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I haven't had either knee replaced yet, but both have had several surgeries. From what I've heard, you should put off getting a total knee replacement for as long as you can. They last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on all sorts of variables. When it comes time to replace a worn out or damaged prosthetic joint, they have to cut more bone off in order to have a solid base for the second replacement joint. The loss of so much bone makes it increasingly difficult to get a solid foundation for the metal components. As a result, the longer you can put off getting the first one, the less likely you'll need a second or third down the road, at least that's what I've heard from a number of surgeons.
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