Knee surgery

The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body and knee pain, a common condition affecting all ages, can be caused by several reasons, including:

After a thorough assessment of your condition, and medical imaging examinations if necessary, you will receive an accurate diagnosis. Our specialist team always delivers attentive care and you will receive the most appropriate treatment for your medical condition that meets your expectations. We will always offer conservative treatment options first, where possible.

  • Physiotherapy
  • Orthoses and aids
  • Pain relief medication: Analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), etc.
  • Arthroscopic knee surgery
  • Joint replacement surgery 

Partial knee replacement surgery

Total knee replacement surgery

Knee revision surgery

Total knee replacement surgery

Experience

With over 1,800 knee replacements performed every year within our clinics, Swiss Medical Network is one of Switzerland's leading specialists in this type of surgery. Our multidisciplinary team of medical professionals has extensive experience to ensure you receive the safest care and personalised follow-up. Our internationally-renowned surgeons deliver attentive care to provide the best possible treatment to suit your needs.

Most knee prostheses currently have a lifespan of approximately 20 years; this is expected to increase with the recent use of more resilient materials. Our surgeons always use the latest generation of prostheses. In approximately 80% of cases, knee replacement surgery is very effective and relieves all osteoarthritis pain. It usually helps patients to return to their normal lives and experience significant improvements. However, certain activities and high-impact contact sports should still be avoided to ensure your prosthesis lasts as long as possible. How much your mobility improves depends on the type of prosthesis used and your general health before the operation. However, as with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Your surgeon will clearly explain the risks and possible complications of surgery during your consultation.

Hospital stay and post-surgery rehabilitation care

Following the instructions received before your procedure plays a key role in your care.

A pre-operative assessment will be carried out to determine whether you will have regional or general anaesthetic. The procedure takes an average of one to two hours. Your total stay in hospital will be between three and seven days, depending on how quickly you recover.

After surgery and supported by our specialist teams, you will be expected to quickly start your physiotherapy programme and gradually do more and more exercises. You will be able to get up and walk, initially using a walking aid, and then without any support.

It is very important that you closely follow the physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme to ensure your procedure is as successful as possible. Please only do the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist and/or surgeon.

You can usually return to driving after a few weeks, depending on how quickly you recover and which knee was replaced. You can also expect to return to sports after a few months, depending on the type of physical activity. However, we recommend that high-impact contact sports should still be avoided.

Meniscal surgery

Meniscal injuries can occur in patients of any age, regardless of how active they are. Wear and tear may be degenerative (ageing), caused by an injury, or in rare cases, related to a deformity.

The medial and lateral menisci play a key role in providing stability within the knee. There is a wide range of treatment options available. Your surgeon will choose the most appropriate treatment for your condition. In some cases, surgery may be required; this will usually be performed as an outpatient procedure and will involve suturing or removing all or part of the torn meniscus using an arthroscopic technique.

Pain usually disappears very quickly after the procedure.

Knee arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique. Small cuts or micro-incisions combined with the use of a miniature camera and surgical instruments enable surgeons to explore the knee and treat various medical conditions:

  • Meniscal injuries
  • Ligament reconstruction
  • Joint lavage

Knee arthroscopy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you do not need to be admitted to the clinic for overnight care. Surgery using an arthroscopic approach is less invasive so recovery is quicker.

Treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee is gradual wear and tear to the knee joint causing the cartilage to gradually break down. This cartilage cannot regenerate and heal itself. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common joint conditions in adults and gets worse with age. Secondary osteoarthritis may be the result of overuse, joint instability or an injury.

There is a wide range of treatment options available depending on the stage of your osteoarthritis, and your surgeon will choose the most appropriate treatment for your medical condition that meets your expectations:

  • Medication 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Orthoses and aids
  • Conservative joint procedures
  • Joint replacement:
    • Total knee replacement surgery
    • Partial knee replacement surgery

Ligament repair

The knee is a complex joint. It is made up of several ligaments that help stability: collateral ligaments and cruciate ligaments, which cross each other inside the knee joint, known as the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Different treatment options are available, and depending on the type of tear and the level of instability, surgery may be required to sufficiently restore stability and prevent the joint from deteriorating prematurely.

Knee ligament repair and reconstruction will usually be performed using arthroscopic surgery and will, in most cases, involve repairing the ligaments by puncturing the tendons (autograft). Operating times have been significantly reduced by the continuous development of numerous techniques, including ligament reconstruction using semitendinosus and gracilis tendons (DIDT) and the ‘all-inside’ technique. Your surgeon will choose the best possible treatment for you.

Partial knee replacement surgery

Experience

Our highly-experienced surgical teams have access to state-of-the-art technology and offer the most innovative and safest surgical techniques.

What is a partial knee replacement?

A partial knee replacement involves replacing part of the knee joint artificially using mechanical components that form a new surface. The prosthesis is made up of several component parts and various materials:

  • Tibial base plate, attached to the tibia
  • Polyethylene spacer to limit the wear and tear on the prosthesis
  • Femoral component
  • In some cases, a patellar component

Depending on your medical condition, bone quality, level of activity and various other factors, your surgeon will choose whether a partial or total knee replacement is most appropriate, as well as the surgical technique (minimally invasive, navigated surgery, etc.) that is best for you.

What are the benefits?

Over the last ten years, knee replacement surgery has been used more and more to treat advanced osteoarthritis. The aim of knee replacement surgery is to:

  • Significantly reduce pain
  • Restore mobility
  • Improve quality of life, walking, etc.

Only your surgeon, a proficient medical professional, has the expertise and experience to offer you the best possible care, including physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory treatment, arthroscopic surgery and knee replacement surgery.

Most knee prostheses currently have a lifespan of approximately 15 years; this is expected to increase with the use of new, more resilient materials. In approximately 80% of cases, knee replacement surgery is very effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain. It usually helps patients to return to their normal lives and experience significant improvements. However, certain activities and high-impact contact sports should still be avoided to ensure your prosthesis lasts as long as possible. How much your mobility improves depends on the type of prosthesis used and your general health before the operation. However, as with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. All relevant information relating to your specific condition will be clearly explained to you.

Hospital stay and post-surgery rehabilitation care

Following the instructions received before your procedure plays a key role in your care.

A pre-operative assessment will be carried out to determine whether you will have regional or general anaesthetic. The procedure usually takes an average of one hour. You will stay in hospital for between three and seven days, depending on how quickly you recover.

After surgery and supported by our specialist teams, you will be expected to quickly start your physiotherapy programme and gradually do more and more exercises. You will be able to get up and walk, initially using a walking aid, and then without any support.

It is very important that you closely follow the physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme to ensure your procedure is as successful as possible. Please only do the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist and/or surgeon.

You can usually return to driving after a few weeks, depending on how quickly you recover and which knee was replaced. You can also expect to return to sports after a few months, depending on the type of physical activity. However, we recommend that high-impact contact sports should still be avoided.

Knee revision surgery

Your prosthesis may have to be replaced if you get an infection. Your knee prosthesis may also be subject to wear and tear over time, particularly the artificial polyethylene joint surface, leading to loosening. You may need knee revision surgery to replace some or all of the component parts of your original prosthesis. However, the accuracy of replacement techniques and the improved quality of materials used during the initial replacement surgery tend to increase the lifespan of prostheses and reduce the need for revision surgery.