Knee Replacement

The Ultimate Guide to Knee Replacement

Discover affordable knee replacements abroad. Knee pain can have a profound impact on your mobility and on your quality of life, especially if you’re otherwise healthy, and so if you can't afford the high prices you should consider going overseas.

Replacing diseased or damaged knee joints with artificial ones can give you a new lease of life, allowing you to get around and start enjoying the things you used to.

Am I suitable for a knee replacement?

Most people who have knee replacements (also called arthroplasty) are usually elderly – over 65 years old – although technically you can have a knee replacement at any age over 18. Knee replacements last for between 15 and 20 years if they are looked after, which means that the younger you have one, the more likely you will need to have further surgery to replace the artificial one at some time in the future.

Medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are the most common reasons for knee replacement surgery, although sometimes injury may necessitate the procedure.

Usually, other methods of improving the mobility and/or pain in your knee, such as physiotherapy and steroid injections have been tried, and failed to give you any relief.

What is the procedure for knee replacement surgery?

The nature of your knee’s condition will determine whether you have a partial (half) knee replacement, (where one side of the knee joint is replaced) or a total knee replacement (where both joints are replaced).

A general anaesthetic or spinal epidural will be given prior to the procedure commencing, and the surgery usually lasts between one and three hours.

An incision will be made to the side of your knee – up to 10 inches long, to expose the kneecap. This is rotated outside the knee so the leg bones can be seen. The damaged bone and cartilage is cut away from the thigh and shin bones and the bones prepared to receive part of the artificial joint. This part of the joint is secured in place and then medical-grade plastic is inserted between the bones to act as a buffer when you bend your knee. The knee cap is replaced, the surgeon flexes the new joint to test it, and if satisfied will close the incision with stitches.

What is the recovery time for knee replacement surgery?

It is important to remember that recovery times vary between individuals. Getting up as soon as you can after your surgery will help reduce swelling, which will speed your recovery. A walking frame or sticks may be necessary to get about, and you will be given physio exercises to help strengthen your knee.

You will be in some discomfort for around or week or so but this will ease. Gradually, mobility will return to your knee and after about a month you should be able to bend your knee enough to drive comfortably. You will notice more movement returning after a period of months, and it may take a year or two for your knee to be recovered completely.

What is the cost of knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is expensive – which is why so many people are looking at cheaper options abroad. In America, it can cost around $30,000, whereas in Mexico knee replacement surgery is a fraction of the price at around $9,000. It is a similar story in Thailand where knee replacements are, on averagem around $8,000.