Can you speed up a knee replacement? Get your surgery sooner

We understand the challenges that come with chronic knee pain and the importance of getting timely medical intervention. That’s why we’re sharing ways you can speed up knee replacement surgery to help a quicker return to a pain-free life.

Join us as we explore how to speed up the process without compromising on expert, personalised care.

Patient with knee brace being fitted after a knee replacement

How long does it take to get scheduled for knee surgery?

At Practice Plus, we strive to adhere to our Four Week Pledge. This initiative seeks to ensure private patients receive treatment for hip or knee replacement within four weeks of their initial appointment.

With that in mind, the scheduling time for knee surgery can vary depending on several factors:

  • Medical Assessment: After your initial consultation, your orthopaedic specialist will assess your condition and determine the need for knee surgery. They will consider factors such as the severity of your knee pain and its impact on your daily activities. They will also account for any underlying medical conditions that may affect the procedure
  • Preoperative Preparations: You may need to undergo various tests and evaluations to ensure you are in optimal health for the procedure. These preparations can include blood tests, imaging scans and consultations with other healthcare professionals. The time required for these preparations will vary depending on your specific circumstances and the availability of the resources needed
  • Surgeon Availability: The scheduling of knee surgery also depends on the availability of your chosen orthopaedic surgeon. Some surgeons may have a busy schedule due to high demand. Their availability will impact the timeframe for your surgery
  • Hospital or Clinic Policies: The policies and procedures of the hospital or clinic where the surgery will take place can also affect the scheduling. Factors such as the availability of operating rooms, surgical staff and necessary equipment may influence the timeframe for your surgery.

It’s essential to have open communication with your healthcare provider to discuss your preferences. Be sure to voice any concerns you may have regarding the scheduling of your knee surgery. They will provide you with the most accurate information based on your specific situation. They will also work with you to find the best possible timeframe for your knee replacement surgery.

How long to wait for knee surgery on the NHS?

The waiting time for knee replacement surgery on the NHS can vary depending on several factors. These include the severity of your condition, the availability of resources and the priority assigned to your case.

Due to the high demand for orthopaedic services, waiting times can vary across different regions and hospitals. For NHS England, the aim is for patients to receive surgery within 18 weeks of their consultation. However, the fallout from the pandemic has seen waiting times grow. For orthopaedic procedures such as joint replacements, the average waiting time for NHS treatment in the UK is currently 35 weeks.

To get specific information about waiting times for knee surgery in your local area, the NHS has a Waiting List Tracker that allows you to check current waiting list times in your area.

Is it better to have a knee replacement sooner rather than later?

The longer you wait for surgery, the greater the risk of developing complications. These include:

  • strain on other parts of the body
  • weakened muscles and ligaments of the knee
  • deformity of the area outside the knee joint
  • limited mobility due to chronic knee pain and loss of function
  • potential for reduced mobility post-operation
  • continued degeneration of the knee joint
  • reduced success rate of any future surgery.

Always talk to your GP or health provider about the best time for your specific knee surgery.

How to get your knee replacement surgery sooner

While the scheduling of knee replacement surgery is influenced by individual circumstances and medical evaluations, the following proactive measures could help you speed up the process.

Communicate effectively

Try to clearly express the severity of your knee pain. Talk about its impact on your daily activities and your desire for a timely surgery. By doing this, you provide valuable information to your orthopaedic specialist. This enables them to better understand your situation while exploring options for your treatment.

Timely intervention

Seeking early medical attention is crucial to speeding up the knee replacement process. If you have been experiencing persistent knee pain, consult with a healthcare professional without delay.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of your knee pain can lead to prompt treatment. This in turn, potentially accelerates your journey towards surgery (if deemed necessary).

Early decision-making

The sooner you choose where to be treated, the sooner your surgery should be booked. Do your research early and decide on the right hospital as quickly as you can. This can help reduce the wait.

Choose the right hospital

When you are choosing where to receive treatment, make sure you research the waiting times for individual hospitals. You can do this by using the NHS e-Referral Service or by checking hospital websites.

Preoperative preparations

Thorough preoperative preparations play a vital role in speeding up knee replacement surgery. Your healthcare team will guide you through a series of assessments and evaluations to ensure you are in optimal health for the procedure.

The following preoperative instructions can minimise delays caused by medical conditions:

  • quitting smoking
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • following prescribed exercise routines.

Stay healthy and safe

Avoid any activities that might jeopardise your health and suitability for joint replacement surgery. For example, avoid high impact activities or potentially dangerous jobs around the house that carry a risk of falling. Picking up infections can also prevent you from having surgery, so it’s important to take care when you’re out and about.

Explore private healthcare options

While the NHS aims to provide timely care, private healthcare options may offer faster access to knee replacement surgery. Consider exploring private clinics or hospitals where shorter waiting times are often available. This may mean you need to travel further afield than you’d ideally want, but it can be worth it for speedier treatment.

At Practice Plus Group, we can offer knee surgery within four weeks of your consultation.

How to relieve knee pain before your knee replacement

If you’re waiting for your partial or total knee replacement surgery, you may need to find ways of managing pain. This can include GP-prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication, gentle exercise or supportive devices.

Staying fit while waiting for knee surgery

Staying as active and healthy as possible whilst waiting for your surgery can help to relieve pain and stiffness. It can also increase your range of motion. Short walks and gentle stretching a couple of times a day can help get you ready for surgery and speed up recovery time.

Best knee supports while waiting for knee replacement

Using appropriate knee supports can help provide temporary relief and support while waiting for your knee surgery. Knee sleeves are lightweight, relatively cheap, and provide compression to the knee joint. They offer mild support, help improve stability and can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

Knee braces are more substantial than knee sleeves and can offer additional support. They come in various designs, such as hinged braces or wraparound braces.

Make sure you consult with your orthopaedic specialist or a healthcare professional before using any knee support.

Get faster relief from knee pain with private healthcare

We hope these tips have helped, however, please keep in mind that each patient’s journey is unique and individual circumstances may vary. We strongly recommend consulting with our experienced orthopaedic specialists to assess your specific needs and explore the most suitable path forward.

Our team of experienced professionals work together to streamline the surgical process and maximise efficiency. From preoperative consultations to the knee replacement recovery process, we provide comprehensive care. This ensures you receive the highest level of support throughout your knee replacement journey to make a full recovery.

Discover a brighter future with improved mobility and reduced discomfort in just four weeks.