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Joint Replacement Longevity

August 9, 2019


Many patients will ask how long does my surgery last or how long will the implant itself last? And it used to be that the rate limiting step in joint replacement was wearing out of the plastic component in the joint. Thankfully, this has been solved by the engineers of the major joint replacement companies and so much so that it is no longer their most rate limiting step within your joint replacement. Typically, patients will require a revision surgery or a redo surgery for a reason other than that the joint just wore out on them. For instance, in 20 years if you fell down the stairs and broke the bone around the implant, that is actually more of a reason why you may require revision surgery rather than simply changing out the tires. The plastic itself wears out at about 0.1 millimeters per year. Typically, the thickness of these implants with the plastic is about six to seven millimeters thick. Therefore, theoretically giving you 60 years with this implant. Of course, this has never been proven because the implant itself hasn't been around for that long. Most of the companies will estimate that their joint replacement in terms of wear related issues would last over 30 years, but we cannot be certain at this time.

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