What is the Best Age for a Knee Replacement

Oct 05, 2022

What is the Best Age for a Knee Replacement

Are you afraid your age could prevent you from getting a knee replacement? Find out how specialists determine the best time to remove damaged bone and cartilage from the knee.

When the cartilage in your knees wears down and causes your bones to rub against each other, you may experience chronic pain and develop mobility issues. Depending on how severely your cartilage is worn down, you can opt for either non-surgical treatment options (e.g., painkillers and injections) or a knee replacement. 

A knee replacement is a surgical procedure used to remove less than an inch of damaged bone and replace it with an artificial joint. 

If pain or mobility issues are affecting your lifestyle but you’re afraid that your age might be an obstacle to getting surgery, read on. Below, we asked Dr. Andrew D. Pearle, located in Upper East Side, New York, and White Plains, New York, to explain what is the best age to get a knee replacement. 

Age and different types of knee replacement

As long as your symptoms are severe and conservative methods don't work at improving your pain levels and mobility, there's no right or wrong age for getting a knee replacement. In order to qualify for a knee replacement, regardless of your age, you should be free of active infections, untreated cancer, or severe heart disease. 

The average age of knee replacement patients is between 60 and 70. However, patients under 60 often get a partial knee replacement, as the damage to their knees isn’t as extensive. 

Partial knee replacements come with a few advantages. These include a shorter recovery time, the ability to stay active, a knee that feels more natural when you move, and a smaller risk for surgery complications. 

Patients below the age of 45, who tend to be more active, may need to opt for a second knee replacement in their lifetime because the lifespan of a knee replacement is 15-20 years.

Older patients are often recommended a total knee replacement. This type of knee replacement has a longer recovery timeline but doesn't come with the risk of having to replace the artificial joint. 

Find out if you’re a good candidate for a knee replacement 

Studies suggest that about 90% of Americans delay their knee replacement. They’re missing out on getting pain relief and improving their mobility. Meanwhile, about 25% of Americans get a knee replacement too early.  

If you are in pain and have difficulty moving, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Pearle can examine your knee and help you determine whether surgery or another type of treatment is best for you.