Monday, 13th July 2020

This Month's Magazine


Dr Thomas Boerger, specialist in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at HC Marbella, explains knee surgery.


Dr Thomas Boerger. Specialist in Orthopedic
Surgery and Traumatology of HC Marbella
Orthopedic surgeon at the Saint Bernard
Hospital in Gibraltar


  1. The knee is the hardest working joint in the human body, in time, wear and tear can result in arthritis, a degenerative condition which causes discomfort, pain and even deformity of the knee, severely affecting a person’s quality of life.

The pain can be treated with injections or analgesia and anti-inflammatory medication, but there comes a time when it becomes unbearable and daily activities such as walking, bending down, climbing stairs or even sleeping cause problems. At this time a knee replacement can be the best option to restore quality of life.

Knee replacement surgery is quite a common operation, around 55,000 operations are performed in Spain every year. The main causes being severe fracture of the joint in road traffic accidents, degenerative disease, causing deterioration of the bone and cartilage in the joint and the development of joint tumours.

With a partial knee replacement the affected part of the knee is replaced and with a total knee replacement all three sections of the knee are replaced. The anterior and posterior “cruciate ligaments” are conserved in a partial replacement but are removed in a total knee replacement. In the past, partial knee replacement was only considered in patients over the age of 60 with a sedentary lifestyle, but currently, with new implants
and new, improved, surgical techniques, at HC Marbella we are using them in active patients more frequently.

A partial prosthesis preserves the range of movement and function of the knee much better in comparison to a total knee prosthesis. For these reasons, patients tend to be more satisfied with a partial knee replacement especially as, if required, they can always undergo a total replacement in the future. If degeneration is severe, there is no alternative but to resort to a totalknee replacement.



It is essential that patients are well informed of the steps involved:

  1. Preparation for surgery: Make sure you know what medication you are taking, you will probably have to stop taking medications which slow down blood clotting such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen as well as any anticoagulant medication such as warfarin (Sintron) and other similar drugs.
  2. Before surgery: one of two types of anaesthetic will be given, general or epidural. An anaesthetist will be present in theatre throughout the operation.
  3. During surgery: The surgeon will make an incision of approximately 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 cm) in the knee. The damaged tissue and bone will then be removed and the prosthesis will be implanted; once in the correct place it is fixed with bone cement. Finally the wound is closed with sutures or staples.

At HC Marbella we take special care to ensure recovery is as speedy as possible to enable knee function to be restored in the shortest possible time. In our experience the
majority of people recover quickly and have much less pain than they had prior to surgery.

It is possible to move the knee the day after the operation. Our team of physiotherapists work with patients to mobilise the knee whilst in hospital, this continues for 2-4 weeks following discharge 1 to 2 days after surgery.

High impact exercise or jogging/running must be avoided for a period of time, as the prosthesis includes a support surface which could be damaged.

HC Marbella International Hospital (Marbella High Care International Hospital)
Private Hospital Marbella, Calle Ventura del Mar, 11, 29660
+34 952 908 628
More Information
HC Marbella International Hospital (Marbella High Care International Hospital)

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