In Iran, the demand for knee replacement has been on the rise in the recent decade. More than 10,000 knee arthroplasties are performed annually in the country. In light of this, and with the affordable pricing, more patients travel to Iran to get their knee reconstruction surgery done here.
KNEE REPLACEMENT IN IRAN: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Iran has always been a quite popular destination for people seeking medical attention, especially for those who come from the middle east. Orthopedics is one of the medical areas in which Iranian doctors have gained in-depth knowledge and technologies. Be it minor or major, orthopedic surgeries are carried out with a high percentage of success and safety in the country.
In this post, we present an overview of knee replacement in Iran, including procedure, reasons, benefits, costs, outcomes, and many more.
WHAT IS KNEE REPLACEMENT?
Knee replacement or knee arthroplasty is an orthopedic surgical treatment for those suffering from arthritis, leg deformity, and knee inability to work well. The surgery involves removing the knee joint and replacing it with a man-made joint.
IS IRAN A GOOD OPTION FOR KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Knee surgeries are among the most popular and in demand orthopedic procedures performed in Iran. There are three main reasons that make Iran a perfect destination to choose for the replacement of a knee joint. They include professional surgeons, state-of-the-art orthopedic facilities, and attractive prices.
Member of the Iranian Society of Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy and Sports Traumatology, Dr. Yazdi, explains the development of orthopedic surgeries in Iran, in an interview with Iran Daily. “We have made good progress in orthopedic treatments and knee surgery, and currently, we can conduct the most complicated knee surgeries,” he said.
Therefore, Iran has a lot to offer to both national and international patients to have the most cost-effective and safe arthroplasty in the country.
BEST ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS IN IRAN
Having a successful surgery relies on the knowledge and proficiency of the surgeon. With many years of training and performing hundreds of surgeries, Iranian orthopedic surgeons are qualified for performing knee replacement surgeries.
Iranian surgeons have passed orthopedic residency (a four-year program) and then attended postgraduate courses in top medical universities. Many orthopedic specialists in Iran have also furthered their education in Europe and North America for sub-specialization in the hand, spine, knee, and shoulder surgeries.
Furthermore, with the great number of orthopedic surgeries carried out annually, Iranian surgeons can compete with those in the best countries in terms of quality and efficacy of surgeries.
COST OF TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT IN IRAN
While having a knee surgery would cost a fortune in many countries, Iran stands out in the front line of orthopedic destinations with the most affordable prices. A total knee replacement in Iran costs from $2,800 to $3,800.
However, the same procedure would cost around $50,000 in the US and $11,000 in the UK. This price is also going through the roof in other Asian countries. For example, the average price of this surgery is $12,000 and $7,000 in Thailand and India, respectively.
HOW IS TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT PERFORMED IN IRAN?
Depending on the patient’s age and condition, general anesthesia, regional nerve block anesthesia, epidural, or spinal are used for the safe operation. The surgeon then makes either an incision between 6-10 inches or a big cut, depending on the surgical method.
The surgeon moves aside the kneecap, cuts away damaged cartilage and bone end, and replaces new metal and plastic implant. The surgeon either retains, sacrifices, or substitutes the ligament and restores the alignment of your knees. After checking your knees by rotating them, the surgeon closes the incision.
The procedure usually lasts between 2 and 4 hours. It takes place in a private hospital or specialized orthopedic center. You will need to stay 1-4 days in the hospital after the surgery.
KNEE JOINT REPLACEMENT RECOVERY
After the operation, you will need to stay at the hospital for around 3-4 days. You’ll begin walking and sitting with the help of a physical therapist from the first day.
After you are discharged, your recovery period will begin at home. After 2-4 weeks, you’ll be able to attend your work and resume your normal life. During this period, you may expect some level of pain, discomfort, and stiffness. Learn about post-operative cares in the section “what to do after knee arthroplasty”.
WHY IS A KNEE ARTHROPLASTY NEEDED?
There are three main categories of arthritis posing the necessity of total knee arthroplasty. They are:
- Osteoarthritis: This arthritis occurs as a result of aging, usually among people aged 50 or more. In this type of arthritis, the cartilage starts to soften and the ends of the bones hit each other, causing the knee pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This arthritis, which falls into the category of inflammatory arthritis, occurs when the synovial membrane is thickened, damaging the cartilage and causing severe pain.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Serious knee damage leads to post-traumatic arthritis which ills the functionality of the knee.
If you are suffering from a type of arthritis described above, you definitely need a total knee joint surgery. Knee stiffness and pain are the main reasons for this particular knee treatment. If you observe swelling and inflammation, which is not treated by anti-inflammatory medications and rest, you need to go for a joint replacement.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE KNEE ARTHROPLASTY?
Before the surgery, make sure your surgeon teaches you post-operative exercises. Pre-operative physiotherapy also has a significant effect on the result of the procedure after it is done. Walker or crutches need to be prepared before the surgery, as you will need to use them during the recovery period.
Having a caretaker, or one of the house members to do the house chores is also required as you may be unable to cook, bathe, and do the laundry. It is necessary to ensure safe transportation after surgery.
As climbing the stairs is forbidden during recovery, it is better to have a living place on one floor. You definitely need a comfortable chair or bench with a footstool to elevate your legs. You may even use it while taking a shower. Some pre-operative tests are also needed, such as:
- A physical examination
- Blood tests
- Urinary evaluations
- A medical history
- Active and passive ROM
- Dental evaluation
- Examination of muscle power
- Examination of functional tasks
WHAT TO DO AFTER KNEE ARTHROPLASTY?
In order to get the most out of your surgery, you need to follow some post-operative instructions. These include:
- Use support for your artificial knee to move your leg during the recovery period;
- Have regular physiotherapy after the surgery;
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
- Take frequent deep breaths;
- Several weeks after the surgery, remove your sutures or staples;
- Take an iron supplement;
- Have a nutrient and balanced diet;
- Take antibiotics and blood thinners;
- Do the exercises suggested at least twice a day;
- Try to return to your normal routines as instructed by your physician;
- Have x-ray check-up for your leg every year.
PARTIAL KNEE REPLACEMENT
When you start to experience knee pain, total knee arthroplasty is not the only option for you. When only one part of your knee is damaged, a partial knee replacement might suffice for you.
Your knee consists of three compartments (medial, lateral, and patellofemoral). In partial knee joint replacement, otherwise known as unicompartmental knee replacement, only one area of your knee (the damaged compartment) will be replaced and resurfaced. The cartilage, bone, and ligaments will remain intact.
This procedure is less invasive but takes more precision. The recovery is quicker with less pain. To realize whether you’re the right candidate for partial knee surgery, specific tests should be done before the operation.
IS KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY WORTH IT?
The answer would be a strong “Yes”. Like other surgeries, knee joint surgery has some potential complications, and, of course, several benefits.
Blood clots, dislocation, infection, fracture, implant problems, neurovascular injury, component misalignment, swelling, nerve injury, and stroke are all the complications you may experience after surgery.
However, it is important to keep in mind that these complications are rarely observed. Plus, they can be prevented if you choose the right surgeon and consider post- and pre-operative cares.
Generally, the knee surgery aims at eliminating your knee pain, and studies show that above 90% of patients who undergo this surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain.