Trusted by over 1.2 Million Global Healthcare Seekers
Industry News

Meeting the Surge: The Growing Demand for Knee Replacement Surgeries and Advances in the Field

Industry News

Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, has emerged as a highly effective treatment for individuals suffering from debilitating knee pain and loss of function due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, injury, or other degenerative conditions.  

As the global population ages and lifestyles evolve, the demand for knee replacement surgeries continues to rise steadily. According to a 2007 study, the demand for knee replacement surgeries will rise by more than 673%, reaching nearly 3.5 million procedures a year.

The Growing Demand for Knee Replacement Surgeries hinges on the following reasons:

Aging Population: With populations around the world experiencing longer life expectancies, the prevalence of age-related degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis is increasing. As individuals age, the wear and tear on their joints accumulate, leading to cartilage degeneration, inflammation, and pain. Knee replacement surgery offers a viable solution for restoring mobility and relieving pain in elderly patients who may have exhausted conservative treatment options.

Obesity Epidemic: The global rise in obesity rates has contributed to a higher incidence of knee osteoarthritis, as excess weight places added stress on the knee joints. Obese individuals are more likely to develop osteoarthritis at a younger age and may require knee replacement surgery to alleviate pain and improve mobility. Addressing obesity through lifestyle modifications and weight management strategies is crucial for reducing the burden of knee osteoarthritis and the need for surgical intervention.

Active Lifestyle Choices: Today, individuals increasingly engage in high-impact activities and sports that strain the knee joints, leading to sports-related injuries and early onset of osteoarthritis. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts may require knee replacement surgery to regain function and resume active lifestyles following joint damage or injury. Advances in surgical techniques and implant technology enable patients to return to their favorite activities with improved joint stability and durability.

Advances in the Field of Knee Replacement Surgery

With the surge in demand for complex orthopedic procedures, there have been outstanding advances in the field in the last few decades with medical travel destinations emerging across the globe that offer cutting-edge surgical solutions to complex knee problems. Some of the most recent advances in knee replacement procedures include:

Minimally Invasive Techniques: Minimally invasive knee replacement techniques involve smaller incisions and less disruption to surrounding tissues compared to traditional open surgery. This approach reduces post-operative pain, accelerates recovery, and minimizes scarring, allowing patients to return to normal activities sooner.  

Minimally invasive knee replacement surgeries may be performed using specialized instruments, computer navigation systems, or robotic-assisted technology to enhance precision and accuracy.

Customized Implants: Advancements in 3D printing technology and computer-aided design have facilitated the development of customized knee implants tailored to the patient's unique anatomy and biomechanics.  

Customized implants improve implant fit, alignment, and stability, reducing the risk of complications and enhancing long-term outcomes. Patients benefit from improved range of motion, reduced wear and tear, and a more natural feel compared to standard off-the-shelf implants.

Enhanced Implant Materials: Modern knee implants are made from durable materials such as cobalt-chromium alloys, titanium, and high-grade polyethylene, which offer improved strength, longevity, and biocompatibility.  

Advances in implant surface coatings and bearing surfaces have reduced friction and wear, leading to greater implant longevity and reduced risk of implant failure. Patients undergoing knee replacement surgery can expect improved implant performance and longevity, resulting in enhanced durability and function.

Rapid Recovery Protocols: Rapid recovery protocols, also known as enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols, aim to optimize the perioperative care of patients undergoing knee replacement surgery to accelerate recovery and improve outcomes.  

These protocols involve preoperative education, multimodal pain management strategies, early mobilization, and intensive physical therapy, allowing patients to regain function and independence more quickly postoperatively. Rapid recovery protocols have been shown to reduce hospital stays, complications, and healthcare costs while improving patient satisfaction and overall outcomes.

Medical Tourism Destinations for Knee Replacement Surgery

Medical tourism destinations pushing the frontiers of complex orthopedic procedures include South Korea, India, and Thailand. In Korea, Asan Medical Center remains at the forefront of complex orthopedic surgical practices, integrating cutting-edge technologies to solve complex orthopedic problems. Asan Medical Center not only boosts of world-class surgeries with state-of-the-art equipment but also staffed by some of the best trained knee surgeons in the world, many of whom have qualifications and fellowships from U.S. institutions.  

Asan Medical Center also offers a robust, culturally competent international patient department that offers multi-lingual services to ensure patient communication is not a barrier to the excellent quality of care the organization is known for. Further, knee replacement surgery is done in Korea at a fraction of U.S. costs, offering great cost saving options for medical tourists and self-funded employers.  

Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Hospital is another Center of Excellence for complex knee surgeries, including knee replacement procedures. Bumrungrad’s Orthopedic Center offers world-class diagnostic and treatment services with cutting-edge technologies and by some of the brightest minds in the field. The hospital continues to partner with notable institutions in the world, expanding its reach and staying at the cutting edge of complex orthopedic surgery.

In 2018, Bumrungrad International Hospital, the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia treated more than 1.1 million patients, half of which were medical tourists. Since then, the numbers continue to increase as Bumrungrad expands its international presence and global partnerships.  

Improve Access to Quality Knee Surgeries through Global Provider Network

The growing demand for knee replacement surgeries reflects the increasing prevalence of knee osteoarthritis and patients' desire to regain mobility and quality of life. The Global Provider Network offer an excellent opportunity to access the best care anywhere in the world.  

Breaking down the barriers of access to healthcare, the GPN, launched by Global Healthcare Resources and the Medical Tourism Association in 2023, is a network of the best players in medical tourism, world-class medical institutions, referral organizations, and medical tourism facilitators. This pool of the top stakeholders in medical tourism ensures patients have quick access to the best providers in the world and gives providers easy and rapid access to referrers and patients.

Join the GPN today to get started on a thriving medical tourism journey.

Learn about how you can become a Certified Medical Tourism Professional→
Disclaimer: The content provided in Medical Tourism Magazine ( is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We do not endorse or recommend any specific healthcare providers, facilities, treatments, or procedures mentioned in our articles. The views and opinions expressed by authors, contributors, or advertisers within the magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of our company. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained in Medical Tourism Magazine ( or the linked websites. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We strongly advise readers to conduct their own research and consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions related to medical tourism, healthcare providers, or medical procedures.
Free Webinar: Building Trust, Driving Growth: A Success Story in Medical Travel Through Exceptional Patient Experiences