Knee Replacement Cost
Knee replacement is one of the commonest and most expensive orthopaedic operations, the numbers approaching or overtaking the numbers of hip replacements performed in the UK. Knee replacement has a very good track record, posting some of the largest increases in measures of quality of life of any medical interventions.
Partial knee replacement is another technique which is available for patients who have knee arthritis which only affects one of the sides of the knee, known as the medial or the lateral compartment. It is around £1700 cheaper than a full replacement and patients may be able to recover and rehabilitate themselves quicker than with a full replacement.
Knee replacement techniques vary with the patient's needs and the surgeon's preferences and the trend is for increasing customisation of implants and instruments to fit the individual's particular requirements, such as the Signature knee replacement system.
The costs of this type of knee surgery are variable but within the UK knee replacement typically costs between £8,800 and £10,300 in the hospitals of one of the major health groups, although it could be less with a private arrangement or more if you attend Harley Street.
Other aspects which need to be factored in to the costs of a knee replacement are the fact that knee replacement recovery is extended compared to hip replacement recovery, with a significant period in some cases of knee replacement exercises under the supervision of a physiotherapist. Knee replacement complications, while mostly minor and easily treated, can be more major and persist over a longer period. If the knee had to be revised (re-done) this would add greatly to the cost.
Innovations in knee replacement include Biomet's Signature knee replacement system which is included in the increasing trend towards customisation of knee implants to suit the individual characteristics of a person's knee. An MRI scan allows the manufacture of custom alignment guides for the operation and a more detailed operation plan from the 3D images obtained.
To lower the cost of this operation, many people choose to go abroad to have their joint replacement, a strategy which can work very well but does have some pitfalls. Treatment Abroad quotes the average cost for a new knee joint as £9500, with very substantial savings if you choose to have your operation in Bulgaria, India or Tunisia.
There is further information about knee replacement costs at About.com: Osteoarthritis and to get a realistic view of what knee replacement entails the most useful resource is a knee replacement surgery video. This allows a deeper understanding of what the knee has to cope with and allows the patient to be more involved with their physio rehabilitation as they realise why they are persisting with their exercises.