Knee replacement failure rate

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joanlawson
joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
Hi
I am currently trying to make up my mind whether to have a knee replacement. I have been told that I have severe OA in my knee, and that I will need a replacement. However, I have asked for some time to think about it, so they are reviewing the situation later in the year.

In discussion with my doctor, he said that the failure rate for knee replacements is higher than for hip replacements, and that they are much harder to repair if they go wrong. I think he was trying to tell me that I was doing the right thing by not rushing into having the op. but now I am left wondering what the statistics are.

Can anyone tell me, what is the failure rate for knees ?

Joan
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Comments

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Joan

    I would have thought that it is very important that you have trust in the surgeon that is going to do your operation for you and to ask him what his failure rate is and how many total knee ops he performs per year? That to me would be far more important than any national statistics.

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,574
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Joan

    Elna is quite right I couldn't have put it better myself, (Thanks Elna!) however, if you want a few statistics, according to a recent study only about 1% of knee replacements per year don't go according to plan. Also a recent study has shown that 90% last on average 15 years or more in some cases.

    As Elna says it would be a really good idea to talk to your surgeon and get his statistics.

    In the meantime if you would like some information on what knee surgery involves just private message us with your full name, address and age or feel free to give us a call if you want to talk about it.

    Best wishes

    Simona
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks Elna and Simona

    How do you find out information about surgeons to know what their success rate is and how many knee ops they have done? Also, as I am already with one consultant after my arthroscopy, would I have to stay with him, or would it delay matters if I wanted to change?

    Joan
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  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Joan

    Not sure about the answer to your first question unless you go for a second opinion. You could do that for ever though. How long is a piece of string?

    It would make sense to me to go with the surgeon who did the arthroscopy on your knee. He has the advantage over another surgeon that he has already had a good look in your knee and if you go for the op sooner rather than later hopefully not much will have changed. Do you get on with this surgeon, have you heard good reports about him from others who have been his patients? You can ask him outright about his success rate and how many he performs a year.

    There is of course no reason why you have to stay with this surgeon.

    Out of interest, I asked a shoulder surgeon I was seeing, who he would recommend to do my knee op and he said that his wife had seen Mr X but as yet had not had surgery. He spoke very highly of this man. I thought to myself, well if this surgeon sends his wife to MrX then he must be excellent and I decided to go and see him. I asked the shoulder surgeon about a knee surgeon much nearer home and he was very diplomatic but I knew which one he favoured. The rest is history! I am pleased/happy with my new knee. We are the best of friends!

    Best wishes,
    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • ritnew
    ritnew Member Posts: 338
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I think I must have a doctor in a million as the saying goes, I didn't have to ask about success rates etc he told me when he was explaining the ins and outs. I'm waiting for a new hip not quite the same as a new knee.

    Good luck.

    Rita X
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,574
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    joanlawson wrote:
    Thanks Elna and Simona

    How do you find out information about surgeons to know what their success rate is and how many knee ops they have done? Also, as I am already with one consultant after my arthroscopy, would I have to stay with him, or would it delay matters if I wanted to change?

    Joan

    Hi Joan

    For information about your doctors experience or success rate just ask him. Getting a referral to someone else probably will delay matters and as Elna says the current one already knows what is going on inside.

    Take care

    Simona
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks Elna, Rita and Simona

    My consultant is new to the area, so I don't know anyone else who has been his patient, and I think he has previously been working abroad. I do like him, and he did my arthroscopy OK, but I think I would be embarrassed to ask him about his success rate, and how many knee replacements he has done. Silly, really, because I'm not usually shy about such things.I've only seen him once, because after that, I saw another doctor in his team.

    Is there any independent organisation where you can get information about surgeons? I thought I read somewhere that the government were setting something like that up? I think I am more nervous because it is major surgery,and there is more potential for things to go wrong. Plus, I know someone who now has no feeling from the knee down since an op which went wrong.

    Joan
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  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,574
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Dear Joan,

    I am sorry but although the government is collecting statistics on joint replacements there are not any league tables about surgeons which exist.

    If you email us at helplines@arthritiscare.org.uk give your name and address and mention knee surgery enquiry on the forum and we can send you an information pack.

    all the best
    Guy