Why most new knees and hips will last up to 25 years: Thanks to better surgical techniques and more effective post-treatment follow-up, implants last ten years longer than expected
- Research shows eight out of ten knee replacements last longer than expected
- Six hip replacements also last longer than expected.
- The majority of them last up to 25 years in a patient, according to a study
Kate Pickles Health Reporter for the Daily Mail
A major study found that the majority of hip and knee replacements now last up to 25 years in patients.
They are among the most common forms of surgery in the NHS, but people have often been told that the expected lifespan of implants was about 15 years.
But now, research has revealed that eight knee replacements and six hip replacements were still working well years later.
Dr. Jonathan Evans, head of the orthopedic study, said: "At best, the NHS has only been able to say how long the replacements are designed to last, instead of referring to the real evidence from experiences of patients undergoing joint replacement.
A major new NHS study found that the majority of hip and knee replacements lasted up to 25 years in patients (stock photo)
"Given the improvements in technology and techniques over the past 25 years, we expect hip or knee replacements today to last even longer."
The researchers studied the results of surgery for 500,000 patients in six countries over a 25-year period.
They reviewed the reports of joint replacement registries based in Australia, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
British data were not used because patient data do not go back far enough.
However, experts say their conclusions are similar to those of smaller studies done on British patients.
The researchers found that 82% of total knee replacements and 70% of partial knee replacements lasted 25 years. Of the total hip arthroplasties involving the ball and joint, 58% lasted 25 years.
More than two million hip and knee replacements have been performed in Britain since 2003, but the aging of the population and the rising rate of obesity mean that the list of Waiting to lengthen.
Last year, the Mail revealed that three-quarters of NHS trusts were refusing to fund hip and knee operations unless patients were experiencing severe pain.
Some patients were able to queue up for up to £ 15,000 for a hip replacement, instead of having to wait a year for surgery.
Hip and knee replacements have finally failed due to infection, fractures and wear, researchers at the University of Bristol said.
Eight knee replacements and six hip replacements are still working properly years after waiting.
Many patients needed a revision surgery more complex than the first operation, expensive and less likely to give such a satisfactory result.
But experts believe that better preparation before surgery, such as weight loss and strengthening exercises, improved surgical techniques, and more effective postoperative physical rehabilitation have extended the life of the implants. Manufacturers have also developed various plastics and metals that have made replacement joints more reliable and more durable.
The doctors say the new devices have strengthened the remaining bone capacity in the implants, creating a strong bond that is less likely to erode over time.
Dr. Evans, whose findings were reported in The Lancet, said, "We hope this information will be helpful to patients when they decide to have hip or knee replacement surgery."
"We also hope the information will be of interest to patients who already have a hip or knee prosthesis in place."