Knee replacement surgery is a very effective treatment option when you suffer from knee pain due to knee arthritis for a long time. Have you tried everything, and the pain is still there? Well, in such cases, a knee replacement can provide long-term and effective pain relief.
Some patients prefer other treatments such as medications and physical therapy. However there are many who decide to embark upon surgery so that they may return to normal daily functions and enjoy a better quality of life.
Various factors contribute to making this decision. This article helps you understand why and when a patient should consider a knee replacement. We also discuss the cost of knee replacement surgery in Singapore in 2023. Get all the necessary details and make an informed decision!
Knee Replacement Surgery And Its Types
Knee replacement, commonly known as knee arthroplasty or a total knee replacement, is an operation to fix an arthritis-damaged knee. In this process, the diseased parts of the knee are removed and replaced with metal components with a plastic surface in between.
Its purpose is to resurface the damaged areas of the knee joint and to cure persistent knee pain refractory to other treatment methods. It improves knee function and allows patients to return to the activities they used to enjoy.
There are two types of Knee Replacement. As knee pain causes and treatments are dependent on each other, it varies from patient to patient which type of replacement would work.
Total Knee Replacement
In total knee replacement, the medial and lateral compartments are replaced. In some cases, the kneecap is also resurfaced. It requires a 10-15 cm incision over the knee, a hospital stay of three to five days, and an estimated three-month rehabilitation period. Replacing the entire knee is suitable for patients who have severe arthritis, where the disease involves most of the knee. It can be done in a conventional manner, or it can be done computer assisted knee replacement or with modern robotic technology.
Partial Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement is a procedure where one of the compartments is replaced. It is suitable in patients where the disease and symptoms are confined to one compartment, usually the medial compartment. The incision is smaller, and recovery faster. However not everybody is suitable for this procedure. Talk to us know if you are interested to consider a partial knee, and we can help you assess if you are suitable.
When Should You Get A Knee Replacement?
The main reasons for a knee replacement are pain and stiffness not improving with conservative treatment methods. The most common underlying condition is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage, or cushioning, of the knee joint. As the cartilage wears away, the bones of the joint rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the joint.
The first treatment plan is not knee replacement. Medical professionals first look into conservative treatment options such as oral medications, topical creams or ointments,, weight loss, physical therapy and exercise, or nutritional supplements. When these measures fail, cortisone injections and Visco supplementation injections are done to help relieve patient’s symptoms. However, knee replacement surgery may be required if these are not effective.
Some symptoms and signs suggest that your treatment is not effective, and you may need consider a knee replacement.
- Knee pain that severely limits your activity level
- You need to take strong painkillers on a almost daily basis to manage your knee pain
- Your quality of life has been severely impacted by your knee pain
- Your knee is progressively becoming more deformed
- You have low mood, or depression as a result of your knee pain
- You suffer from one or more falls as a result of your knee pain and your knee condition
Am I Too Young to Undergo Knee Replacement?
Is there a minimum age that one can be considered for knee replacement?
Generally, knee replacements are considered in patients aged 55 years and older. The reason for this is that there is a shelf life to the materials used in a knee replacement prothesis. At about 20 years, part of the plastic liner (also known as polyethylene) may start to disintegrate, that may then require the patient to undergo a revision surgery to change out the liner or even the whole implant if the implant is loosened.
This however does not mean patients younger than 55 years old cannot be considered for joint replacements. If he/she has severe end stage arthritis affecting quality of life, understands the limitations and implications of joint replacement surgery, he/she can still be considered for knee replacement (partial or total) after a thorough discussion.
Why Should You Get A Knee Replacement?
The primary purpose of knee replacement surgery is to relieve arthritis suffering. Those who struggle to stand up, walk up steps or feel pain even while resting require knee replacement surgery. Improving the quality of life and maintaining or enhancing knee function are other goals of knee replacement.
The following are reasons why you should get a knee replacement:
- After a knee replacement, most patients report significantly less pain and improved function.
- Walking and other regular knee activities become more comfortable.
- It results in a rise in the level of well-being.
- It improves the mobility of the leg.
- Surgery often helps the patient get back to his active lifestyle.
Most of the time, our patients hesitate about knee replacements as they have heard of stories of patients who have had unsuccessful surgeries, or whose pain have persisted after their procedures. We like to stress that knee replacements are highly successful in relieving pain and restoring function, and we would like to address your concern if you have any reservations about the procedure. While surgery does have risks, those risks can be managed and reduced by a surgeon trained in knee reconstruction. Talk to us and let us address your concerns.
What is the Cost of Knee Replacement in Singapore in 2023
Another reason why patients worry about a knee replacement is because they are worried about the cost of knee replacement in a private hospital.
There are several big factors that add to the cost of knee replacement.
- Surgeon Fee: this is the fee charged by the surgeon for the procedure. At Hip & Knee Orthopaedics we follow Ministry of Health Benchmarks. Other fees pertaining to the surgeon are the attendance fee, which is the fee the surgeon charge to review the patient in hospital.
- Anaesthetic Fee: this is the fee charged by the anaesthetist for administering anaesthesia and monitoring the patient through the procedure.
- Implant Fee: this is the fee for the implant used in the knee replacement
- Hospital Facility Fee: this is the fee for use of the hospital facility, as well as the hospital stay.
In general the average cost of a knee replacement in a private hospital inclusive of all fees is around $35000. This is based on data published at the MOH fee benchmark website. The cost will vary depending on the hospital, ward type, and the length of stay in the hospital. Computer assisted, or robotic surgery may also increase the cost of the procedure. If you would like to find out more details regarding the cost, contact us now.
The advantages of doing a knee replacement in a private hospital are several:
- A well trained and experienced knee reconstruction surgeon to perform the procedure for you. At Hip & Knee Orthopaedics, each of our surgeons have done 2 fellowships abroad, and done a high volume of these cases, to ensure that you are in good hands.
- Same doctor each visit. You see your surgeon at the first clinic consult, and at subsequent clinic visit. He is also able to spend more time with you. The doctor patient relationship is cultivated from the first visit and trust is built. When there is a good and consistent doctor patient relationship, the patient feels more at ease to discuss his concerns, and his expectations regarding the procedure. All this will further build trust, critical in the recovery journey after the procedure
- Less waiting time for surgery. The waiting time for a knee replacement in a private hospital is usually a few weeks. Hence patients suffering from tremendous pain may find the shorter waiting time reassuring.
Contact us now!
It is always better to consult a doctor before deciding on what is best for you. Hip & Knee Orthopaedics Singapore will walk that journey with you, towards a painfree functional knee. Contact us now to book an enquiry, and we will try our best to help.