Should You Have Both Knees Replaced at the Same Time?

For most patients, the question of whether to get a knee replacement is a big decision that requires a lot of thought and consideration. Among the considerations for this procedure are whether there’s someone to help you with aftercare, the length of your recovery, and when you can return to work and other normal activity. 

These questions are magnified even further when considering if a simultaneous double knee replacement is right for you. That means having both knees replaced during one surgery. To make the best choice, you need to be aware of what a double knee replacement entails. 

One knee versus two

The main advantage to having both knees done at the same time is that you only have one surgery. That means doing some major things only once -- going under anesthesia, staying in the hospital, and going through rehabilitation. 

But the downside is that your recuperation will be a bit tougher because both knees are healing. So whether you have your knees replaced in one procedure or two is really a matter of your own preference and your orthopedic surgeon’s expert recommendation.

Presurgery considerations

If you have knee surgery with us at Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, you have a presurgical consultation. At that appointment, Dr. Michael Hood and our team perform a physical exam and run a battery of tests to ensure that you’re a good fit for knee replacement. X-rays or an MRI may also be done on your knees. Fitness for this surgery is not only contingent upon the condition of your knees but also on your overall health. 

When you’re considering undergoing a double knee replacement, postsurgical considerations become of even greater importance. Are you willing and able to attend physical therapy? Do you have family or friends available who are willing to assist with your care in the weeks after the surgery? 

Once you’ve been deemed as a good fit for a double knee replacement, Dr. Hood and his team go over what to expect from the surgery and aftercare as well as answering any questions and concerns.

What to expect from surgery

Having two knees replaced typically takes three or more hours, although every case is individual. During this time the doctor carefully removes damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with a combination of metal and plastic that enables your new knee to function as closely as possible to how a healthy knee functions. 

Dr. Hood may use robot-assisted technologies or any number of other methods to make the surgery less invasive and lend itself to quicker healing time. Dr. Hood and his team will discuss surgery plans with you beforehand and give a more specific and individual idea of what to expect. 

Postsurgical healing

Like the surgery itself, healing is very individual, however, most people are able to slowly return to normal activity after about one month. What that month between surgery and regular activity may look like is having help from a loved one or home health aid in cooking, getting around and performing day to day tasks.

Having physical therapy is very beneficial to thorough and faster healing. One of the major benefits of being a patient Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is that we offer in-house physical therapy with knowledgeable therapists who are already aware of the particulars of your case. 

If you have knee pain or simply want to better understand if double knee replacement is the next best step for you, call one of our offices in West Memphis or Collierville, Tennessee, to book a consultation or use the online scheduling tool.

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