better than what it was prior to surgery in 2-3 weeks, normal walking typically occurs by 6-8 weeks and full recovery typically occurs within 3-4 months.
• For knee replacement, pain is typically better than what it was prior to surgery by 4-6 weeks, normal walking typically occurs by 8-10 weeks and full recovery typically occurs within 4-5 months.
Thank you again for attending the chat. I hope you found the information useful! If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with an Emory Orthopedic Surgeon about hip or knee replacements please call 404-778-7777.
About Dr. Bradbury
Dr. Bradbury is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory. He specializes in hip and knee arthroplasty. He really enjoys this area of orthopaedic surgery because of the consistency of success in the properly selected patient. Dr. Bradbury’s professional goal is the improvement in quality of life for patients with pain secondary to hip and knee problems.
His research interests center around infections involving hip and knee replacements which are rare, but difficult problems. Dr. Bradbury is researching the success rate of current treatment methods for hip and knee replacement infections caused by resistant bacteria (MRSA). Through his research, he hopes to find better way to both prevent and treat periprosthetic hip and knee infections.