How Much Does A Knee Replacement Surgery Cost?

Knee replacement surgery is usually reserved for those who have severe pain or for people who have limited mobility due to damage in the knee. There are two types of knee replacement surgery, total replacement and partial replacement. Both options can be very expensive. In fact, when it comes to knee replacement surgery, cost is usually very high. The cost of knee replacement surgery can be more than a median annual salary.

Average Cost Of Knee Replacement Surgery

When considering the average cost of knee replacement surgery there are many things to consider.

You will actually have to pay for several different things when having a knee replacement surgery. The first knee replacement surgery cost you will pay is the surgeon fee for the surgeon that is performing the surgery. In most cases you will pay for office visits before and after the surgery as well as the actual time that the surgeon spends in surgery. Second, you will pay for the use of the surgery and recovery rooms in the hospital. Third, you will pay for the anesthesiologist who administers medication during surgery. Finally, the last knee replacement surgery cost you will pay for is your hospital room and care during the days following the surgery. If you have a good insurance plan you can expect most of this to be covered. However, if you plan to pay the knee replacement surgery cost out of pocket you are going to owe a great deal of money.

Total Knee Replacement Cost

Total knee replacement can be completed in as little as two hours. During this procedure the surgeon will make a cut in the knee and remove any damaged tissue or bone. Next the surgeon will smooth the area for insertion of prosthesis and insert the new knee. If everything functions properly the surgeon will close the opening. This relatively simple and short surgery generally costs from $44,000 to $60,000 in the US. Of course this will vary based on the patient's age, the complications of the procedure, and the condition of the knee.  Patients with insurance can expect to pay $4,000 to $6,000 to cover the knee replacement surgery cost.

Partial Knee Replacement Cost

Partial knee replacement surgery typically costs more than a complete knee replacement. In this case the physician will only remove a portion of the knee or they may only insert a small piece to provide relief to the patient. In many cases a partial knee replacement is completed to help the patient wait longer to replace the whole knee. After all, a complete knee replacement may only last 15-20 years. If the patient is young, a partial replacement may postpone a full replacement for many years. Typically you can expect to pay $16,000 to $20,000 to cover partial knee replacement surgery cost. This only covers the cost of the surgeon, not the cost of the anesthesiologist or the hospital stay. You can expect to pay at least another $5,000 to cover these added costs.

Knee Replacement Alternatives

Most doctors do not want to complete a total knee replacement procedure on patients that are younger than fifty years old. This is due to the number of years the replacement lasts. In most cases the physician will try alternative therapies to eliminate swelling, pain, and loss of mobility. This usually begins with the use of knee braces. Knee braces provide support and stability for knees that are week. In many cases, this added stability will allow muscles and ligaments to relax and some pain will be relieved. The doctor may also recommend physical therapy to strengthen the knee area. Another well-known treatment for joint pain is cortisone. Many doctors inject cortisone into the joint area under the kneecap. The cortisone creates additional cushion and can eliminate the occurrence where bones begin to rub against one another.

As you can see, there are many various options for treating an injured or deteriorated knee joint. Surgery may be your only choice or your doctor may feel that it is a last resort. You may also want to temporarily avoid total or partial knee replacement surgery cost. In either case, when the time comes to have surgery make sure you investigate the cost of knee replacement surgery at various hospitals. You may find that your out of pocket cost is much less at one hospital than another. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if you are paying without insurance and negotiate between hospitals to get a better deal.           

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Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure

The surgical procedure for knee replacement is actually quite easy to understand. To begin with, the patient is attached to several monitors that track blood pressure, heart rate, and the amount of oxygen in the blood. Next the anesthesiologist administers the medications to put the patient to sleep. During the surgery the patient’s knee will remain bent. This exposes all of the knee joints for easier access. Once inside, the surgeon moves the kneecap out of the way and begins the repair of the joint under the knee. The doctor will measure the area and if it is correctly sized he or she will insert the prosthesis. Finally, the physician will close the area and the patient will be transferred to a recovery room for a minimum of two hours.

Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery

Recovery begins right after the surgery is complete. The patient will wake up slowly in the recovery room before he or she is transferred to a regular room. Most people spend seven to ten days in the hospital after knee replacement surgery. During this time physical therapists will work with the patient to regain mobility. Support socks and hoses may be required to prevent blood clots or swelling. In most cases a patient will resume normal activities within 3-6 weeks. However this can vary from person to person, depending on how quickly the healing process occurs.