I have arthritis in both of my knees; should I do bilateral knee replacements at one operation or stage the procedures?

I have arthritis in both of my knees; should I do bilateral knee replacements at one operation or stage the procedures?

Many people are faced with the situation of having significant pain from arthritis in both of their knees. When conservative measures such as modification of activity, oral anti-inflammatory medications, and injections have failed, a decision about the timing and/or staging of knee replacement is faced. 

In healthy individuals who do not have risk factors and are not obese, bilateral knee replacements at one anesthetic is a reasonable option to entertain. There have been several studies comparing unilateral with bilateral knee replacements with regard to results and complications. The majority of studies support the performance of bilateral knee replacements at one anesthetic in the younger healthier individual. Patients over the age of 70, patients with a history of cardiac or pulmonary problems, the obese individual, and the person with poor pain tolerance are not as good a candidate for a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. A recent study supported the use of bilateral knee replacements and found that they were more common with high-volume surgeons and high-volume hospitals that can handle some of the unique challenges that bilateral knee replacement presents. 

If you have significant arthritis in both of your knees and nonoperative measures have failed to alleviate the symptoms, then you should discuss the possibility of bilateral knee replacement with your orthopedic surgeon.

William P. Barrett, M.D.

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  1. steve rowe

    questions about bilat surgery:
    managment of blood loss doing two knees at once? scary!

    will two surgeons attack together, or does one surgeon operate one side at a time

  2. Dr. William Barrett

    Dear Steve,
    Bilateral total knee replacement: Most people will donate one unit of blood. The surgery can be done with 2 surgeons but it is more common with one surgeon performing the bilat surgery one knee after the other.
    William Barrett

  3. carolin

    It;’s very informational and useful.
    I have ever heard about arthritis caused by the increase of sediment or inflamation in joint and muscles as a result of cold air or exttra activity.
    Visit at PennasiaNormalization for further.
    I have also get two free bonuses of ebooks about Healing Food and Pennasia Sleep Therapy (Pleet) when I enter forum. Have a nice day!

  4. Arthritis-Treatment-Guy

    I was diagnosed with arthritis recently and what i do is take food supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin plus regular exercise. they really help a lot in managing arthritis.