A total knee replacement surgery is performed when there is a permanent deterioration of your knee joint due to arthritis, wear and tear, injury, or other diseases, and medical treatment is no longer useful to restore its functionality and relieve the pain. A damaged joint can lead to severe pain, difficulty in mobility, limited range of motion, and swelling. Knee replacement is an excellent solution for long-term relief from pain and enhances your quality of life. It involves replacing the knee joint with a prosthesis called an implant. The implant (prosthesis) helps restore the function of the knee joint. After undergoing total knee replacement surgery, you can resume your regular activities with improved knee mobility and minimal pain.
A common question that might pop up in your mind is how long does a knee replacement last? Before answering this question, let’s understand what knee implants are and their composition.
What is Knee Implants?
Knee implants or prostheses are typically made of materials such as metals, plastics and ceramics. The most common materials used in knee implants include:
- Metal: The metals commonly used include titanium, cobalt-chromium, nickel, and zirconium.
- Metal-on-plastic: This is the most cost-effective type of implant, which is safer option with a long life span. However, there can be immune reactions from the tiny metal particles that can wear away the spacer.
- Metal on metal: Here, the tibial and femoral components are both made up of metal. These are rarely used due to the leakage of metal particles into the bloodstream. This leads to inflammation, pain and damage to the internal organs. However, they may be used for young, active patients since they last longer.
- Polyethylene: Polyethylene (PE) remains the gold standard for the articulating surface in knee arthroplasty. This has a longer lifespan when compared to other implants and is also resistant to any abrasion (wear and tear).
- Ceramic: People who are allergic to metal implants like nickel might get ceramic implants.
- Ceramic on plastic: This type of implant uses a ceramic femoral component instead of metal. They are a good alternative to metal implants and ride on a plastic spacer.
- Ceramic on ceramic: Here, the tibial and femoral components are made of ceramic. These particles do not cause any immune reactions; however, they may shatter under heavy pressure into pieces.
It’s important to note that the choice of materials used in the knee implant will depend on the type of implant, e your symptoms and the surgeon’s preference. The implant’s design, materials and surgical technique are all essential for a successful outcome.
How Long Does A Knee Implant Last?
Total knee replacement surgeries have greatly improved knee stability, functionality and the patient’s quality of life. This is due to the improved quality of implants that are being developed and used. Previously, the implants used in TKR would last for up to 10 years due to the materials and the old technology used in the implants However, with new technologies and research, the latest implants can sometimes last 20 years or longer.Improvement in surgical techniques, materials, prosthetic design, and fixation have improved dramatically over time. As a result, this has increased the knee implant’s lifespan and longevity
How Can You Increase The Longevity Of Your Knee Implant?
There is no way to guarantee your knee implant will last forever, there are things you can do to increase its life as much as possible. Below are a few tips to increase the longevity of the implant after a knee replacement:
- Avoid high-impact activities
- High-impact strenuous exercises and playing sports can wear down your implant. Every implant has a lifespan: overusing it will lead to the wearing down of the implant.
- Limit yourself to moderate-level activities such as jogging, swimming, etc.
- Avoid a sedentary life-
- Living a completely sedentary lifestyle is also not good for your knee implant.
- Walking is a good way to maintain the function of the implant well.
- Sedentary lifestyle will cause weight gain, which puts the knee joint under pressure.
- Physical therapy helps strengthen the muscles around the operated knee.
- Keep chronic (long-lasting) conditions under control
- Many underlying health conditions can have a negative effect on your overall health, including the condition of your implant.
- It is important to keep your health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, etc., under control. This provides a healthy environment for the knee implant.
- This is also essential to promote good healing post-knee replacement surgery.
After your surgery, you must follow up with your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. This will decrease the risk of complications such as infection or limited movement of the knee, and provide a longer life to your new knee. Consult with our surgeons at Medfin to know more about total knee replacement.
Also Read : To Know More About How Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure is Done
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