Is it right to have both knees replacement at the same time?

Nearly every Indian adult would understand the distress of knee pain at some point in their life. While for some people, this pain is merely a result of repeated strain and goes away in a few days, others have a more debilitating experience and fall in the need of knee replacement. Knee replacement surgery is one of the most widely performed surgeries across India. Estimates show that more than 1,20,000 knee replacements are done each year.

According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Orthopaedics, the most common indication for knee replacement is osteoarthritis amounting to nearly 97% of total cases. While most patients face problems in the only knee and thus require surgical repair in the affected knee, some people need a surgical replacement for both their knees.

What are knee replacements in both knees at the same time all about?

The surgery where you get both knees replaced at the same time is known as simultaneous knee replacements. As its name denotes, a simultaneous knee replacement is a surgery in which both your knees are operated on at the same time.

It is not uncommon to need total knee replacements in both knees. However, in such a condition, the question that arises is whether you should have both knees replaced at the same time or separately.

In this article, one of the best knee replacement surgeons in Gurgaon, helps us get the answer to this question.

Why should you consider replacing both knees at the same time?

Even when you may require knee replacements on both knees, it is ideal to consider the pros and cons of a simultaneous procedure before jumping to a decision. Your orthopaedic surgeon can assist you in making a wise decision to promote your overall health.

Here’s are some points that you must consider in order to make a wise and healthy choice.

The advantages of simultaneous knee replacement surgery:

There are some advantages of the surgery that are mostly time-related. Please note that there are no major medical differences or advantages of having knee replacements at the same time or at separate times. Here are some common advantages that you may have if you choose to have simultaneous surgery:

One surgery time – It is clear that you will only need to go through one surgery and have both knees operated on at a single time.

One recovery period – As the surgery on both knees will happen at once, your recovery period will also be more or less the same. You won’t need to spend much time away from work or your everyday activities to recover from the surgical replacement of both knees. Simultaneous knee replacements save rehabilitation time that you may need twice in case you have separate surgeries.

Besides a single surgical time and a single time for recovery, simultaneous knee replacements have no other clinical benefits. You will still need an aggressive approach to regain strength and flexibility.

The risks of simultaneous knee replacement surgery:

There are several risks and complications associated with simultaneous knee replacement surgeries. If you decide to undergo this operation, you must make sure to consider the possibility of these risks:

Longer anaesthesia – Since you will be operated on both knees, your surgery time will be extended and you will have to remain under the influence of anaesthesia for a longer time. An extended time under anaesthesia may cause certain problems if you have pre-existing health conditions such as lung disease.

Increased blood loss – A simultaneous knee replacement is like having two operations at the same time. Technically, two of your body organs will be operated on and hence you can expect an increased amount of blood loss. More blood loss puts you at a risk for the need of blood transfusion due to more haemoglobin loss.

Challenging recovery – After two surgeries, you may have an increased physical and emotional strain on your body. Your rehabilitation, hence, maybe a challenging time as you may need a more aggressive approach to re-attain your health. This also increases your chances of re-admission to the hospital for physical therapy and a fulfilled comprehensive recovery.

Who is a good candidate for having both knees replaced at the same time?

The option of having both knees replaced at the same time is not offered to everyone who needs a knee replacement. Your healthcare provider and the surgeon will analyse your condition and decide if you are fit enough to undergo this surgery.

A person who is physically fit and healthy and does not suffer from underlying conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, lung disease and more.

Your orthopaedic surgeon will assess if the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your knee are strong enough to bear through the surgery. Besides, you should also be psychologically prepared for the surgery.

Simultaneous knee surgery is often performed on younger patients and avoided for patients above the age of 75 years due to an increased risk of complications.

A knee replacement is a complex operation. It is also one of the most major surgeries in the field of orthopaedics. It is always beneficial for patients to understand and learn about the surgical procedure, its benefits and risks and how to be prepare for the surgery.

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