Surgical interventions for joint replacement are one of the most requested nowadays and have marked modern medicine. This type of surgery has helped millions of people with motor conditions such as arthritis. Knee and hip replacements are the most frequent and with the highest percentage of positive cases registered. In the United States, more than 700,000 knees and 300,000 hips are replaced in an effort to improve the patient's quality of life. However, how much can a joint replacement cost and how long would it be functional?
Currently this type of surgery can easily exceed $40,000, and this without taking into account postoperative expenses and hospitalization. In some cases it will be necessary to invest in physiotherapeutic treatments or orthopedic attachments. This would be an expense that needs to be considered. It is also true that these types of interventions may be covered by health insurance and various programs such as the ACA and Medicare insurance plans.
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Now, how long can a joint replacement last?
The estimated time is 10 to 15 years on average. There are cases where a new operation will be necessary shortly after the initial surgery; but in others it may even exceed expectations and reach a second decade to need a replacement. Surgical techniques and materials have improved over time, extending the life of the placed joint. All these factors should be taken into account and consulted with your doctor if you are considering joint replacement.
When is joint replacement surgery necessary?
The main benefit of this surgery is to improve people's quality of life. A damaged joint can not only affect the ability and free movement of people, but, cause serious discomfort and pain. But considering the high cost of this type of intervention, you may prefer to wait until the condition is worse before having one.
According to a study by the medical journal Lancet on the duration of replaced hips and knees:
Almost 60% of hip replacements lasted 25 years, 70% lasted 20 years and almost 90% lasted 15 years.
Total knee replacements lasted even longer: 82% lasted 25 years, 90% lasted 20 years, and 93% lasted 15 years.
It is important to point out that surgery is always the last option. In the first instance, when the joints have not been worn out or suffered a serious injury, it is recommended to start with medication, physical therapy, injections and other non-invasive treatments that can be equally effective and much less costly, or if the patient's life is at risk with surgery.