Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Will My Total Knee Replacement Wear Out With Increased Exercise or Activity?

October 28, 2022

Total knee replacements are the final treatment for end stage, severe cases of knee arthritis. They remain one of the most successful orthopedic surgeries for their ability to reduce pain and disability associated with this condition. In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics patients often ask if the knee replacement has a lifespan. Similar to a car, does a knee replacement have a number of “miles” available and once exhausted may require a revision surgery. The metal alloys used in the total joint replacements and the surgical technique continue to improve reducing the likelihood of this situation. A recent well done systematic review of the available medical evidence looked to answer the question between activity level and risk of a total knee replacement revision.

Kornuijt and colleagues published their findings on activity level and risk of a total knee replacement revision in the journal Knee (2022). Authors conducted a review of the available research and included a total of 6 studies (5 cohort trials, 1 case control) of 4263 patients. Research offered follow up periods ranging from 4 to 12 years. Authors reported no associated between patients with high activity levels vs. their peers with lower physical activity levels and a risk of surgical revision. There was also no association between physical activity and loosening of the prosthesis inside the joint. Although the study design lacked the quality of a randomized trial, in order to identify causation, the available research did not find an association between post operative activity levels and risk of revision surgery.

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