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When the pain in your knees reaches the point where it affects the quality of your life, it may be time to consider a total knee replacement. Advancements in surgical techniques, pain management and implant technologies have dramatically improved outcomes for single and bilateral knee replacements.
While it is most common for patients to have only one knee become so painful and limiting that it requires surgical replacement, there are rare occasions where both knees are severely limiting and painful, thereby causing consideration to be given to bilateral knee replacement at the same surgical setting. Bilateral knee replacement means replacing both knees, either simultaneously or in a staged process.
Simultaneous bilateral knee replacement surgery carries a unique set of risks. Because the surgery takes longer and is more demanding on the body, patients who have cardiovascular problems, pulmonary disease, or are over the age of 70 are often advised against a simultaneous bilateral total knee replacement procedure.
Early rehabilitation, especially the first few weeks, can be more difficult with a bilateral knee replacement surgery, because the patient does not have a “good knee” to rely on. But interestingly, by six weeks post op, patients who had both knees done are generally “caught up” to those who only had one knee replacement surgery.
It is important to thoroughly discuss bilateral knee replacement and the expected outcome of bilateral knee replacement surgery with your orthopaedic surgeon.
For more information call The Zehr Center at 239-596-0100.
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