Painful knees can leave you harassed, and even with health insurance surgery can be out of the financial means of many people. If you are troubled by the waning strength of your knees, you can consider affordable total knee replacement abroad.
Going abroad for knee replacement can be unnerving for a first-time medical traveler, but once you know all the details, and talk to the staff, you will definitely feel more confident.
The first knee replacement was performed back in 1968, and the technique has improved significantly since then.
Cost of knee replacement abroad
|Knee replacement cost in Malaysia: $8,000 - $15,000||Knee replacement cost in India: $3,500-$9,000||Knee replacement cost in Thailand: $6,000-$13,000|
The surgeon will examine your knee and suggest the surgery depending on the severity of decline.
Another thing to consider is the type of knee replacement surgery you will need. It could be:
- Total knee replacement
- Partial knee replacement
This is also a factor in deciding the price of your knee replacement package.
Get in touch to discuss your situation and requirements for a knee replacement abroad.
Normally, a knee replacement package will include the following:
- Operation room charges
- Recovery in hospital including meals and supervised medical care
- Physical therapy, if required
- Doctor’s fee
- Hospital room charges
The knee implant may or may not be included in the quoted price, because it can vary in price.
Knee joint replacement is advised if the integrity of your knee is compromised due to any of the following:
- Osteoarthritis: Most common reason for knee replacement
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Old age
The most common reason to have knee replacement is to get rid of the pain.
Whether your knee is damaged due to trauma or arthritis, a knee replacement could be just the practical solution to get you up and mobile once again.
The best way to determine if you are a candidate for surgery would be to consult with your doctor, get the investigations, and discuss your situation.
To determine your candidacy for knee replacement, a few tests will be performed, including x-rays and inspection of the affected leg’s ankle and hip joints. The doctor must ensure that the other joints are able to help the new knee.
Other things that make you a good candidate for knee replacement surgery are:
- Excessive pain in the knee before surgery
- Walking, climbing stairs, getting up or sitting down is difficult
- Chronic swelling or inflammation that doesn’t improve with medication
- Good overall health
- No significant medical history that could complicate the recovery process
- Good muscle strength
Knee replacement is contraindicated if:
- Your knee pain is caused by any problem other than joint disease
- You are excessively overweight
- You have poor muscle strength, especially in the knee area
- You are ill or have severe infection
Below are the main types of knee replacement surgeries:
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
- Total removal and implantation of new joint
- Femur and tibia are resurfaced
- Depending on the damage and surgeon’s preference the underside of the patella may be ground smooth or a dome placed on the underside to ensure smooth joint movement.
- This is the most invasive of all of the TKR surgeries
Partial Knee Replacement
- Also known as a unicompartmental knee replacement
- Best option for arthritis sufferers as only one side (normally the inside) can be repaired
- Less invasive with smaller incisions
- Less recovery time than a TKR
- Patient must have strong ligaments to have a partial knee replacement; if not, a TKR would be recommended
- No age requirement and good solution for younger people with knee problems or early onset arthritis
- Best solution when kneecap is only part of knee affected by arthritis
- Only 1 in 40 are approved for this surgery and some surgeons will not perform this and suggest a TRK instead
- May need a total knee replacement at a later time if arthritis shifts from knee to other parts of the knee
Complex or Revision Knee Replacement
- Hinged knee joint with long stems that are attached to the bone cavities of the femur and tibia
- May include other metal or plastic pieces depending on your unique needs.
- Only used in severe cases including:
- Extensive bone loss from arthritis or fractures
- Weakness of all main knee ligaments
- Subsequent total knee replacement surgeries
At this point medical records have been reviewed, candidacy for surgery approved, and medications tapered as needed to ensure surgery success.
You will meet with the surgeon in person, get examined, and discuss any additional questions that you have.
Discussion between surgeon and patient to go over any last minute questions before the surgery. Make sure to bring all your questions to this appointment.
- Knee replacement is usually performed under general anesthesia (you will be unconscious during the surgery) but if you qualify for regional anesthesia (only the lower portion of your body will be desensitized), that may be administered
- The orthopedic surgeon will make a large (8-10 incision) for conventional knee replacement or a small (4-6 inch) incision for minimally invasive surgery.
- They will then move patella to expose knee joint
Resurface femur and implantation of new joint
- Smooth surface is essential for cementation
- If you’re getting a complex knee replacement the resurfacing and cementation could be more in depth
Resurface tibia and implantation of new joint
- The surgeon will then ensure that the surfaces of tibia and femur are both ready for cementation
Cementation and installation of implant
- Depending upon the kind of surgery being performed, this may be a complex, total, or partial implant
To perform the final check, the surgeon will bend your knee and double check to ensure the smooth operation of the joint, before suturing the incision.
You feel some tenderness and pain in the surgical site, once the effect of anesthesia wears off.
Medications will be prescribed; rehabilitation and physical therapy could take up to 6 weeks depending on your situation.
Some people continue to have tenderness at the scar site, and it may take several months to heal completely.
While everyone’s surgery and recovery are different, you can expect to spend 3-8 days in the hospital, after your knee replacement surgery. You will start your rehabilitation with physical therapy while still in the hospital.
Depending on your recovery status, your doctor may discharge you sooner or later.
Recovery after knee replacement starts as soon as you wake up:
Day 1: You will be encouraged to stand and walk with some assistance 24 hours after the surgery, so your artificial knee can get into action as soon as possible.
Day 2: Your activity level will be increased slightly and pain medication will be adjusted.
Day 3: You should be able to achieve 70-90 degree of flexion by day 3 of your TKR surgery
A physical therapist will help you with some muscle strengthening exercises for the next few days and a nurse will assist you with bathing, dressing, and changing the bandage.
Discharge: You may still need crutches or a cane to walk, but you will be able to move around freely and pain and swelling would have significantly subsided by the time you are discharged from the hospital after knee replacement.
You should plan a few weeks for your recovery after a TKR overseas, and must not travel back too soon. It’s normally recommended to stay close to your surgeon during the initial recuperation, so you can consult him in case of any problems.
A companion can be a great advocate and help. Even after you are discharged from the hospital, you will need to stay in a recovery house and it could take up to 2 weeks of solid assistance with cooking, buying groceries, and other normal tasks before you’re able to travel.
Full recovery may take upto 6 weeks with physical therapy.
The first step to prepare for your knee replacement is to work with your local health care professional to ensure that a knee replacement is needed. After you’ve gained your medical clearance, you can research for hospitals offering knee replacement overseas.
Once you have decided on the destination, send in your reports via UniMed care system and receive the treatment plan, your TKR quote, and other details from the concerned doctor.
If you can get a companion to accompany you on your trip, you will have a lot of help.
Stop taking aspirin or any blood thinners before the surgery; if you are already taking some medication, let your doctor know in advance.
Avoid smoking for a few weeks before and after your surgery, and also limit your alcohol intake.
For any questions or queries, please reach out to us at email@example.com
The goal for a knee replacement is increased mobility, reduced pain, and consequently improved lifestyle. Over 90 percent of people have significant reduction of pain and increased ability to move, immediately after their knee replacement, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
If you have a highly-skilled surgeon, a good hospital, and are committed to following the the prescribed treatment and recovery plan, there is an excellent chance of improving your situation with the help of knee replacement overseas.
To learn more about your chances of success with knee replacement, get in touch and request a treatment plan.
Knee replacement, like any other surgery, involves the following risks:
- Blood clots: Blood clots in your leg veins can be dangerous if they break free and travel to your lungs and brain. Your surgeon will suggest a prevention program that includes frequent leg movement (especially if you have a long flight back home), periodic checks, blood thinners, etc.
- Infection: Any infection in the surgical wound or around the prosthesis must be carefully avoided. It can happen in the hospital or even after you go home. While, antibiotics can counter superficial infections, if it is deep and serious, the prosthesis may have to be removed. The best way to avoid an infection is to choose a good hospital and be careful about hygiene.
- Excessive pain: In rare cases, the patient may not experience the gradual dip in pain that is normally expected after knee replacement. In case your pain does not subside, contact your orthopedic surgeon immediately.
- Damage to underlying structures: The veins and nerves in the area could be injured during the surgery
- Problems with the knee implant: Although knee implants have some of the highest success rates in medicine, if they become loose or wear down over time, it may limit the range of motion, which this surgery actually allows.
Your specific risks and possible complications should be discussed with your doctor based on your own unique medical history.
By planning your total or partial knee replacement overseas, you should be able to save upto 80 percent in treatment costs, while getting first-rate treatment. Most patients find that it is not just the cost savings but also the hospitality and care they receive, that makes medical travel worth it.
To start planning for your knee replacement overseas, you need to get an x-ray of your knees, and possibly a physical evaluation to determine if you actually need the surgery.
Your medical history will also be recorded to ensure you do not have any problems that can complicate surgery results.