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The longevity of hip and knee replacements are continually improving. With newer technology, better materials, and advanced surgical techniques, orthopedic surgeons are seeing an increase in the lifespan of joint replacements in patients.

However, even with these advancements in joint replacement surgery, the replacements will not last forever. Many variables can impact the longevity of joint replacements and you should consider them all before undergoing a hip or knee replacement surgery.

In this article, we will cover common questions and concerns that impact the lifespan of your joint replacement.

What is the Lifespan of a Hip or Knee Replacement?

The lifespan of a hip or knee replacement is not a straightforward answer. Even with a successful joint replacement, there is no guarantee as to how many years it will last. However, on average, joint replacements have been reported to last between 15 and20 years.

To ensure that you receive the maximum lifespan of your joint replacement, there are a few factors you should be aware of:

  • Short-Term Failure
    • Short-term failure is not common and is based on your post-surgery lifestyle. For example, if you develop uncontrollable diabetes or an increased BMI, you will increase your risk of replacement failure and possible infection.
  • Long Term Failure
    • Long-term failure happens due to wear over time. On average, the breakdown occurs due to the bond loosening or wear of the implant itself.
  • Replacement Runs Its Course
    • Though there isn’t a definitive number available, modern technology has demonstrated that joint replacement can last beyond 15 years. With newer, more durable materials, doctors have reported replacements lasting longer.

What Materials Are Used?

When creating a hip or knee replacement, the types of materials used and the bearing size are taken into consideration to create a custom joint implant that will last.

There are various types of materials to use, but the most common types used today are as follows:

  • Plastic – Highly cross-linked polyethylene is often used for joint replacements and tends to be used with metal. Polyethylene has been reported to have very low-wear properties and is shown to last longer than plastics previously used in joint replacements years ago.
  • Metal – Metal (such as titanium) is commonly used in minimally invasive Hip replacement procedures allow for smaller incisions.
  • Ceramic – This is a specialized version that is more durable than the material used for plates and bowls. This material is known to fracture easier and break under a lot of stress.

Doctors may use a combination of materials such as Metal on Polyethylene (MOP) or Ceramic on Metal (COM) to create your implant. Using a variety of material helps doctors create a replacement for your body size with maximum flexibility.

Note: As always, talk to your physician if you have questions about the materials used to determine which is right for you.

What Type of Hip or Knee Replacement is Best For Me?

When determining what type of hip or knee replacement surgery is right for you, your doctor will consider the durability of the materials, your age, and your current lifestyle. For example, if you are over 55, your doctor may suggest a total hip replacement to ensure a high success rate and a predictable outcome. On the other hand, if you under 55 with an active lifestyle, hip resurfacing might be an option.

Doctors will also take into consideration your physical strength and cognitive function to ensure that you can complete the rehabilitation process. By performing an eligibility assessment, your doctor will be able to confirm the type of hip or knee replacement that is best for you.

Disclaimer: Age alone is not never a contradiction for surgery. Your overall health is the primary concern of any procedure.


The lifespan of a hip or knee replacement is not definitive, but you can play a role in lengthening it. By following post-surgery procedures and remaining a healthy lifestyle, you can increase the lifespan of your joint replacement and better your quality of life.

If you have questions or would like more information about your knee and hip replacement options, we are here to help. Contact us today!

Location Information

Elk Grove Village

555 Biesterfield Road Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007 (847) 690-1776  


Hoffman Estates

2380 Lakewood Blvd. Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60192 (847) 690-1776

Core Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Surgical Affiliations

Physician and Orthopedic Surgeon in Geneva
Geneva Surgical Suites

119 Elizabeth Ln., Genoa City, WI 53128

Phone: 262-295-1213

Alexian Brothers Medical Center

800 Biesterfield Rd.

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Phone: 847-437-5500


St. Alexius Medical Center

1555 Barrington Rd.

Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Phone: 847-843-2000


Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

450 West Highway 22

Barrington, IL 60010

Phone: 847-381-0123


Call (847) 979-9214 today for a Consultation