Aging and Joint Degradation

April 19, 2023


As we age, our joints experience wear and tear, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. The ankle and knee joints are particularly vulnerable to this age-related degradation, as they bear most of the body’s weight during everyday activities. Joint replacement surgery has become a popular and effective solution to alleviate pain and restore mobility in patients with severe joint damage. This white paper explores how age degrades ankle and knee joints and how joint replacements help to improve quality of life for patients.

Ankle Joint Degradation with Age

The ankle joint consists of three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Cartilage cushions these bones to prevent them from rubbing together, while ligaments hold the bones in place. As we age, the cartilage wears down, and the ligaments weaken, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness. This degradation can be exacerbated by certain lifestyle factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.

Knee Joint Degradation with Age

The knee joint is the largest joint in the body, consisting of three bones: the femur, tibia, and patella. Similar to the ankle joint, the cartilage that cushions the bones can wear down with age, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Additionally, the knee joint is susceptible to injuries, such as torn ligaments or meniscus, which can also contribute to joint degradation.

Joint Replacements

Joint replacement surgery involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. Ankle and knee joint replacements are common procedures and have a high success rate. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 1 million knee and hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

The procedure itself typically involves a hospital stay of a few days and a period of rehabilitation to help the patient regain mobility and strength in the joint. The goal of joint replacement surgery is to alleviate pain and improve the patient’s quality of life, allowing them to engage in activities they may have had to avoid due to joint pain and stiffness.


As we age, our ankle and knee joints can experience wear and tear, leading to pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. Joint replacement surgery has become an increasingly popular solution to alleviate these symptoms and restore quality of life for patients. If you are experiencing joint pain, it is important to consult with an orthopedic specialist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Dr. Bagwe is a leading orthopedic surgeon specializing in ankle and foot reconstruction. If you are looking for an orthopedic surgeon near you then look no further. Dr. Bagwe is an industry leader when it comes to foot and ankle surgery doctors in St. Louis. Dr. Bagwe and his friendly and professional team is ready to welcome you and tell you everything you need to know.

Reach out and contact us today.

Nondiscrimination Notice

Dr. Bagwe is an Orthopedic Surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri | As a world class lower extremity specialist Dr. Bagwe treats disorders of the knee, foot and ankle which cause acute or chronic pain. With several locations in the St. Louis metro area, we offer solutions for Arthritis, Sprains and strains, Bursitis and tendonitis, Fractures, sports related injuries, work related injuries, stress fracture, Cubital tunnel syndrome, Knee ligament tear (ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL), Meniscal (cartilage) tear, Heel spurs, Plantar fasciitis, Shin splints, Hammer toe and other toe disorders, Achilles tendon problems, Bunions, and more.