What’s the Ideal Age for Knee Replacement Surgery?

What’s the Ideal Age for Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is more common than you may think — nearly 800,000 of these procedures are performed each year to relieve pain caused by badly damaged knee joints. Implants are placed during this minimally invasive procedure, while your surgeon removes diseased and damaged parts of your knee. 

After recovery, most patients can enjoy activity levels they may have been deprived of for a long time previously. 

Dr. Struan Coleman is highly experienced at performing knee replacement, and typically recommends the procedure when other approaches, such as medication and physical therapy, are unsuccessful. He evaluates you carefully before recommending this surgery, and talks to you in detail about how life-limiting your pain and mobility problems have gotten. 

Dr. Coleman’s unique experience treating pro athletes means he’s seen and treated so many painful knee conditions that you can feel 100% certain about his assessment’s soundness. If you have knee replacement surgery, he ensures that you’re completely prepared for the procedure, and he and his caring team see you through your recovery with expertise and sensitivity.

Your knee is a vulnerable joint

The knees are the most stressed joints in your body. Think about what they do — they literally carry you through life as you walk, jump, and run, whether working or playing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that knee replacement is the most frequently performed joint replacement surgery.

Patients in need of knee replacement often describe how compromised their mobility is due to the pain, which makes daily activities like climbing stairs and walking nearly impossible. Knee pain can even disrupt your sleep. 

Once the cartilage between your knee joints has deteriorated to a certain extent, it can’t heal on its own, and the smartest treatment option may be replacement if other treatments have failed. 

Is there a “sweet spot,” age-wise, for getting knee replacement?

In the past, knee replacement patients tended to be between 60 and 80 years old, with the average age being 65, but increasingly, younger adults are getting the surgery. 

More people in their 40s and 50s are getting knee replacement surgery due to the severity of their joint deterioration, painful symptoms, and mobility problems. In fact, folks under 50 are the fastest-growing group of knee replacement recipients. 

The reason for this is two-fold. First, middle-aged individuals are more physically active and fitness-focused than past generations, so knee wear-and-tear emerges earlier, and the frequency of knee replacement has increased proportionately. 

Second, in the past, doctors also tended to hold off on recommending knee replacement until patients were very debilitated. Now the thinking has changed, since a procedure that enables an adult to stay physically active also serves as a preventive treatment. More exercise generally lowers your risk for serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

More good news for knee replacement patients younger than 50 is that they report a satisfaction rate with the procedure of over 85%

What is knee replacement surgery like?

After examining you thoroughly, Dr. Coleman decides whether you need a partial or full knee replacement. He evaluates:

If Dr. Coleman can preserve any of these parts of the knee, he will. The next step is the production of artificial parts of the knee that will be used as replacements. These are customized so they fit the size and shape of your knee, and they’re made of durable metal alloys, ceramics, and plastic.

During the minimally invasive knee replacement procedure, Dr. Coleman swaps out your damaged knee parts with the replacements. Less invasive procedures mean smaller incisions, faster healing, and less pain, bleeding, and scarring.

Recovery from knee replacement surgery typically involves going through a healing period, during which the fit of the replacement parts is again examined. This is followed by physical therapy, which helps you get your bearings on your new knee as you learn to use it. While practicing, you also build knee strength.

Throughout the recovery process, as well as afterwards, Dr. Coleman closely monitors you to be certain your knee replacement continues to be comfortable and work well.

If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re too young for a knee replacement but your symptoms are severe, schedule a consultation with Dr. Coleman to discuss whether you’re a knee replacement candidate. You can call the office most convenient to you and set up an appointment, or send us a message through our website

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