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Knee surgery

Combat your knee pain with our effective orthopaedic treatment options.

Your knee joint is formed of your femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap). There are two small pieces of cartilage in between your femur and tibia and on either side of your joint. This cartilage is called your meniscus and is responsible for absorbing any shock in your knee from physical activity. 

In addition to your meniscus and the bones that form your joint, there are four important ligaments that attach your femur to your tibia. These include your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which helps control the forward movement of your tibia (shin bone) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) that regulates the backward movement of your shin bone. The medial (inner) collateral ligament and lateral (outer) collateral ligament on the sides of your knee provide stability.

If these structures become damaged, you could require knee surgery.

At The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, a bones and joint specialist called an Orthopaedic Surgeon will usually recommend surgery after initial treatment such as steroid injection therapy, pain relief medication and physiotherapy have been tried and not helped improve your knee pain.
Knee surgery can treat damage from the following conditions: 

Osteoarthritis: This is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the UK. It occurs when your cartilage (the tissue cushioning your joint) thins, causing your bones to rub together. This can lead to persistent pain and stiffness. If you are suffering from severe osteoarthritis, your Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Duchy Hospital could recommend total knee replacement surgery to replace the damaged surfaces of your bones.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This form of arthritis is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks the layer of cells that line your joints, also known as your synovium. As a result, your synovium becomes inflamed which, in turn, gives off chemicals that damage the tissue surrounding your joint such as your ligaments.

An injury: A knee injury following an accident or fall can create a tear in your ligaments or menisci. The torn section of your meniscus can be removed during an arthroscopic knee surgery or stitched back into its position through meniscus repair surgery. Alternatively, knee ligament surgery could be performed to reconstruct a torn ligament. 

Dislocation: Similarly, an injury could lead to dislocation where your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) become separated or a dislocated patella (kneecap). This occurs when your patella (kneecap) is removed from the groove that it glides across in your femur. 

Knock knees or bow-leggedness: Knock knees, medically referred to as genus valgum, is a condition where your feet do not touch when your knees are together. While bow-leggedness (genus varum) is a condition where your legs curve outwards. Your bow-leggedness or knock knee surgery will involve realigning your bones into their correct position. 

Your Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate will also suggest a knee operation if you are experiencing the following symptoms: 

Severe pain: If your knee is causing you severe pain and swelling and has not been relieved by steroid injections, pain relief medication or physiotherapy, you could be advised to have surgery. 

Limited mobility: Your knee condition can affect your mobility by making it difficult to perform daily activities such as getting dressed, cooking, or showering and bathing. If you are experiencing reduced or worsening mobility, a knee operation could help you regain movement. 

Disturbed sleep: Knee pain can lead to poor or disturbed sleep by triggering pain when you roll over or sleep on your affected side. Your pain could also cause you to wake up from your sleep. If your sleep is continuously disrupted by joint pain, this can lead to a heightened sensitivity to pain. 

A poor quality of life: Your condition can impact your quality of life by affecting your mental health, preventing you from working or causing you to refrain from social or family activities. If your Orthopaedic Consultant believes your condition is impacting your quality of life, they will suggest having surgery. 

At The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, we offer many types of knee surgery to relieve your symptoms. But the type of surgery that you have will depend on your diagnosis and the condition of your knee. 

At your initial consultation, your Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Duchy Hospital will enquire about your symptoms and medical history. Your Consultant will then assess the affected area and could suggest an X-ray or an MRI to view the inside of your knee. These are quick and painless scans that allow your Orthopaedic Surgeon to confirm the cause of your symptoms. 

After a diagnosis has been established, your Consultant will work with a team of medical specialists to build a customised treatment plan. This will consist of steroid injections to relieve pain or swelling, medication to help you manage your pain or physiotherapy sessions to promote movement.

If these treatment options do not improve your condition, surgery can be considered. Your Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate will explain what this will involve, including how to prepare for your operation and the risks and benefits that are associated with your treatment. 

Your preoperative assessment at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate

Prior to your operation at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, you will need to attend a preoperative assessment. This will consist of a health screening with one of our dedicated Nurses. As part of this health screening, you will be asked about your current medication and measurements of your height, weight, pulse and blood pressure will be taken. 

As well as ensuring that you are fit to have surgery, your preoperative assessment is an additional opportunity for you to voice any questions or concerns about your treatment. If you are happy to go ahead with your operation, you will be asked to sign a patient consent form. 

Your surgery will vary depending on your diagnosis and recommended treatment. On the day of your operation at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, you will be taken to an operating theatre. Your Consultant will administer general anaesthetic. After your anaesthetic has taken effect, your Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate will begin your operation. Your operation could consist of one of the following procedures: 

Knee replacement surgery

There are two types of knee replacement surgeries that are performed at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate: a partial knee replacement operation or total knee replacement surgery. 

During your total knee replacement surgery at The Duchy Hospital, your Surgeon will create incision around your knee to access your patella (kneecap). Your patella is then shifted to provide access to your joint.

The damaged surfaces of your tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone) are removed and replaced with artificial parts or a prosthesis. Your prosthesis could be made of metal, plastic, ceramic or a mixture of these materials. In addition to replacing the ends of your femur and tibia, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will insert a plastic spacer between your new artificial surfaces to help prevent friction. 

However, in a partial knee replacement surgery, only the damaged or worn-out surface of your knee is removed and replaced with a prosthesis. 

Knee arthroscopy

An arthroscopy is a keyhole operation that can be used to diagnose and treat several problems inside your knee, including torn cartilage or a ligament. Your Surgeon will make around three small incisions on the side of your knee. An arthroscope (a thin tube with a camera) is passed through one of these incisons to allow the insde of your knee to be seen. Specialised instruments are then passed into the other two incisions to perform your treatment. This could include different arthroscopic procedures such as arthroscopic debridement, where loose bodies (cartilage or bone) are removed from your joint or an arthroscopic lavage where your joint is flushed with saline fluid. 

Your arthroscopy or keyhole surgery for a knee meniscus tear could include a partial or total meniscectomy. This is when your torn meniscus (cartilage) is partially or completely removed. A keyhole operation can also be used to repair a torn ligament. Your knee ligament surgery will involve removing your ligament and reconstructing this with a tendon that is taken from your patella (kneecap), hamstring or sourced from a donor. Your knee arthroscopy could take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete. 

Knee dislocation surgery

Your knee could become dislocated following an injury or trauma. As a result, your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) can come out of their normal position. Similarly, if your patella (kneecap) becomes dislocated, this means it is removed from its normal position in the groove of your femur (thigh bone). But your Surgeon at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate can perform knee dislocation surgery to put these bones back into their normal position. 

After your operation at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, your wound(s) will be closed with stitches and a dressing will be wrapped across this area. 

After your operation is over, you will be taken to a recovery ward at The Duchy Hospital where a Nurse will offer you refreshments and pain relief to lessen any post-operative pain. During your recovery at our hospital in Harrogate, you will be seen by a Physiotherapist. Before you go home, you will be shown how to perform any specialist physiotherapy exercises and could be provided with crutches and pain relief medication to support your recovery. If non-dissolvable stitches were used to close your incisions, your Consultant will arrange a follow up appointment to remove these. 

What to expect after arthroscopy knee surgery

You should be able to go home the same or following day.
During the first 48 hours after your keyhole operation, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will recommend that you keep your leg elevated when sitting down or resting to reduce any post-operative swelling.

What to expect after a knee replacement surgery

If you have had a joint replacement operation, you will need to stay at our hospital in Harrogate for up to three days. Your Physiotherapist will help you stand up and you should be able to walk with the support of a walking aid after around one week. It could take six weeks for you to no longer need a walking aid. 

Your arthroscopic and knee replacement surgery recovery timeline

If you have had knee replacement surgery, it could take around six to eight weeks before you can drive. If you have had an arthroscopy, you will be advised to avoid driving for at least a week.
Your return to work after surgery will depend on your profession and the type of operation that you have had. It may take six to 12 weeks to return to work after knee replacement surgery. Your Orthopaedic Consultant will explain when it is safe for you to return to work, sport or driving. 

What is the recovery time for knee surgery?

Your knee surgery’s recovery time will vary depending on your operation. If you have an arthroscopic knee surgery that involved a partial menisectomy (the partial removal of a torn meniscus), it could take up to six weeks to make a complete recovery. It can take three months for any swelling to significantly lessen after knee replacement surgery and up to two years to make a full recovery. 

As with any treatment, there are possible risks that can occur following your operation. These include: 

Bruising and swelling: This should lessen and resolve with time. 

Pain: You will be given pain relief medication to help relieve any post-operative pain during the course of your recovery. 

Infection: Your Surgeon could prescribe antibiotics or perform further surgery to treat an infection.

Blood clots: After your operation at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, you will be given compression stockings to wear on your legs, physiotherapy exercises to do and medication to prevent blood clots. 

The cost of your private knee operation at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate will vary depending on your recommended treatment and diagnosis. 

At The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate, the cost of knee replacement surgery can range from around £12,522 to 13,289. The cost of a private keyhole surgery or arthroscopic knee surgery can range between £4,306 to £6,185. 

However, the above prices are only an estimate. The final cost of your treatment will be confirmed in writing following your consultation. 

The cost of your treatment at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate can be paid for through your private medical insurance. Alternatively, you can pay without insurance through out flexible payment options. For more information about our payment plans and how to apply, please click here

In addition to our vast clinical experience and diverse portfolio of Consultants across different specialties, there are several advantages to having treatment at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate. These include: 

  • Treatment plans that are tailored to your personal requirements;
    Quick access to a diagnosis and treatment with a consultation available within 48 hours of booking your appointment online or calling a member of our team;
  • En-suite hospital rooms that offer private access to your own TV, telephone and bath or shower; 
  • Exceptional patient satisfaction rates with 99.6% of our patients likely to recommend our hospital to their family members or friends;
  • Catering services where you will be offered warm and healthy meals to meet your dietary requirements and support your stay at our hospital;
  • Car parking space and convenient hospital access via public transport from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Knaresborough. 

Start your treatment at The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate by booking your appointment online or phoning one of our advisors on 01423 567136. Our friendly advisors can provide more information about our treatment options and payment plans. 

Specialists offering Private knee surgery in Harrogate

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Mr David Duffy

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


The Duchy Hospital

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Mr Craig Alisdair White

Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MRCS (Glas), FRCS Tr & Orth, Cert Med Ed

Woodlands Hospital 1 more The Duchy Hospital

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Mr John Charles Mitchell

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB ChB, FRCS (Tr & Orth)

The Duchy Hospital

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Mr Jon Conroy

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB, BSc ,MSc, FRCS, FRCS(Tr&Orth) 

The Duchy Hospital

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Mr Mark Farndon

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

MBBS, BMedSci(Hons), FRCS(Tr & Orth)

The Duchy Hospital

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Mr Nick J London

Consultant Knee Surgeon

MB BChir MA MD (Cantab.) FRCS (Tr.& Orth.)

The Duchy Hospital

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