Do you ever find yourself asking such questions: Is my knee pain severe enough holding me back from performing daily activities? Have I tried everything to kill my knee pain?
If you aren’t getting relief from any over-the-counter painkiller, then it’s high time to consult a good doctor. It could be a knee injury, arthritis as if osteoarthritis, inflammation that is limiting you from doing normal activities such as walking, standing, sitting, etc. It is better to seek medical advice before the situation gets worse and slips out of your hand.
Knee Replacement: A Solution To Weak Knees!
If ignored, knee pain can deteriorate the joint and surrounding tissues making it difficult to perform even basic activities such as sitting or standing. If your knees have become weak enough and stopped responding to painkillers and other non-surgical treatments, then knee replacement is the solution that provides dramatic pain relief.
More than 90 percent of people have been relieved after undergoing knee replacement surgery, which is mostly performed in case of osteoarthritis.
Do you know that the knee replacement was first performed in 1968?
Since then, there have been improvements in surgical materials and techniques that have increased its effectiveness.
How Turkey Evolved As A Center For Knee Sufferers!
If you are planning your medical treatment abroad, then Turkey is a great choice. Several factors when compiled together make Turkey, a leading destination for a staycation and medical treatment.
Experienced Medical Professionals:
- Turkey has experienced, qualified medical professionals who are mostly US board certified.
- The doctors have earned educational qualifications, certifications, and fellowships from prestigious institutions across the world.
- These physicians are patient-friendly and have fluency in the English language.
- The medical professionals in Turkey keep abreast of the latest development in their respective specializations.
- The country abodes more than 570 private hospitals, out of which 47 private hospitals are JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited.
- Some of these hospitals also have international collaboration which means these hospitals are fully-equipped with the latest medical technologies.
- After the US, Turkey has the highest number of JCI accredited medical institutions in the world.
Zero Waiting Times:
- Medical tourists prefer destinations offering zero waiting times and this is why Turkey is for.
- Be its any transplant surgery or other surgery, Turkish hospitals offer zero waiting times to their patients.
Affordable Treatment Costs:
- Turkey offers budget-friendly knee replacement surgery.
- It costs 70-80 percent lesser as compared to countries like North America, Germany, the UK, France, Thailand, and Singapore.
- For international patients, the treatment costs also include airfare, food, travel, transportation, and other basic amenities which is quite affordable.
- Quality has a meaning in the healthcare industry which is measured on the basis of technicality and functionality.
- Technical quality refers to the type of equipment used or medical diagnosis, while functional quality is the behavior of staff & doctors toward the patient, cleanliness, hospital environment, and more.
- Turkish hospitals offer both that satisfy patient’s needs.
- During surgery, it may lead to severe blood loss.
- To avoid such situations, the country has Turkish Red Crescent: Turk Kizilay that provides a reliable supply of all blood types.
- This organization is JCI accredited as well.
- The country is situated in a crossroads between Europe and Asia which makes it easily accessible in the world.
- Also, the country has a diverse culture that makes it equally respectful to all cultures and religions. This factor gives a homely and safe environment for international patients in the country.
Turkey is currently a leading destination that provides hi-tech healthcare facilities and treats millions of patients across the world annually.
Knee Replacement Surgery: Why It Is Useful
When the articular cartilage of knees are damaged or worn out, then the bones rub and crush together, instead of sliding over each other.
This medical ailment may occur due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis. This leads to knee replacement surgery.
Also, known by the term ‘knee arthroplasty’ or ‘knee resurfacing’ which is a surgical solution to eliminate pain and restore mobility.
The term ‘arthroplasty’ means a surgical repair of a damaged joint. Therefore, the knee replacement surgery involves reconstruction or replacement of a diseased knee joint using artificial body parts or prosthetics, surgically.
With prosthetics implanted, the knee problem is fixed and hence, you may be able to get back to your life as it was before.
Health Conditions That May Require Knee Surgery
There are mainly three medical conditions that may require knee replacement procedure and they are:
Osteoarthritis: This type of condition is mainly age-related which is caused by wear and tear of the knee joint. It mostly hits patients who are 50 years or older. However, if you’re young and unfortunate who is following an unhealthy lifestyle may be caught up with it.
Osteoarthritis is caused by inflamed cartilage in the joints. Over time, cartilage is deteriorated and wears down due to which the bone grows thicker which causes more friction and hence, pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: It is a chronic inflammatory disorder causing inflamed joint lining and hence, a swollen joint. It damages the cartilage causing soreness and stiffness.
Post-traumatic Arthritis: This type of arthritis happens due to a severe knee injury. An injured knee means the bones around the knee break or torn off ligaments affecting the knee cartilage.
There are other conditions as well which may need knee replacement surgery and they are:
Severe knee pain or stiffness that refrains you from performing daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, sitting, standing, etc.
Continuous pain even during sleeping or lying position.
Severe knee inflammation or swelling that does not go away even after taking medications or painkillers.
Knee Replacement: Types Of Knee Replacement Options
Depending on your condition’s severity, your healthcare team may suggest either of the following:
Total Knee Replacement (TKR):
- This surgical solution involves the replacement of both sides of the knee joint.
- It is a common medical procedure that takes around 1-3 hours.
- The surgery results in less pain, more stability, and better mobility.
- However, the surgery leaves a scar tissue that sometimes can make it difficult to move and bend the knees.
Partial Knee Replacement (PKR):
- This medical procedure involves the replacement of either side of the knee joint.
- It requires a smaller incision in which a small part of a bone is removed.
- It is suitable if you have damage to only either side of the knee and has higher chances of retaining natural movements.
- Loss of blood is less, lesser chances of infection as well as blood clots.
- The hospital stay and recovery period are usually shorter.
Kneecap Replacement (Patellofemoral Replacement)
- If you have a damaged kneecap, then patellofemoral joint arthroplasty is performed.
- This procedure involves the replacement of a damaged kneecap.
- The surgery is suitable for about 1 in 40 people with osteoarthritis.
- It has a faster recovery time.
Complex Or Revision Knee Replacement:
- It is performed when you have had a failed previous replacement treatment.
- It requires the removal of a previously implanted artificial knee joint and implanting a new prosthesis.
- Severe arthritis, major knee deformity or weakened knee ligaments are the main reasons for revision knee replacement.
Risks And Complications Associated With Knee Replacement Surgery
Like any other surgery, you may be at risk of developing complications post knee replacement surgery as well. However, total knee replacements have lower complication rates as compared to the partial ones.
The possible complications are:
Formation of blood clots in the legs known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), that may be known by redness or swelling below the knee, in the calf, ankle or foot
Formation of blood clots in the lungs which may be indicated by shortness of breath or chest pain
Nerve damage due to numbness
Hip implant loosening
Leg length difference
One should seek immediate medical help as soon as any sign of infection or blood clot is noticed.
Signs of infection may also include swelling, fever, bleeding, redness, or pain around the treated area.
Other complications may include:
Bleeding knee joint
Unstable kneecap that leads to painful dislocation to the outer side of the knee
Ligament, artery, or nerve damage around the knee joint
Allergic reaction to the bone cement
Further, a revised surgery may be needed if the replacement becomes loose or wears out, or any infection occurs.
Factors That Trigger The Success Rate Of Knee Replacement Surgery
Well, if we talk about factors, then there are technical-related factors that include functioning of the implant, how the surgery takes place, etc. and then, there are patient-related factors that are overall health, weight, age, obesity and how the patient’s body reacts post-surgery. Both factors are equally important to make surgery successful.
Many studies have been done to know the longevity of knee replacement surgery. With thousands of different types of replacements done on the countless number of patients, there is still no rule to know how long a knee replacement will last.
The success rate varies from person to person depending on various factors and they are:
Age Of The Patient:
- Younger patients tend to be more active and therefore, their knee replacement medical treatment may last longer.
- On the other hand, patients who are 50 years or older can expect a revision knee replacement once in their lifetime.
Patient Activity Level:
- There are some activities that may be inappropriate for patients with a knee replacement.
- These activities may not be painful or difficult to do, however, they can cause stress on the device implanted leading the parts to wear out quickly.
The ‘Weight’ Factor:
- The weight of the patient is directly proportional to the stress on the implant.
- Therefore, maintaining the required weight is equally important while trying to make your surgery successful.
- Follow a healthy, appropriate exercise routine to maintain a healthy weight for a knee replacement to last.
Type Of Surgery:
- As there are different types of knee replacement surgeries, your doctor opts for a particular type depending on your knee severity.
- If your knee injury is severe, then your doctor may perform total knee replacement for better quality of life.
- Also, total knee replacement surgery has a higher success rate as compared to other knee surgery solutions.
Type And Quality Of Implant Used:
- As knee replacement surgery includes the replacement of a damaged knee with an artificial body part or prosthetics, the quality of the material used matters.
- The better the quality of the implant is, the longer the patient will survive and hence, the success rate improves.
- The success rate entirely depends on how the patient’s body responds to post-operative treatment.
- As knee replacement surgery is a major and complicated procedure, there are high chances of developing complications.
- Therefore, to avoid complications even after invasive procedures, doctors prescribe antibiotics to prevent bacteria from getting into the joint replacement.
- Patients with osteoporosis are also given medications to avoid complications with the functioning of the implant.
- There are some additional factors that highly contribute to the success rate of knee replacement surgery.
- The expertise of the surgeon, types of equipment available at the time of surgery, follow-up care by the nursing staff are some factors on which the success rate highly depends.
Success Rate Of Knee Replacement Surgery In Turkey
The average success rate of knee replacement surgery in Turkey is around 95 percent.
According to the reports, it is believed that 90 percent of prostheses used during the surgery have a survival rate of 10 years while 80 percent of the cases last for more than 20 years.
There are a variety of implants available in Turkey that have a life of 25 years.
Alternative Options To Knee Replacement Surgery
Although knee replacement surgery yields the best, long-lasting results, other alternatives are still available depending on how severe the condition is.
Kneecap Replacement: It is an option when the only kneecap is damaged and recovers faster.
Image-guided Surgery: It is performed when the surgeon is actually away from where the surgery takes place. The surgeon uses computerized images and infrared beacons to perform the surgery.
Mini-incision Surgery (MIS): As the term suggests, the surgery involves smaller incisions in front of the knee for inserting specialized instruments to operate the affected area. The procedure is less complicated and recovers quickly. It is less painful.
Osteotomy: It is an option for younger patients with limited arthritis in which the shin bone is cut and re-aligned. It is done if a patient wants to postpone knee replacement, However, once the operation is done, the patient won’t be able to carry a heavyweight on one part of the knee.
Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI): It involves the extraction of new cartilage from the patient’s own cells to treat the damaged area. The extracted cells are matured in a test tube. This procedure is effective in cases of accidental injury.
What Is The Average Cost Of Knee Replacement Surgery In Turkey?
The cost of knee replacement surgery in Turkey is one-sixth of the cost in developed countries like the US and the UK.
The average cost of total knee replacement in Turkey starts at 7,500 USD.
The cost of partial knee replacement starts from 5,000 USD.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of Knee Replacement Surgery
Although every individual has a different experience in their treatment, there are several factors that can control the cost of treatment and they are:
Type Of Implants:
- Knee replacement surgery requires implants such as plates, screws, and prostheses.
- Nowadays, metals such as titanium, cobalt-chromium and other alloys are used to manufacture implants that are used in joint replacement surgeries.
- The type of material used in the manufacturing of these implants is directly proportional to its longevity post-surgery.
- Therefore, doctors must use implants of high-grade and wear-resistant plastic.
- Hence, the cost is affected by the type of material used in these implants.
Type Of Surgery:
- As discussed above, there are different types of knee replacement surgeries - total or partial knee replacement.
- Depending on the patient’s severity and health requirement, the surgeon conducts surgery accordingly.
- Total knee replacement surgery costs more as compared to partial knee replacement or its alternatives.
- The type of surgery directly affects the cost.
Techniques Used During Surgery:
- Like other surgery, knee replacement surgery requires skillful efforts and hence, the techniques.
- In conventional knee replacement surgery, the technique used is less invasive.
- On the other hand, techniques used in minimally invasive knee replacement are quadriceps sparing which means a concept to avoid trauma to the quadriceps tendon and muscles in front of the thigh.
- Therefore, the technique used during surgery also affects the cost.
Expertise And Fees of Surgeon:
- As knee replacement surgery is major surgery, therefore, you need to consult an experienced doctor for fruitful results.
- One should look for the surgeon’s experience to get treated.
- However, the experienced the surgeon, the more it will add to the entire cost of treatment.
Type Of Hospital:
- The type of hospital in which you are getting treated also adds to the treatment cost.
- Whether it is a multi-specialty, single-specialty, private, public or government hospital, it adds to the cost of treatment.
Type Of Room:
- You can opt for the type of room as per your budget.
- You can choose a VIP or standard room accordingly which will make an addition to the treatment cost.
- If you’re traveling abroad, then there are other additional factors as well.
- The cost of food, traveling, airfares, transportation, accommodation, etc. also add up.
Top Countries For Knee Replacement
Price Range Of Knee Replacement
The cost may vary depending on the type of surgical treatment, the number of travelers, total stay in the country.
Recovery Process Post-Operative Treatment
Once the surgery is done, the patient is hospitalized for 1-3 days, depending on how well they respond to rehabilitation and follow-up procedure. The healthcare team including physiotherapists will frequently conduct sessions to strengthen the knee. It may be painful at first, but will eventually reduce the risk of complications and infections.
Once the patient is discharged, he/she can continue the recovery process at home.
Recovery At Home:
- To recover from a knee replacement surgical procedure, it takes the whole three months.
- The patient can get back to performing normal activities after 6-8 weeks.
- Physical therapy may be provided for three months depending on the patient’s condition.
Also, the healthcare team prepares the follow-up regimen so that the patient is taken care of properly. This follow-up care includes:
Intake of iron supplements to help wound healing and muscle strength.
Avoid lifting heavy things and bending down for the first few weeks.
Keep the affected foot raised at an equal level while sitting.
Looking for any signs or symptoms of infections, the formation of blood clots or pulmonary embolism.
Intake prescribed medications as instructed.
Perform recommended, appropriate physical activities or exercises to regain mobility.
Avoid soaking of the wound until the scar is fully healed to avoid infection.
Use crutches for the first few weeks to avoid weighing your own body weight on your treated knees. These crutches must be used until the treated knees become strong enough to take the body weight.
Also, precautions should be taken to avoid a fall while climbing stairs, sitting on a chair. In most cases, people get back to normal activities six weeks after the surgery. However, there may be swelling and pain at least for three months.
Furthermore, it takes two years for scar tissues and muscles to get healed.
Lastly, people who are treated with knee replacement surgery can get back to perform moderate and low-impact activities such as biking, walking, but should completely avoid extreme sports.
Leading Knee Replacement Surgeons In Turkey
Dr. Ahmet Alanay: He is a well-experienced Orthopedist who specializes in knee replacement surgery. He has extensive years of experience in the field of Orthopedics and Traumatology.
Dr. Enis Gursel: He is a renowned Orthopedist who has more than 10 years of experience in his field of specialization. He specializes in joint surgery, hand surgery, trauma surgery, and Orthopedics.
Dr. Umut Bektas: He is a highly-experienced Orthopedist at Medicana International Hospital. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of Orthopedics and Traumatology.
Dr. Ihsan Ramadan: He is a well-known Orthopedist at Medicana Kadikoy Hospital, Istanbul. He has more than 22 years of experience in the field of Orthopedics.
Dr. Yilmaz Tomak: He is a Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology at Medicana International Hospital, Samsun. He has more than 22 years of experience in his field of specialization.
Leading Knee Replacement Hospitals In Turkey
Founded in 1999, it is a multi-specialty hospital that has various medical specialties. It is a 150-bedded hospital that has a record of performing 8,000 angiography procedures and 1,500 bypass procedures annually.
Memorial Sisli Hospital: Since its inception in 2000, this hospital has an enviable reputation in several medical specialties including Cardiology, IVF, Organ Transplant, and Genetics.
Anadolu Medical Center: Started its operations in 2005, this multi-specialty hospital offers treatment in a wide range of medical conditions. Later, the hospital collaborated with John Hopkins Medicine to improve its quality of service and advancements.
Acibadem Hospital, Taksim:
With a capacity of 93 beds, the hospital is equipped with a modular operating system having modular wall systems and state-of-the-art technological tools.
Medicana Bursa Hospital: Being the biggest hospital in the Southern Marmara region in Bursa, the hospital provides world-class healthcare services to people who are treated here.
Role Of Vaidam Health In Making Your Treatment Journey Successful In Turkey
Turkey has around 47 JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited hospitals which is the highest number of accredited healthcare institutions in the world after the USA. Being an outsider, it is a tough decision to choose the right one for your specific treatment.
This is where Vaidam Health assists you in choosing the right doctors for your treatment. Transparent healthcare service is what Vaidam Health is known for. It has a patient-relation team that provides tailored treatment plans as per your budget, medical condition, and other requirements.
Our medical treatment services include:
After receiving your medical records, we pinpoint the best doctor and hospital in Turkey
Schedule medical appointments with the appropriate doctor
Video consultation at home, if possible and available
Providing treatment options
Arranging flight tickets, accommodation for the patient and accompanying family member
Transportation, language translator, payment procedures, and other facilities