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Knee surgery

Knee surgery can help give you back movement that's free of pain and stiffness

The knee specialists at The Chiltern Hospital provide a world class knee surgery service, with a wealth of experience in the treatment and management of knee pain. Whatever the underlying cause of your knee problems, the consultant-led care we offer is sensitive to your lifestyle and priorities when it comes to treatment.

We have a myriad of treatment options to consider before surgery, allowing our patients a choice of conservative solutions, such as physiotherapy, injection therapy and medication. For when this is not enough, we offer a full range of knee replacement surgeries, which utilise the most cutting edge techniques and technology.

The Chiltern Hospital is a warm and welcoming environment, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and expertly qualified consultants. 

Pain in the knee may have an obvious trigger, such as a trauma from a sports injury, but it is very common for knee pain to develop over time. As the largest joint in the body, the knee is prone to osteoarthritis caused by many years of wear and tear. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage surrounding the knee joint has worn away, causing stiffness, discomfort and pain.

Other forms of arthritis can affect the knee, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, which are inflammatory conditions brought on by an immune disorder.

Whatever the cause of arthritis, it is always best treated at the earliest stage possible, which can be at any age. Certain professions, hobbies and lifestyles can mean patients develop arthritis at a younger age and our different anatomies mean that our knees wear and tear at different rates and in different ways. It is therefore important to book an appointment with a knee specialist whenever you experience symptoms related to arthritis; pain, swelling or stiffness in the knee joint.

Acute injuries to the knee, most commonly from sports like skiing, athletics, netball or any other sport that involves lots of impact or twisting motions can cause a variety of damage to the knee and may require surgery and physiotherapy. Two common knee injuries are a damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a torn meniscus, which is the cartilage in your knee that acts as a cushion between your shinbone and thighbone. 

Whether you are suffering an acute injury or long term arthritis, your consultant will always opt for the most conservative treatment before resorting to more major procedures. They will also tailor your treatment to your goals and expectations, while keeping you informed and empowered about your health.

Beginning with the most conservative treatment available usually means starting with physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medications. Patients with injuries like a torn meniscus, for example, may be advised to apply ice, take some painkillers and rest up if your consultant believes that surgery can be avoided. If this is enough, physical therapy can be introduced when you are ready. We have a fantastic physiotherapy team at the The Chiltern Hospital which is fully equipped to lead you through your programme, whether that’s for rehabilitation after injury, or long term management of arthritis.

Where this level of treatment is not enough, you may be offered injection therapy which can include steroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections.

If your arthritis is located in one specific area of the knee, a spring loaded brace may be an effective solution. By distributing the pressure on that area over to less arthritic parts of the knee, the brace can help stabilise the knee and relieve pain. This can be a great option for patients who are at higher risk from surgical procedures.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and condition, it may be recommended you undertake knee surgery. Arthritis wears down the cartilage around the knee joint and the extent to which this has happened will determine whether the surgery you need is a partial or total knee replacement. If it is widespread a total knee replacement will be recommended, but if it is localised, to just one side for example, it is possible to replace only that part of the knee. In less severe cases still, a knee resurfacing procedure may be appropriate, this allows the surgeon to shave away damaged parts of the joint and replace them with implants, without replacing the whole knee. If you require a second knee replacement surgery, this procedure is known as a revision surgery.

Major knee surgery such as this will typically require a patient to stay one to two nights in hospital, during which time you will be visited by your consultant and physiotherapist each day.

Successful knee surgery is also dependent on a detailed physiotherapy recovery programme, such as those provided by the team at The Chiltern Hospital. The use of a hydrotherapy pool can help maximise the rehabilitation of the knee as it allows easier functional movement by relieving body weight. As well as this, the hydrostatic pressure of the water can reduce swelling and the free movement it provides in the early stages of recovery can reduce anxiety and encourage faster rehabilitation. Our patients enjoy the benefits of our onsite hydrotherapy pool during your inpatient stay and as part of your long term physiotherapy.

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a less major knee surgery which can be used to both diagnose and treat certain injuries. For example, surgery for a torn meniscus can often be performed as an arthroscopic procedure. This operation aims to repair the meniscus cartilage in the knee, which is crucial to day to day weight-bearing activity. These procedures are also followed by a physical therapy programme overseen by the physiotherapy team.

To book an appointment with a knee specialist, simply get in touch with our enquiry team, who will arrange a consultation for you. When you arrive at our main reception, you will be warmly welcomed and shown to the outpatient area, where your consultant will meet you and lead you to the consultation room.

During your initial consultation your specialist will assess your medical history and any relevant information you have about your symptoms, before conducting a physical examination of the knee. They will then refer you for some diagnostic testing, usually an x-ray or an advanced imaging scan, such as an MRI or ultrasound. The Chiltern Hospital is equipped with all this diagnostic technology onsite so you will be able to arrange this for a convenient time within the following two weeks, with no waiting lists.

Your consultant will discuss your diagnosis and treatment options at a follow up appointment. This is an opportunity for you to express your priorities with treatment, whether that is to get back on the rugby pitch, avoid surgery or simply be as pain free as possible. Based on this conversation, you can agree a treatment plan together. If this involves a surgery or procedure, your consultant will arrange a time that is convenient for you both.

If you are paying for your treatment yourself, you will be sent a fixed price quote in writing, while patients who are using their medical insurance will need to obtain an authorisation code from your provider.

Your procedure will take place onsite in the clean, peaceful and state-of-the-art facilities of The Chiltern Hospital. During your period of recovery with us you will enjoy the comforts of a private room, an excellent food and beverage selection and a supportive care team. Your consultant will visit you every day you are with us and your physiotherapist will be there to begin your rehabilitation there and then.

The expert knee specialists at The Chiltern Hospital have immediate access to advanced diagnostic equipment, complete surgical solutions and forward-thinking rehabilitation facilities, all of which contribute to swift and efficient treatment and management of your knee condition. Having facilities like our imaging technology and hydrotherapy pool onsite means your treatment can start as soon as possible and you will spend no time on a wasting list.

Speak with our friendly enquiry team today to book your initial consultation with a knee surgeon. 

Specialists offering Knee surgery

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Mr Bernard McElroy

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

MB.Ch.B., FRCS, FRCS(Orth)

The Chiltern Hospital 1 more The Shelburne Hospital

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Mr David Johnstone

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, FRCS England, FRCS (Orth.)

The Chiltern Hospital

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Mr Parm Johal

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MD, FRCS(Tr & Orth)

The Chiltern Hospital

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Mr David Houlihan-Burne

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BSc (Hons), MB BS (Hons), MRCS, FRCS (Orth)

Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Chiltern Hospital

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Mr Rishi Chana

Consultant Hip and Knee Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, BSc (Hons), MRCS Ed, MSc (Dist), PG Med Ed, FRCS Tr&Orth Ed

The Chiltern Hospital 1 more The Princess Margaret Hospital

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Mr Nick Beattie

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BSc (Hons.), MBCHB, MRCS, FRCS(Ed) T+O, PG Cert Ed

The Chiltern Hospital 1 more The Shelburne Hospital

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