Articular Cartilage Regeneration Abroad

Price in GBP
Price in EUR
  • Articular cartilage regeneration – 2.700 £
  • consultation with the surgeon
  • necessary health tests
  • surgery
  • anaesthesia
  • hospitalisation
  • 24/7 personal assistance during your stay
  • transfers to / from the airport, hotel and clinic
  • all documents translated to English

The clinic helps patients with the documents needed to claim a refund from NHS & HSE for medical treatment abroad. It applies to patients who are insured under the UK and Irish systems and may not get the surgery due to long waiting times. 

Testimonials
Justin, Northern Ireland
Justin, Northern Ireland
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My mother was experiencing problems with some level of pain and a lack of mobility in one hip. Locally she was advised that she could not have the appropriate treatment for 22 months . At eighty years of age that was a poor option. We were advised to contact Nordorthapaedics. The clinic was comparable to any private facility in the UK. Everything about the experience at Nordorthapaedics was positive. Everything from our first contact to our journey home was professionally managed by a team of courteous individuals. I would thoroughly recommend this service.
Annette, Wales
Annette, Wales
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The whole experience was excellent from making travel arrangements, all the pre-operation checks, making the payment. The clinic was so well run beautifully clean and the staff were marvellous. I would highly recommend taking a few days at the rehabilitation center as the post-op treatment received was outstanding and a great aide to recovery. I received every day physio, massage, hot and cold treatment, things that you wouldn’t get on the NHS. I can highly recommend having the operation in Lithuania it truly was a memorable experience.
Ronnie, Northern Ireland
Ronnie, Northern Ireland
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Hi, I'm Ronnie Kelly from Randalstown, Northern Ireland. From my initial inquiry Jurate at Nordorthopaedics was fantastic answering all my question almost immediately. I booked the flights, gave her the dates and the rest was plain sailing. Everything was organised with professional precision. From being met at the airport, to surgery, to recovery at rehabilitation center and back to the airport every detail was covered with constant emails and messages. I couldn't recommend this Clinic and Rehabilitation Centre any higher for its total professionalism and after care.
Karen, Alberta, Canada
Karen, Alberta, Canada
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Th clinic looked almost too good to be true but everything they claim is accurate. The care I received from the physician and nursing staff was very caring and excellent. Also there is the option for aftercare at a rehab facility that I highly recommend. It gives you time to recover from the surgery before the long flight home. The customer service representative Jurate is very efficient and will promptly answer any questions you have. Canada may seem like a long way from Lithuania but I feel it was totally worth the trip and I am planning to go back and have the other hip replaced.
John, Ireland
John, Ireland
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This is very simple because I recommend everything about nordorthopaedics. Firstly the administration staff are very professional and helpful with any problems you may have,and I would especially mention Aurelija along with her colleague Jurate for their attention to detail. Travelling to a different country can be daunting but the trip is carefully planned with collection from airport, transport to hotel and clinics. The clinics and rehabilitation center are of the highest quality and all the staff, nurses and doctors are really caring and helpful.
Julie, Northern Ireland
Julie, Northern Ireland
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Everything from airport to being picked up , hotel , hospital , loved it all it was the best decision I ever made , I tell everyone here in Ireland about it , I had the whole thing organised with Agnes help in four weeks , staff at hospital fabulous , care fabulous , doctor and anethnetist fabulous , honestly have nothing but good to say . If I need another hip I’ll be there in a heartbeat I’d never wait years here at home never . Thank you all
Ray, Spain, UK expat
Ray, Spain, UK expat
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My experience from beginning to end was one of the utmost pleasure. Not just my own surgery, rotator cuff repair but that of a fellow patient who was up and walking within hours after knee surgery. All made possible by the administration staff, nursing staff and the highly qualified surgeons. Nordorthapaedic deserve a gold medal for their obvious high standards. I award them one as such. After searching the web for a suitable clinic it was an obvious choice to select this clinic. And how happy am I that I did. The high standards of cleanliness and professional care shine out.
David, England
David, England
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Having been rejected by the NHS I chose to look abroad for my options. My friends all thought I was mad to consider Lithuania, nothing could be further from the truth. From my initial contact phone call I have experienced the highest standards of professionalism and service throughout . I must declare that I am quite a tough person to satisfy as I have had a career as a Quality Management Consultant and auditing suppliers. The clinic is first class. It is equal to any private hospital in the uk. I would wholeheartedly recommend the clinic to anyone in a similar position.
Michael, West Midlands, UK
Michael, West Midlands, UK
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I recently had a total hip replacement at Nordorthopedics. The whole experience from the initial contact through to the rehabilitation treatment was flawless, Dr Saraunas Tarasevicius and all at the hospital were unbelievably open and efficient, putting any doubts at rest. I was up and walking with crutches the day after surgery. At the rehabilitation centre the aftercare resulted in being able to walk 2 miles with 1 crutch by the time I left for home 9 days after surgery. Jurate deserves a special mention for organising almost every aspect, nothing seemed to be much trouble. I cannot recommend Nordorthopaedics enough.
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Refund from NHS and HSE
HSE & NHS

The clinic helps patients with the documents needed to claim a refund from NHS & HSE for medical treatment abroad. It applies to patients who are insured under the UK and Irish systems and may not get the surgery due to long waiting times. 

Our surgeon Juozas Belickas
  • More than 25 years of working experience
  • 500 surgeries per year
  • More than 2000 knee replacements, more than 2000 ligament reconstructions, more than 10000 arthroscopies
  • Fluent in English and Russian
  • The ex president of Arthroscopy Surgeons Association in Lithuania
  • UK General Medical Council certificate
  • Training abroad: The USA, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany
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Rehabilitation package

The rehabilitation centre is located at a SPA resort town called Druskininkai. It is equipped with modern facilities. The professionals there have years of experience working with people after various surgeries and injuries. 

Rehabilitation in Lithuania – from € 130 / £ 116 per day

  • personalized rehabilitation course
  • room with TV and private bathroom
  • three meals a day
  • all medication needed
  • transportation to/from the rehabilitation centre

An individual rehabilitation program is prepared for each patient depending on the type of surgery, general patient‘s well-being, health status and other factors.

Our rehabilitation centre
Our clinic
What sets us apart from other clinics?

Our clinic works with highly professional and educated surgeons. They have 10-20 years of experience in the field of orthopaedic surgery. They each perform 500 surgeries per year. Our surgeons are board-certified in the UK. Moreover, our surgeons are members of various prestigious surgical societies both Lithuanian and international. Find more information about our surgeons here.

The clinic is equipped with modern diagnostic and surgical facilities, all analogous to those in Western European clinics. You will be looked after by professional English speaking staff.
The wards are fully furnished and equipped with TV, WC and air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is available while staying in the clinic.

Our clinic is one of the biggest surgical centres in the Baltic region. We work with patients from various countries, among which Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, etc.
Despite the size of the clinic we provide our patients with personal care and assistance. The majority of big public hospitals due to high volume of patients do not have enough resources and medical personnel to pay personal attention to each patient. Whereas we are fully focused on providing exceptional care and undivided attention for our patients.
Without any additional fees patients are tended in the clinic as long as they need. We only discharge our patients from the clinic when they are in a good health state and ready to leave.

All inclusive price, which is twice lower than in Western European clinics.
Our clinic works with medical professionals of highest education and experience level and uses the same materials as the clinics in Western Europe. More often than not, the quality of our clinic‘s facilities exceed the ones in Western European clinics.
The price difference is only due to considerably lower average salaries and taxes – which is the main reason for medical travel everywhere around the world.

During your entire stay in Lithuania you will receive personal care as well as transport to and from the clinic, hotel, and airport. You will not have to worry about a thing. You will be assisted from the moment of plane landing in Vilnius or Kaunas airport till your departure.

Our clinic is flexible date-wise and can usually arrange your surgery on the date convenient for you.

Everyone in our clinic speaks English, including customer service desk, nurses, assistants and the surgeon.

Our clinic is the only clinic in Europe that offers customer service in 8 languages, among which English, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, German, Spanish, Russian, and Lithuanian.

We can give you lots of testimonials from our previous patients that had orthopaedic surgery in our clinic. They can tell you their stories and help you make a decision.

2-3 hour regular flights operate from all main airports in the UK & Ireland. Lithuania is closer than you thought. You can find the list of direct flights here. Please note that airlines constantly add new flights and new destinations, therefore feel free to contact us if you need help choosing the flight that suits you best.

Lithuania has been a part of the EU and NATO since 2004. Lithuania has one of the fastest growing economies in the whole region and the second fastest internet speed in the world. Lithuanian medical schools have trained many medical professionals who are highly appreciated and employed by many foreign hospitals, among which hospitals in the UK.

COVID-19 situation in Lithuania

Lithuania has one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases in Europe. Its rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100.000 residents in the last 14 days is several times lower than UK. You can read the latest COVID-19 updates here.

Direct flights to Lithuania
from UK
from UKin 2 h 30 min
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London (London City, Stansted, Luton), Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Doncaster, Belfast
from Spain
from Spainin 3 h 30 min
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Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante
from Germany
from Germanyin 2 h
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Berlin, Nurnberg, Cologne, Bremen, Dortmund, Munchen, Frankfurt
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What is an articular cartilage and how can it get damaged?

Articular cartilage can be imagined as a lubricated cushion that covers the ends of the joint-forming bones. It reduces friction and provides a smooth surface for the joint as it bends and transmits weight. Articular cartilage is 2 to 4 mm thick and is composed of water, collagen, proteins, and cartilage cells, also known as chondrocytes. Cartilage is not supported by any nerves or blood vessels, and, therefore, has a low capacity to repair itself after damage. Elbows, wrists, ankles, and shoulders can all suffer cartilage damage, however, the knee joint is the one that gets damaged the most.

One can suffer articular cartilage damage after receiving a direct force, such as falling down, stopping quickly, or turning.

High impact sports are especially dangerous because cartilage wears off more quickly in the presence of repeated traumatizing movements.

Also, articular cartilage can become damaged from transmitting heavy weight. That is why an obese patient is much more likely to suffer from articular cartilage damage than someone with a normal body weight.

A reduced joint activity can also be one of the reasons for articular cartilage damage. Movement is crucial for the circulation of synovial fluid which is found inside the knee capsule. It is responsible for sustaining healthy joints and preventing articular cartilage from damage.

What are the treatment options for someone with articular cartilage damage?

There are a few surgical techniques used to treat articular cartilage damage. Bear in mind that the best treatment option will be chosen individually after a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon.

Chondro Gide technique works by activating cartilage regeneration and replacing damaged cartilage with a matrix. A surgeon removes old cartilage, inspects the size of the damaged area and prepares the matrix which will be later placed instead of the old cartilage. A number of holes are then drilled into the damaged area which stimulates the healing process and ensures active supply of the chondrocytes and nutrients needed to form a new cartilage. Further on, the holes are covered with the matrix that allows those new cartilage cells to stick and form new strong cartilage.

JointRep is a type of orthopaedic implant which is composed of artificial biopolymers. JointRep is a unique type of treatment because it can be performed arthroscopically just with a few small incisions. The implant is in liquid form, therefore, it can be injected directly into the area and smoothly cover damaged cartilage. When injected, the implant solidifies into a gel-like substance which is full of sugar, glucosamine and water. These constituents stimulate the growth of a new healthy cartilage.

Lipogems is a method that works by stimulating regeneration of the cartilage. It is unique because a patient’s own fat is used to treat the damaged cartilage. Fat cells, also known as adipocytes, have regenerative properties, and, thus, can function as stem cells in the formation of new cartilage. Firstly, fat is obtained from the abdomen, hands, or thighs. It is then purified, cleaned and injected into the joint where it works on repairing damaged tissue.

What to expect after articular cartilage repair surgery?
  • If articular cartilage repair is performed on the knee or ankle joint, a person will not be able to step on the operated leg for at least a few weeks. The first recovery phase is a passive motion therapy.
  • Crutches are needed for up to six weeks post-surgery.
  • A continuous passive motion machine, which stimulates synovial fluid production and blood supply to the joint, is used to move the joint without putting on weight.
  • Majority of the patients can return to work in a week or two after the surgery. Patients are prescribed physical exercise routine which they have to follow for up to 3 months post-surgery. Physical therapy focuses on improving the strength of the muscles around the joint, which subsequently reduces pressure on the cartilage.
  • Sportspeople can return to active training in 4 months after the surgery.
Is rehabilitation needed? How long does it take to recover?

Rehabilitation is just as important as the surgery itself, and thus, articular cartilage repair patients have to follow a detailed recovery plan which is designed to help them regain mobility and live an active lifestyle again. Most people are able to return to moderate physical activities after 6 to 8 weeks, however, full recovery should be expected after 3 to 6 months.

Is articular cartilage repair permanent or does it require further treatment?

The outcome of articular cartilage repair surgery depends on the extent of cartilage damage and on how successful the recovery process is. Approximately 80 % of cartilage repair surgeries are successful. A follow-up care includes close monitoring of new cartilage development through MRI imaging. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a non-invasive means to check on the healing process. MRI is safe and does not emit any radiation because neither X-rays or other radiation is used.

Who is a good candidate for articular cartilage repair?

Articular cartilage surgery is the best option for those patients who had cartilage damage as a result of:

  • injury;
  • repetitive joint use;
  • inborn joint abnormalities;
  • hormonal disorders, such as osteochondritis dissecans.

Eligible patients should otherwise have good health and wish to remain active. The prospective patients should be determined to undergo surgery and actively participate in their recovery afterwards. The patients who are affected by osteoarthritis (cartilage deterioration due to aging) cannot be treated with articular cartilage surgery and should be consulted for other possible types of treatment (e.g. knee joint replacement).

Preparing for articular cartilage repair

Preparing for the visit at the clinic is just as important as the surgery or rehabilitation. During the first consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon a patient is informed about the detailed treatment plan. The surgeon examines the patient’s medical history and evaluates certain medical tests, like MRI images (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The patient should prepare to discuss past injuries and events which might have damaged the cartilage.

When the surgery is scheduled, a patient can focus on preparing for it. It is also recommended to have a list of all the medications taken. There are certain drugs and substances which can impair blood clotting, and thus, should be avoided (aspirin, ibuprofen, CoQ10, glucosamine chondroitin, flaxseed, vitamin E, fish oil, green tea, chia seeds, primrose oil, and garlic).

Patients are strongly advised to refrain from smoking at least one month before and after the surgery. Nicotine, which is found in tobacco, can significantly slow down the recovery by restricting the blood flow in the operated joint.

Pre-conditioning is very important in any knee surgery. Strengthening the muscles around the joint will certainly make rehabilitation easier and faster. A physiotherapist will suggest exercises that are suitable for the patient. Gentle stretching and aerobic exercises help to maintain flexibility, strength, and healthy weight.

A few weeks before the surgery patient can make the necessary arrangements at their homes for post-op recovery and purchase pain medication to use after the surgery. Moving downstairs or arranging furniture in a way that is comfortable to walk with a cane or crutches will make returning back home stress-free. Depending on doctor’s recommendations, a few weeks before the surgery the patient should consider purchasing assistive devices, like crutches or knee brace.

A week before the surgery a patient should undergo all the necessary medical tests. These tests usually include blood work, urine test, ECG (Electrocardiogram), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or others.

On the day of the surgery a patient should wear loose comfortable clothes which are easy to put on and take off, and should bring along assistive devices. The patient should not eat for at least 6 hours before the surgery in order to avoid regurgitation during the surgery. The patient should inform the medical team about any bruises, cuts, or rash near the joint, as they can possibly increase infection risk.

Risks and possible side effects of articular cartilage repair

There are certain risks which are associated with articular cartilage repair that every prospective patient should get familiar with. Fortunately, complications occur rather seldom as every precaution is taken to provide the best medical care. Articular cartilage repair may include such risks as infection, allergic reaction to anaesthesia, bleeding inside the knee joint, or blood clot formation.

Returning to sports and normal physical activity after articular cartilage repair

Recovery after articular cartilage repair consist of several stages. Each stage  has different goals and eventually leads to full recovery and successful return to active lifestyle and sports.

Phase 1 (0-6 weeks). At this time CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine is used to start the joint moving and increase the range of motion. Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to decrease inflammation and pain. A patient should wear a joint brace and use crutches when walking. The patient might also exercise in a pool after the incisions have fully healed.

Phase 2 (6-12 weeks). Full range of motion should be reached by this time. A patient should further work on increasing muscle strength and progress to full weight-bearing.

Phase 3 (12+ weeks). A patient should continue exercising as in phase 2 and further strengthen the muscles, endurance, and balance. At this time it is possible to return to light physical activities, such as golfing, walking, or biking.

Phase 4 (4-18 months). At this stage a patient can return to activities of higher physical demand. Depending on a particular sport, the patient should progress on doing advanced exercises regularly and successfully participate in active sports again.

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