How long will a knee replacement last?

How long will a knee replacement last?

In many ways, a total knee replacement is similar to a set of automobile tires. How long a set of tires lasts depends on how much the car is driven, on what types of roads the car is driven, how heavy the car is, and whether or not the car is properly serviced and maintained.

Given normal usage, things that we all enjoy such as hiking, playing tennis or playing golf will allow a total knee replacement to last for decades and I’m confident that those knee replacements that I’m inserting today will still be functioning 20-30 years from now. Some activities are not acceptable  with total knee replacements. High impact endeavors such as basketball, football or running will not be good for your total knee replacement. Those activities will place a severe amount of strain upon the ligaments surrounding the knee and you will be unhappy at the end of the day because your knee will simply ache. In the long run, wear of the polyethylene plastic is a possibility if you engage in sustained high impact activities.

No two patients are the same, some implants may last a lifetime while others only last a year. In the event that a total knee fails, it is possible to implant another knee replacement. Such revision total knee replacement surgery may be a lesser or greater operation than the original total knee surgery. Similarly, recovery from revision total knee surgery may be easier or more difficult than it was from the original total knee surgery. In general, the results of revision total knee surgery are not quite as good or predictable as for primary total knee replacements.

To learn more about knee replacements or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bryan, please contact 713-441-3470 or email

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