Knee replacements in Tijuana are an option if debilitating pain and limited movement are having a major impact on your life, especially if affordability is a key consideration.
Although no-one knows the exact figures for people traveling abroad for knee replacement surgery, it is certainly true that Tijuana has somewhat of a good reputation for excellent medical facilities and skilled surgeons – and that Americans, in particular, have always found Tijuana’s close proximity a draw.
A 2013 patient survey by the Medical Tourism Association found that more than 80% of patients said costs and state-of-the-art technologies were the most significant reasons to travel abroad. When you look at the savings patients can make on knee replacements in locations such as Tijuana – more than 60% - you can see the appeal. Knee replacement surgery costs tens of thousands of dollars in the United States – amounting to significant sums saved by just popping over the border.
Of course, it is not just Americans that can benefit – even for long-haul travelers the savings are most definitely worth it.
The savings wouldn’t be worth it unless you can rely on the standards of service when you get there, which is why state-of-the-art-technologies runs costs as a close second. Any kind of surgery is a risk, even at home – and ensuring your surgeon and clinic abroad is up to the standards you expect is a wise move.
With Medical Departures you are assured that good quality standards are met. We start with basic background checks on legal and criminal records, and if these check out we look at all the other indicators of reliability and quality. We visit clinics personally, taking video tours and high definition photos to publish on our website. Qualifications and professional memberships, such as the America Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons are verified and also listed, alongside real patient testimonials. While nothing is ever foolproof, it gives our patients the choice to judge for themselves.
There are two types of knee surgery – the total knee replacement (TKR) where both sides of the knee joint are replaced and the partial knee replacement (PKR) where only one side is.
Before surgery you will already have been measured for the correct sized prosthetic joint. The surgery may be carried out under a general anesthetic, or spinal epidural, where you will be awake but your body will be numb from the waist downwards. Surgery takes between 1 and 3 hours.
If you have a total knee replacement, it will be 3-5 days before you can leave hospital, but less for a partial knee replacement. You may have to stay in Tijuana for 5-7 days.
Post-surgery you will be stiff and sore with bruising and swelling evident in the days following your procedure. You can help the recovery process and reduce swelling by getting up and moving around as soon as you can. Walking sticks, crutches or a walking frame will probably be needed and you must do the exercises recommended by your doctor and physiotherapist.
Gradually, movement will begin to return to your knee, and it may be possible to drive 4-6 weeks later if you can control the car. You will be advised to take things easy and not put too much strain on the joint for 3 months. After that, things should feel considerably better, although it may take a couple of years before it feels 100%.
In Tijuana, a knee replacement costs around $9,000 (CAD $11,600; GBP £5,800; €8,000; AUD $12,200), compared to around $31,000 in the United States (CAD $40,100; GBP £20,200; €27,200; AUD $42,200).
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