Should You Have Both Knees Replaced at the Same Time?

When your knees start to bother you so much that you start missing out on life, you might need knee replacement surgery. One knee replacement is enough, but what if both of your knees are so bad that you need surgery on both? 

At the Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico, we specialize in all types of orthopedic injuries and surgery. Dr. Omar Osmani is our skilled orthopedic surgeon who can help you decide if bilateral knee surgery is the best treatment option for you.

Reasons that you may need a knee replacement

When your knees hurt on a daily basis and it’s starting to affect your life, it may be time for you to look into treatment. You may have tried many conservative treatments without much relief. But what could be causing you to have so much pain that you’re considering a knee replacement

The main culprit behind chronic knee issues is osteoarthritis. This condition causes the cartilage that cushions your joint to deteriorate, leading to inflammation and pain. This condition can become severe, causing daily problems with certain activities including:

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, so there is no permanent cure. There are treatments that help with the symptoms, but the only way to repair your knee completely is with an artificial knee replacement.

If both of your knees have damage from arthritis, you're probably curious if you can get them both fixed at the same time. The truth is that you can, but there are advantages and disadvantages to this procedure.

Advantages of bilateral knee replacement surgery

Although it may seem like a big undertaking, having both of your knees replaced at the same time does have its advantages. The biggest benefit is the obvious one: significantly less pain than before surgery. Some of the other benefits include:

Another advantage of having both knees replaced at once is that you can get back to your normal activities much quicker. The rehab and physical therapy is usually much more intense for bilateral surgeries, making your recovery smoother and quicker in the long run.

These advantages are mostly dependent on you and your motivation for recovery. The other big factor is how healthy you are. The younger and healthier you are, the more likely a bilateral knee replacement will work out in your favor.

Risks you should consider

As with any procedure, there are risks involved with knee replacement surgery. These risks increase when having both of your knees operated on. You should never enter into surgery lightly, and a knee replacement is no different. 

With a bilateral knee replacement, the most obvious risk is the increased amount of time that you're under anesthesia. Other risks of knee replacement surgery include:

There is also the risk that the surgery won't work completely, and you'll still have pain even after the procedure. If you aren’t completely motivated to stay on track with your rehabilitation, failure of the prosthetic is more of a risk.

Your risks are significantly increased if you're a man over the age of 65. With both knees being replaced, you also have a higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital due to complications.

Dr. Osmani discusses all of the risks and advantages to surgery ahead of time, and if you and he both decide this is the best choice, we proceed with getting you on the road to recovery with two new knee joints.

As the only orthopedic center in the area, our staff is committed to getting your symptoms under control. Whether you need one knee replaced, or both, call our office today at 575-623-9101 or book an appointment with one of our providers online.

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