Are you getting up there in years or know someone of very old age and wondering if you can be TOO OLD for total knee replacement surgery?

This surgery is invasive and comes with notorious risks such as infection and blood clots.

Age Cutoff for Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Perhaps you’ve been wondering if there’s an age cutoff for major knee procedures such as replacement or revision (of a failed replacement).

How important is old age in the consideration of surgical candidacy for knee replacements?

“Revision surgery can be done at any age if the joint has failed and the patient’s quality of life is suffering because of it,” says orthopedic surgeon David Fisher, MD, Director of the Total Joint Center at the Indiana Orthopedic Hospital.

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He continues, “Medical conditions do need to be under control and they require medical clearance, as this is a major surgery with potential complications.”

A person who’s considering joint replacement or revision surgery will need to get this clearance from the primary care physician.

Other conditions such as diabetes, kidney problems or congestive heart failure have a high potential for complicating the operation.

In other words, old age, in and of itself, is not a consideration for a total knee replacement.

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Other things must be considered, such as if the patient has a weak heart, diabetes or kidney problems.

A person in his 70s, but who has congestive heart failure and obesity, can very easily be a much poorer candidate for total knee replacement surgery than a 92-year-old who’s at an ideal body weight and does not have congestive heart failure or any other serious medical problem — other than being slowed down and pained by osteoarthritis in the knees.

In short, you can’t be too old for total knee replacement surgery; the bigger patient picture needs to be considered.

Dr. Fisher has been involved in research and development of total hip and knee implants and has had numerous articles published in professional journals, and has participated in many research projects.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  

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