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Based on NHS data, knee replacement surgery in the UK is performed over 70 000 times each year as a treatment for knee damaged by arthritis, most commonly osteoarthritis. Despite being a routine and safe operation, it is a complex procedure which requires expert medical staff and well-equipped facility. That is why the cost of the knee replacement private in the UK is quite demanding, thus in many cases might be refunded by NHS. Usually, it is given to people that experience a severe pain if no other non-surgical treatment like physiotherapy or steroid injections have been successful.

Waiting time for knee replacement surgery UK

An important factor that must be taken into account when considering the cost of knee replacement in the UK is the waiting time. Maximum waiting time for knee replacement in the UK is assumed to be 18 weeks (the gap between seeing a GP and having an operation), as for a planned non-urgent surgery. However, according to NHS statistics from 2018, from all patients that were on waiting lists based on Referral to Treatment (RTT) for different conditions, more than 12% had been waiting for more than 18 weeks which is 4% below the expected standard. On top of that, according to the saga.co.uk, 2,236 of these patients were waiting more than 52 weeks for different types of surgery. Unfortunately, this is expected to get worse in the following years looking at a negative trend in the figure below.

Waiting time for knee replacement in UK

Figure 1 Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/01/Combined-Performance-Summary-January-November-December-data-2018.pdf

Cost of knee replacement UK private

With constantly increasing waiting times for knee replacement in the UK and because of some patients having restricted access to this surgery, more and more people might want to consider choosing a private treatment. As suggested by the Medical Technology Group’s report regarding the waiting times for knee and hip replacement, “timely intervention removes pain and restores mobility while delay leads to worse patient outcomes”. Private knee replacement surgery in the UK usually oscillates around £11,400, however, it may go up to as much as £15,400. This price usually does not cover the post operational physiotherapy program. Additional costs also involve the diagnostics before the surgery and pre-operational consultations. If those costs are hard to afford it is also an option to perform a knee replacement surgery abroad.

Knee replacement surgery abroad

Going abroad to get a treatment might be a way to avoid long waiting times but also can be refunded by the NHS. For those who are interested in getting a refund from NHS for knee replacement abroad we have prepared a guide with all necessary information (click here to download). Nevertheless, even without a refund, cost of knee replacement surgery is quite affordable. The total care packages that include online qualification, airport transfers, surgery, catering, stay in the clinic (room with bathroom, TV and Wi-Fi) and concierge services start from £5,500. Although it may seem less comfortable to travel abroad for getting a treatment, the package is designed in such a way that you can be easily accompanied by your spouse or friend. We are also doing our best to address other downsides of the medical travel which we described in another article (link). On our website you can find more information about the cost of private knee replacement in Poland. If you can not find the answers for your doubts regarding the knee surgery abroad, please let us know by sending a quick inquiry.

Sources:
https://www.nhs.uk/news/medical-practice/better-data-needed-on-knee-replacement/
https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/01/Combined-Performance-Summary-January-November-December-data-2018.pdf
http://www.opnews.com/2015/05/timing-knee-hip-replacement/11125