Knee replacement surgery is preferred in cases when individuals suffer from knee pain followed by partial or complete immobility of the joint. Although the surgery is mostly performed on patients aged 55 or above, it can also help in cases of injury, some joint disease or trauma and improve mobility.
In a knee replacement operation, also known as arthroplasty, the worn ends of the bones and any remaining hard cartilage are removed and replaced with metal and plastic parts. The artificial joint is attached to the thigh bone, shin and kneecap with a special material called the acrylic cement. The plastic acts like hard cartilage, helping your joint to move freely. The interlocking parts of the artificial joint allow your knee to bend while also making it more stable.
Factors affecting the cost of surgery
The government of India, in 2017, slashed the prices of knee replacement surgery cost in India by 69-59% using a special provision in the drug pricing laws that allow the government to intervene under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ in public interest. The cost of cobalt-chromium, which is widely used in knee replacement was reduced from an MRP of Rs 1,58,324 to Rs 54,720 and titanium and oxidised zirconium have been slashed by almost 70%, from Rs 2.49 lakh to Rs 76,600.
A total knee replacement usually requires between one and a half to three hours of operative time. Post-surgery, it generally takes 8-12 weeks to complete the rehab process and start returning to the pre-surgery daily regime. Apart from the cost of implants, the knee replacement surgery cost also depends on the method of surgery, cost of the implant, type of knee replacement, partial or total, and the hospital stay.
Types of knee replacement and their cost:
The average total knee replacement surgery cost in India ranges from 1, 60,000 to 5,00,000 INR.
- Total Knee Replacement is the replacement of knee joints by surgery. This is done to relieve chronic knee pain and disability and to improve knee movement. Patients who need knee replacement have a problem while walking, climbing stairs and getting in and out of the chair. The degree of pain varies from patient to patient depending on age, weight, and level of joint degeneration. A unilateral TKR costs 150000 to 253500 INR and Bilateral TKR costs around 3.4 lakhs to 4 lakhs INR.
- A unicompartmental or partial knee replacement surgery involves resurfacing only a portion of the knee. This procedure is an alternative to total knee replacement for patients whose disease is limited to just one area of the knee. A unilateral procedure costs 1.5 to 2 lakhs, and a bilateral procedure costs around 3 lakhs.
Factors to keep in mind while opting for a procedure
Age and pre-existing health conditions play a massive role in the kind of procedure your doctor will suggest. The extent of the damage in your joints will be a factor while choosing between partial and total knee replacement. It is important to consider the reputation of the medical institution you are choosing because no compromises should be made regarding post-surgery care. A comfortable and stress-free stay at the hospital will accelerate your healing.