Discover the average cost of knee replacement surgery in Ireland, including factors impacting the price, and explore affordable alternatives for Irish citizens.
Knee surgery is a common solution to alleviate pain and restore function in damaged knee joints. People struggling with injury, arthritis, and other degenerative conditions require a knee replacement when conservative treatment options have failed.
However, knee replacement surgery in Ireland either requires significant wait times or a sizeable fee. Indeed, knee surgery prices in Ireland are much higher than in other European nations.
If your doctor has advised knee replacement surgery as the best option, read on. We'll cover the average cost of knee surgery in Ireland and explore other options available.
In this guide:
- What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
- Factors Impacting Knee Replacement Price in Ireland
- Average Knee Surgery Price in Ireland
- Benefits of Private Knee Replacement Surgery
- Alternatives Knee Replacement Destinations
- Kardiolita Hospital: Your Answer to Affordable Knee Replacement
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is an operation to replace the damaged parts of the knee. There are two primary types of knee replacement:
- Total knee replacement, or TKR, replaces the surface of the bottom end of your thigh bone (femur) and the top surface of your shin bone (tibia). The kneecap (patella) may also be replaced.
- Unicompartmental (partial) knee replacement only replaces one surface of the knee joint – either the femur or tibia. Such replacements can be minimally invasive with a shorter recovery price, resulting in a lower overall cost.
Factors Impacting Knee Replacement Price in Ireland
No surgical operations come at a low cost. Nonetheless, several factors influence the knee surgery price in Ireland. These include:
- Hospital & Surgeon. Costs vary considerably depending on the Irish hospital you choose and the experience and reputation of the surgeon. Private hospitals usually charge more than public hospitals.
- Type of Knee Replacement. The more comprehensive the replacement, the greater the final cost. Another factor is the type of implant used – as the most advanced implants are more expensive than others.
- Pre-operative and Post-operative Care. Pre-operative assessments and post-operative care, e.g., physical therapy, add to the overall cost of your treatment.
- Medications. Pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and other adjuvant treatments can increase the total cost.
- Insurance & Government Cover. Most Irish citizens are not fully covered by the government's health system, choosing some form of private insurance. The specific terms of your policy will determine any additional costs you will incur.
- Additional Tests. X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and numerous blood tests before and after the surgery are a significant proportion of the final cost.
- Complications. Complications such as infections will significantly increase the cost regardless of who performs the surgery.
Average Knee Surgery Price in Ireland
According to the latest data, the average cost of knee replacement in Ireland is €12,500. However, this figure does not include the cost of pre- and post-operative core, nor does it account for complications. Moreover, this is only an average, and there is significant variation between hospitals and surgeons.
Individuals can also expect to pay considerably more if a total knee replacement is required – as is the case in severe osteoarthritis.
Over the border, in the UK, knee replacement costs are similarly high – around £12,500 (ranging from £11,400 to £15,400). However, with the NHS seeing significant wait times, the private sector has come under immense pressure from individuals seeking immediate treatment.
Benefits of Private Knee Replacement Surgery
Small wonder – considering the price and wait times – Irish citizens are looking elsewhere for their knee treatment. There are several advantages to going private (especially abroad), including:
- Shorter Waiting Times: Private knee replacement surgery often has shorter waiting times compared to public health services, allowing patients to receive the procedure and alleviate their symptoms more quickly.
- Choice of Surgeon and Hospital: Patients who opt for private surgery have more flexibility in choosing their surgeon and hospital, enabling them to select a provider they feel most comfortable with and trust.
- Enhanced Comfort and Amenities: Private hospitals typically offer more comfortable facilities, better amenities, and a higher standard of personal care compared to public hospitals.
- Option for Medical Tourism: Irish patients can go abroad for knee replacement surgery, potentially saving money and combining the procedure with a recovery vacation in a foreign destination.
- Access to Advanced Treatments: Private healthcare providers may offer access to the latest surgical techniques and technology, which may not be as readily available in public hospitals.
- Personalised Care: Private surgery often involves more personalised care and attention from the medical team, ensuring that the patient's needs and preferences are considered.
Alternatives Knee Replacement Destinations
If you're unsatisfied with a quote knee surgery price in Ireland, where are your other options? After all, the UK's private health sector offers no better value.
The answer is Eastern Europe.
Medical tourism in central and eastern Europe is on the rise, from Poland to Lithuania. The reasons are simple: comparable (if not better) outcomes, high-quality care, and affordable prices. As Irish and British health systems become clogged with patients, eastern European hospitals are picking up the slack. According to the Financial Times, medical tourism in the region is growing by 12-15% per year.
In particular, the Baltic States are a popular choice. In one analysis, Lithuania was ranked in the top ten globally for medical tourism.
Kardiolita Hospital: Your Answer to Affordable Knee Replacement
Kardiolita Hospital is a top Lithuanian knee replacement surgery centre with a proven track record of care. Our orthopaedic surgeons have exceptional experience in knee replacements.
Plus, compared to the knee surgery price in Ireland, Kardiolita achieves the same results at a tenth of the cost.
Your treatment includes pre-operative tests, surgery, all medications, hospital stay (and meals), and much more. We'll help you organise the trip and get the treatment you need.