Health And Wellbeing For The Over 50s

Types of Knee Replacement Surgery In The UK

types of knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery helps relieve the symptoms of severely diseased knee joints such as pain, stiffness, instability, or loss of function. In healthy knees, the end of your bones is covered with cartilage that allows the bones to move easily against each other. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes severely damaged or may wear away. In these cases, the bones rub against each other and become worn.

In knee replacement surgery, the worn ends of the joint’s bones and the damaged cartilage are removed and replaced with artificial joints (prostheses).

Taking into consideration your weight, age, activity level, knee size, knee shape, and overall health, your surgeon will choose from several different types of knee replacement surgery and a variety of surgical techniques and prostheses.

Let us take a detailed look at the two main types of knee replacement surgery – total knee replacement and partial knee replacement:

Types of Knee Replacement Surgery

Total Knee Replacement: What does it Involve?

types of knee replacement surgery

During total knee replacement, the surgeon cuts away the damaged bone and then shapes the healthy bone underneath to fit precisely into the artificial implant.



Desired results will be visible during the first year after the knee replacement surgery.

For a comprehensive guide to the timeline for your recovery, click on the link to our article:

Recovery from Knee Replacement Surgery in the UK

According to research studies 1), for most people, a successful knee replacement surgery leads to significant improvements in:

Partial Knee Replacement: What does it Involve?

cost of knee replacement surgery types of knee replacement surgery

In this type of knee replacement, only one side of the lower end of the thighbone is replaced along with the corresponding part of the top end of the shinbone that is opposite to it.



The clinical outcomes of partial knee replacement surgery are the same as total knee replacement (3). However, there is a chance that follow-up total knee replacement surgery may be required at some point in the future. When considering the types of knee replacement surgery, both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, as summarized in the table below:
-Total Knee Replacement Partial Knee Replacement
Implant DurabilityAccording to a study, approximately 82% of total knee replacements last 25 years (4) . Many studies demonstrated that more than 90 percent of partial knee replacements are still functioning well 10 years after the surgery. However, about 10% of these implants have to be exchanged within ten years.
RecoveryThe surgery and the hospital stay are followed by 3 weeks of a rehabilitation program. You can go back to most activities after 3 months. However, muscle and ligament recovery can take up to one year.You can return to most activities after six weeks. The rehabilitation treatment only involves outpatient physical therapy.
Patient Satisfaction after one year of the surgeryAbout 80% of the patients who have had total knee replacement would choose this type of surgery again.About 90% would choose a partial knee surgery again.
Risk of infection or loosening of the implantAbout 5% have suffered complications in the first year after surgery.About 3% have suffered complications in the first year after surgery.

Knee Implants

Knee implants are made up of ceramic material, metal alloys and medical-grade plastic.

These are the following components of knee implants:

Implant Designs

Implant designs reflect the complexity of the joint and closely mimic the motion of a normal knee. Some implants are designed to preserve the patient’s own ligaments, while others act as a substitute for them.

There are 150 implant designs available on the market today; however, surgeons may have a preference for a particular implant, depending on the individual patient’s knee anatomy.

Currently, the most popular knee replacement prostheses manufacturers are “Zimmer Biomet”, “Stryker”, “DePuy” and “Smith & Nephew”.

Posterior Stabilized ImplantsThis design is appropriate for those patients in which the posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL) are removed and part of the implant act as a substitute for the ligaments. Cruciate ligaments manage the back and forth motion of your knee. The posterior stabilized design has components that work together to do what the PCL does.
Cruciate-Retaining ImplantsThis implant is appropriate for those whose PCL is healthy enough. So, the PCL is preserved with this implant and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is removed.
Bicruciate-Retaining ImplantsWith this implant, both the ACL and PCL are preserved. This design is appropriate for those whose PCL and ACL are healthy enough. By preserving both ligaments, the knee will function and feel more like a non-replaced knee.
Unicompartmental ImplantsThese implants are those in which only one side of the knee joint is damaged (partial knee replacement), so the unicompartmental implants can be used to substitute just that side.
Fixed-Bearing ImplantsIn fixed-bearing implants, the plastic of the tibial component is firmly attached to the metal component beneath so that the femoral component can roll on this cushioned surface.
Mobile-Bearing ImplantsIn this design, the polyethylene component can rotate short distances inside the metal tibial tray. This design enables the patients a few degrees of greater rotation.

Latest Developments in Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement technologies have significantly improved both patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness in the different types of knee replacement surgery. The current advances result in:

Below are some of the latest developments in knee replacement surgery:

1. Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive knee surgery entails the use of micro-incisions and powerful miniature tools that significantly simplify joint resurfacing. This approach reduces the incision to 3 to 4 inches. The key difference between standard and minimally invasive surgery, is that the kneecap is pushed to the side rather than being turned over. This results in smaller incisions and thus fewer traumas.

2. Mako Robotic Assisted Knee Surgery

The initial maker of Mako Robotic technology, Mako Surgical Corporation, was acquired by Stryker in 2013. Stryker’s goal was to transform the orthopaedic industry.

The United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA approved this technology in August of 2015.

Traditional knee replacement surgery uses information from static imaging such as X-rays, CT scans, or an MRI scan taken before surgery, which allows your surgeon to plan the overall implant and bone alignment.

With Mako robotic-assisted technology, your surgeon combines the “static imaging data” taken before surgery with “dynamic joint motion data” collected during your surgery to truly customize the procedure for each patient.


- StepsDescription
1Customized Patient’s Surgical PlanThe first step is patient-personalized surgical planning. A CT scan of your knee is taken before the surgery to develop a 3D virtual model of your joint, to evaluate: Bone configuration Joint alignment Disease severity Surrounding tissues It helps your surgeon to determine the exact size, alignments, and placement of the implant.
2Motion assessmentYour surgeon makes an incision in your knee to expose your knee joint. Using Mako robotic software, your surgeon will be able to assess how your joint moves. It helps to adjust the surgical plan if needed.
3Preparing the BoneYour surgeon will guide Mako’s robotic arm to remove the arthritic bone and cartilage.
4Positioning the ImplantThe implant is placed into the knee joint with high precision. Your surgeon will finalise the procedure after balancing the ligament and joint precisely.

Mako Robotic Assisted Knee Surgery In The UK

Hospital NameCity/TownConsultantsCost
The Princess Grace Hospital (5) London
  • Professor Fares Haddad
  • Mr. Sujith Konan
  • Mr. Sam Oussedik
  • Mr. Neil Bradbury
  • Mr. Jonathan Miles
  • Mr. William Bartlett
  • Mr. Ali Bajwa
  • Mr. Luke Jones
  • Mr. Panos Gikas
  • Mr. Simon Thompson
  • Professor Richard Field
  • Mr Arjuna Imbuldeniya
  • Mr. Rahul Patel
  • Professor John Hollingdale
£14,670 (6)
Bath Clinic (7)Bath
  • Mr. Damian Clark
  • Mr. Neil Bradbury
  • Mr. Nick Howells
The Beardwood Hospital (8)Blackburn
  • Mr. Gordon Shepard
  • Professor Kuntal Patel
The Albyn Hospital (9)Aberdeen
  • Mr. Martin Mitchell
The Alexandra Hospital (10)Cheadle
  • Mr. Inder Gill
  • Mr. Parmjit Sian
  • Mr. Matt Ravenscroft
The Princess Margaret Hospital (11)Windsor
  • Mr. Henry E Bourke
  • Mr. Rishi Chana
  • Mr. Alastair Davidson
  • Mr. Rakesh Kucheria
  • Mr. Vikas Vedi
Woodlands Hospital (12)Rothwell
  • Mr. James Webb
Fortius Clinic (13)London
  • Mr. Simon Bridle
Consultant fees £3,000 (Excluding hospital fees) (14)
The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Private Wing Spire Little Aston Hospital(16) Birmingham
  • Prof. Edward T Davis (15)

3. NAVIO Robotic-Assisted Technology

Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology business, launched its NAVIO handheld robotics-assisted technology that was approved by the FDA in 2016.

NAVIO is a computer-guided robot design that is built with open-source hardware and software components. By using open source hardware, research expenses can be reduced thus benefitting the development of the process.

The NAVIO robot targets specific soft tissue anatomy and allows precise robotic drilling of bony surfaces in preparation for the surgery with millimetre accuracy.

- StepsDescription
1 Personalized surgical planningPrior to surgery, the surgeon will create a 3D model of your knee without the need for a pre-operative CT scan or MRI. It helps your surgeon collect anatomic and alignment information about your knee for a precise surgery plan.
2Advanced image-free navigationNAVIO technology uses advanced image-free navigation to develop a virtual reconstruction of the patient’s: Knee anatomy Ligament Tension Kinematic motion This information helps your surgeon to assess your unique cartilage wear, joint shape and soft-tissue balance.
3Preparing the BoneYour surgeon makes an incision in your knee to expose your knee joint. After collecting patient-specific data, boundaries are established for the robotics-assisted hand piece. The hand piece helps the surgeon to remove the damaged-bone surfaces within the defined plan, ensuring precise removal of the bone surfaces and accurate positioning of the implant as intended.
4Positioning the ImplantAfter preparing the site for the prosthesis, the surgeon will precisely position the implant.

NAVIO Robotic Assisted Knee Surgery In The UK

Hospital Name City/TownConsultants Cost
The Clementine Churchill Hospital (17) Harrow
  • Mr. Matthew Bartlett
  • Mr Arjuna Imbuldeniya
  • Mr. Simon Jennings
The London Clinic (18) London
  • Mr. Simon Newman
  • Mr. Arfan Malhi
  • Mr. Deepu Sethi
Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital (19) Royal Tunbridge Wells
  • Mr. Nicholas Bowman
  • Mr. Paul Gibb
  • Mr. James Young
Spire Bushey Hospital (20) Bushey
  • Mr. Tim Waters
  • Mr. James Donaldson
  • Mr. Ben Spiegelberg
£13,130 (21)

4. CORI Assisted Knee Surgery

Smith & Nephew launched its next-generation CORI surgical system which obtained its FDA approval in February 2020 for both total and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty.

Compared to the NAVIO system, CORI’s new technology has:

CORI Assisted Knee Surgery In The UK

Hospital Name City/TownConsultants Cost
The Highfield Hospital (22) Rochdale
  • Mr. Bonashi
  • Mr. Chougle
  • Mr. Hossain
  • Mr. Mohan
£12,050 to £15,250

The above quoted prices are “Guide Prices” and may vary depending on your individual needs.

For a comprehensive guide to the cost of knee replacement surgery in the UK, follow this link to our recent article:

Knee Replacement Surgery: Should you Stick with the NHS or Go Private?


Knee replacement surgery is increasingly become more sophisticated and safe. New developments in the different types of knee replacement surgery are paving the way for millions of people to get benefit from more accurate and precise surgical procedures. Talk with your surgeon to determine which procedure is best for your specific needs.