Last fact-checked: 22 February 2020
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Knee replacement surgery (also known as arthroplasty) replaces a damaged or diseased knee joint with an artificial (prosthetic) one, and if you suffer from pain or lack of movement due to a problematic joint, the surgery will give you a new lease of life.
It is routinely carried out for knee pain associated with arthritis – and the majority of people who have it are over 65 years old. Although it tends to be older people who have the surgery, adults of any age can have knee replacement surgery. However, the younger you have a knee replacement, the more likely you are to require further surgery later on.
A knee replacement should last for 15 – 20 years, providing it is not put under too much strain, and is looked after properly.
Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement, but other medical conditions, including hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and injury may also require knee replacement surgery. If you have undergone steroid injections and physiotherapy and your mobility or pain has not been reduced enough for you to take part in everyday activities without discomfort, then knee replacement may be an option.
Bangkok offers expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and customer care that is unsurpassed. It is also a fascinating and exciting city to spend time in pre or post-surgery, with all the everyday amenities you would expect, as well as everything else that makes it so popular with tourists and holidaymakers.
One of Bangkok’s hospitals was the first in the country to receive Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation – a prestigious award demonstrating high levels of service. This doesn’t mean that other hospitals and clinics that aren’t JCI accredited don’t offer good quality services, but JCI accreditation does serve as a reliable pointer of quality.
Thanks to globalization and the fact that training is becoming more standardized throughout the world, and the newest and best techniques adopted quickly, medical staff here are just as capable of performing surgery to the same high standards of any of their counterparts in Western countries.
What patients will discover is that attention to detail is often much better here. Staff are attentive and processes within hospitals and clinics are carried out efficiently. Waiting times are kept to a minimum and the Thais make every effort to ensure your comfort as much as possible – with cozy, relaxing waiting rooms and free services such as wi-fi access throughout.
Medical Departures is pleased to partner with some of the best clinics in Bangkok, and make it our business to ensure we are happy with the standards employed before we list them on our website. We conduct personal visits, and background checks of doctor qualifications and professional memberships, as well as legal/criminal records. All of this, alongside patient testimonials, gives us - and you - a clear picture of the clinics and doctors with confirmed information so that you can decide for yourself what’s right for you.
This information is available underneath each individual clinic listing with high-definition clinic photos, giving you the opportunity to look before you book. Take a look now at three of the best clinics in Bangkok for knee replacements:
Depending on the exact condition of the knee, there are generally two types of surgery:
The surgery is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, or with a spinal epidural – which numbs your body from the waist down. The procedure takes between one and three hours to complete, depending on whether you are having a full or partial knee replacement.
The surgery involves replacing the worn ends of the bones in the knee joint with artificial ones (prosthesis), usually made with metal or plastic, and which have been measured to fit your knee. In a total knee replacement (TKR), both sides of the joint are replaced, whereas in a partial knee replacement (TKR) only one side is replaced.
The advantage of having a PKR, providing that you are suitable, is that movement of the knee is more natural, as well as the fact that your recovery period is shorter. The disadvantages are that it doesn’t always relieve pain as well as a TKR, and doesn’t last as long. It is less suitable for an active, young person as it will wear out quicker, requiring further surgery.
The recovery time varies for each individual. After surgery, you will be encouraged to get up and about as soon as possible (usually within 12-24 hours) as this helps to reduce the swelling and speed up the recovery process.
Some people are able to walk on the day of their surgery. Initially, you will probably need a walking frame or sticks to get about, and you will likely be given physio exercises to strengthen the knee and help with mobility. There will likely be a degree of discomfort for a week or so, and you will usually be allowed home after a couple of days or less for a PKR. You will be able to drive again when you can bend your knee enough to control the car properly, which is normally after around one month.
Over the next three months, you should only engage in light activities and housework and gradually increase mobility thereafter. It may take up to a couple of years before your knee is fully recovered.
Knee replacements in Bangkok cost approximately AUD $13,000 compared almost double that, at AUD $25,0000 in Australia. [Please note: these prices are approximate estimates based on international data, calculated at the time of writing.]
Browse our full list of orthopedic surgeons in Bangkok here.
See below to book or reach out to our Customer Care Team who can provide 24-hour assistance and answer any questions you have about knee replacements in Bangkok.
Joint Commission International. Website accessed: 22 February 2020.
International Association of Orthopedists. Website accessed: 22 February 2020.
Ishidou, Y et al. Osteoarthritis of the hip joint in elderly patients is most commonly atrophic, with low parameters of acetabular dysplasia and possible involvement of osteoporosis. March 2017.
Knee Replacement. Mayo Clinic. 29 December 2017.