Bilateral Knee Replacement in Dallas & Frisco

Total Knee Replacement, Double Knee Replacement

bilateral knee replacement

Arthritis is a condition in which the joints become inflamed. The disease has the potential to  affect one or several joints, resulting in discomfort and stiffness in the afflicted region. These symptoms typically suggest that the cartilage in the joints has worn away in one or both knees. Knee replacement surgery is a procedure that replaces damaged joints while also alleviating symptoms. For those with problems in both knees, we sometimes recommend bilateral knee replacement.

At SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we offer only the best in Dallas physical therapy and orthopedic treatment. No matter how you sustained your injury, we can help. Even if you have a condition that resulted from years of wear and tear, we’re here for you. To schedule an appointment with a Dallas orthopedic specialist, please call 469-200-2832 or fill out our online intake form today.

What Is a Bilateral Knee Replacement?

A surgeon replaces the injured portions of the knee joint with an artificial knee, or prosthesis, during knee replacement surgery. They use metal, plastic, and ceramic to create a prosthesis. It can help the injured knee regain virtually all of its function while also alleviating arthritic discomfort.

If your knee discomfort is interfering with your everyday activities and adversely impacting your standard of living, your doctor will likely prescribe knee replacement surgery. This sort of surgery is often performed on persons over the age of 60, as young people’s prosthetic knees tend to wear out more quickly.

When both knees are affected by severe arthritis, a doctor may recommend bilateral knee replacement surgery, often known as double knee replacement surgery. This sort of procedure, however, has a higher risk, therefore it’s usually only suggested for the following people.

  • In good physical condition
  • Overall good health
  • Motivated and willing to undergo rehabilitation and physical therapy in order to regain mobility
bilateral knee replacement

Simultaneous Replacement

Both knees are replaced in one surgery, on the same day, and under the same anesthetic in a simultaneous procedure. This implies that there will only be one hospital stay and one time of recuperation. However, patients who get bilateral knee replacement surgery at the same time are at a higher risk of medical problems. Your doctor will explain the benefits and risks of simultaneous BKR with you.

Staged Replacement

The staged technique entails two distinct surgical procedures for both knee replacements. Also, the surgeries will be conducted several months apart, necessitating two hospital visits, two bouts of anesthesia, and two periods of recovery. The duration between operations may vary based on your specific medical condition, but most surgeons recommend that you recuperate for around three months after the first surgery before undergoing the second.

Why Do I Need a Bilateral Knee Replacement?

The most frequent reason for a bilateral knee replacement is acute arthritis, which causes painful symptoms in both knees, making everyday tasks difficult and lowering one’s life quality substantially. Stiffness may make ordinary things like putting on your shoes extremely difficult. Weight-bearing movements, such as standing and walking, generally aggravate the pain. Knee arthritis is a degenerative disease that typically becomes worse over time.

The outcomes of double knee replacements are comparable to those of single knee replacements. Individuals in both categories experience decreased knee discomfort and enhanced knee function. There are, however, significant distinctions between having two single knee replacement procedures and having a double knee replacement procedure.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bilateral Knee Replacement

Pros:

The benefits of bilateral knee replacement are mostly linked to cost and efficiency. People who get a double knee replacement need only one recovery time and miss less time at work. Experts say that 4 to 6 weeks following knee replacement surgery, a person can return to a desk job. A person who undergoes two knee replacements will be out of work for 4 to 6 weeks for each knee.

Patients who get a double knee replacement stay in the hospital for at least a half-day more than those who have a single knee replacement, but they only have to be in the hospital once. To put it another way, a double knee replacement may necessitate a four-day hospital stay, or two independent knee replacements may necessitate two three-day stays for a total of six days.

Knee replacement patients must attend physical therapy clinics two to three times per week up to eight weeks. These visits are focused on rehabbing both knees for patients who have double knee replacements. Two rounds of physical therapy are required for those who have two knee replacement operations.

Patients who have had a double knee replacement go through a physical rehabilitation program before returning to work and hobbies they like. A person who has two different knee replacement operations may feel upset after rehabilitating the first knee and learning that they must have a second significant surgery.

The cost of a double knee replacement is cheaper than the cost of two individual operations. Medical care expenses are expected to be reduced by 18% to 26%, according to experts. The precise out-of-pocket expenses depend on a variety of variables, including health insurance and geography.

Cons:

Bilateral knee replacement has been linked to an increase in medical hazards. However, experts disagree on the exact degree of severity of these concerns. Patients should inquire about surgeons’ previous experiences with double-knee replacements.

Patients who have had a double knee replacement are more likely to require a blood transfusion during the operation. According to experts, around 40% of patients who get a double knee replacement require a transfusion, opposed to just about 12% of persons who have a single knee replacement.

Replacement of both knees takes longer than replacement of one, requiring the patient to spend longer under general anesthesia. The risk of problems increases when the duration under anesthesia is extended.

A patient who has both knees replaced literally has no decent leg to stand on, which makes recuperation and rehabilitation more difficult. When standing, sitting, or using a walker or crutches, the individual cannot rely on a solid leg to keep the body balanced.

Potential Complications with a Bilateral Knee Replacement

In the United States, about 600,000 people get knee replacement surgery each year. Severe side effects, such as infection, are uncommon. They only happen around 2% of the time. However, as with any surgery, complications can happen when you least expect them. Below, we list the most common complications associated with knee replacements.

  • Anesthesia complications
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Persistent pain
  • Transfusion complications
  • Allergic reactions to metal pieces
  • Bleeding and wound complications
  • Injuries to arteries
  • Nerve damage
  • Stiffness of the knee or loss of motion
  • Problems with the implant

Who Is a Good Candidate for a Bilateral Knee Replacement?

Those who are athletic and have strength in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding their knees are the greatest prospects. You’ll also do better if you’re in good physical shape. It’s preferable if you don’t have any other medical issues, including heart or lung illness. Below, we list the traits of those who are not good candidates.

  • Knee symptoms are not connected to joint disease
  • Weight is too heavy to support the prosthetic
  • Your skin is fragile, or there is too little skin coverage on the knee
  • You currently have an infection or illness
  • You have a terminal disease

What to Expect During Bilateral Knee Replacement

Your surgeon will either utilize an open technique or a minimally invasive technique. The open option involves a large incision, while the other option involves a small incision. They will use either general or local anesthesia. You will stay in the hospital for a few days after the procedure concludes. 

Before going home, you may need to remain in a rehabilitation clinic. Once you’ve returned home, you’ll require assistance with domestic chores, work, and other everyday tasks. Physical therapy is an important element of the healing process. You’ll gradually restore knee function while experiencing reduced discomfort. The time it takes to fully recover ranges from 3 to 12 months.

What Is Recovery Like After a Bilateral Knee Replacement?

After 6 weeks, most patients care for themselves and continue normal tasks. Within 3 to 6 weeks, they are ready to drive. Knee replacement surgery might take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year to fully heal and get the full advantages. Although total knee replacement can enhance mobility, most patients will not be able to perform more than they could before developing arthritis.

A replacement knee may vary from a normal knee in terms of sensation. Even 12 months after surgery, most patients report feeling their new knees, according to a small survey. When mounting stairs, kneeling, or standing from a chair, their consciousness was most noticeable. Knee stiffness (the most frequent symptom), edema, crackling, or numbness were also experienced by around half of the participants in the survey.

Contact SPORT Orthopedics for a Bilateral Knee Replacement in Dallas

At SPORT, our orthopedic specialists have extensive experience with both surgery and alternative treatments. Along with knee surgery, we offer a less invasive knee arthroscopy surgery for other conditions. If you experienced a patellar fracture for example, this might be a viable option. Other knee conditions we treat include knee clicking, knock knees in children, runners knee, hyperextended knee, sore knees, sprained knees, and much more. To schedule an appointment with us, please call our office at 469-200-2832 or fill out our online intake form.