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Hello lybrate user, arthritis is a degenerative condition which progresses with aging. It goes through different stages like mild, moderate and severe arthritis. You might be suffering from arthritis at the age of 49 because of some pre-disposing condition but it usually presents in patients greater than 55 to 60 years. You have mentioned that you have bearable pain while walking. You might be in the early stages of arthritis. This can be managed by lifestyle modifications like light exercises, weight reduction, physiotherapy for the muscles of knee to maintain the mobility and strengthen the muscles. This might decrease your pain as well. If you have persistent pain, it might respond to painkillers. Surgery is advisable to only those who have unbearable pain and who are unable to do their daily routine activities because of the advanced arthritis. The other disadvantage of surgery at an early age is the limited life span of the prosthetic knee joint. Even in ideal cases has a life span of 15 to 20 years, after which you might need to undergo revision surgeries which are complex and are associated with a high rate of complications. So considering an average of 12 years of implant survival, by the age of 70 to 75 you might need a second revision surgery. Therefore, it is best to delay surgery as much as possible unless you have complications like decreasing movement at the knee joint or development of a severe deformity because of a severe grade of arthritis or unbearable pain not responding even to the highest doses of medications. Hope this helps.
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