Webinar: Knee replacement with robotic surgical assistance (ROSA)

9 January at 6pm

Mr Alex Chipperfield will discuss the benefits of robotic assisted knee surgery so you can get back to doing the things you love sooner.

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10% discount for Benenden Health members

Benenden Health members are entitled to 10% off total knee replacement surgery.

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About total knee replacement surgery

As you get older, you may suffer from pain due to arthritis or damage to the knee joint. This can affect your movement, causing pain and discomfort. It can also impact your sleep, work and exercise and affect how you feel, physically and mentally.

Private knee replacement surgery replaces your damaged or worn knee joint with an artificial joint, to reduce pain and improve quality of life. It can help you to return to a more normal lifestyle, free from pain. 

We’re the leading provider of private hip and knee replacements in Kent*, offering treatment in a calm and welcoming environment in a tranquil countryside setting. You’ll be supported by our experienced team of orthopaedic specialists and Physiotherapists to get back on your feet, fast.

*Private Healthcare Information Network 2023

How much does a private knee replacement cost?

Standard total knee replacement: guide price from £10,995

Take advantage of payment plans through our trusted partner, Chrysalis, and spread the cost of your treatment. Fit your repayments into your monthly budget rather than having to find the full cost at the time of your treatment.

Our guide price is from £265.84 per month*

*Representative Example: Total amount of Credit £10,995.00. Total charge for credit £4,938.40. Total Amount Repayable £15,893.40. Repayable by 60 monthly payments of £245.69. Representative 16.9% APR.

Example based upon knee replacement surgery costing £10,995 repayable over 60 months. Acceptance is subject to status. Terms and conditions apply.

Signature knee replacement: guide price from £11,945

A builder cementing a path

Work-related injury care and prevention

If you work in the trades or have a manual job, injuries such as sprains and strains can be debilitating. Discover more about injury prevention and your treatment options at our CQC rated Outstanding private hospital.

I have a question about total knee replacement

What is total knee replacement surgery?

Total knee replacement surgery replaces your damaged knee joint with an artificial joint. A unicompartmental knee replacement, also known as a partial knee replacement, replaces only part of your knee with an artificial joint.

A knee replacement operation (arthroplasty) is usually only recommended after non-surgical knee treatments such as pain relief, therapy and muscle strengthening have been tried first. 

Do I need private knee replacement surgery?

A total knee replacement is recommended if your knee is badly worn and damaged, affecting your mobility and causing significant pain.

In a healthy knee, the surfaces of the joint are lined with cartilage which helps it move smoothly and easily without pain. When the knee joint surfaces become worn, your normal movement can become painful as the ends of the bones start to rub or grind together and the joint becomes stiff and inflamed.

There are many reasons why the joint lining can become worn or damaged:

Osteoarthritis in your knee

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition and is the most common reason for knee replacement surgery. This occurs when the cartilage wears down and the bones within the joint rub against each other. This leads to increasing pain and can restrict movement of the knee joint. Some patients also experience crunchy, creaky knees - especially when going up and down the stairs.

The bones may compensate by growing thicker and producing bony outgrowths to try to repair themselves. This can cause more friction and pain.

It’s estimated that about eight million people are affected by osteoarthritis in the UK. The main risk factors for developing osteoarthritis of the knee are:

  • Obesity
  • Being over 50 years of age
  • Previous knee injuries

Rheumatoid arthritis

This is where the body’s own immune system (the body’s defence against infection) affects the lining of the joint in the knee, resulting in stiffness and pain.

Traumatic arthritis

This results from a serious knee injury such as a fracture, ligament damage or meniscus tear. The impact of the accident also causes ‘mini trauma’ to the cartilage which, over time, develops into osteoarthritis which causes knee pain and stiffness. If non-surgical knee treatments such as muscle strengthening haven’t worked, you might need to consider a total knee replacement.

What are the different types of knee replacement?

Knee replacements are either fixed to the bone with cement or are uncemented. Uncemented replacements rely on the body to grow bone into the knee replacement. After around nine months to a year, the knee replacement is fixed strongly to the bone.

A cemented replacement will be as strong as it’s going to be by the time the operation is finished.

If I suffer from arthritis in both knees, should I have a double knee replacement?

Replacing both knees together isn’t common practice and, at Benenden Hospital, we don’t operate on both knees at the same time.

A knee replacement is a major operation and can cause quite a lot of stress to the body. If you have underlying medical conditions, you may be at higher risk of complications during anaesthetic, breathing problems, heart problems or blood clots – so it’s better to minimise the impact on your body by doing one procedure at a time.

If you have severe arthritis of both knees, we’d do staged operations, with the worst knee first. Once you’ve recovered, at around six weeks, we’ll talk to you about planning to replace the other knee three to six months later.

What happens at a total knee replacement consultation?

Your Consultant will discuss your medical history and look at how well you move and the strength of your muscles. They’ll also view x-rays of the knee joint damage and look for exposed bone on bone in at least one knee compartment, before recommending the best course of treatment. Knee replacement surgery will only be recommended after you’ve tried non-surgical treatments such as changing your lifestyle, losing weight, taking pain relief or physiotherapy.

If you’ve agreed that total knee replacement surgery is the best treatment, your initial consultation might include tests and diagnostic imaging (x-rays or MRI scans). We may also be able to assess your fitness for anaesthesia on the same day, to reduce the number of visits you need to make to the hospital.

Your Consultant may recommend that you start an exercise programme to strengthen your muscles around the knee joint and increase flexibility before surgery as this can shorten recovery time after your operation.

What happens before total knee replacement surgery?

On the day of your knee replacement operation, you'll meet your Consultant and Anaesthetist, who’ll answer any questions you have before we help you get ready for theatre.

How long does a knee replacement take?

A total knee replacement operation typically takes no longer than two hours, including anaesthetic, but it’ll depend on the complexity of the operation, the severity of your arthritis, and your physique or build.

What happens during knee replacement surgery?

The surgery is usually carried out under a spinal (or epidural) anaesthetic. This is when an anaesthetic is injected into your lower back (between the bones of your spine) making the lower part of the body numb so you do not feel the pain of the operation and can stay awake. During your spinal anaesthetic you may be fully awake or sedated with drugs that make you relaxed but not unconscious.

Your surgeon will make a midline incision into the knee through which they'll perform the surgery. The worn bone will be removed and an artificial joint implanted and fixed with bone cement. The wound will be closed with absorbable sutures or skin clips and a pressure dressing applied.

After surgery we’ll move you to our recovery room for observation until you’re ready to return to the ward, where you’ll be looked after by our experienced nursing team. Your Consultant will advise when you can start your recovery with our expert physiotherapy team.

What is the Signature™ knee replacement?

The Signature knee replacement uses a 3D image (created by an MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging - scan) to design an alignment guide for a replacement knee joint that’s based on your specific anatomy. The guides which are specific to you and your Consultant will place these on the bone during the operation. The guide includes small holes through which the drills are passed. These drills remove a specific amount of bone before the joint replacement is attached.

Because the Signature is personalised, this means that the components of the replacement joint can be better seated and aligned; metal components won't overhang and irritate the ligaments and soft tissues and you should end up with a straight knee, a speedy recovery and good range of movement.

The knee replacement itself is a standard Vanguard knee replacement.

Am I suitable for a Signature™ knee replacement?

Signature™ is most often used if you have an abnormal leg anatomy, either due to how your bones have formed at birth or following a fracture which makes aligning a standard knee replacement more difficult.

What’s the difference between Signature™ and a standard knee replacement?

With a standard knee replacement, your Consultant will take measurements from 2D weight-bearing x-rays. With a Signature knee replacement, they’ll take 3D MRI scans or CT scans at the hip, the knee and the ankle to give a full  understanding of your unique anatomy.

How is a Signature™ knee replacement prepared?

A special computer programme helps your Consultant analyse the scan to get a model of what your arthritic knee looks like, as well as how it's affecting the hip and the ankle. The software works out your knee’s mechanical alignment, how much bone needs to be taken during the operation and delivers a plan.

The Consultant reviews the images and can feed back to the software, for example, changing how much bone to take away to correct the deformity, until they are happy with the finalised surgical plan.

What are the benefits of the Signature™ knee replacement?

Signature mainly benefits patients who have a severe deformity of their thigh or shin bone.  During a standard knee replacement, the Consultant puts a guide rod down the middle of these bones during the operation to gain alignment and this is more challenging to perform with severe deformity but a  Signature knee replacement minimises this problem.

As the guide is more accurately sized for you, this should help reduce procedure time slightly. And because there’s less need to place surgical instruments in the thigh and shin bone to get measurements during the operation, there should be less interoperative trauma. This often helps with early recovery and should get you out of bed more quickly with less pain and swelling.

Am I suitable for a Signature™ knee replacement?

Not everyone is suitable for a Signature knee replacement. You should discuss your suitability with your Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.

How long does it take to recover from a knee replacement?

How long it takes to recover will vary depending on your general health and fitness and the type of knee surgery you’ve had. We’re advocates of the Rapid Recovery Protocol; a multi-disciplinary approach which includes the Anaesthetist, Physiotherapists, Surgeon and nursing staff. We use this approach to minimise pain and help you recover as quickly as possible.

Your hospital stay

As a rule, you’ll spend two to three days in hospital and during that time your knee will be sore. You’ll have a large protective dressing on your knee, and you may have a drain to remove blood from your wound.

While you're staying with us, any pain will be controlled with the medication. You’ll be cared for by a highly skilled team of nurses and visited daily by our physiotherapy team who’ll help you regain your mobility through carefully planned exercise.

Going home

We’ll only let you leave hospital once we're happy that it’s safe for you to do so. We’ll give you a frame or crutches to start with and you'll be shown how to safely go up and down the stairs. After about a week most people can walk independently with sticks.

Your recovery

For the first two weeks, while the metal clips and staples are holding the wound closed, your knee might feel a bit bruised.

By six weeks, most people have turned the corner; the pain is still there but less intense. You may be able to cope on less strong painkillers. You should be able to walk around at home, or outside briefly, and drive your car for a short distance. You must continue to do your exercises in order to keep your knee replacement moving. We’ll invite you back to the hospital and see one of the Orthopaedic Surgeons to make sure that the wound has healed, and you have a good range of motion in your knee.

By three months, when you come back to the clinic, you’ll be able to feel the benefit of the operation. However, it may take another six months to make a full recovery and return to your normal activities. Following your Consultant’s advice on how to look after your new knee and sticking to the exercises given to you by your Physiotherapist are important aspects of the recovery process, and it's important to follow their guidance.

Can I use a gym vibration plate after knee replacement?

If you don't have any pain from the knee replacement then once the knee replacement has fully settled down, it’s fine to use a vibration plate. However, if the muscles around your knee become aggravated, and you start feeling pain when using the vibration plate, you should stop.

The best exercises to do at the gym following a knee replacement are ones that build up the thigh muscles, the quadriceps and the hamstrings. These will help keep the knee replacement stable in the long term.

What are the symptoms of knee arthritis?

Mr Alex Chipperfield, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon explains the causes and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Our Orthopaedic Consultants

Mr Chipperfield

Alex Chipperfield

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Chipperfield's specialties include hip and knee replacement, revision hip and knee replacement, and more.

Mr Dunnet

William Dunnet

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Dunnet's specialities include hip surgery, patella realignment and lower limb procedures.

Mr Goddard

Richard Goddard

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Goddard's specialties include total knee replacement and Signature total knee replacement.

Mr Mark Jones

Mark Jones

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Mark Jones is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who specialises in knee replacement and knee surgeries.

Mr Oliver

Matthew Oliver

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Oliver's specialties include patient specific knee replacement, enhanced recovery protocols and Dupuytrens disease.

Mr Reddy

Kumar Reddy

Associate Specialist Surgeon

Mr Reddy specialises in total hip and knee replacements, revision joint replacements, ACL reconstruction, and more.

Mr Shrivastava

Raj Shrivastava

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Shrivastava's specialties include knee surgery, hip revision surgery, hip surgery, lumbar spine disorders and more.

Mr Southgate

Crispin Southgate

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate's specialties include knee surgery, hip revision surgery, hip surgery and sports injuries.

Mr Thakur

Raman Thakur

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Thakur's specialties include hip and knee replacement, ACL reconstruction and general orthopaedics.

Contact us about private knee replacement surgery

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.