Private Knee Ligament Tear Surgery Abroad Avoiding NHS Waiting Times. Knee ligaments are bands of tough, elastic connective tissue that give support and limit the joint’s movement. When you damage knee ligaments, the knee joint may become unstable. Knee ligament damage often occurs from a sports injury. A torn knee ligament severely limits knee movement, resulting in the inability to pivot, turn, or twist the leg. Surgery is an option to repair a torn ligament if other medical solutions are not effective.
Knee ligament reconstruction is a treatment for a complete tear of a knee ligament that results in instability in the knee. People with torn knee ligaments may be unable to do normal activities. The knee may buckle or “give-way.” If medical treatments are not satisfactory, ligament repair surgery should be an effective treatment.
Some clinics in Europe have agreed to accept NHS patients with the S2 form after Brexit. In order to get the S2 form you will need to have a private consultation with a surgeon in Italy (online or physically). After consultation, we will do the rest and the NHS should issue permission to travel abroad within 4 weeks. After that you will be placed on the waiting list in the clinic and treatment usually will be provided within 3 months, depending on your condition.
What types of knee ligament private surgeries are available abroad?
There are 4 major ligaments in the knee. The ligaments in the knee connect the thigh bone to the shin bone, and include the following:
- An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ligament reconstruction – is the ligament, located in the centre of the knee that, controls the rotation and forward movement of the tibia (shin bone). The most injured knee ligament is the ACL. People often tore the ACL during a sudden twisting motion (when the feet stay planted one way, but the knees turn the other way). Skiing, basketball, and football are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) ligament reconstruction – the ligament, located in the centre of the knee that controls the backward movement of the tibia is also a common knee ligament to be injured. However, the PCL injury usually occurs with sudden, direct impact, such as in a car accident or during a football tackle.
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) ligament reconstruction- the ligament that gives stability to the inner knee. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located on the inner side of the knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) ligament reconstruction – the lateral ligament that gives stability to the outer knee. Collateral ligament damage is usually caused by a blow to the outer side of the knee, such as when playing hockey or football.
What happens during a knee ligament reconstruction?
Treatments could vary depending on your condition. A doctor can advise using a synthetic graft or your own hamstring ligament.
The specialised orthopaedic specialist will make several small incisions in the knee area. Usually, orthopaedic specialists will use an arthroscope. A specialist may reattach the torn ligament or reconstruct the torn ligament by using a portion (graft) of the patellar tendon (that connects the kneecap to the tibia), the hamstring tendon (from the back of the thigh), or other autografts. The tendon graft may come from the person (autograft) or from an organ donor (allograft). The specialised orthopaedic specialist will drill small holes in the tibia and femur where the torn ligament was attached. The specialised orthopaedic specialist will thread the graft through the holes and attach it with surgical staples or screws. Bone eventually grows around the graft. The incision will be closed with stitches or surgical staples. A sterile bandage or dressing will be applied.
Rehabilitation after knee surgery abroad
During rehabilitation in a private clinic abroad, you will be encouraged to start moving your feet and ankles immediately after surgery. Some surgeons use a continuous passive motion device, which raises and slowly moves your leg while you are in bed. It is common to begin physical therapy the day of or one day after surgery, while you are still in the hospital.
Because of limited mobility, it may be difficult for a few weeks to resume your normal daily activities. You should not drive until your doctor tells you to. Other activity restrictions could apply. Full recovery from the surgery and rehabilitation can take several months.
What is the cost of private knee ligament reconstruction abroad?
The actual cost savings you can make by having surgery abroad will vary depending on the procedure you want and the country you want to go to. Many popular treatment destinations abroad offer savings of 50- 80% compared to the cost of private orthopaedic surgery in the UK. Usually, the price for private ACL reconstruction is between £1500 – £3500.
Why did patients choose to have surgery abroad?
- Costs of total knee ligament repair surgery – ligament repair surgery abroad can often be found at a fraction of the price in the UK (between £1500 – £3500).
- No waiting lists for ligament repair surgery –NHS are having long waiting lists for ligament repair surgery (over 21 weeks), but by travelling abroad you can get treatment significantly sooner. And in almost all cases you will be able to get a refund for ligament repair surgery abroad.
- New surgery treatment options for ligament repair surgery – NHS often delay surgery and offers the cheapest available surgery, but in a private clinic abroad you and your doctor can choose the best available knee ligament surgery.
- Specialised services – private clinics abroad tend to offer specialised orthopaedic surgeons, well-educated medical staff newest medical equipment. In situations when you are paying for service, you are expecting a high-level orthopaedic surgeon and that is what private medical clinics abroad do offer. And who would not want to be treated by the same doctor who has operated on professional athletes?
- Rehabilitation after knee ligament reconstruction surgery – Rehabilitation is a critical part of any knee ligament reconstruction surgery and often is 50% of a successful surgery. You will get professional rehabilitation specialist guidance after your knee ligament surgery.
The NHS could refund knee ligament repair surgeries abroad if your surgery had to be done without delay! Private knee ligament repair surgery abroad could be an alternative you can afford.