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Total knee replacement

What are the parts of the knee?

The knee joint or as we call it the knee is the biggest and most complicated joint in our body. Technically it’s made of two real (thighbone and tibia, thighbone and patella) and one false (the side of the patella and fibula which is closer to the knee) joint.

It is a strong but flexible hinge joint, playing an essential role in movement related to carrying the body weight in horizontal (running and walking) and vertical (jumping) directions.

Between the femur (upper leg bone) and tibia (lower leg bone) is the meniscus, a layer of tough fibrocartilage that acts as a shock absorber.

Anatomy of the Knee Joint
Anatomy of the Knee Joint

The knee joint is vulnerable to injuries, that most often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home projects.

What are the common types of knee disorders?

The knee joint is the biggest and most complicated joint in the human body. Technically it’s made of two real (thighbone and tibia, thighbone and patella) and one false (the side of the patella and fibula which is closer to the knee) joint.

As we use our knees almost every minute of the day, they are at an increased risk for wear and tear, and even trauma. If a knee joint wears out that much, or you suffer a serious injury, total knee replacement can be the proper solution on the basis of  the consultation with a specialist.

What factors contribute to knee problems?

  • Overusing  the joint,
  • Degenerative defects  due to old age
  • Joint inflammation, either as a part of a disease called rheumatoid arthritis or as an isolated joint inflammation
  • Axis deviation in the leg, frequent patellar dislocations
  • Injuries, falls, bone fractures

If all the conservative therapy fails to bring improvement, it causes serious pain and problems in everyday life. In this case orthopedic consultation is necessary to detect the causes of your symptoms. During the consultation, your physician will inform you about the future treatment plan whether it’s surgical or conservative.

What kind of procedure is done in Medicover Hospital?

During total knee replacement surgery, our orthopedic surgeons remove the inadequate knee joint and replace it with an artificial implant. This allows your knee to work just as well as it did (stable, easy to move) when it was healthy.

Total knee replacement - Medicover Hospital
Total knee replacement

How does the procedure go?

Total knee replacement abroad has the same medical protocol like in your home country. At  our hospital, knee surgery is done under local or general anesthesia based on your health, the results of the examinations, preferences and the physician’s report.

During the surgery our specialists use a specific cuff which helps to minimize bleeding.

After the appropriate anesthesia, your doctor will cut an approximately 20-centimeter long wound just above the patella. Through this surgical site, he will open up the knee joint and remove the worn-out articular cartilages to form the place for the implant. Thereafter, he places a temporary implant into the proper area to check whether the implant fits and moves correctly. If necessary, he  makes changes to ensure the perfect fitting.

The implants, which are precisely defined in advance, will be fixed with a special antibiotic cement. Between the pieces a plastic component will be inserted which ensures the proper movement. If the patella requires more support, a button will be inserted, also made of plastic, to substitute the surface of your patella.

If every particle work the way they should, they’re stable and fixed. Your surgeon let the blood flow through your leg again by releasing the cuff and taking appropriate actions to stop the blood flow. Then, he inserts a surgical drain and closes the wound. Finally, a sterile bandage and an elastic swaddling band will be put onto the site.

Necessary preparations before surgery

In order to choose the perfect, fitting knee implant it’s necessary to undergo several examinations beforehand. An x-ray and in some cases CT is important to get a clear picture of your knee area.

As there is a risk of infection during knee replacement surgery, examinations are ordered to minimize this risk:

  • You need to undergo a routine blood work, metal sensitivity testing, urine and throat discharge testing, abdominal ultrasound, dental check-up, urological and/or gynecological examinations.
  • The surgery may require your doctor to give you blood transfusion at some point during, or after the procedure. For this reason a blood type test is also necessary, so the hospital can prepare and provide the blood for the transfusion if required.

What do I need to do after surgery?

The most important part after surgery is the rehabilitation.

The sooner you start to rehabilitate your leg with the new implant, the better the odds are for a complete recovery. In order to do so, appropriate pain control is necessary. At Medicover Hospital Hungary we use a so-called EDA tube (Epidural anesthesia) to inject pain relievers in the area for a few days after your surgery.

Besides this, the day after surgery when the drain tube is removed from the wound, the physiotherapy begins. It is done manually with the help of our trained physiotherapists. Using a CPM  (Continuous Passive Motion) machine is essential for the success of the rehabilitation.

After 3 or 4 days you can leave our hospital and continue your recovery by continuing physiotherapy. You’ll be given every advice, medication and all the tips you need, to heal completely as soon as possible. Learning and practicing exercises is extremely important to avoid  problems and difficulties with your movement later on.

What are the benefits of the total knee replacement?

Undergoing such a procedure has its risks however its benefits are often life-changing. Your pain and limited mobility can decrease and cease completely.

With frequent and proper exercises and physiotherapy you can get back to your normal movement. Thus, you can live a full life again, do sports, and eliminate painkillers and other drugs.

What risks does the surgery hold?

Just like every surgical procedure, total knee replacement also has its risk factors. However, a knee surgery abroad doesn’t take more risks, than in your home country.

Even with the most careful examinations side effects can occur. This is why it’s important to undergo various exams to minimize risks. When the state of your health isn’t sufficient enough to do the surgery, we suggest you, to postpone it.

  • The most serious risk is an infection of the surgical side which can vary between a mild redness of the skin and a serious, deep bone tissue infection. Those with diabetes, excess weight or those under steroid medications have an elevated risk of getting infections post-surgery.
  • Thrombosis (abnormal clotting of the blood) can happen as well, however this is a risk, that every surgical intervention carries. If you have varicose veins, you’re overweight or you’ve suffered thrombosis in the past you have an increased risk. After surgery, anti-clotting injections  (six week period) will help you, to prevent thrombosis and minimize risks.
  • During or even after surgery bone fracture can happen, however it’s very rare. In case of bone fracture, another surgery, or more extensive surgery is needed to repair the broken bones with implants.
  • In extreme rare cases nerve damage can occur on the surgical site.
  • In case of hematoma, that can develop after surgery, another surgical procedure is necessary.

Am I eligible for the total knee replacement?

Your physician will decide whether surgery is safe enough for you or not, due to  your health condition and the results of the examinations you participated in. An anesthesiologist will also consult you about the preferred and safe pain management for the duration of the surgery.

Our medical staff will be at your disposal to ensure you a pleasant stay

How much does the total knee surgery package cost and what does it contain?

At Medicover hospital, the total knee replacement package cost includes the following services and care:

  • Total knee replacement surgery
  • 3 day stay with full pension (breakfast, lunch, dinner) at our hospital
  • Stitches removal
  • The first check up, two weeks after surgery
  • Physiotherapy with CPM (continuous passive motion) machine during your stay at Medicover

We offer a separate consultation package for the first consultation, where the orthopedic specialist decides if the knee surgery is recommended. The necessary pre-operative examinations can be taken at our hospital, which has an additional cost.

Our main aim is to ensure you the most reasonable knee replacement price for high quality service and care, all the time.