How Many Knee Replacements Can You Have In A Lifetime?
Two to three revisions of total knee arthroplasties are typically acceptable for pain relief, improved function, and reduced infection risk. As these procedures are typically more invasive, certain complications may be more likely in some patients, making them poor candidates for a third surgery. Doctors will consider these potential complications to determine whether a patient is a likely candidate.
The decision to undergo additional knee replacement surgeries, known as revision knee replacement, depends on several factors:
- Patient’s Age and Health Status: A person’s overall health and age are important considerations in determining the feasibility of additional knee replacement surgeries. Generally, younger patients may be more likely to require revision surgeries because they are more likely to outlive the lifespan of the initial knee replacement prosthesis.
- Implant Longevity: The lifespan of knee replacement implants can vary based on the materials used, the patient’s activity level, and the surgical technique. Advances in implant technology have improved their durability, leading to longer-lasting results.
- Cause of Revision: The need for a revision knee replacement can arise from various reasons, including implant wear and loosening, infection, instability, or fracture. Each case is unique, and the decision to undergo a revision depends on the specific circumstances and the patient’s symptoms and functional limitations.
- Bone Quality: The condition of the bone surrounding the knee joint is critical for the success of a revision knee replacement. If there is significant bone loss or poor bone quality, it may affect the feasibility of further revisions.
- Surgeon’s Evaluation: The orthopedic surgeon will assess the individual’s situation, considering the previous knee replacements, the underlying cause of failure, and the patient’s overall health before recommending a revision surgery.
The goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient while maximizing the longevity of the joint replacement. Each subsequent knee replacement surgery can be more complex than the initial surgery due to factors like scar tissue, altered anatomy, and potential bone loss. Careful consideration and evaluation by the surgical team are crucial when contemplating revision knee replacement.