Knee Replacement Surgery

What is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is a very common procedure these days, many people suffer from degenerative knee conditions such as arthritis but knowing when to seek help or advice on surgery can sometimes feel quite confusing.

So we know you've probably got questions on this surgery and we're here to help and provide you with the essential information and facts about knee replacement surgery.

Knee replacement surgery is a procedure that is often carried out when the management of pain can no longer be controlled by non-surgical methods such as the use of pain killers, your consultant surgeon will advise you at which point a procedure is best for you. This type of surgery will entail your consultant surgeon removing the damaged surface and replacing it with a plastic or metal alternative.

Knee replacement surgery 

What will happen during my knee replacement?

When you meet with your consultant surgeon they'll ensure that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your procedure, they'll discuss with you your knee replacement options as well as what will happen before, during and after the procedure and any pain you might have. Your consultant should also provide you with tips on how to effectively prepare for your knee surgery.  

Take this time with your consultant surgeon to ensure your mind is put at rest. 

We know that having an operation of any type can be stressful so we've created a short downloadable guide that you might find useful to print off and use to write down any questions you may have. Do take this with you to your consultation.

What does knee replacement surgery involve?

A variety of anesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half.

Your surgeon will make a cut on the front of your knee and remove the damaged surfaces. They will replace these with an artificial knee joint made of metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these materials (see figure 1).

An acrylic cement or special coatings on the knee replacement bond it directly to the bone.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Successful surgery should result in walking becoming easier and you should experience less pain in this area of the body.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

  • Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can help control the pain.
  • Supplements to your diet may also help relieve your symptoms. You should check with your doctor before you take supplements.
  • Using a walking stick can make walking easier. Wearing an elasticated support on your knee can help it feel stronger.
  • Regular moderate exercise can help to reduce stiffness in your knee.
  • A steroid injection into your knee joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.
  • A keyhole operation (arthroscopy) to clean out the knee joint can give some relief for six to twelve months. All of these measures become less effective as your arthritis gets worse.

What complications can happen?

As with any major surgical procedure, there are both pros and cons associated with knee replacement surgery.

1. General complications of any operation:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack or stroke

2. Specific complications of this operation:

  • Damage to nerves
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Infection in the knee
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the knee (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
  • Loosening

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after four to seven days. You will need to use crutches or walking sticks for a few weeks. Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities following surgery as soon as possible. 

Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for recovery advice. They will be able to advise you the best exercises to try as well as sports that may help you in your recovery. Your GP should also be able to provide you with tips on how to tackle any pain you feel as you recover.

Most people make a good recovery, have less pain and can move about better. However, an artificial knee never feels quite the same as a normal knee. Kneeling down is not recommended and is usually uncomfortable. A knee replacement can wear out with time.

Knee replacement surgery costs | Paying for your operation

Total knee replacement surgery costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’ s fee and the spital charge for your procedure.

Pricing

Knee replacement (prosthesis band 1)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £10,595 Included £10,595
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £10,795
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £10,595
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £10,795

Knee replacement (prosthesis band 3)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £13,145 Included £13,145
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £13,345
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £13,145
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £13,345

Knee replacement (prosthesis band 2)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £11,600 Included £11,600
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £11,800
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £11,600
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £11,800

Terms & Conditions

Treatment prices displayed are a guide for initial consultation, and a guide price for our fixed price packages which include pre-assessment, procedure and aftercare. Your Consultant will be able to discuss costs in greater detail at your consultation, after which a quote of your fixed price package will be provided [which is subject to results of any pre-assessment tests]. Prices can be subject to change.

For more information please refer to our terms and conditions (large print version).

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