This is a surgery performed to resurface the knee joint which has been severely diseased, damaged, and has deteriorated causing pains. Resurfacing the joint will help get rid of the pains, ease friction, and restore the function in the joint. This surgical procedure is also called “Total Knee Replacement” or “Knee Arthroplasty”.
The procedure is done by using prosthesis–artificial materials, which can be metal, plastic, or polymer–to replace the damaged ligament–the tissue that stabilizes joints–, bone, and cartilages from the ends of the thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bone (tibia) that joins at the knee.
Total knee replacement is used to treat different types of arthritis that affect the knee joint. Some of such arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis; a deteriorating joint disease that causes the gradual but continuous breakdown of the cartilages and connective bones in the knee joint.
- Traumatic arthritis; damage is done to the knee cartilage due to an injury from an accident.
- Rheumatoid arthritis; arthritis that causes an inflamed synovial membrane located in the knee joint which produces fluid to lubricate and enable friction in the joint. The inflammation of the membrane can lead to the excess production of the fluid which can cause pains.
The possible risk or complications of this procedure includes:
- Knee infection
- Blood vessel injury can lead to bleeding into the joint.
- Pains and stiffness of the knee joint can continue.
- The prosthesis can wear off after a while.
- Knee fracture.
- The knee joint may become loose and dislodged after the surgery.
- Nerve injury and damage.
- Blood clots form in the legs.
- Pulmonary embolism; blood clots in the leg flow into the lungs, which can cause congestion in the lungs and turn can lead to chest/heart pain, shortness of breath, and sometimes to shock and stroke.
The possibility of these risks happening is very rare because knee arthroplasty is now very advanced and more efficient techniques are used to make sure the procedure is effective. The success rate is recorded at 80 to 90%.
Consulting with a surgeon is the first step. Your surgeon will go through your medical and medication history. A physical examination of your knee will be carried out to evaluate the strength, stability, and motion range of the joint. An X-ray will be performed on your knee to assess the level of damage on the joint.
According to the results of the examination and X-ray of the knee, your surgeon will make recommendations on the type of prosthesis will be best for you while considering the shape and size of your knee, the degree of activity you handle every day, your weight, age, and overall weight.
You will be requested to stay off certain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning drugs, alcohol, and smoking for 2 to 3 weeks before your surgery.
You will place on local or general anesthesia and likely nerve block around your knee to numb the pains.
- The surgical area (knee joint) will be cleaned with an antiseptic to prevent infection.
- Your knee will be bent in a triangular position to keep all the surfaces of the joint exposed.
- An incision will be made on the knee area in a horizontal line of about 6 to 10 inches long.
- Through the incision, the joints will be separated and the damaged areas will be cut away and removed from the site.
- The prosthesis as agreed by you will be placed into the space between the femur and tibia.
- The prosthesis will be attached to the femur and tibia with a surgical cement and/or porous surface on which the bone grows attached to the prosthesis.
- The function and friction will be tested by bending and rotating the knee.
- When the function is confirmed, the incision will be stitched or sutured back in place.
- The area will be wiped clean with an antiseptic and closed with a bandage or dressing.
The surgery often takes a duration of 2 to 3 hours.
You will be transferred to your recovery room. The anesthesia and nerve blocks will begin to wear off after some time and you will be administered pain relievers to sustain the pains. You will be required to stay in the hospital for several days for monitoring till your surgeon deems you fit to leave.
A physiotherapist will be assigned to you to take you through your daily exercise routine and keep your new joint in motion. Your pains during this process will be controlled by medications.
After discharge, keep up with your exercise, keep the surgical area dry and sanitized, apply ice on your knee when it swells, avoid any traumatic impact on your knees, etc.
Why in India?
India is one of the best medical destination for knee arthroplasty with its advanced technologies and techniques that is one of the most sorts after in the world.
India has world-renowned orthopedic surgeons that are known for their expertise and experience in the procedures. There are also world-class health centres with hi-tech facilities and specialized physical therapy and rehabilitation services.
The country has a record of more than 100,000 knee replacement surgeries and is known for having little or no waiting time for medical treatments. You are attended to as soon as possible.
Also, as always the cost of treatments and surgeries in India is always far cheaper than those of countries in Europe and the Americas, yet they offer high-quality treatments, some of the highest in the world. This is no different for knee replacement surgery.
Cost in India
The cost of the surgical procedure in India is very affordable. However, the cost depends on the hospital and surgeon charges, the type of the prosthesis used, the cost of the physical therapy, the medications, etc.
The estimated charges are between $5000 to $10,000, which is about one-fifth of the cost in the US.
Hospitals in India
Medical centers in India are vast and advanced in orthopedic surgeries and knee replacement surgery is one of them.
Some well-known hospitals in India include:
This hospital is one of the top best orthopedic centers in India, located in Chennai. The hospital has a workforce of talented doctors that carry out excellent orthopedic treatments and surgeries in the country. Their costs are very affordable compared to other hospitals and they are accredited by the nation and recognized internationally.
This hospital provides adequate facilities and state of the art technologies for all treatment procedures. They are aimed at offering excellent healthcare service at affordable costs and attend to all patients including those from foreign countries. And their medical personnel and customer service are just as great and attentive.
This is a group of hospitals that offer a wide range of medical treatments and programs such as laboratory, imaging facility, pharmacy, physiotherapy, etc. Most of their hospitals are internationally accredited and their healthcare system is outstanding.
The hospital comprises a group of hospitals that have different medical specialties. They offer quality and valuable healthcare services and facilities with their team of dedicated medical professionals committed to their patients. They have become one of the most trusted medical care providers in Asia and the world, and attend to all patients, both local and international.
Wockhardt boasts in its ultra-modern facilities and technologies used to perform high-risk surgical procedures and knee replacement surgery is just the least of them. Their surgeons are some of the best in India and carry out procedures with a high success rate. Their cost is also one of the most affordable in the country.
These are just a few of the many hospitals that offer knee replacement surgeries in India. To find out more, visit