Is 52 too young for new knee: I was told... - Arthritis Action

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Is 52 too young for new knee


I was told lately that I am too young for a new knee as I have OA and Icurrently have totake 13 tablets aday why should this be the case for me not to get a knee and free from daily pain.

23 Replies

JohnFos I had a similar conversation with my surgeon a few years ago.

I Have RA and my knee wouldn't straighten .I had a number of cartilage problems and other issues with it too having had an arthroscopy a couple of years prior to this,

I asked about knee replacement I was told the same that I was too young at 55.I asked How old I was supposed to be,as having a new knee at 75 woukd be no good to me it's now I needed a knee to be able to get around and do things.

The Reply was that the replacements last approx 15 years,and you are limited to the number of replacements you could have so by having one early on you may find that may not be able to have another when you are older.but this is something you would need to discuss with your own surgeon/ GP/ consultant.

As it was I didnt go ahead with the replacement,as the arthriscopy I had revealed other problems,a replacement would not have rectified anyway.

I was hoping that if I had gone ahead with a replacement that in 15 years there would be new types of replacement developed which were of a better quality than whats available now .

Interestingly enough a few months back my brother who is 56 needed a new hip.He Was told the same thing he was too young.He asked if he was a private patient paying for the op ( approx £11,000) would he be too young then?He didn't get a response.

He has now had a hip replacement a few weeks ago and is back in work ,free from pain and able to lead a normal life again.

Good luck .



JohnFos in reply to Crusee

Thank you very much for your reply. I thought it was the doctor who couldnt be bothered he might of had a n off day

Crusee in reply to JohnFos

Like everything I think its down to the costs and the budgets available to each health board.

Different health authorities implement their policies in different ways.I believe it could be a bit of a lottery depending on where you live.

Good luck with it.



I had two partial knee replacements at the age of 54..... Best thing I ever had done! I'm now 61 and, although I still have some stiffness at times, enjoy playing golf and swim a mile three times a week.

JohnFos in reply to Jillypops2

Thank you for your reply

I was told that I also was to young for any surgery at the age of 42 years, but that depends on your x-rays and the views of your surgeon. Now 8 years later, aged 50 I am the owner of 2 new knees and both left/right hips been replaced. Only downside is I am due for surgery on base of left thumb due to OA at the start of next month.

JohnFos in reply to OldBones-49

I've had xrays on both knees and an MRI on my left as its the worst one, and steroid injections into both they didnt work and all the surdgeon said was lose weight, and that should help. He is probably right but the damage is still there and it wont go away, and to go private we are talking 10 grand up.

OldBones-49 in reply to JohnFos

That's a lot of money. I had 3 ops on the NHS and the last 1 was do at a private hospital and paid for by the NHS because my surgeon worked there on a weekend so I agreed to have it done.

I have to take 18 tablets a day for o/a in right knee. My knee is now to painful for hydrocortisone. I screamed when they tried. I have been refused surgery so seeking a second opinion. I am stroppy with too. Having second opinion next week. It has reduced me to a wheelchair. The cuts with NHS are not my problem so I will be firmly getting my point across on my visit. I am past caring. What has age got to deal with it? What about quality of life. I have had to buy a compression sleeve and brace. I was refused a brace. I can't wear the brace cos of the inflammation in the bone. Once my knee is sort I will be putting in formal complaints and taking it up with the ombudsman. Some consultant s just don't care.


Just wanted to wish you all the best for this JohnFos. It is difficult making such big decisions and we wanted to send you our good energy and luck in this.


Arthritis Action's Communications Officer

Can I reply privately to you

JohnFos in reply to Hazelnnett


Hazelnnett in reply to JohnFos

It just that I have had problems with my knees for 15 years . I had at least 5 arthoscopy so got to know my surgeon well. When no more could be done I went to see him privately. No need for a gp letter. It cost £200 to see him later that week , and he put me on his nhs list and I had to wait 20 weeks. But I did avoid waiting to see him via gp. And he did the op himself .

Hope this helps . I didn't want to talk about private medicine on a nhs site .


JohnFos in reply to Hazelnnett

Thanks for the reply Hazel. When you are told by the knee surgeon who does the operations you are to young and to do more excerise and that should help, you just get a little annoyed. I have always been active 22 years in the Army and I was working as a Special Constable, but I have had to give that up because of the pain and now my normal work is starting to suffer, so what do you do but just get on with it.

Hazelnnett in reply to JohnFos

It just awful the way people are treated. I hope you get some relief very soon

Keep pestering gp.

I had a new knee at the ripe old age of 45 after being told to put up with it for as long as possible.

I have RA and had a vagus knee deformity (foot points out or knock-kneed as it used to be called). I did put up with it until I literally couldn't walk any longer. At the time I was the main carer for my two (then) pre-school children.

I had it done privately but was initially referred by rheumatology so cost wasn't the issue.

I was ultimately told that I'd make more use of the mobility now than when I am older.

Good luck.


JohnFos in reply to PFKAAde

Thanks for the reply I have had MRI scans, injections and xrays and all they say is do more excerise and that should help, they are probably right, it might hel, but the damage is already there and it wont just vanish, so I think its a case of just live with it as the surgeon who does the knees just said I was too young, and thats it.

PFKAAde in reply to JohnFos

No worries. One thing I would say is that the exercise probably would help!

Long story but my leg was quite weak by the time I had mine done and subsequently (but not as a result of as far as I know) I have had a lot of back issues which ultimately have resulted in me spending a lot of time in the gym to regain some muscle. My left leg is still weaker than my right and it is now over 2 years since surgery.

I have had a LOT of back problems though.

My new knee has been excellent though!

Hope it works out for you.


My knee was locked and I was very surprised when the surgeon said he would replace it. I was just 50 when I had the left one done ( followed by both hips the following year and the second knee 12 months later) 13 years later the hips are doing well. I am experiencing pain at the front of the knee and have just started physio again. Keep doing the exercises. You need to keep the muscles strong. Good luck1dlcb

I had my first at 54 and a total revision at 56, I guess it all depends on your circumstance and if you have tried everything to resolve, such as physical therapy, cortisone injections, lubricant injections and the like, I also had 2 arthroscopic surgeries prior to having the total knee replacement, everything failed and I don't like pain medication and cannot take NSAID's due to kidney disease. I think each person's situation is different but exhaust all options if possible as a total knee replacement is a big surgery and does not always have the outcome one would hope. That is just my experience. Besides a botched first knee replacement that required the total knee revision, I have permanent peroneal neuropathy in the involved lower leg and foot as a result of the first knee replacement. Good luck !

Depends on where you live I think. In the UK you can be 'too young' because they know you'll need a second replacement after 10years which is more cost to the NHS. I've had general osteoarthritis for decades and all they do is fill me with painkillers. They call it 'pain management' which is just a euphemism for putting up with pain. Not that I'm cynical of course.

I have had OA in both knees for 24 years. They have become worse and worse. I have dad every treatment including arthroscopy on three occasion's. I asked at 50 if I could have knee replacements and was told I was 'too young' and then I was not within the BMI, which I was the first few times I asked, but with less movement and not being able to walk far+ some painkillers, which cause weight gain. I then at 54 had acute pain in my lumbar spine, which is DDD, so osteo also and I wonder would that had happened had I not been changing my gait for so long. I have asked every 2 years on average and been refused with 'too young' or 'BMI' too high, which it was actually not for two of those times. I live in severe pain and my world is very small. I have done all I can to help myself. I have an appointment with the usual, quite abrasive consultant I have been seeing since 2011. I am not almost 63, I feel I do not have knees, they are so weak and yet the pain is severe. My back is the worse and nothing can be done. I am in the BMI and I see him on the 17th August. I know now he will have some excuse why my knees cannot be done. I did not want to see him but he is the soonest to see and I need X-rays , if I am going to have a private consultation, so I know what is what. I truly detest the arrogant little consultant I see who is condemning me to a life of pain and depression. When I read of others getting KR's in their early to mid 50's I wonder why is that? My knees have hurt to varying degrees for 24 years. I have fallen numerous times when they have 'locked out', I fell badly when I was 44 and gave up my Masters at uni because I could not longer cope. I have used a rollator for 10 years I cannot walk without it. My joints are all affected it was my knees and cervical spine to being with. I just needed to write all this because I am dreading seeing him and him dismissing me again. I am going to record the consultation this time because the ways he speaks to me and the way he ridicules me, is not acceptable and it never was but I thought I would have been sorted by now. Thanks anyone for reading.

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