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1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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When I was in my 20s I was very active in all kinds of sports from swimming to fencing to football, soccer, volleyball. You name it, I was in it! But now in my 40s, I'm paying a price for all that fun. My knees hurt constantly. X-rays show advanced osteoarthritis. Am I too young for knee replacements? I heard you have to be old enough so the implants outlive you. Is that really true?

There is some truth to the notion that surgeons like to wait to replace joints as long as possible knowing that the implants have a limited lifespan. It used to be implants were good for 10 to 15 years so anyone younger than 65 was definitely not a good candidate for knee joint replacements. But things are slowly changing for several reasons. First, with the help fo surgeons and research scientists, implant manufacturers have improved the designs and provided many helpful features. The result has been longer lasting implants with fewer complications. For example, there are fewer damaging infections. Better bone-gripping surfaces help hold the implant firmly in the bone. This means fewer implant sink down into the bone or come loose -- both scenarios often required revision (second) surgeries. Studies show that surgeons have expanded the indications for knee replacements. This means that surgeons are finding greater uses for knee replacements than just severe osteoarthritis in older adults. For example, sports-related injuries early in life have been shown to develop later into joint arthritis when folks like you are in their 40s and 50s. This might account for the increasing numbers of knee replacements in the 45 to 65 age bracket. In fact, the number of knee replacements in adults ages 45 to 65 tripled in the last 10 years. Over 40 per cent (41 per cent) of the adults getting knee replacements are between the ages of 45 and 65. The rest are over 65. So don't assume you aren't a good candidate for this type of treatment approach. Seek out an orthopedic surgeon and at least have an examination and evaluation. Find out what treatments (conservative and/or surgical) that might be recommended and available for you.


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