Joint replacement surgery represents one of the biggest and most life-changing advances in modern medicine. It has meant the difference between disability from crippling arthritis and nearly normal mobility for millions of people in recent decades. The hip and knee are, by far, the most commonly replaced joints, and they have the most reliable results. In the US each year, more than 300,000 hips and 700,000 knees are replaced, and the results are generally good. But every time a joint is replaced, an important question looms: how long will it last?
It’s a fair question. After all, no one wants to go through the risk, discomfort, and recovery time required for a major operation only to need it again in a short time.