If arthritis is causing you severe pain in both knees, you may be wondering if the bilateral total knee arthroplasty recovery process is worth the potential pain relief the surgery may provide for you. We’d like to first assure you that while having both knees replaced may seem like a big decision, thousands of Rothman Institute patients undergo this procedure and complete successful recoveries each year.
Bilateral Knee Arthroplasty Choices
While you may be confident in your decision to have joint replacement surgery, what may not be quite as clear is the choice between having a simultaneous or staged procedure. You probably have questions about the difference between the two, which would be best for you and what to expect during your recovery.
The Pros & Cons of Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty Recovery
Like most difficult decisions in life, there are positive and negative aspects to the two options for bilateral knee replacement. While a simultaneous surgery allows you to have both joints replaced under the same anesthesia and within the same surgical event, it can potentially increase the chance of complications and is the right choice only for certain patients.
For example, if you are over the age of 80, suffer from any kind of cardiac or pulmonary disease, a simultaneous procedure would not be the best option for you. For others, though, for whom these contraindications do not apply, the pro’s and con’s of the simultaneous procedure can be summarized as follows:
Pro: You only have one recovery period!
Con: Your recovery will be more intensive.
The good news is that this is not a decision you’ll have to make on your own. At Rothman Institute
, our team of knee specialists have decades of experience in joint replacement methodologies and techniques. When you meet with your joint replacement surgeon, he will be able to help you to make an informed, clinical decision based on a thorough consideration of the following criteria:
Your overall health
The extent of the damage to your knees
Quick Tips for a Smooth Recovery:
In the mean time, you can begin to prepare for a successful, smooth bilateral total knee arthroplasty recovery by checking out our helpful tips below.
Work to maintain a healthy lifestyle leading up to surgery (quit smoking, lose weight, if necessary)
Set up a temporary living space on the bottom floor of your home so that you can avoid climbing steps for the first week after surgery
Clear out the floor of your temporary living space by removing obstacles such dog beds, cords or loose carpets
Install safety bars or a secure handrail in your shower and along walkways, especially if they could be slippery
Commit to completing all at-home exercising as well as any PT that your surgeon recommends