How Old is Too Old for Knee Replacement Surgery?

By Johns Hopkins Health Alerts — From Published at April 26, 2010 Views 22,730 Comments 6 Likes 1

Many knee arthritis sufferers who are 75 and older wonder if they are too old to benefit from a knee replacement. According to the “Archives of Internal Medicine,” this is not necessarily true.

Researchers followed 174 elderly patients with severe knee or hip osteoarthritis for nearly a year. During that time period, 47 had joint replacement surgery an even though recovery time took several weeks, the long term results were less pain and disability from osteoarthritis.
The study clearly suggests that elderly people with severe osteoarthritis should at least discuss joint replacement with their doctor.

Read the full article at Bullet-go

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Comments (6 comments)

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happykaren September 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm   
Edited September 19, 2010 at 7:24 am by happykaren

all my replacements are titanium , it is very difficult to kneel , unless i have a cushion under my knees … be4 the ops i was getting steroid injections nearly monthly , or i couldnt walk for the pain … i believe arthritis is familial , both my parents and brother have it .. the worst thing with me is i also have severe fibromyalgia , which makes the pain over my body 100% worse .. i just have to cope ..

happykaren September 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm   
Edited September 19, 2010 at 7:39 am by happykaren

hello everyone .. I am 52, and have had 2 total knee replacements , and 2 total hip replacements.. i got the first hip done in 2000 , which made me 42 .. my surgeon , who is my saviour , did my ops at 6 months apart , giving me time to heal and adapt .. I still have severe arthritis all over my body , and have recently had 3 shoulder ops , (probably looking at a replacement ) .. .. i lost 2stone , and my surgeon saw that i had made an effort , he then kept his side of the bargain . and did my replacements.. I am aware that im coming up for probably another 4 replacements in the next 5 yrs , as ive used mine well …
my brother who is in agony with his joints , is severely over weight , ( 24 stones)and really needs replacements, but his doctor told him , that at 55 , he was too young , he Never told him to lose weight, I had a right heart to heart with him and said hes making himself worse because his weight bearing joints are going to get worse ,the bigger he gets, but If he even gets to see a surgeon , he would be told to lose at least 5 stone.. and if he did , then im sure there would be help for him …
I dont think there is a right or wrong age for replacements , its a personal decision made between a surgeon and patiient . an agreement , an understanding and a lot of hard work for both..good luck ev1 ..

Mr. B.
Mr. B. September 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm   

I am 70. I had total knee replacement on on my left knee on Oct 2006. It was the best thing I could have done to relief the pain I had. I am a parttime instructor. At that time I was doing a 5 hour class three times a week. By quiting time, I was in extreme pain on my knees. My left was worse. I was taking all types of pain killers with not enough relief. I had already had three "scopes" on my left knee with minimal relief within the last ten years. My doctor said total replacement was the only obtion left. Another surgeon had told me that they don't like to do replacement before age 60 because it doesn't last forever.

Right now I just had a third injection on my left knee of some type of steriods that has helped some. I just hope this lasts at least a year or two. Again the next obtion will be total knee replacement. I'll just have to wait and see. I'm doing easy exercises: walking and flexibility.

Lana May 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm   

An interesting question. There is no age requirement in terms of too young or too old. However 25% of surgeons will not agree to a total knee replacement for patients over 80. 65% will not do a total replacement for patients younger than 50.

Here is a link from Johns Hopkins about why getting a knee replacement prior to age 50 is a good thing.

Doctors are hesitant if a person’s arthritis is mild. In fact, they will recommend only if a patient meets the following.
Patient has bad arthritis pain, and other treatments have not helped.
Patient has lost a large amount of cartilage.
Patient does not have other health problems that would make it dangerous to have surgery.

If a person’s arthritis does not meet a certain criteria, then surgery is not recommended because the ricks outweigh the benefits.

Risks include:
• Lack of good range of motion. After surgery, some people can't bend their knee far enough to do their daily activities, even after several weeks. Medicine may help.
• Dislocated kneecap.If this happens, the kneecap may move to one side of the knee, and it will "pop" back when you bend your knee. It usually needs to be treated with another surgery. But this problem is not common.
• Blood clots. These can be dangerous if they block blood flow from the leg back to the heart or move to the lungs. They are more common in older people, those who are very overweight, those who have had blood clots before, and those who have cancer.
• Wound-healing problems. These are more common in people who take steroid medicines or who have diseases that affect the immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. People who have any sort of artificial material in their bodies, including artificial joints, have a risk of infection around the material. But infection is rare. There is also a small risk of infection with any surgery.
• Instability in the joint. The knee may be unstable or wobbly if the replacement parts are not properly aligned. You may need a second surgery to align the parts correctly so that your knee is stable.
• The usual risks of general anesthesia. Problems from anesthesia are not common, especially in people who are in good health overall. But all anesthesia has some risk.

Hokes Bluff
Hokes Bluff May 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm   

Me too dizzyb01, I too suffer from osteoarthritis in my knees; had the right knee "scoped", but didn't help. Taking Mobic, and ibuprofen. What is the recommended age for knee replacement?

dizzyb01 April 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm   

This is an intresting question, i was told that i was too young to have a knee replacment so how old do you have to be to have knee replacement?

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