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Knee replacement surgery

If you are battling knee pain, you could benefit from knee replacement surgery

Knee arthroplasty, more commonly known as knee replacement surgery, is an operation that involves replacing the damaged areas of your knee joint with artificial parts (referred to as a prosthesis). Although a knee replacement operation can be performed at any age, adults between the ages of 60 to 80 are the most likely to have this type of surgery.

There are two main types of knee replacement operations: partial knee replacement surgery (also called a unicompartmental knee replacement operation) and total knee replacement surgery.

During partial knee replacement surgery, only one side of your knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint. During total knee replacement surgery, both the back and front of your knee joint are replaced with artificial parts.

Partial knee replacement surgery is often performed in middle-aged adults aged between 55 to 64. A total knee replacement operation is most commonly performed in adults over the age of 65.

Which type of knee replacement will be recommended for you?

The type of knee replacement recommended at The Park Hospital in Nottingham will depend on the condition of your knee. If you have arthritis, or damage on one side of your knee joint, you could be advised to have a partial or unicompartmental replacement operation (also called a half knee replacement).

However, if a diagnostic scan shows that you have arthritis behind your patella (kneecap), a partial knee replacement operation (known as a patellofemoral replacement) could be advised. This operation involves replacing the back of your patella with a plastic button and a groove at the end of your femur (thighbone) called your trochlea groove with a metal implant.

Alternatively, a total knee replacement surgery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham could be recommended if both sides of your knee joint are damaged.

How long does a knee replacement last?

A knee replacement is expected to last 20 years or more.

Prices for knee replacement surgery at The Park Hospital range from £13,089 - £14,203.*

The exact cost of having knee replacement surgery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham will depend on various factors, including:

  • Your diagnosis and the extent of damage to your knee
  • What type of surgery you have (partial or total)
  • What type of prosthesis is used

At The Park Hospital in Nottingham, the cost of your treatment can be paid using your private medical insurance or, if you’re paying for your own treatment, you can take advantage of our flexible payment plans.

If you are paying for yourself, you’ll be given a fixed-price package ahead of any treatment you have, so you’ll always know how much you are going to pay. The cost can be spread over one to five years and we have interest-free options for the first 12 months.

Your initial consultation and any scans or tests done during this appointment will be charged separately from the rest of your treatment. Again, you’ll be told exactly how much this will cost ahead of time, so you’re always making an informed choice.

For further information about paying for your treatment at The Park Hospital, please visit our payment options page.

* This is a guide price and only applies to people paying for their own treatment. Exact prices will be confirmed when you book your operation.

Knee replacement surgery is usually considered when less invasive forms of treatment (such as pain relief medication, steroid injections and physiotherapy) have not been able to alleviate your knee problems.

A specialist, known as an Orthopaedic Surgeon, could also recommend knee replacement surgery if you are experiencing significant pain or if your knee problems are affecting your mobility.

The common conditions that mean people need a knee replacement operation include:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the UK, affecting an estimated nine million people. It occurs when your cartilage breaks down, causing the bones of your knee joint to rub together, which can lead to pain and stiffness
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune condition where your immune system wrongly attacks your synovium (a layer of cells that line your knee joint). As a result, your synovium can become inflamed, sending out chemicals that can damage the structures surrounding your joint.
  • Gout: This is triggered by a build-up of uric acid in your bloodstream. Uric acid is a substance naturally produced when your body breaks down purines (a form of protein). But high levels of uric acid can cause small crystals to form inside and around your knee joint, leading to pain and stiffness
  • Knee injury: This could range from a sprain (stretched ligament) to a tear in your ligament or meniscus (cartilage)

You might be recommended a knee replacement operation if you are experiencing severe swelling, stiffness and/or pain in your knee that is causing:

  • Limited mobility in your knee, which could affect your ability to perform your everyday activities
  • Disturbance to your sleep
  • Serious detriment to your mental health
  • Symptoms that affect your ability to work
  • Difficulty engaging in normal social activities

Knee replacement surgery is usually only considered when less invasive treatment options have not helped reduce your knee pain.

However, in some instances a Consultant will find that the damage to your knee is too extensive to warrant trying less invasive methods. Or, perhaps your symptoms are so bad that non-surgical methods simply won’t work.

At The Park Hospital in Nottingham, our Orthopaedic Surgeons can perform a diagnostic investigation to determine the cause of your symptoms. Your Orthopaedic Surgeon will collaborate with a team of specialists, including Physiotherapists and Pain Management Consultants, to create a treatment plan personalised to your needs.

Although our specialists are trained surgeons, they won’t recommend surgery unless you really need it.

If a knee replacement is advised, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will explain what this will involve. You will be supported by your Surgeon throughout each step of your treatment journey at The Park Hospital. Our Physiotherapists will provide you with exercises to do before and after your knee replacement operation to ensure your smooth recovery.

If you would like to speak to an Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, you can contact a member of our team by calling us directly on 0115 9662000 or booking your appointment online today.

At your initial consultation, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will discuss your symptoms and medical history. They will also perform a physical examination of your knee. They might send you to have a diagnostic scan such as an X-ray (an imaging technique that helps them look at your bones). This will be done onsite. 

After the cause of your knee problems has been diagnosed, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will discuss the different treatment options with you.

If a joint replacement operation is advised, your Orthopaedic Consultant will provide more information about knee replacement surgery.

Preparing for surgery: what to expect

Prior to your surgery, you will need to undergo a preoperative assessment, which will be carried out by a Nurse. This will include a general health assessment where your blood pressure, weight, height and pulse rate will be measured. You might also be advised to have a blood test and an electrocardiogram (a scan that monitors your heart’s activity). A swab (cotton bud) will also be gently rubbed across your skin to check for the presence of MRSA (a type of bacteria) that could put you at risk of infection.

In addition to these health checks, your Physiotherapist at The Park Hospital will provide you with some exercises to perform ahead of your surgery. These will help strengthen your leg muscles and improve movement in your knee.

On the day of your surgery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, you might be offered a spinal anaesthetic (an injection into your lower back), which numbs the bottom part of your body, preventing any feeling. If you are administered spinal anaesthetic, you might be offered sedation to help you relax and sleep during your operation. Alternatively, you could be administered a general anaesthetic ahead of surgery, which will put you to sleep for the whole operation.

If you are advised to have total knee replacement surgery, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will begin by making an incision at the front of your knee to access your patella (kneecap). Your kneecap is moved aside, so that your Surgeon has access to your knee joint.

Your Orthopaedic Surgeon will then remove and reshape the damaged ends of your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone) to allow your prosthesis to be fitted. The end of your femur will be replaced with a curved metal piece. A flat metal plate will replace the damaged end of your shinbone.

These parts might be fixed by your Orthopaedic Surgeon. Alternatively, they might be secured using bone cement (this is often made from a synthetic substance). After your operation, your Orthopaedic Consultant will add a plastic spacer between the two metal ends to minimise friction when moving your joint. Your wound will be closed with stitches or clips. A dressing will placed over this.

Your operation at The Park Hospital in Nottingham could take around two hours, but this will depend on the type of replacement surgery that you are advised to have.

What are knee replacements made of?

In nearly all cases, a knee replacement prosthesis is formed of metal and high-density plastic.

After your operation, you will be taken to a recovery ward at The Park Hospital where you will be offered pain relief medication (if needed) and something to eat or drink.

Around 12-24 hours following your operation, your Nurse or Physiotherapist will help you get out of bed and stand up. Your Physiotherapist might provide you with a walking frame or crutches to assist you with walking. In most cases, you should be able to walk with your walking aid after around one week.

You could be required to stay at our hospital for around three days after surgery, but this will depend on your surgery and recovery. Research has found that people who spend less time in hospital make a faster recovery, so we will aim to get you back in your own home as soon as it’s safe.

During your recovery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, your Physiotherapist will demonstrate some exercises that you can do to strengthen your knee. You can begin these exercises the day after your surgery and should continue doing them during your recovery.

Exercises after a knee replacement can include knee flexion (bending) or extension (straightening) exercises, as well as exercises for your quadriceps (thigh muscles) to strengthen these muscles.

How to sleep after your knee replacement surgery at The Park Hospital

Although you will not be required to sleep in a specific way following your surgery, you should avoid placing a pillow under your knee, as this can cause your muscles to tighten and your knee can become trapped in a bent position.

Can you kneel after a knee replacement?

Your Orthopaedic Surgeon might advise you to avoid kneeling for eight to 12 weeks after your surgery at The Park Hospital.

Returning to work and driving after your operation

You should be able to return to work around six to 12 weeks after your operation. However, this will depend on the type of work that you do and the surgery that you have had.

Driving after knee replacement surgery should be after around six to eight weeks.

After your surgery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, your Orthopaedic Consultant will arrange a follow-up appointment to remove any stitches and monitor the progress of your recovery. This could be around two weeks after your operation.

In addition to receiving personalised, Consultant-led care, there are many benefits to having private treatment with us, including:

If you would like to learn more about private knee replacement surgery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, you can speak to a member of our team by calling us on 0115 9662000 or booking your appointment online today.

As with any operation, there are complications to expect when having knee replacement surgery. These include:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Stiffness
  • A wear and loosening of your prosthesis

Knee replacement surgery is a very common and very successful operation that is considered low risk.

Specialists offering Knee replacement surgery

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Mr Reshid Berber

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, BSc (Hons), FRCS Orth, PhD

The Park Hospital

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Mr Nitin Badhe

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

FRCS(Orth), Mch Orth, MS Orth, DNB Orth, FCPS Orth, D’Orth, MRCS Surg

The Park Hospital

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Mr Sushrut S Kulkarni

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MS (Orth), MCh Orth, FRCS (Tr & Orth), D’Orth, DNB (Orth)

The Park Hospital

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Mr Sachin Badhe

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


The Park Hospital

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Mr Khosrow Sehat

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB, MRCS, FRCS (Trauma and Orthopaedics)

The Park Hospital

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