Knee Replacement in Phuket Province

The Ultimate Guide to Knee Replacement in Phuket Province

Last fact-checked: 20 October 202

Going to Phuket for a knee replacement can result in huge five-figure savings compared to treatment prices back home—even when factoring in your travel expenses.

Medical Departures is here to help you find quality-checked surgeons and clinics in Thailand who will help get you moving again for less. 

What Is a Knee Replacement?

A knee replacement procedure replaces your knee joint with a prosthetic one. Joint replacements are medically referred to as arthroscopy, whether it’s a knee, hip or shoulder. Your doctor at home may have told you that you need a knee replacement if you:

  • Suffer from arthritis or other joint-related medical problems.
  • Are in significant pain due to knee damage.
  • Have severely limited movement and other pain-relief methods (such as physiotherapy and medication) have not helped alleviate your problem.
  • Have undergone previous knee surgery and are in need of a new device.

Old age or trauma to the knee joint may necessitate a knee replacement, although the younger you have your first procedure, are the more likely you are to require a further replacement, as the prosthetic knee only has a lifespan of around 15 years.

Why Have a Knee Replacement in Phuket?

While the tropical climate in Thailand is likely to be beneficial for anyone with joint problems, the most common consideration for almost everybody is the cost. If you are uninsured, then a knee replacement may be totally out-of-reach, with prices at home ranging between US $35,000– $50,000 (AUS $50,000–$70,000).

Even if you are insured, your premium may not cover it. If you do have the option of travelling for out-of-network or non-covered care, then your money will go much further in Phuket.

Thailand has been one of the world's leading medical tourism destinations for several decades now, and although plastic surgery is one of its most popular services, it also offers genuine value-for-money and high-quality for a range of other medical treatments.

The country has a number of Joint Commission International-accredited hospitals, some of which are located in Phuket. The expertise of the medical staff is just as good as you would find at home as medical training is thorough, and with cross-border training, many doctors opt to attend overseas institutions for at least part of their training.

Travelling overseas for surgery may seem daunting, but we always advise that you do your own research. Learn what you can about your condition, and the knee replacement procedure. Choose your orthopaedic surgeon with care, and if there is anything you are unsure of, be sure to ask questions, whether it’s from prospective surgeons or your doctor at home. Remember it is your health at the end of the day, and it’s your opinion that matters most.

How Medical Departures Can Help

To give you a head start, Medical Departures has accumulated a wealth of information about clinics and surgeons across the world offering knee replacement services, including Thailand. Our background checks include:

  • Investigating criminal or legal records
  • Confirming qualifications and any professional memberships.
  • Visiting clinics ourselves, taking high-definition photos that are posted on our site
  • Collating and publishing real patient reviews.

We make sure that when you begin your search for a surgeon, you get off to a good start with the reliable listings on our site, which can help you in whittling down your shortlist.

What Does a Knee Replacement Procedure Involve?

The procedure can either be a total knee replacement (TKR) where both joints are replaced, or a partial knee replacement (PKR) when only one is addressed. The TKR takes longer–up to three hours, while the PKR takes around half the time.

Before the procedure commences, you will either be given a spinal epidural to numb your body from the waist down or a general anaesthetic.

The damaged knee joints are removed through a small incision made in the knee and the new, prosthetic ones fitted in their place (you will have been measured-up for these prior to the surgery). A drain may be inserted to drain fluid away from the wound, which is held close with staples or sutures.

Learn more about what knee replacement surgery entails here

What Is the Recovery Time for Knee Replacement Surgery?

Following knee replacement surgery:

  • You will feel stiff and uncomfortable, and you may have to rest with your leg in an elevated position to help ease the swelling.
  • You will be encouraged to get mobile as soon as you can as this does help with reducing swelling, so speeding up your recovery.
  • Physiotherapy will usually commence relatively quickly and you will be given a walking frame or sticks to help you get around. You will be expected to build up your strength and movement with exercises.
  • It may take a few weeks before you feel comfortable enough to return to your everyday activities.
  • It is likely to be at least a month before you are fit to drive again.
  • Recovery may be a slow process, but keeping up with your exercises and gentle movement will help things enormously.
  • It could be up to two years before the complete benefits of your knee surgery are evident.

How Much Can I Save on a Knee Replacement in Phuket Compared to Australia and New Zealand?

A Knee replacement in Phuket costs, on average, AUD $14,000– $20,000 (US $10,000–15,000; UK £7,000–10,000 ; EURO €9,000–13,000). This is compared to around a whopping AUD $55,000 in Australia (US $40,000; UK £27,000; EURO € 35,0000).

Find prices as low as these while reading past patient reviews and surgeon profiles at Bangkok Hospital (Phuket), one of our verified facilities on the island of Phuket that offers knee replacement surgery to international patients.

How Do I Get Started?

As you recover from your knee replacement, gazing out across the turquoise Andaman Sea, you’ll wonder why you never did it sooner. Check out our recommended hospital above and book your appointment through Medical Departures to guarantee the best prices online

Our Customer Care Team can also be reached 24/7 if you want to know more about knee replacements in Phuket.


Knee Replacement. Mayo Clinic. 29 December 2017.

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.

Why is Thailand so popular for medical tourists? The Thaiger. 19 February 2019.

Joint Commission International. Website accessed: 20 October 2020.