Total knee replacement is the most successful surgical procedure of modern era. Total Knee Replacement can be performed as unilateral (single knee) or bilateral (both knee together). An arthritis patient with single arthritic knee is the candidate for unilateral knee replacement surgical procedure. Bilateral surgical procedure is preferred for arthritic patients who have arthritis in both knees. There are two types of bilateral knee replacement surgery:
• Simultaneous Bilateral Knee Replacement
During this procedure joint surgeon replaces both the knee joints at the same time.
• Staged Bilateral Knee Replacement
In staged bilateral knee replacement each knee is replaced after a gap of time, the second surgery may be performed as early as four days after the initial surgery, or several weeks or months later.
What are the benefits of a bilateral knee replacement?
The benefit of simultaneous knee replacement is that the deformity of both the knees is corrected at once. The overall rehabilitation time is a shorter, and there is only one hospitalisation. Patients also require only one anesthesia and pain relief in both knees is at the same time.
Disadvantage / complication of bilateral knee replacements
While modern anesthesia and pain techniques have revolutionised knee replacement surgery and made it safe and reproducible, bilateral knee replacement is offered only to patients who are medically fit and have good heart and lung reserves.
Bilateral (both knees surgeries together) surgery should be performed only at specialised centres by experienced hands as it ought to be completed efficiently, in time and without compromising patients safety.