Orthopedics is a developed field of medicine in Iran and Iran is on par with countries such as the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Japan in terms of medical technology and human resources in this area. Not only is the quality of orthopedic treatments in Iran excellent, but the cost of such treatments is also remarkably more reasonable compared to other countries. This has created an opportunity for orthopedic patients from other countries, especially neighboring nations, to travel to Iran to receive major orthopedic treatments such as arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery at affordable prices.
COMMON ORTHOPEDIC PROCEDURES
Orthopedic surgery in Iran: all you need to know
Orthopedic surgery has a long history in Iran, dating back to more than 4000 years ago. The healed broken bones and pierced skulls found in Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) in Iran show that Iranians have been treating bone fractures since ancient times.
Iranian scientists and physicians such as Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi (Rhazes) and Avicenna described fractures, joint sprains and bone anomalies in their writing. Rhazes was the first Iranian physician who used plaster casts in the 8th century for fracture immobilization and Avicenna later used tractions and splints, as well as plaster casts and bitumen, to treat bone fractures. He wrote about Bennet fracture 1000 years before Edward Hallaran Bennett, to whom this type of bone injury was credited, explained it.
Fas-forwarding to the 20th century, a new chapter in orthopedic surgery in Iran was opened after a group of Iranian orthopedic surgeons returned to Iran in the 1950s after completing specialized training in orthopedic surgery in the United States and Europe.
It was from then on that orthopedics came to be known as an independent medical specialty in Iran. In 1970, the first orthopedic hospital in Iran (Shafa Yahyaeiyan Hospital) was established in Tehran.
Orthopedic surgery in Iran gained momentum in the 1980s due to the heavy casualties inflicted by the Iran-Iraq war. Iranian orthopedists gained extensive hands-on experience by carrying out a huge number of different orthopedic operations on combatants who were wounded in action or civilians injured in the bombardments.
Today, orthopedics is widely thought and in Iran and almost all medical schools in Iran have orthopedic departments. Iranian hospitals are now staffed with well-trained orthopedic surgeons who perform almost any orthopedic procedure with different techniques, including arthroscopy surgery. Minimally-invasive spine surgery and laser back surgery are also becoming popular in Iran.
According to the secretary of the Iranian Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Mohammad Javad Mortazavi, some 50,000 joint replacement surgeries are performed in Iran annually. The most common types of orthopedic surgery performed in Iran are:
- Joint replacement procedures (knee replacement, hip replacement, etc.)
- Spine surgery (including laminectomy, microdiscectomy and traditional spinal fusion)
- Bone fusion
- Soft tissue repair (including meniscus repair, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) reconstruction, etc.)
- Bunion surgery
- Rotator cuff surgery
- Internal fixation of bones, e.g. femoral fractures
- Carpal tunnel release
- Cervical fracture surgery
Why will Iran be an excellent choice for orthopedic surgery abroad?
As said above, orthopedics is a developed medical field in Iran and the country is home to skilled and knowledgeable orthopedic surgeons. Iranian specialists have in recent years successfully developed a 3D modeling system that makes a 3D model of a patient’s affected bone or joint, using which orthopedic surgeons can simulate the operation they’re going to perform on the patient.
This domestically-designed system, which was the first of its kind in the Middle East, allows for careful surgical planning that helps the orthopedic surgeon get good control over the operation and increase the delicacy of the handling, leading to a significantly higher chance of success rate.
Now with the development of medical tourism and the growing trend in the willingness of people to travel abroad to receive affordable healthcare services, Iran has taken measures to improve its medical tourism services for patients choosing the country for healthcare services, including orthopedic treatments.
To this end, the Iranian Ministry of Health has set out special requirements for hospitals that want to offer services to foreign patients. Hospitals complying with these requirements are then given permits to set up a special section called International Patients Department (IPD) that is exclusively intended to admit foreign patients and provide professional healthcare services to them.
As of 2018, there were 170 hospitals with IPD in Iran. Many of the Iranian hospitals with IPD offer orthopedic surgery to foreign medical tourists at very decent prices. The modest orthopedic surgery fees in Iran is a big reason that Iran is an ideal destination for orthopedic patients. According to Dr. Soheil Mehdipour, an orthopedic surgeon in Iran, this technology also helps surgeons with the right placement of artificial implants in complex knee replacement cases.
Orthopedic surgery cost in Iran
Thanks to a wide range of factors, the cost of orthopedic surgery in Iran is much lower than in other countries. Depending on the surgeon, the hospital, and the type of surgery, prices for orthopedic procedures vary. Just to give you a ballpark figure, here is the average cost of different orthopedic procedures in Iran.
- Knee replacement: $1600-$5000
- Hip replacement: $1600-$3200
- Herniated disc surgery: $1500-$2000
- Canal stenosis surgery: $1600-$3000
- ACL surgery: $1000-$3000
- Bunion surgery: $1500-$2000
- Osteotomy: $1200-$1500
- Internal fixation of bones: $300-$600
- Carpal tunnel release: $600-$1000
- Cervical fracture surgery: $1600-$2500