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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Orthopedics and Injuries > Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement Cost


How Much Does Knee Replacement Cost?

 
average costMedium: Copays, deductibles and coinsurance with insurance coveragehigh costHigh: Typically $20,000-$35,000+ without insurance coverage
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A total knee replacement -- replacing the entire knee joint with an artificial joint -- usually is performed on a patient whose knee has been so damaged by arthritis or injury that pain is extreme or proper function is impeded. The Joint Replacement Center of NYC offers a guide to knee replacement surgery.

Typical costs:

  • For patients without health insurance, a total knee replacement can cost $35,000 or more. However, some medical facilities offer uninsured discounts. At the Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, an uninsured patient would pay a discounted price between $29,335 and $34,050. And at the Kapiolani Medical Center[1] in Aiea, Hawaii, where the full price is about $33,000, an uninsured patient would pay a discounted rate of $20,212 to $23,581.
  • Knee replacement surgery usually is covered by health insurance if ordered by a doctor. For example, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas[2] , any necessary surgery would be covered, unless it is experimental or covered in a specific exclusion, which is most common for weight loss surgery. Medicare covers knee replacement surgery.
  • For patients with insurance, out-of-pocket expenses can vary from hundreds to several thousand dollars, depending on deductible, and copay or coinsurance. For example, a Medicare patient undergoing a knee replacement at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center[3] in Lebanon, New Hampshire, could expect to pay $4,257 out of pocket, including deductibles and coinsurance. A patient with a $1,000 inpatient surgical deductible and 20 percent coinsurance, but an out-of-pocket maximum of $3,000 would pay $3,000. Actual costs could be lower because health insurance companies negotiate special rates with certain providers.
What should be included:
  • The orthopedic surgeon performs an initial evaluation to evaluate the strength and range of motion in the knee and discuss whether a knee replacement is the best option.
  • During surgery -- which usually requires general or epidural anesthesia -- the doctor removes damaged bone and cartilage, then inserts new joint surfaces made of plastic and metal.
  • After surgery, a several-day hospital stay usually is required.
  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons[4] provides an overview of knee replacement.
Additional costs:
  • Some preparations to your living space will be necessary for optimal recovery. These include safety bars in the shower or bath, a stable shower bench, a toilet seat riser with arms and, if necessary, creating a temporary first-floor living area to avoid stairs.
  • Implants usually need to be replaced in 10 to 15 years.
Discounts:
  • A partial knee replacement can be an option for some patients, according to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A partial knee replacement costs about half the amount of a total knee replacement.
Shopping for knee replacement:
  • Look for a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery[5] and who has plenty of experience performing knee replacements.
  • Possible candidates for knee replacement include people with pain so severe it limits everyday activities, and people with chronic knee inflammation not helped by medication.
  • Complications can include knee joint infection, which occurs in less than 2 percent of surgeries and, even more rarely, heart attack or stroke.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Total Knee
Amount: $35,000.00
Posted by: Joe Sockit in Rochester, NY.Posted: January 7th, 2015 10:01AM
Clinic or Doctor: DoctorInsurance Carrier: BC/BS
In my third year, third surgery, 1st knee went 4 months then infection, Surgeon opened it up, replaced the plastic parts, washed it out, then 6 weeks on pump with antibiotics, 6 months oral antibiotics. 7 weeks after going off oral antibiotics the infection was back. Going in for third surgery to remove everything. Will have an antibiotic block for 6 months, then another knee put in. so 4 surgery's, 4 deductibles, years of pain, not worth it. I'd walk on bloody stumps before i'll ever get a knee replacement again. The rate of infection is much higher than the 2% they tell you about. It has been a life destroying procedure for me.
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Bilateral Partial Knee Replacements
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: paula m in elk grove, CA.Posted: January 3rd, 2015 07:01PM
Clinic or Doctor: UC Davis Med GroupInsurance Carrier: Blue Cross
Type of Policy: HMO
54 years of age, 9 day hospital stay including acute rehab. Walking unaided by day 11. Weekly PT and daily home exercises, now 7 weeks post surgery and almost off paid meds. Achy legs in the AM but feeling pretty good. Glad to have done both at the same time.
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total right knee replacement
Amount: $67,500.00
Posted by: AJWest in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.Posted: December 12th, 2014 07:12AM
Clinic or Doctor: Shane WooleverInsurance Carrier: bc/bs, medicare
Type of Policy: ? from retirement benefits
Total reported so far $67,500+. Included doctor's visits, mri (2), xrays, surgery, 3 days hospital, all pre-op workup, 10 days in rehab facility since they wouldn't let me go home alone, meds.
Cost does not include my out of pocket expenses including over 2000 miles of driving to and from.
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total knee replacement
Amount: $107,000.00
Posted by: Jesus bustillos in selma, CA.Posted: October 17th, 2014 10:10PM
Type of Policy: workers comp
Had one done on right leg 2009 cost 103000 had left knee done cost 107000 in Stanford ca both 5days in hospital so when they say it only cost 30 or 50 thousand who are they kidding
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total knee replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: NJ Ilminen in Fort Collins, CO.Posted: February 13th, 2014 10:02AM
Clinic or Doctor: Orthopedic Center of the RockiesInsurance Carrier: Medicare and United Health Care
Had the surgery 5 weeks ago with virtually no pain. Some stiffness but it gets worked through with the numerous exercises that I do. I had to be reminded to use ice and elevate. Medicare and United Health paid for all of my surgery and physical therapy. Other than that, I would highly recommend my Dr (Kindsfater) and staff. Thanks NJ
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total knee replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Toots in Charlotte, NC.Posted: August 9th, 2013 05:08AM
Clinic or Doctor: ortho hospitalInsurance Carrier:
Type of Policy: companyinsurance policy
I HAD to have the replacement because I was losing too much bone due to an injury in college. It was Dec,2009. I still have pain because they finally determined that the replacement meniscus wasn't thick enough so my stretched ligaments get pinched in my knee. They wanted to go back in which would have been like a total knee all over again. I refused.
Since then we no longer have a company insurance policy. In looking for a personal policy when my husband moved into medicare, I was told that BCBS was the only insurance carrier that would personally insure someone with a knee replacement!! I pay $735 per month with a $5000.00 deductible because of my knee replacement!! Was hoping someone might know of a cheaper carrier.
Oh and I have been told my policy will go up in Jan. 2014 and I don't meet criteria for any help financially through Obamacare!!!
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Total Knee Replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: S. Kirk in Springfield, MO.Posted: August 19th, 2012 05:08PM
Clinic or Doctor: Mercy HospitalInsurance Carrier: Coventry Health & Life
Type of Policy: Group
I've had both knees replaced. Did everything therapist instructed to do. Exercised, lost a little bit of weight. I've had very little problems at all going on two years out.
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Total Knee Replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: stack600 in Silver Creek, WA.Posted: August 17th, 2012 04:08PM
Clinic or Doctor: WA OrthoInsurance Carrier: WA ST L&I
Type of Policy: Workers Comp
Granted being a workers comp claim that had been on going for 12 years total Thru all other types of surgery Micro fracture to Viso supplementation before L&I would allow a total knee replacement. I had it done 7/16/2012 I am now 4+weeks post op and am walking on my own although stiff at times, and going to PT 3 times a week. But what got me was the Hospital that the surgery was done at, Billed L&I $73,580 of course being L&I they only paid $12,780. If I was not injured on the job I would never have been able to pay $73,000+ for this surgery. I now feel sorry for those of us who need this surgery badly, but have no course of action or no Insurance to pay these amounts.
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Sharon Truesdell
Amount: $10.00
Posted by: Sharon Truesdell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Other.Posted: February 19th, 2012 05:02PM
Clinic or Doctor: St Mary's HospitalInsurance Carrier: Canadian Medicare
Type of Policy: Medicare
It cost me $10.00 for the telephone.
All other medical costs for a total knee replacement were covered by the Quebec and Canadian government.
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Knee Replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: SSGT in Durham, NC.Posted: September 11th, 2011 05:09AM
I had a total knee replacement in 2009. 5-6 months later, physician assistant told me I needed to go back to work to support my kids, even though I was still having pain and a lot of swelling. I was told that was expected and that I needed to buy some pain patches and a cream for pain. I asked for a second opinion, and was sent to another hospital where the problem was found. The lower prosthetic had slipped down into the bone. Had to have the lower half removed and replaced. Still having sharp pains and swelling, but not quite as bad as after the first replacement. Still exercising and working on losing 15-20 pounds. Good luck to you, and wishing you all a speedy recovery. Be Blessed
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Total Knee Replacement
Amount: $3,000.00
Posted by: Padraig in Vancouver, WA.Posted: July 3rd, 2011 02:07PM
Clinic or Doctor: Rebound, PortlandInsurance Carrier: Blue Shield
Type of Policy: PPO
I'm 62. I week after the surgery, I was walking without aid, after 9 days, climbing stairs, and driving my car after 11 days. Had surgery done at Legacy Salmon Creek by Dr. Laycoe. Really happy with everything so far.
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knee replaement
Amount: $80.00
Posted by: susan s in Cinn, OH.Posted: June 18th, 2011 07:06AM
Clinic or Doctor: Cinn.sports med.Insurance Carrier:
Type of Policy: comp
Had total knee replaced. when released from hospital went to Dr.Office. Went into therapy. His therapist got up on table and slammed leg down....Causing Internal bleeding,,, Knee enlarged never healed right. Had to have transfusion...Now have to have another knee. He was suppose to be the best.
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Partial knee replacement
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: Don M. in Largo, FL.Posted: February 16th, 2011 06:02PM
Clinic or Doctor: Dr. DonnellyInsurance Carrier: Preferred Care Partners
Type of Policy: HMO
I didn't recover as rapidly as I had been lead to believe.It's one month later and I still have stiff knee and pain and am just beginning to be able to walk without aid although doing my knee exercises relegiously. Have delayed going back to Dr. because of driving distance but will see him 2/24/'11. If this pain continues, operation not worth what I went thru. If it eventually deminishes, OK. I spent 4 days in hospital, then 10 more in rehab center. Maybe being 80 years old didn't help but, wanted to be able to play golf again. We'll see.
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knee replacement
Amount: $86,000.00
Posted by: Tony Price in San Digo, CA.Posted: August 5th, 2010 04:08PM
Clinic or Doctor: Sharp San DiegoInsurance Carrier: United Health care
Type of Policy: HMO
A new knee- summer of 2010 has Sharp billing my insurance for some $86,000 plus what ever my surgeon bills for- plus time in re-hab and therapy for some months to come
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total knee replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Manuel Gomez in san diego, CA.Posted: May 12th, 2010 12:05PM
Clinic or Doctor: doctorInsurance Carrier: liberty mutual
Type of Policy: ?
Question, I had a total knee replacement already and was wondering how much would it cost to get a second one? Will I have to replace the whole knee as in the first surgery, or just the plastic inserts? Can you please help me with and answer? thank you Manuel Gomez
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External Resources:
  1.  www.palimomi.org/my-hospital-bill/uninsured-calculator.aspx
  2.  www.bcbsks.com/
  3.  patients.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/billing_questions/charges_for_healthcare_services.html
  4.  orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00389
  5.  www.abos.org/find-a-certified-orthopaedic-surgeon.aspx
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