Harvard Women's Health Watch

When do you need a new knee?

Intolerable pain or disability can signal that it's time to consider a knee replacement.

Image: Thinkstock

Knee replacements can restore your mobility, but you don't want to get one too soon—or wait too long.

If arthritis in your knee is keeping you from doing everything you want, whether that's walking the dog or playing a game of tennis, you may be considering a knee replacement. If so, you have lots of company. An estimated 720,000 people undergo one annually, and almost 5% of women over 50 are sporting prosthetic knees. A knee replacement may seem like the ideal solution for restoring your mobility and preserving your independence. But when should you have one?

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