Orthopedics and trauma surgery
Chief Physician

Knee Replacement Surgery

Professor MD Thomas Gösling

Chief Physician

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Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is the most demanded orthopedic operation which is done when conservative treatment does not give any relief. When quality of your life worsen significantly and you could not run your normal style of life you may consider to replace your diseased knee joint with prosthesis that help you to restore articulation function and return you mobility. German orthopedic surgeons advise joint as a last resort in restoring you life activity.

Indications for Knee Replacement

The main cause of joints damage is osteoarthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder of joints that occurs when cartilage become worn and could not carry out its function which is lubrication and protection the bones of rubbing against each other. Your orthopedist may suggest you to have joint replacement operation when you have continuous stiffness that affects your normal activity and severe pain worsening over time.

Types of Knee Replacement

There are a few options you may think on, when you are going to have knee replacement

Only a doctor can decide what is better for you based on degree of your joint damage and overall health condition.

Total Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement Surgery

TKR is traditional prosthesis method to replace affected joint with artificial implant. The first operations were performed about 50 years ago but technique is improved significantly from that time. Today it is safe and quite easy procedure with use of advanced modern materials that are durable and non dangerous for patients health.

There are a few successive stages of the operation:

  1. Preparing the bones (thighbone and shinbone) by cutting and shaping them to fit to implant components.
  2. Positioning the implant components made of metal, plastic or porcelain and cementing them to the bones. If the surgeon uses ‘cementless’ technique it is enough just to press and fit the implant parts to the bones.
  3. Placing the kneecap and spacer that today often is made of polyethylene between the implants components.
  4. Accurately fitting and closing a joint.

Partial Knee Replacement

PKR is less common kind of surgery for joint replacement than previous one. It is only about 10% of all the knee replacement operations are partial (as it also called ‘unicompartmental’ or ‘unicondylar’) replacements.

There are three compartments in knee articulation: medial, lateral and patellofermoral. And, when only one compartment is affected with arthritis, it is possible to replace the diseased part of the joint keeping the others natural. The advantages of PKR are: less pain, smaller incision as implant itself is smaller and shorter recovery.

There no obvious disadvantages of PKR that are different from TKP but operation for partial articulation replacement is more complicated and it is important to fit an implant highly precisely to avoid possible misfitting.

Bilateral Knee Replacement

Bilateral knee replacement or double knee replacement is successive (staged) or simultaneous replacement of the both knee joints. Both surgeries have their pros and contras and should be decided individually.

Staged Bilateral Knee Replacement

With staged approach, two surgeries are done one after another with 2-3 months interval. The advantage of staged knee replacement is lesser risk of complications as one knee has possibility to recover before the next operation. The disadvantage is longer recovery period in total.

Simultaneous Bilateral Knee Replacement

With simultaneous bilateral knee replacement, the both knee joints are replaced in one surgery. The main advantage of this approach that a patient needs only one hospital stay and the recovery time is reduced if compare to the staged replacement. At the same time, this operation has higher risk of complications as it lasts longer and needs higher dose of anesthesia.

Complications of Knee Replacement

Among the complication of knee replacement there are some common and some specific to that particular kind of surgery. The common side effects are:

  • Blood clots (thrombosis) (less than 3%)
  • Postoperative infections (less than 1%)
  • Complications of anesthesia (dizziness, vomiting, sore throat and others)
  • Excessive bleeding

Among the specific complication you could name:

  • Allergy to metal components
  • Arteries and nerves injuries
  • Knee stiffness
  • Implants failure (less than 0,7%)

In common, knee replacement surgery is considered as relatively safe and has a low mortality risk.

Cost of Knee Replacement in Germany

A number of German orthopedic centers can offer you highly qualified surgery service at affordable price. Please check approximation on cost of knee replacement in Germany, US and UK ( All the prices are based on a few estimations from different sites and could not be an offer. Please enquire clinics for precise pricing. )

US UK Germany
Total knee arthroplasty approx. € 45,100 approx. € 16,200 from € 13,100
Partial knee replacement approx. € 36,100 approx. € 13,000 from € 9,000

Find Your Doctor in Germany

If you wonder to know more about knee replacement surgery or wish to apply for individual consultation please use our call service to find your specialist at knee replacement.

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