How long do artificial joints last?

For 80–90% of people who have an artificial joint replacement, the new one typically lasts 20 years. The more demanding your lifestyle is, the faster it will wear out.

An artificial joint typically lasts 20 years. However, the lifespan of an implant can vary depending on several factors, which may shorten or extend it. Some factors that may affect your artificial joint’s durability include:

  • health: Artificial joint failure can occasionally occur in the region where your bone and the prosthesis connect and not in the implant itself. If you already have a joint replacement, it is highly recommended you carefully monitor your overall health to delay bone deterioration and joint inflammation. Obesity is a factor that may significantly shorten the lifespan of your implant. If the artificial joint needs to support more weight, it wears out faster. Consequently, if you are overweight, you should consider a weight loss program, which can be very efficient in prolonging the lifespan of your prosthesis
  • activity level: An artificial joint can loosen over the years. The more you use it, the more rapidly it wears out. You should avoid running and jumping, as well as any other high-impact activities that can impact the components of your implant
  • surgeon’s skills: Your orthopedic surgeon’s dexterity and experience in implanting artificial joints are crucial. Thus, it is recommended to extensively research your options and choose a board-certified surgeon for your procedure
  • the quality of the artificial joint: You should carefully research your options regarding the material of the prosthesis to decide on the best available quality, which will guarantee a longer lifespan for your implant

Understanding artificial joints' wear and tear

Despite the lengthy expected duration of joint replacements, several factors can substantially decrease their longevity, such as:

  • patient age: younger patients usually require revision procedures along their lifetime
  • patient activity level: high impact activities may place significant stress and loads on the components, accelerating the wear-out process
  • patient weight: excessive body weight can contribute to premature artificial joint wear and tear
  • patient pre-existing medical conditions: people suffering from osteoporosis should make sure they receive proper treatment, as any fracture of the bone around a replacement can alter its performance

Understanding and complying with the restrictions entailed by living with a joint implant will make your prosthesis last longer and teach you how to interpret your body's signals in order to increase your comfort.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.