Knee Replacement Surgery

A knee replacement is considered as an option if physiotherapy or other non-invasive treatments have not improved the symptoms of a patient’s suffering. If a person is unable to walk or perform everyday tasks, surgery is considered as an option to improve that person’s quality of life.

It’s a very common and successful procedure, with over 100,000 replacement surgeries performed each year in the UK alone, with nearly 100% of patients reporting long-term pain relief post-procedure.

If you think you may need a knee replacement, call and book an appointment with our specialist on 0330 019 4890.

For more information about knee replacement surgery, try clicking on one of the links below to jump to the section you want to learn about, or simply keep reading:

What is knee replacement surgery?

Who should have knee replacement surgery?

Do I need to prepare for knee replacement surgery?

What is the recovery time for knee replacement surgery?

Private knee replacement at Spencer Hospitals

More FAQs

What is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery involves the full or partial removal of an existing knee joint and replacing it with an artificial one. This surgery can be required for several reasons, but the most common is to relieve knee pain caused by arthritis. However, it can also be carried out in cases of gout or knee injury.

A high percentage of knee replacements are given to those aged 65 or over.

Arthritis causes the hard cartilage between your knee, thigh, and shin bones to become thin and eventually wear away. This causes the bones to rub directly against each other, causing pain and stiffness. A knee replacement removes any remaining cartilage, as well as the worn bone ends, and substitutes them with metal and plastic parts, thereby creating an artificial joint.

Who should have knee replacement surgery?

This decision will ultimately be reached only if a specialist decides that it’s the best course of action, but generally, knee replacement surgery can be used to help people who are suffering from a severe or debilitating form of arthritis but can also be utilised as a treatment for gout or knee injury.

The decision to entirely replace a knee will only usually be attempted if other treatments – such as drug treatments, physiotherapy, or weight loss – fail.

Unfortunately, some people are simply unable to have knee replacement surgery carried out, even in extreme cases of arthritis. This includes people who:

  • Suffer from very weak thigh muscles (quadriceps), as this may impede the ability to cope and support the replacement knee joint
  • Are particularly susceptible to infection from surgery, due to deep or abundant sores/ulcers in the skin below or around the knee.

Do I need to prepare for knee replacement surgery?

In most cases, no, there is no exceptional need for preparing for knee replacement surgery in regards to the procedure itself.

Any requirements or advice will be given during discussions with your surgeon beforehand.

You may be asked to come in for some pre-admission checks in the weeks before your operation — these are likely to be simple blood tests and blood pressure checks. You’ll also be informed of everything you can expect on the day and after the procedure.

What is the recovery time for knee replacement surgery?

In cases of a partial knee replacement, recovery times can be quicker and a stay in hospital shorter. A total knee replacement may take longer to fully recover from.

Recovery time is, of course, different for each patient. However, most patients should be able to walk freely and participate in normal daily activities again after about six weeks, providing you have a successful assessment with your surgeon or specialist.

During those six weeks, it is absolutely vital that you give yourself time to fully recover and let your knee heal, and actively take part in the physiotherapy sessions that Spencer Private Hospitals will arrange with you.

In the recovery period, most patients will require the use of a walking aid, but again this is dependent on your own situation. You will be able to consult with your specialist during this time for encouragement, help, and advice.

Private knee replacement at Spencer Hospitals

A knee replacement can be a daunting prospect. But you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands at a Spencer Private Hospital – our highly trained, experienced, and friendly medical staff are on hand to ensure you have the best experience possible.

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Our specialists will make sure you’re aware of costs and consult with you regarding payment options, but don’t be afraid to get in touch with our team if you have any questions.

Knee replacement surgery typically takes 1 to 3 hours to complete. Keep in mind that the actual duration may vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and individual patient factors.

As the knee is such a heavily used part of our bodies, wear-and-tear does occur even on sophisticated knee replacements. About 5% of knee-replacement patients will require further surgery after a period of 2 years, but this can vary. Total knee replacements generally last longer than partials, but your specialist will keep you informed about your specific situation as much as they can.

While you will be under anaesthetics during the procedure itself, like any surgery, there will be a chance of a lasting ache and pain – but patients should have their pain relieved by post-surgery treatments and medication. Our specialists will ensure you are given medication to meet your pain levels, and this will be part of an ongoing discussion with you upon discharge from one of our hospitals to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

There may be some lasting prominent scarring, numbness, or the need for antibiotics, but with our specialist consultation and surgery, we mitigate the risks of additional surgeries or special treatment post-initial-surgery. We take the extra time and care to make sure we understand exactly what is required for your procedure before moving forward at each stage, thereby ensuring you have the highest chance of a healthy recovery through post-treatment physiotherapy and exercise.

Read Sue’s story about her total knee replacement surgery with Spencer Hospitals.

Adults of any age can be considered for a knee replacement, but most are carried out on people between the ages of 60 and 80.

A smaller operation called a partial knee replacement tends to be performed on younger people aged between 55 and 64 where the artificial joint is expected to need replacing within 10 years.


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