Hip & Knee Joint Replacement can Last 25 years+

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Full Name: Kannivelu Badrinath
Name of Your College/Medical School: Madras Medical College, Madras, India

Hip & Knee Joint Replacement can Last 25 years+

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A research paper on joint replacement published earlier this year in the Lancet involving 500,000 patients indicates that 8 out of 10 knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements last as long as 25 years.

Many doctors often struggle to answer questions from patients on how long the implants will last. This paper should help them with the answers. Although there have been no published data on this topic in the past, senior surgeons who have been operating for more than 30 years have often told their patients that the joint may last 25 years if everything went as planned with no complications. Given the improvement in technology and techniques in the last 25 years, replacements done today may last even longer.

Nearly 200,000 of the operations were performed in 2017 in England and Wales, with most carried out on people between 60 and 80 years old.

The Published data indicates:

Hip replacements: 89% lasted 15 years, 70% lasted 20 years, 58% lasted 25 years

Total knee replacements: 93% lasted 15 years, 90% lasted 20 years, 82% lasted 25 years

Partial knee replacements: 77% lasted 15 years, 72% lasted 20 years, 70% lasted 25 years

For this report the researchers looked at reports from joint replacement registries in six countries which held at least 15 years of data - Australia, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. They did not look at data from the UK, because its record of patients does not go back far enough, but the research team said their findings mirrored results from smaller studies of UK patients. Although The National Joint Registry (NJR) in UK was established in 2002, as the result of an unexpectedly high failure rate of "a cemented total hip replacement", entry in to the registry for all hospitals in the NHS was made compulsory only in 2011.

According to the study, when hip and knee replacements do fail it tends to be because of infection, wear and tear and, more rarely, because they have broken.

John Skinner, from the British Orthopaedic Association and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon said that surgeons now were so confident that they were offering surgery to more active younger patients.

Wendy Fryer who is 80, had a hip replacement 17 years ago. She was crippled before surgery. Hip replacement completely changed her life. The pain disappeared the next day and it was like Magic she said. She still plays table tennis and badminton regularly, and also enjoys cycling and walking.
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