Hip and knee replacements last much longer than previously thought, according to a large-scale study from the UK. It’s a reality that will help both patients and surgeons determine when it is the right time to perform surgery.
The study conducted by the University of Bristol analysed 25 years’ worth of operations data involving more than 500,000 patients. It found that eight out of 10 knee replacements (80%) and six out of 10 hip replacements (60%) last as long as 25 years.
Until now, little has been known about the true success and longevity of replacement hips and knees – despite them being two of the most common forms of surgery carried out on the NHS.
Previously, doctors have been unable to provide accurate estimates as to how long a patient’s replacement hip or knee might last. Now, they are in a much better position to give confident answers when questioned.
Speaking about the findings of the research, which were published in The Lancet, Dr Jonathan Evans, orthopaedic registrar, lead study author and research fellow at Bristol Medical School, said: “At best, the NHS has only been able to say how long replacements are designed to last, rather than referring to actual evidence from multiple patients' experiences of joint replacement surgery.
“Given the improvement in technology and techniques in the last 25 years, we expect that hip or knee replacements put in today may last even longer.”