Knee Replacement in Thailand

The Ultimate Guide to Knee Replacement in Thailand

Last fact-checked: 6 November 2019

Find out about surgery for knee replacement in Thailand with Medical Departures, and save around 50% compared to what prices often charged in countries like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and other Asian nations. 

What Should I Know About Knee Replacement Surgery?

This type of joint replacement surgery is also known as arthroplasty, and is usually considered an option when:

  • Everyday activities become difficult due to pain and/or functional limitations of the joint
  • Other methods of pain relief, including medication, physiotherapy and arthroscopy, have not helped
  • X-rays reveal advanced arthritis or other associated problems
  • Stiffness or pain in the knee is significant

The surgery can be performed on anyone over the age of 18; however, it is usually a routine procedure for the over-65s due to deterioration of the knee joint as we age. 

Why Have a Knee Replacement in Thailand?

A fantastic holiday destination, why not recuperate in style at any one of the Kingdom’s superb locations – from the bright city lights of Bangkok to the beach paradises in Phuket?

There is no shortage of top-quality clinics throughout Thailand, just as long as you know where to look. The country has been catering to medical tourists since the 1990s, and has established itself as a world leader thanks to the high quality of its facilities and standards of care. It was also the first country in Southeast Asia to obtain JCI accreditation, an initiative to create globalized standards in health care quality.

Providing you choose a surgeon with care, you should expect your treatment to be just as good, if not better, than you would receive at home. Now more than ever, it is easier to find out information about doctors and clinics overseas just by using the internet. Use it to your advantage; check out websites and testimonials online – they can be very revealing. The key to assessing information is to look at multiple sources, and base your decision accordingly.

Medical Departures pre-screens all doctors and clinics listed on our site; we have several processes in place to ensure the quality of our physicians and clinics. For example, we:

  • verify qualifications and professional memberships, as well as checking legal/criminal records
  • visit clinics to assess their hygiene and safety procedures
  • check out online presences, and collect real patient testimonials

Only when we are satisfied with the information do we include them on our website, which means you are assured of a reliable, trustworthy service when you book your knee replacement in Thailand through Medical Departures.

What Is the Procedure for Knee Replacement Surgery?

Depending on the exact nature of the damage to your knee, your options are either a total knee replacement (TKR) or a partial knee replacement (PKR), when only one half of the joint is replaced.

A total knee replacement takes between one and three hours, but a partial knee replacement is less. You will be administered with a general anesthetic, or a spinal epidural, which will numb your body from the waist downwards.

A small incision will be made into the knee and the damaged surfaces of the knee joints removed and replaced with the artificial ones (which you will previously have been measured-up for). The wound will be closed with stitches or surgical staples, and you may have a drain inserted to remove fluid from the site, which aids swelling. Your knee will finally be bandaged before you can leave (back to your hotel) after a short rest.

What Is the Recovery Time for Knee Replacement Surgery?

You will experience discomfort, swelling and bruising after the surgery, and you may need to keep your leg in an elevated position. Although you may not feel like it, getting up and about as soon as you can after surgery will help with the swelling and speed up your recovery process. Walking sticks or a walking frame may be helpful for a while and you should receive physiotherapy and be given exercises to help movement and strength.

Take it easy over the following weeks and months and don’t force your recovery. You can return to work when you feel up to it, but it may be at least a month if you have an active job. It may take four to six weeks before you can drive again, and up to two years before you feel the complete benefit of your knee replacement surgery.

What Is the Cost Comparison of a Knee Replacement in Thailand Compared to Australia and New Zealand?

A Knee replacement in Thailand costs from AUD $13,000 (US $9,000, CAD $12,000, £6,000 GBP, €8,000); this can be compared to AUD $25,0000 (US $17,000, CAD $23,000, £11,000 GBP, €16,000) in Australia.

For exact prices, as well as clinic photos, surgeon profiles, patient reviews and other useful information, check out these three leading facilities in Thailand that have been providing successful knee replacements for international patients: 

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Arthroplasty. John Hopkins Medicine. Website accessed: 6 November 2019.

Williams, Sarah. The 15 Most Beautiful Beaches in Thailand. The Culture Trip. 20 June 2018.

Brazier, Yvette. What to expect during a knee replacement. Medical News Today. 22 March 2017.