Transform your life with a knee replacement


Photo: Getty Images

More than 10 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis or a similar condition that affects their joints. The knee is the largest joint in the body, supporting almost the entire body’s weight, so it’s no surprise this area is frequently impacted.

At its worst, osteoarthritis in the knee can be extremely painful, limiting movement and impacting daily life. Unfortunately, there’s no cure, so the best option for those affected is to manage the condition with physiotherapy and take pain relief.

Sometimes however, exercise and painkillers stop being effective. When this happens, your doctor may recommend surgery, such as a knee replacement. But what is this procedure, and is it right for you?

What is a knee replacement?

A knee replacement is a surgery that replaces damaged bone and cartilage with artificial implants. Depending on the extent of damage in your knee, your doctor may recommend a total knee replacement, where all your knee joint is replaced, or a partial knee replacement where only parts are replaced. A total knee replacement can last for more than 25 years and should significantly improve your quality of life.

Signs you might need a knee replacement

If you experience pain that gradually limits the amount you can walk, your knee gives away at times, you struggle with stairs, feel pain at night and are experiencing a general reduction in mobility - a knee replacement may be your best option. Osteoarthritis gets progressively worse, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek advice from a specialist knee consultant sooner rather than later.

Your first appointment – what to expect

At an initial consultation, a specialist doctor will assess your knee and if needed, refer you for an up-to-date X-ray to see the extent of damage in your knee. Your doctor will then thoroughly discuss your options with you. If surgery is recommended, they will explain the risks and benefits so you can make an informed decision.

Did you know?

A knee replacement is a safe routine operation. You will be able to walk the same day with the help of crutches or a walker and go home after one to three nights in hospital. To get the best results after surgery, you will need to have regular physiotherapy. This will help strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve mobility in the joint. St John & St Elizabeth Hospital has an excellent therapies team that can support you throughout your recovery.

Transform your life

Knee osteoarthritis is painful. As it affects your mobility, it can also have an enormous impact on your lifestyle, affecting your enjoyment of life.

Unfortunately, the wait time for a knee replacement on the NHS can be more than one year - far too long to live with pain. However, if you go private, you could have a knee replacement in as little as four to six weeks.

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital has a wealth of world-class knee specialists and offers packages that are clear, competitively priced and easy to understand, giving you peace of mind and the ability to focus on your recovery. They can be contacted on 020 7806 4060. Find out more:

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