What is a knee replacement?

Our knees come under a lot of pressure during our lifetime. Gradually the joint can become damaged or worn from ageing, arthritic conditions or injury. If you have been experiencing severe pain that does not alleviate with rest and affects your everyday mobility, quality of life and ability to work, your doctor may recommend a total knee replacement.

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure to resurface the knee joint with artificial parts. This provides improved stability and mobility and helps to alleviate pain you may have experienced as a result of worn cartilage in the knee, from osteoarthritis or a previous injury.

Benefits of knee replacement surgery

Data shows that, for patients over the age of 75 undergoing the most common types of total knee replacement, there is less than a three percent chance of requiring further surgery after thirteen years.

Approximately 85 to 90 percent of all total knee replacement operations performed are successful for approximately 10 to 15 years, depending on the patient's level of activity, after which time revision surgery may be recommended by your doctor.
You can experience freedom from pain, improved mobility and improved quality of life as everyday activities and exercise become much easier. You may or may not be able to return to active sports or heavy labour; you should follow the advice of your consultant on the levels of activity you can undertake.

Knee replacement at The Horder Centre

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Sam Rajaratnam talks about why choosing The Horder Centre for knee replacement surgery.

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Are there any alternatives to a total knee replacement?

  • Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen may help control the pain.
  • Supplements to your diet may also help relieve your symptoms, but you should always check with your doctor before you take these.
  • Using a walking stick can support your mobility and make walking easier, whilst wearing an elasticated support on your knee can help it feel stronger.
  • Regular moderate exercise can help to reduce stiffness in your knee.
  • Physiotherapy may help to strengthen your muscles over time.
  • A steroid injection into your knee joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.

However, many people will find these measures become less effective if your arthritis gets worse or your knee joint is severely damaged and, depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be the best option.

What does the operation involve?

The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes and there are various anaesthetic techniques available. You will have the opportunity to discuss this with our anaesthetist.

Your surgeon will make an incision on the front of your knee and remove the damaged joint surfaces, this involves removing the end of the thigh bone, and the top of the shinbone, and replacing them with prostheses (artificial knee implants). The artificial knee is usually made of metal alloy and high-density plastic. A plastic button may also be used to resurface the back of the kneecap if needed. Your knee replacement is fixed to the bone using acrylic cement or special coatings on the prosthesis that bond directly to the bone.

What complications can happen?

Complications of anaesthesia

Your anaesthetist will be able to discuss with you the possible complications of having an anaesthetic.

General complications of knee replacement surgery

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Specific complications of knee replacement surgery

  • Split in the bone when the knee replacement is inserted
  • Damage to nerves
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Damage to ligaments or tendons
  • Infection in the knee
  • Loosening
  • Dislocation
  • Continued discomfort in the knee
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the knee (complex regional pain syndrome)

A Patient’s Guide to: Total Knee Replacement

This guide book has been written and designed by the clinical team in partnership with patients to provide you and your family with all the necessary information about having a knee replacement and what to expect before, during and after your operation.

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"I had a knee replacement done and would like to pass on my big thanks to all the staff who made my operation a success. From the admin staff to the nurses not forgetting a brilliant surgeon and the follow up from the physios that have enabled me to walk again without pain all within two months."
NHS review

Enhanced recovery programme

Having an operation can often be both physically and emotionally stressful. Sometimes referred to as rapid or accelerated recovery, enhanced recovery is a new, evidence-based approach that helps people recover from major surgery faster and get them back to full health as quickly as possible.

Our Enhanced Recovery Programme aims to ensure that patients:

  • Are as healthy as possible before receiving treatment.
  • Receive the best possible care during their operation.
  • Receive the best possible care while recovering.

Research has shown the earlier a person gets out of bed and starts walking, eating and drinking after having an operation, the shorter their recovery time will be.

Guide price for self pay patients

Knee replacement (total)

  Consultation Diagnostics Treatment Care after discharge
Hospital costs Included From £350 £9780 Included
Consultant costs From £220 Included Included Included
Estimated total cost  £10,350
Estimated length of stay  3 nights
*The guide price is correct as of 2nd March 2017

What's included

The prices in the table above (the “Guide Prices”) show what most patients should expect to pay at each appointment and on admission to hospital. The Guide Prices you pay might be different depending on your medical history and the type of implant you choose or your Consultant advises is best for you. Your price quotation will be made clear to you before you proceed with any tests, consultations or treatment.

No hospital waiting lists

As a private patient at The Horder Centre you can get faster access to the very best orthopaedic consultants.

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Accessing our services

  • As an NHS patient, you can be referred directly to Horder Healthcare for your diagnosis, treatment and care. Horder Healthcare is an accredited provider of NHS services. Under the NHS Patient Choice Scheme, you can choose to access services at Horder Healthcare, if appropriate, with a GP referral.

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  • If you would like faster access to Horder Healthcare's services you are able to self pay and take advantage of no waiting lists. Finance options are available.

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  • If you have private medical insurance and want to choose Horder Healthcare for your treatment, we are recognised by the majority of medical insurance companies.

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What our patients say

  • Patient stories: Jim Eldridge

    Jim Eldridge

    Knee Replacement (total) | The Horder Centre

    “My experience at The Horder Centre was excellent, from my surgeon, Mr Gibb, and the neatness of the operation, to the physiotherapy and the post-operative care. The operation has made an incredible difference to me. Before, I could not even walk 50 yards because it was so painful. Now I am walking pain-free.”

  • Peter Wooster

    Knee Replacement (total) | The Horder Centre

    “I was in constant pain with my knee before the operation and it meant that walking was seriously curtailed and when I cycled it was beginning to hurt. Since the operation, the more cycling I do, the better the knee gets.

    The entire care package was excellent. The Horder Centre is different because it is a specialist hospital with a world-class reputation that I found to be incredibly professional yet so friendly with really fantastic staff.”

  • Dr Lee

    Knee Replacement (total) | The Horder Centre

    “My experience was absolutely marvellous but the two things that made the most impression were the care and cheerfulness of everybody, even the person who dropped off the newspaper was cheerful, and when people are like that, you can’t help but be the same.”

  • Robert Harber

    Knee Replacement (total) | The Horder Centre

    “Mr Butler-Manuel was the first consultant I saw who had any time for me and who listened to me. I think what is different about The Horder Centre is the team spiritHaving had countless operations, the Horder Centre is, in my opinion, streets above all the private hospitals I have been in. Nothing was too much trouble. After a couple of weeks I felt my knee wasn’t bending properly and within an hour, I was seeing a doctor then a specialist then a physiotherapist.”

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