Knee replacements are typically associated with an older patient demographic. However, with each passing year, there is a growing number of younger patients undergoing the procedure. In fact, experts predict that by 2030, there will be a 183% increase in the number of knee replacements carried out on patients 65 and younger.
Now, research has shown that younger knee replacement patients are more likely to require a revision surgery. A number of lifestyle factors are thought to contribute towards a high revision surgery rate. So, how can younger patients protect their knee replacement and avoid a second surgery?
Here, we’ll look at what the new study revealed and how young patients can better protect their knee replacement.
Study shows lifestyle factors could increase knee replacement risk
The latest study carried out by the Missouri School of Medicine in the US, looked to identify the revision rate of knee replacement surgeries in younger patients. A medical record review of 147 patients was carried out and compared against 276 patients aged from 65-75. They reported on reoperation rates, patient demographics, reoperation complications and chronic conditions.
It was revealed that younger patients were twice as likely to require a revision surgery within two years of the initial procedure. They were also found to have an increase rate of revision surgery complications.
There are a number of reasons why the increased revision rate might occur in younger patients. However, the study found that tobacco use and other lifestyle factors play a leading role. Many studies have found that smoking can drastically impact the body’s ability to heal after surgery. Other lifestyle factors thought to increase the risks include obesity and low levels of daily activity.
The majority of knee replacements can last over 25 years
Recently, researchers have discovered that the majority of knee replacements last over 25 years. Data taken from a number of National Registries shows that around 82% of total knee replacements can last for more than two decades. However, most patients included in this study had an average age of 69.
Knee replacement risks higher in male patients
An interesting finding is that men tend to have a higher risk of complications than women. This is despite the fact that women tend to undergo more joint replacement surgeries than men. In 2013, a study showed that men had a 31% increased risk of wound infection and a 20% increased risk of revision surgeries than women.
Understanding the risks and complications is important for both patients and clinicians. The increased risks discovered in younger patients highlights the need for the right level of aftercare. By understanding the risks, patients can make adjustments to their lifestyle to improve the chances they won’t need a revision surgery later on. It also shows non-operative treatments might be the best option to delay or avoid surgery.