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While surgery is usually best performed on younger populations, as they are more likely to heal and recover faster compared to elderly counterparts, depending on the type of surgery and its circumstances, patients may be advised to wait until they are older to complete the surgery.

 When Does the Average Person Have a Knee Replacement?

 Total knee replacement is one such confounding example. Traditionally, knee replacement has been reserved for the older population. In the United States, most people who undergo hip or knee replacement surgery are between the ages of 66 and 68. This is true for a few reasons.

First, knee replacement is usually undergone when arthritis causes the cartilage covering your bones to wear down, eventually resulting in bone-on-bone friction which can be excruciatingly painful. As arthritis becomes more common in older individuals with more wear-and-tear on their joints, younger individuals usually don’t have a need for total knee replacement surgery.

Secondly, knee replacements typically only last 10-15 years before replacement is needed. As such, doctors usually recommend patients wait to have a knee replacement until they are in their mid-60s, so they won’t need to undergo additional knee replacement surgery. They base this timeline off the average life expectancy for men and women, which is 74 and 80 years old, respectively. Under these timelines, if a person waits to have knee surgery until 65, they should hopefully be able live out the rest of their life without knee pain, and without needing to undergo additional surgery.

When Should I Have Knee Replacement Surgery?

 Ultimately, because joint replacement is an elective surgery, the final decision on when to undergo treatment will be up to you. This will, of course, depend on your level of knee pain and your general mobility in addition to your age. Before you opt for total knee replacement, your doctor may also discuss other interventions, including anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, or physical therapy, as less invasive methods to achieve similar results. If these methods don’t work, or if the pain is too cumbersome and inhibits most daily functioning, surgery may be the right option for you.

While no one can say for certain what the absolute best age is to undergo knee surgery, your doctor can help you determine if surgery is the right option for you. If you are experiencing knee pain, no matter your age, talk to an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate your condition and find the best options to treat your pain.

Medical Disclaimer

 The information in this article is provided for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a healthcare provider familiar with your medical background and history.

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