How much does a hip replacement cost?
In the United States, the cost of a hip replacement can vary wildly from state to state. In Birmingham, Alabama, for instance, a hip replacement can be found for approximately $20,000, whilst in New York the average cost of a hip replacement is closer to $60,000.
Huge price fluctuations can also be seen in states like Massachusetts, where a variation of as much as 313% can be found. The cost of hip replacement surgery in the US will usually be covered partially by medical insurance, but is only fully covered in cases where a replacement is absolutely necessary to prevent the overall health of the patient deteriorating.
It is a similar story in the United Kingdom, where hip replacements are only covered by the NHS if they are an absolute necessity. Alternatives such as physical therapy or hip resurfacing will usually be suggested as alternatives before a full hip replacement. At private clinics in the UK a hip replacement will cost around £10,000 ($14,100), though as with the US there are variations in price between different regions.
Hip replacements in Australia can also be expensive, with the average cost being somewhere between $18,000 and $30,000 when performed privately. Hip replacements can be provided on the public health system in certain cases, but you will have little choice over your surgeon or where the surgery is performed.
Hip replacement abroad – how much does it cost?
Going abroad for a hip replacement is an option for people who cannot afford the cost of surgery in their home country. MEDIGO works with specialists around the world who specialize in hip replacement surgery.
What influences the cost of a hip replacement?
The cost of a hip replacement depends on a number of factors, and defining an exact price estimate can be notoriously tough.
Your overall health is one factor that can affect the final cost of your hip replacement. The risks involved with surgery increase if you have any existing health issues, as well as the likelihood of a replacement joint failing. With this in mind, a general health examination will be carried out during the consultation period to assess the level of risk involved if the hip replacement surgery goes ahead – underlying conditions could result in the cost of surgery being higher.
The experience and reputation of the clinic, hospital and surgeon is another factor to take into consideration when searching for hip replacement prices. Surgeons with particularly good reputations and decades of experience are likely to demand a higher premium and have a lengthy waiting list. On the other hand, savings on hip replacements can be found with surgeons who are highly-skilled but still developing their reputation, or with surgeons who are new to the profession.
Another aspect to consider is the possible expense of aftercare and rehabilitation following the surgery itself, which will not usually be covered by the initial cost estimate given by the hospital. The recovery process after a hip replacement can be lengthy and usually involves a program of physical rehabilitation. You might also acquire additional costs from nurse and therapist visits, any pain killing medication you may need after surgery and specialist equipment such as crutches, walkers and braces. Rehabilitation following hip replacement surgery is catered to the needs of each individual patient, so it is vital that you talk through the process with the surgeon or consultant before the surgery to develop a clear picture of the process, what it involves and any potential costs.
Hip replacement – patient story
Igor suffered from hip pain for several years. While in Switzerland a year and a half ago, he saw a doctor about his pain and inquired about hip replacement surgery. However, the doctor recommended exercise and rehabilitation programs to reduce the pain.
Still in pain, a friend suggested looking at organizations that facilitate medical travel so he could get his hip replaced. After months of research and evaluating different options in various countries, he found Medigo.
Igor was put directly in contact with his Care Team Member and his medical records and preoperative exams were sent for evaluation to Igor’s preferred clinics in Spain. His partner accompanied him to the chosen hospital where he reports the service was excellent. In fact, he found the level of care even better than that in Chile.
Igor’s aftercare included physiotherapy for six weeks following his surgery. He reports his recovery is going along very well, each day feeling better than the last! Apart from the excellent service, he saved about $7,700 by going abroad for this procedure.
How can I find a hip replacement abroad?
The idea of leaving your home country for a major procedure like a hip replacement may seem daunting, but with research and guidance you can find significant cost savings and shorter waiting times without compromising on quality.
One of the first things to consider when searching for a clinic for hip replacement is the experience and profile of the surgeon. As the recovery period and specific details of the surgery vary depending on the condition and wishes of the individual patient, a good relationship with your surgeon is essential. Reading personal profiles can help you build an impression of the surgeon whilst their qualifications and experience are a good indicator of their competence. Though it is not always possible to meet face-to-face with your surgeon before traveling for surgery abroad, many hospitals and clinics will offer a series of consultations either online or by phone. This allows you to communicate any wishes or concerns you may have as well as build a personal rapport with the surgeon prior to treatment.
One of the greatest reservations cited by those considering treatment abroad is the language barrier and cultural differences; many hospitals have recognised this and now offer services designed to make the process as smooth as possible for international patients. Services to look out for include translation and interpretation, airport transfers, car rental, concierge services and hotel booking. Hospitals which provide services such as these can help take care of the logistics of your trip abroad so that you can focus on your own recovery. Any hospital which treats international patients will also have English-speaking doctors and nurses, many of which are trained abroad.
With hip replacements often requiring a lengthy recovery period, it is important to ask about the kinds of aftercare provided by the hospital before committing to any surgery. It is often possible to complete the majority of the rehabilitation at home, with a stay of around a week or so needed in hospital before you are well enough to fly, though some clinics may insist that you stay in hospital for a longer period for observation. If your chosen destination for surgery is not prohibitively far from your home country it may also be possible to return for regular checkups and physiotherapy.
Any accreditations and certifications the hospital has can help you make a judgement about their level of safety and quality. Whilst there is no specific universal certification for hip replacement surgery, there are a number of more general international accreditations to look out for. Any hospital accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) meets a number of safety requirements specific to healthcare, whilst ISO 9001 certification indicates that broader quality measures are being satisfactorily fulfilled.
What is hip replacement surgery?
Hip replacement surgery is carried out when parts of the hip have become diseased or damaged to the extent that the hip can no longer function correctly and is causing significant pain. A number of orthopedic conditions can result in the need for a hip replacement, most notably arthritis, osteonecrosis and bone tumours around the hip joint. A hip replacement may also be necessary if damage is caused to the hip joint by impact trauma or injury.
The hip replacement procedure involves complex surgery and the results are irreversible, which is why a combination of physical therapy and medication is recommended before any commitment is made. If pain persists and the function of the hip does not improve following physiotherapy then a full hip replacement is usually the only option. On the other hand, hip replacement surgery is not suitable for anyone with underlying conditions such as heart disease, parkinson’s disease or anyone who is at high risk of infection.
As a complex, lengthy and highly-specialized procedure, hip replacement surgery can be expensive. If you are considering a hip replacement, however, the process of finding a cost estimate can be just as complex as the surgery itself. The price of hip replacement is influenced by a range of factors and very few hospitals are able to provide an upfront quote without first undertaking a number of consultations. Hip replacement cost also vary dramatically from country to country, and even from state to state in the United States.