RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- It used to be that doctors reserved knee replacements for people who could no longer function or perform daily activities. Not anymore. According to National Hospital Discharge Survey results published in August, people are getting knee replacements not only at greater rates, but also at younger ages.
In 2000, the average knee replacement patient was about 69 years old. Ten years later, the average age had dropped to just over 66.
The reason for the change? "Doctors’ thinking has changed," said Anthony Delfico, Director, Orthopedic Surgery at The Valley Hospital. "They recommend replacements earlier to help patients maintain function and activity levels before they become almost incapacitated."
In addition, surgical approaches and implant technology have improved. "The newer total knee replacements are made of better materials that give the prostheses greater longevity," said Dr. Delfico. "Most total knees will last 20 years now, which means less chance of needing a revision."
If you have knee pain due to arthritis or an injury and it hasn’t been helped by nonsurgical treatments, talk with your doctor about whether a knee replacement may be right for you.
Learn more about The Valley Hospital Total Joint Replacement Center .