Bilateral Knee Replacement

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. The condition can affect one joint or multiple joints, causing pain and stiffness in the afflicted area. When these symptoms happen in one or both knees, it usually shows that the cartilage in the joints has deteriorated. Knee replacement surgery may be done to change the harmed joints and to alleviate symptoms.

During knee replacement surgery, a specialist changes the damaged areas of the knee joint with an artificial knee called a prosthesis. A prosthesis is made of metal, plastic, and ceramic. It can assist restore almost all function of the damaged knee and eliminate arthritis pain.


  • During knee replacement surgery, knee joints harmed by arthritis can be changed with a synthetic knee, likewise referred to as a prosthetic knee. A prosthetic knee can assist restore movement and lower pain in the affected knee. When the joints of both knees are damaged, double knee replacement may be suggested.
  • Double knee replacement surgery might be performed in one surgery or 2 surgeries. When it’s done as one surgery, the procedure is referred to as synchronised bilateral knee replacement. When it’s done over two surgeries, the procedure is called staged bilateral knee replacement. The recovery and rehabilitation for each of these surgical treatments is somewhat different.
  • Simultaneous bilateral knee replacement and staged bilateral knee replacement both come with different benefits and disadvantages. The type of surgery carried out depends upon someone’s age and general health.

A doctor will normally advise knee replacement surgery if the pain in your knee is interfering with your everyday activities and negatively affecting your lifestyle. In many cases, this type of surgery is performed in people over age 60, as more youthful people tend to wear out their synthetic knees quicker.

When severe arthritis impacts both knees, a doctor may recommend double knee replacement surgery. Nevertheless, more risk is involved with this kind of surgery, so it is generally just recommended to those who are:

  • healthy condition
  • physically fit
  • motivated to go through physical therapy and rehabilitation after surgery to restore their mobility

Double knee replacement surgery may involve one surgery or two surgeries. When both knees are changed at the exact same time, the surgery is referred to as a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. When each knee is replaced at a various time, it is called a staged bilateral knee replacement. Either surgery might involve any mix of total knee replacement or partial knee replacement.

Simultaneous Bilateral Knee Replacement

With simultaneous bilateral knee replacement, both of your knees will be replaced during the very same surgery. The primary benefit of a simultaneous procedure is that there is just one health center stay and one rehabilitation period to recover both knees.

Bilateral Knee Replacement

Bilateral Knee Replacement: before and after picture

However, rehab may be slower, as it’s more difficult to use both knees at the very same time. In truth, lots of people who go through synchronised bilateral knee surgery need support at home as they’re recuperating. This type of procedure likewise takes longer to carry out. Synchronised bilateral knee replacement typically takes three to four hours to complete, while staged bilateral knee replacement only takes two hours. Since simultaneous bilateral knee replacement requires more time and much heavier doses of anesthesia, there is an increased risk for complications. The surgery isn’t really suggested for those with heart conditions or lung disease. These high-risk groups might experience heart issues or excessive blood loss during and after surgery.

Staged Bilateral Knee Replacement

In staged bilateral knee replacement, both knees are changed in two different surgeries. These surgeries are done a few months apart. Each surgery lasts about two hours. This staged approach permits one knee to recuperate before the 2nd knee goes through surgery. The main advantage of a staged procedure is the minimized risk of complications. It also needs a much shorter healthcare facility stay.

However, given that this procedure needs two surgeries, the total rehab duration can be a lot longer. This may delay your return to some of your daily activities.

Risks of Double Knee Replacement

The risks associated with both simultaneous and staged bilateral knee replacement surgical treatments include:

  • infection
  • blood clots
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • nerve damage
  • failure of synthetic joint

People over age 65 are more likely to experience complications from double knee replacement surgery. Men are likewise at a greater risk for complications than women.

Recovering from Double Knee Replacement: Steps & Timing

Immediately after surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room for a couple of hours before being brought to your hospital space. You will continue to be in the hospital for three to five days after a staged double knee replacement, and as much as 10 days after a simultaneous double knee replacement. You will be provided medications to assist alleviate any pain. During hospitalization, your doctor will look for any signs of infection, embolism, and other possible complications. Your doctor will likewise reveal you low strength exercises that can enhance movement and promote recovery in the knees.

Within 6 weeks after your surgery, you will start physical therapy so you can start transitioning back to normal knee motion. A lot of physical therapy programs last between 6 and 12 weeks. Your physical therapy program might include a walking plan and various knee-strengthening exercises to boost movement. These exercises progressively increase the ability to perform daily activities, such as pacing stairs. A physiotherapist will teach you how to do each workout.

During your rehab period, it’s crucial to follow the directions from your physical therapist and doctor. Adherence will help guarantee a total recovery from your double knee replacement surgery. Most people recuperate within 12 months, however your recovery time may differ depending upon your age and total health.

Regardless of the threats and difficulties of going through double knee replacement surgery, both synchronised and staged knee replacements are typically effective. If you believe you may be a candidate for a double knee replacement procedure, speak with your doctor and discuss your options.



Updated: August 12, 2016 — 2:56 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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