I can't comment on how long they last as I have had eight TKR's in the last 2 years and not one of them has worked. To Rob I would say depending on your age and mobility, if you are active and have any way of handling the pain, DO NOT submit to a TKR until you absolutely have to. I had my first one at 46. I was STUPID!! I was working everyday and could kneel on my right knee despite not having a knee cap. I was active doing anything but running long distances. I could not jog 2 miles with my kids anymore. My knee did swell every night and was painful. I thought that if I had the TKR, I could stop taking the pain medication. Now, I have read the "Patients Handbook Guide to Intractable Pain" which is easily found if you google it.....but basically it tells me that taking the pills was no big deal and that pain was my enemy....
Now, I would give anything to turn the clock back 2 years and would live the next 10 years on my old knee. I am not mobile, have AF and HO and just walked in the door from seeing my OS who again told me he could take out the joint and fuse my knee straight to ease the pain or he could amputate it above the knee and I could try a prosthetic.
Terry.....you need to see your TKR doctor or another TKR specialist......get X-RAYS and/or MRI to tell what is going on inside your knee. The thing I also made a huge mistake was getting multiple opinions.......OS opinions are like buses....wait 10 minutes and another comes along. I mean no disrespect to doctors, but opinions definitely vary and I should have sought a minimum of 3-5 opinions and educated myself on the KG forum like you are doing now.
It takes a little time for the right people on this forum to respond, but be patient as the people on this site including our wise and all knowing moderator, the Knee Guru, will point you in the right direction to educate yourself. If you have the correct information you are much better prepared to ask the right questions and understand the responses from the multiple doctors that you see. I really wish I would have found KG and educated myself prior to my first surgery. First, I never would have had the surgery and if I did have the surgery, I would have understood the symptoms of the complications I am now suffering with. AF and HO are very treatable if found early. HO is crippling me and it could have been prevented with a simple anti inflammatory pill after my last surgery. Instead, I am hobbling around with bone growing in my soft tissue.
Anywho......very knowledgeable people on this site if you are patient and they will definitely point you in the direction of learning about your condition and what option might be before you. Obviously, you need to get some sort of film of your knee to tell you what is going on inside there. Also, make sure your radiologist gives you a copy of the report he/she sends to the doctor. You may not be able to read the films, but you should be able to make out the report information. At the minimum, you can post what the radiologist writes on this site and one of these intelligent people will translate.
At the very least, we are all here for moral support which I have found to be a life saver!