The Best Knee Replacement Implant For You

Is there one that's better than the rest?

Orthopedic supply companies have begun to market directly to consumers. Their advertisements might make you believe their knee replacement implant is "the best" and worthy of considering above all others.

The truth is, the best knee replacement device is generally the one that is most appropriate for your condition. How long the device has been on the market and whether your surgeon has experience using it should factor into ranking your options, as well.

Doctor holding knee implant
Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

This article discusses knee replacement implants and how healthcare providers determine which one they will recommend.

Differing Opinions on What's "Best"

There are many orthopedic manufacturing companies that produce different implants used in knee replacement surgery. Most of these companies make several different knee prosthetics.

One of the most important aspects of knee replacement surgery is determining the proper implant to be used in the operation.

Orthopedic surgeons may not always agree on which one of these implants is the "best." This may be because they also disagree on what criteria are most important. For example:

  • Do you use the implant with the newest design or the implant with the longest track record?
  • Does a surgeon use many different implants depending on each patient, or have they become most comfortable using one implant for every patient?
  • Should a surgeon use implants suggested by or asked for by their patients?

Long-Term Research Is Lacking

There are thousands of studies published in the scientific literature evaluating various knee replacement implants. Unfortunately, the studies are generally performed to prove that an implant that is coming to the market will perform satisfactorily.

Studies have not been performed to compare the long-term results of different implants over decades of time.

The American Joint Replacement Registry was created by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to serve as a database of collected information about the performance of joint replacement implants that can be referenced in the future.

Reviewing data on joint replacements has proven to be helpful in finding underperforming implants and removing them from the market. With time, this information will be helpful in guiding decisions about selecting the ideal implant for an individual as well.

As of 2019, the American Joint Replacement Registry has captured data on more than 3 million hip and knee replacement procedures. 

Registry data can also provide useful information about:

  • Techniques to perform surgery that may improve results
  • Rehabilitation protocols that may lead to better outcomes
  • Information about why some patients do better after knee replacements when compared to others

Knee Replacement Choice Guidelines

At the present time, there's simply not enough data to determine the best knee replacement implant.

The ideal knee implant for you will:

  • Allow for normal activities
  • Return normal motion
  • Last your lifetime

The only way to know if these goals will be met is to use the implant in people doing normal activities and follow their results for decades. Implants designed recently simply do not have long-term track records that prove their longevity.

With that said, there are some helpful principles that can be applied to the selection of a knee implant that is likely to fit these criteria. Patients and surgeons should consider selecting an implant that:

  • Has a reasonable track record of use (minimum of five to 10 years)
  • Is appropriate for your condition
  • The surgeon has used on many patients

If you have questions about a specific implant, ask your healthcare provider about the knee replacement prosthesis. Ask your surgeon to compare it other options for your condition.

If you want more information about an implant, you can read more on manufacturers' websites.


The best knee implant device is the one that is has a good track record and is most appropriate for your situation. It is also a good idea to choose a device that your surgeon has experience working with.

A good device is one that restores normal function to your knee and lasts for your lifetime. This makes it difficult to say which manufacturer makes the "best" device, since many have not been on the market long enough.

If you have a specific device in mind, ask your healthcare provider to compare it to the device that they are most familiar with.

1 Source
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  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The AAOS American Joint Replacement Registry.

Additional Reading

By Jonathan Cluett, MD
Jonathan Cluett, MD, is board-certified in orthopedic surgery. He served as assistant team physician to Chivas USA (Major League Soccer) and the United States men's and women's national soccer teams.