The Alexandra HospitalMill Lane, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 2PX Directions
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Private knee replacement operations for patients in Manchester and Cheshire
At The Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, we have a team of highly experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in the treatment of knee pain. We see thousands of patients each year who have knee pain caused by everything from osteoarthritis to sports injuries.
We’ll work quickly to diagnose your pain and put together a bespoke treatment plan based on your personal circumstances. If the damage to your knee is too severe to be treated with non-invasive treatment options, we might recommend knee replacement surgery.
A total knee replacement or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a surgical procedure that can help if you have severe joint pain in your knee that affects your ability to do everyday activities, for example walking or climbing the stairs.
The most common cause of total knee replacements in adults at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester is constitutional arthritis, also known as mid to late-stage osteoarthritis (OA). This condition is caused by genetics, old age or wear and tear.
A total knee replacement procedure is one way to help alleviate painful knee joints. Your knee surgeon will remove damaged portions of bone and parts of the arthritic knee and replace it with an artificial component (prosthesis) that replicates a normal knee.
If the arthritis is localised, a partial knee replacement (also known as a unicompartmental knee replacement) may be the most appropriate procedure for you. As ‘partial knee’ suggests, the surgery means replacing part of the knee if the surgeon believes they can preserve the rest.
Your private consultant orthopaedic surgeon will discuss the most beneficial procedure with you at your consultation in Manchester. With a partial knee replacement, the benefit is that you preserve parts of the knee, but on the flip side, research from the National Joint Registry shows that the risk of needing a full-knee replacement subsequently is five or six times higher.
Your consultant orthopaedic knee surgeon at Manchester’s The Alexandra Hospital may offer a total knee replacement if the symptoms of osteoarthritis are chronically painful and physiotherapy and other treatments like steroid injections are no longer helping.
Chronic pain symptoms include aching discomfort, awareness that the knee is stiff and the feeling that it crunches when flexing. In addition, weight-bearing may aggravate your pain. In other words, the symptoms can restrict your mobility when you’re upright, but at rest, the pain is not as bad.
Generally, an arthritic knee can also affect your back and hip and cause your fitness to deteriorate because you’re no longer walking well.
Not everyone with knee pain will need knee replacement surgery. Although our knee consultants are trained surgeons, they will always aim to exhaust non-surgical options first, for example physiotherapy or joint injections.
They will also encourage you to adapt your lifestyle to see if it can ease your pain. Simple changes like losing weight or becoming more active can have a significant impact. A total knee replacement is a definitive treatment when all others have failed or no longer help.
So, your physiotherapist may refer you to a knee specialist at The Alexandra Hospital if you are still struggling with your pain despite having non-surgical treatments. If you want to be assessed, whether from the outset or later, you can see a specialist knee surgeon for treatment at the Alexandra Hospital in Manchester without seeing your GP first.
You’ll arrive and check in on the day of your operation, where you’ll undergo a few last minute checks as well as meeting the team that will look after you during your stay. First, you’ll see the consultant anaesthetist for a spinal anaesthetic (spinal nerve block) and sedation.
The pain relief from this anaesthetic lasts for hours. In conventional knee replacement surgery, once you’re anaesthetised (asleep), the surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the front of the knee and remove the damaged portion before putting in the implant.
The materials in a knee replacement joint are metallic alloy for the articulating surfaces and a plastic polymer to replace your patella (kneecap). After the treatment, you’ll typically stay in our hospital for two to three nights.
Some patients are up and walking on the same day, while for others it takes longer. Your length of stay depends on your recovery: you’re sent home once your team deems it safe to do so.
At The Alexandra Hospital, we offer patients knee replacement surgery performed using Mako® robot arm assisted technology. This cutting-edge method of personalised knee replacements is more precise and provides a better outcome for patients.
The deformity in the knee of every patient is different, but, traditionally, surgeons would make uniform cuts – the same for everyone, regardless of knee alignment, age, shape, and location. Robotics allows us to implant a knee tailored to the individual patient when it comes to the joint’s size, shape, and lining.
In medical terminology, it allows a very ‘patient-specific prosthesis implantation’. Studies have shown this translates into quicker recovery and can even lead to a better knee in the long term. If you have a Mako® robotics total knee replacement, you’ll have a computerised tomography (CT) scan before the operation.
This 3D scan assists the surgeon by working out the anatomy of the knee joint above and below and where the implant should sit. It helps them to make a detailed pre-operative plan about how to perform your surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon ‘registers’ the patient to the software.
It means they find points in the knee and then confirm the position with the robot. Next, the surgeon brings the robot arm into the surgical field to perform this patient-specific implant positioning. The robot then guides them as they make the cuts precisely – to within fractions of a millimetre – and remove any diseased bone and cartilage.
The robotic arm does not perform any surgery, but, importantly, the surgeon can use it to make fine adjustments throughout the range of movements – not just one position but every flexion and extension of the joint. Robotic-arm assisted knee replacement surgery at The Alexandra Hospital takes about an hour and a half, compared to an hour for non-robotic surgery.
Around 90% of people we see now choose robotic-arm assisted total knee replacement, choosing it for its compelling clinical benefits and outcomes. The implant is tailored to the anatomy and considers the stability of your knee and soft tissue contraction. It’s exact.
Your consultant may offer you another option – a partial knee replacement, which the robotic procedure also improves. Before this innovation, the significant disadvantage in partial knee replacement was the technical difficulty of getting the alignment correct and the fear that if the knee failed, it meant a second full-knee operation.
The robotic technology gives surgeons the confidence to approach patients with localised arthritis and say they can now do a partial replacement reliably. About 40% of arthritis is localised – that is, it affects one compartment of the knee – and with partial replacements, surgeons can now reconstruct the knee in a way that lasts, so there’s no need for revision.
Then on days two and three, you’ll progress a little more and do day-to-day activities like climbing stairs. Once you feel comfortable doing that, and we feel comfortable you’re safe, your consultant will discharge you from the Alexandra, and you can go home. A total knee replacement has a lengthy recovery period.
The first four to six weeks are challenging but you will see full benefits in six to nine months. However, if you had poor fitness before, it could take longer to recover. You should be aware that full recovery could take more than a year. At home, after surgery, it’s essential to get the swelling down by icing the knee.
Doing so will help to reduce pain and increase the chance of a full range of movement in the initial four to six weeks. You’ll have stretches to do initially, but you should not overdo things. While at hospital, a physiotherapist will have explained to you how active you should be.
At six to seven weeks, you should have a range of movement close to pre-operative levels. If you’re having a self-paid procedure, the quote will include a physiotherapist. They will work with you to improve your fitness with regular physiotherapy, providing advice on balance and exercises for the knee.
The typical price of knee replacement surgery in Manchester ranges from £13,000 to £16,000.* Your quote will include surgical and anaesthetic fees, assessments, accommodation, the implant and post-operative physiotherapy treatment.
You can self-pay for treatment, including the option to spread the surgery cost in instalments over a specific time. Or you can use private medical insurance for your treatment.
*This is a guide price for our self-pay patients. The final price will be confirmed in writing before you book your treatment.
There is a risk of infection, but the clinical team in Manchester will do everything to reduce it. Blood clots can go to the lungs, but we take precautions to prevent it from happening with stockings, injections, early mobilisation, and ensuring patient awareness of symptoms.
Stiffness in the knee is a risk, so it’s vital to get moving, guided by your surgeon and physiotherapist. Expectations of a poor outcome are high – about 20% of patients are not happy after a knee replacement because it’s not technically perfect. But that’s why robotic-arm assisted technology, available at the Alexandra Hospital, is on the rise.
Knee replacement surgery is a quality-of-life procedure, so you and the surgeon must discuss your attitude to risk, including medical and anaesthetic risks.
However, studies have shown that once you are recovered and have survived any medical risks (after 12 months or so), patients live longer because fitness improves.
You’ll have access to the consultant’s team, who are responsive to your needs, so if you have a problem afterwards, there is always someone to talk to or ask for help. Your personalised treatment includes a comfortable private room and access to technology such as the robotic-arm procedure.
The hospital’s many benefits attract private patients from Manchester and Greater Manchester and Stockport, Cheshire East, Trafford, and Tameside, as well as further afield.