Knee replacement surgery involves the replacement of a damaged knee joint with an artificial joint. The cost of knee replacement surgery in the United Kingdom varies greatly depending on several factors, including the type of surgery, the surgeon’s expertise, and the hospital’s location. This blog will educate you on everything you need to know about knee replacement surgery in the United Kingdom. We discuss the cost, advancements in knee replacement procedures, and how to choose the right surgeon.
Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery in the UK
The cost of knee replacement surgery in the UK varies significantly depending on several factors. These factors include the specific type of knee replacement surgery, the geographical location of the hospital, and the surgeon’s expertise.
In the NHS, the average cost for a total knee replacement is approximately £12,700. Comparatively, a partial knee replacement is slightly less expensive, with an average cost of £11,500. However, in the realm of private healthcare, the cost of knee replacement surgery can range from £5,000 to £15,000. It is worth noting that the most commonly quoted price for private knee replacement surgery in the UK is £12,500.
If you find knee replacement procedures to be costly in the UK, you may want to consider exploring options in Europe, such as Poland. The costs associated with these procedures in Poland vary, with the average price being £2909.28. The minimum price starts at £1637.8, while the maximum price reaches £3635.84.
One highly recommended destination for knee replacement surgery in Poland is the esteemed KCM clinic. At KCM, you can expect to receive top-notch care from skilled doctors who will guide you through the entire procedure with utmost professionalism and compassion.
Benefits of Knee Surgery at a Private Clinic
There are numerous advantages to undergoing knee surgery at a private clinic. They are:-
- Flexible Scheduling: Private clinics typically offer more flexible scheduling options, which can be particularly advantageous for individuals with busy schedules or those in need of prompt surgical intervention.
- Personalised Care: Private clinics are known for offering personalised care, characterised by shorter wait times and increased one-on-one attention from healthcare providers. This ensures that patients receive the individualised care and attention they require.
- Access to Immediate Physical Therapy: Private clinics also offer the advantage of immediate access to physical therapy services. With dedicated physical therapists on staff, patients can commence their rehabilitation journey immediately after surgery, aiding in the restoration of strength and mobility.
- Access to Minimally Invasive Surgery: Private clinics often provide minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, resulting in smaller incisions and minimal scarring. This advanced technique, frequently available at private clinics, offers patients a more aesthetically pleasing outcome while minimising postoperative discomfort.
- Access to Outpatient Surgery: Outpatient knee replacement surgery, commonly offered at private clinics, carries a lower risk of certain complications, such as infection, when compared to traditional inpatient knee replacement surgery. This reduced risk contributes to a smoother recovery process and improved overall patient outcomes.
The Different Types of Knee Replacement Available in the UK
There are various types of knee replacement surgeries available in the United Kingdom. The two primary types are as follows:
- Total Knee Replacement (TKR): This surgical procedure entails the replacement of both sides of the knee joint with an artificial joint. TKR is the most commonly performed knee replacement surgery.
- Partial Knee Replacement (PKR): This surgical procedure involves the replacement of only one side of the knee joint with an artificial joint. PKR is a less extensive operation, resulting in a shorter hospital stay and recovery period compared to total knee replacement surgery.
- Kneecap Replacement (patellofemoral arthroplasty): This surgical procedure focuses on replacing solely the under-surface of the kneecap and its groove if these areas are the only ones affected by arthritis.
- Complex or Revision Knee Replacement: This intricate surgery is typically performed on patients who have previously undergone unsuccessful knee replacement surgery.
Average Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery In Your Area
The cost of knee replacement surgery varies depending on where you live, the surgeon, and the procedure. Here is a breakdown of the cost ranges in the UK by region:
- North West England: £11,674 to £15,240
- North East England: £9,433 to £15,840
- Yorkshire & Humberside: £9,459 to £14,435
- East Midlands: £10,595 to £15,090
- West Midlands: £11,814 to £15,740
- East of England: £12,325 to £16,795
- London: £10,595 to £16,330
- South East England: £9,051 to £15,250
- South West England: £10,145 to £15,514
- Wales: £12,108 to £14,830
- Scotland: £12,308 to £14,912
Please note: These are guide prices and can vary based on individual circumstances, including your choice of consultant and the type of prosthesis used. It’s advisable to research hospitals in your area to find the best option for your need
Paying for Knee Surgery: Your Options
There are three ways to pay for knee replacement surgery: upfront, with health insurance, or through a payment plan with the hospital. Major healthcare providers offer self-pay packages that typically include pre-admission assessments, hospital charges, surgeon and anesthesiologist fees, the prosthesis, post-operative consultations, medications, and follow-up physiotherapy, radiology, and pathology services. Some packages also include unlimited aftercare and the option for re-admission. Contact the hospital or healthcare provider for more information and financing options.
Choosing The Best Surgeon
When selecting a knee replacement surgeon, it is crucial to identify an expert who specialises in this specific type of surgery, possesses a stellar reputation, and is covered by your insurance. Additionally, here are some key points to keep in mind before choosing the best surgeon for a knee replacement procedure.
- Seek out a surgeon who specialises in knee replacement surgery, ensuring their expertise aligns with your specific needs.
- Thoroughly evaluate the surgeon’s experience and patient satisfaction ratings, as these indicators reflect their proficiency and the level of care provided.
- Verify that the surgeon is covered by your insurance plan to avoid any unexpected financial burdens.
- Prioritise selecting a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and can establish a strong rapport, as this will contribute to a positive surgical experience.
- Consider the location of the hospital, taking into account factors such as proximity to your residence and accessibility for post-operative appointments.
Lastly, be mindful of any associated fees that may arise throughout the surgical process, ensuring they align with your budgetary considerations.
The Steps Involved in a Knee Replacement Operation
The knee replacement procedure involves several crucial steps that ensure the successful restoration of the knee joint. Allow me to guide you through each stage in a more refined and comprehensible manner:
- Anaesthesia: Before the operation, the patient is administered either a spinal block or a general anaesthetic. This induces a sleep-like state, ensuring their comfort throughout the procedure.
- Incision: The skilled surgeon proceeds by making an incision across the front of the knee, granting access to the patella, commonly known as the kneecap. This strategic incision allows for precise surgical intervention.
- Removal of Damaged Bone and Cartilage: With utmost precision, the surgeon meticulously eliminates the damaged cartilage and bone, while preserving the integrity of the healthy bone. This step is crucial in preparing the knee for the subsequent implantation process.
- Implantation of Replacement Parts: The surgeon then proceeds to skillfully implant the replacement parts into the thigh bone, shinbone, and kneecap. This meticulous procedure ensures the proper alignment and functionality of the new knee joint.
- Closing the Incision: Once the surgical intervention is complete, the surgeon meticulously closes the incision on the knee using either stitches or clips. To promote healing, the incision is then covered with a dressing and bandage, ensuring optimal protection.
- Recovery: After surgery, the patient is taken to the recovery room for close monitoring for several hours. Their recovery from anaesthesia is carefully observed, and they will receive pain medication as needed.
Your Path to Recovery after Knee Replacement Surgery
Recovering from knee replacement surgery can be a slow process, but there are some common milestones that you can look forward to:
- Walking: You should be able to start walking with the help of an assistive device within a few days of surgery. After 2-3 weeks, you should be able to walk without an assistive device.
- Going home: Most people stay in the hospital for 2-3 days after knee replacement surgery. This allows the doctors to monitor your recovery and make sure that there are no complications.
- Driving: You should be able to drive again after 4-6 weeks. However, it is important to get clearance from your doctor before getting behind the wheel.
- Returning to Work: Most people can return to work after 3 months of recovery. However, the specific timeline will vary depending on your job and level of activity.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and to be patient during your recovery.
The Latest Developments in Knee Replacement Surgery
Advancements in knee replacement surgery have made it safer, more effective, and better for patients. Here are some of the latest developments:
- Robotics and Computer Navigation
Robotics and computer navigation have revolutionised joint replacement surgery. These technologies allow surgeons to achieve precise alignment of the implant, leading to improved patient outcomes.
- Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS):
Minimally invasive knee replacement (MIS) uses smaller incisions than traditional surgery, leading to less pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery. This innovative method improves patient comfort and allows people to get back to their daily activities more quickly.
- Cementless Knee Replacement
Cementless knee replacement is a promising alternative to traditional methods. It eliminates the need for cement fixation, which can potentially extend the lifespan of the artificial knee and reduce the likelihood of revision surgery. This breakthrough development provides patients with long-term relief and peace of mind.
Possible Risks and Complications
Knee replacement surgery is generally considered a safe procedure, but as with any surgery, there are risks involved. These could be:
- Complications Related to Anesthesia: As with any major surgery involving general anaesthesia, there is a minimal risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, pneumonia, and blood clots. These risks, although low, should be taken into consideration.
- Infection: Post-surgery, there is a possibility of developing an infection, which can be effectively treated with antibiotics. However, in rare instances, the infection may spread deeply into the knee joint, necessitating further surgical intervention.
- Knee Stiffness and Persistent Pain: Certain patients can experience prolonged knee stiffness and persistent pain following the surgery. This outcome should be considered when evaluating the potential benefits and risks of the procedure.
- Nerve or Tissue Damage: There is a small risk of damage to blood vessels, nerves, or ligaments during knee surgery. This can usually be repaired or will heal on its own.
- Leg Length Discrepancy: It is worth mentioning that there may be a slight difference in leg lengths after the surgery. In some instances, this issue can be resolved by using a shoe insert to address the discrepancy.
The cost of knee replacement surgery in the UK can be a barrier for some people. If you are considering knee replacement surgery, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost. You can choose to have the surgery in a private clinic, which may be more expensive but can offer shorter waiting times and more personalised care. You can also explore options in Europe, where the cost of knee replacement surgery is often lower.
How do I know if I need a knee replacement?
- You have chronic pain and stiffness that is not relieved by medication, injections, or physical therapy.
- Everyday tasks are difficult, such as walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of the car.
- Your pain is making you depressed and affecting your mental well-being.
- Tests reveal advanced arthritis or joint damage.
- Alternative therapies have not helped.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor to discuss whether knee replacement surgery is right for you.
What are the alternatives to a knee replacement?
There are a few potential alternatives to knee replacement surgery, including:
- Losing weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to reduce the stress on your knees.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around your knees and improve your range of motion.
- Pain medication: Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can help to manage your pain.
- Walking aids: Walking aids, such as a cane or walker, can help to take some of the weight off your knees.
If you are considering alternative treatments for knee pain, it is important to talk to your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of each option.
What does it feel like when you need a knee replacement?
If you need a knee replacement, you will likely experience chronic pain and stiffness in your knee. You may also have difficulty walking or participating in everyday activities. The pain and stiffness caused by knee arthritis can be severe and debilitating. It can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or get in and out of the car. The pain can also interfere with your sleep and your ability to work. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor to discuss whether knee replacement surgery is right for you.
Is a knee replacement a major operation?
Yes, knee replacement surgery is a major operation. However, it is a very successful procedure that can relieve pain and improve mobility.
During knee replacement surgery, the damaged cartilage and bone in your knee are removed and replaced with artificial parts. The artificial parts are designed to mimic the natural movement of your knee joint.
Knee replacement surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis. You will stay in the hospital for one to two days after surgery.
How long will the new knee last?
A modern artificial knee joint is designed to last for at least 15 years. However, the lifespan of the joint can vary depending on several factors, including your age, activity level, and overall health.
Are there things I can’t do after knee replacement surgery?
There are a few activities that you should avoid after knee replacement surgery. These include:
- Contact sports
You should also avoid activities that require you to bend or twist your knee joint too much.
Is a knee replacement a painful operation?
Knee replacement surgery is a major operation, so it is not without pain. However, the pain is usually well-managed with medication.
The worst of the pain usually subsides within a few weeks after surgery. However, you may still experience some pain for up to three months.
Can you wait too long for knee replacement surgery?
Yes, it is possible to wait too long for knee replacement surgery. If you wait too long, the damage to your knee joint may become more severe, which can make the surgery more difficult and less successful.
What can I expect after knee replacement surgery?
Your recovery from knee replacement surgery will vary depending on your circumstances. However, most people can walk without assistance within two to three weeks after surgery.
You should be able to return to most of your normal activities within six weeks. However, you may need to avoid some activities, such as running or jumping, for several months.
When can I resume driving after knee surgery?
You should be able to resume driving within four to six weeks after knee surgery. However, you may need to seek your doctor’s approval before you can get back behind the wheel. The specific timeframe for when you can resume driving will vary depending on your circumstances.