Too young for partial knee replacement?

Hi everyone,

I am 52 this week, and have bone on bone OA in my knee, made worse by a recent fall on it.

I saw an orthopaedic consultant for the first time today who has recommended conservative management for now. Physio ( which I have been having anyway, mainly by phone ) and a steroid injection in 4 weeks. He also gave me a knee brace

As a midwife and dog owner my life is quite active , and I’m in a fair bit of pain, and everything makes me so much more tired than it used to.

What is everyone’s thoughts on age and (

partial) knee replacement please? Apparently if I have it done now, I will have to have it redone in later life which will be a much more complex operation .

Thank you for reading


    DODGYKNEES Member Posts: 43

    Hi @Coffeecup. I too have bone on bone arthritis in both knees. I have been told I am too young for knee replacements at 44. Iv had a custom knee brace made for me by NHS. It does provide mild relief at times. Iv had steroid injections, and monovisc injections which did not help. I have read up a lot on the subject, and apparently they can only do 2 knee replacements to one person as they have to cut away bone each time it is done. So that's why they like to wait until your older. It is frustrating, as iv heard people going private and having it done at my age. Hopefully technology will improve and they can make better replacements which last longer. Hope Ur well.

  • Chris
    Chris Member Posts: 37

    Hi coffecup i am 48 and just over 4 weeks post op from partial knee replacement. I too thought i was to young but had it done anyway the surgeon i consulted with said with good management it can last over 20 years now. I know of a couple of people who have had partials that are 20 years plus. I too was bone on bone in my right knee medial compartment. I have been struggling for over 4 years with this problem and decided to go for it. The NHS did the procedure after i persisted with them.

    Just a word of advice although i no longer have the bone on bone pain any longer, the post op surgery pain and stiffness is tough and the recovery is longer than just a few weeks. I think it will be 6 to 12 months before i can fully appreciate my new knee. Hope this helps.

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,412

    Hi Coffeecup.

    I was given a total bi-lateral knee replacements when I was 41. Then 11 years later one had to be revised (done again) becuase it had worn out! My knee replacements were the best thing for me as i had to be in a wheelchair outside the house. I think you have to bear in mind that a revision can only be done twice (unless things have changed) becuase they take more bone away each time. This means the younger you are there's more likelihood of it needing to be done again as we're often more active when we're younger and it's going to need to be with you for a longer time period. Some TKRs do last longer than they expect like my left knee now being 21 years old ...shhhh don't tell it as it's still painfree the same as my right.

    My advice is to stick to your original knee as long as you're able becuase there's no going back after surgery. I'm not being alarmist here but, IMO, the time to seek a knee replacement is when the pain in your knee affects every aspect of your life, waking and sleeping. Your surgeon will guide you when you know the time is right.

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Chris
    Chris Member Posts: 37

    Hi Lindalegs totally agree i was at a point in life where i was very unhappy, work was a nightmare taking over ten tablets a day and tablets to sleep. My knee wasn't to bad when resting but i could not walk far without sitting down,. I found i constantly favored the bad leg and would work with my right leg bent or resting on my left foot. This did start to affect my other joints which were taking the load. My goal is to maintain or loose a little weight and and avoid impact activities. And try to enjoy life for what it is. You never know what lies around the corner. It is a big decision i wrote down all the pro`s and con`s and measured them up. Its funny now i have had it done i have come across loads of people who have had knees and hips done at a younger age, i guess its to do with having a more active lifestyle or people refusing to suffer longer.

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,412


    Hello Chris, it is a big decision and at first, I was as frightened to have the operation as I was looking forward to it! In my 'frightened' state of mind I got to the point when I realised that I was more frightened of them saying they couldn't do the surgery and I would have to face a life as I was!

    As I said earlier we know when the time is right for us.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery from your operation and a new lease of life with your mended knee 😊

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • calcass
    calcass Member Posts: 29

    Hi @Coffeecup I strongly believe "quality of life" far outweighs quantity of life. And it is that belief that I stressed to my doctors when notions of surgery arose for me.

    I was working a full-time job when I was advised that it was probably the time to consider TKR. I did manage to return to my job in a part-time capacity although due to exceptional circumstances I did have to quit my job.

    I was 27yrs old when I had my first TKR. My TKRs are 17yr old and the original knee has had to have a few extra surgeries but it is still only 16yrs old. And although complications occurred I would do it again at that age.

    You say you have an active lifestyle so obviously your quality of life has been massively impacted and it is that quality of life which I fought to maintain.

    Have you had a second opinion?

    Also, tis important to be aware of possible complications although physio is definitely key to success of procedure.

    I hope you get sorted, whatever your decision. Ccass

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