Is there a right age for joint replacement surgery? Can you be too old or too young for the procedure? There is no single answer to these questions. As patients suffering from osteoarthritis get younger, let’s talk about where medical opinions are on the matter of age for joint replacement surgery.
Too Young For Joint Replacement Surgery?
Younger people are more likely to have physically active lifestyles. There is a greater chance that younger patients are engaging in high-impact sports, unlike patients in a more advanced stage in life. Perhaps the major consideration for joint replacement surgery in younger patients is the likelihood of needing a joint replacement revision surgery, which involves replacing the worn-out artificial joint. Generally, younger patients are recommended nonsurgical options for treatment, such as physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and regenerative medicine to tide them over until surgery.
However, joint replacement patients are getting younger and younger. In the past, patients who underwent this procedure were usually in their late 60s or 70s. Today, the number of joint replacement patients in their early 60s, and even those in their 40s and 50s, is increasing. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that the average age for getting a joint replacement has decreased.
Several forces are at work — the continual improvement of implant materials, the fine-tuned skills of the orthopedic surgeons, as well as the development of advanced surgical techniques such as robot-assisted systems, has made joint replacement a good option for younger patients.
Joint replacement may be right for you if your condition can be improved by it, which can be assessed by an orthopedic surgeon.
Too Old For Joint Replacement Surgery?
As a person advances in age, they may have more health conditions that can disqualify them from being eligible for a joint replacement. For example, osteoporosis, which is a bone disease, can complicate joint replacement surgery. The metal and plastic parts need support, and bones that are too brittle may not support a joint implant. Diabetes is another health condition that can complicate joint replacement surgery.
Perhaps a heavier consideration is placed on the patient’s overall health. Patients who are of good overall health tend to have the best outcomes from joint replacement. This includes patients in their 80s and 90s who benefit the most from a joint replacement, where balance, joint function, independence, and quality of life are concerned. It may not be a good idea for patients in their 70s to 90s to wait too long to get a joint replacement. If you wait too long before getting the surgery, you may not get as much of your joint function back.
Age is an important variable but is not the most critical factor. With all things considered, there is no right age for a joint replacement. Each case needs to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon. If you are wondering whether joint replacement is right for you, schedule a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in joint replacement surgeries.
Joint Replacement Surgeon in St. Peters & O’Fallon, MO
The orthopedic surgeons at Advanced Bone & Joint will perform a comprehensive evaluation and assess your suitability for a joint replacement based on several important factors, including how much you will benefit from it. To schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call (636) 229-4222 or use our online form. We look forward to being your partner in joint health.