Knee Replacement

The Ultimate Guide to Knee Replacement

Last fact-checked: 5 March 2020

Find affordable knee replacement surgery abroad and book your appointment online through Medical Departures to save thousands. 

Knee pain can have a profound impact on your mobility and on your quality of life, especially if you’re otherwise healthy; if you can't afford the high prices at home, it’s definitely worth considering going overseas.

Discover quality-checked clinics and hospitals in some of the world’s top medical tourism destinations with the help of Medical Departures. 

Am I Suitable for a Knee Replacement?

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.

Most people who have knee replacements (also called arthroplasty) are usually elderly (over 65 years old) although a knee replacement can potentially be done on anyone over the age of 18. 

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.

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.

In cases where this surgery is called for, other methods of improving mobility and/or pain in the knee, such as physiotherapy and steroid injections, will already have been tried to no (or little) avail.

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.

General anesthetic 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. Damaged bone and cartilage are 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 kneecap 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.

Booking with Medical Departures — Recommended Clinics

We have partnered with surgeons in dozens of top locations around the world that welcome international medical tourists with open arms. Before we do so, we always carry out a number of background checks, including verifying qualifications, licenses, professional memberships and personally visiting facilities to inspect standards. 

The following facilities for knee replacement surgery have passed our background checks with flying colors:

Click through to see surgeon profiles, photos, location maps, price lists and past patient reviews. 

What Is the Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery Abroad?

Knee replacement surgery can be frighteningly expensive at home – which is why so many people either put it off or, more sensibly, look for more affordable options abroad. 

In America, the surgery 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 average around $8,000.

Getting Started with Medical Departures

Browse our full list of verified clinics and hospitals for your knee replacement by following this link

Book through our site to secure the best prices available or connect with our Customer Care Team for around-the-clock assistance — it’s completely free!


Knee Replacement. Mayo Clinic. 29 December 2017." target="_blank

Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure. Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2020." target="_blank

Kandola, Aaron. What's the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis? Medical News Today. 8 November 2018." target="_blank