Bilateral Knee Replacement – Is It Advised

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Bilateral Knee Replacement – Is It Advised

bilateral knee replacement

If you have been an active athlete or if your knees are giving away because of advancing age, you may have realized that you need to have your knee replaced soon. Well, if both knees of a person start to hurt, is it advisable for the individual to have both the knees replaced simultaneously?

Though this is possible, there are risks of undergoing two separate surgeries, one soon after the other. The doctor takes time to explain to every single patient that knee replacement by itself is major surgery. Operating on the second knee soon after the first one causes additional stress to the patient. In case you suffer from pain in both your knees and are a patient for bilateral knee replacement, given below are a few things that you should know.

Bilateral Knee Replacement: Is it necessary

Firstly, bilateral knee replacements mean convenience. This surgery is a one-time affair, once away from work and is a one-time recovery period. Other than these there are no other special medical benefits for this surgery. Bilateral knee replacement also shortens the rehabilitation period. However, strength and flexibility training should be aggressive to derive maximum benefits from the surgery.

Bilateral Knee Replacement: The Risks

Whether the surgeries are done on one knee after the other by the same surgeon or two surgeons operate simultaneously on each knee, the risks are many in either case. Let us see what they are.

Longer Anaesthesia

As the surgeon spends a longer time operating on both the knees, the patient spends a longer time under anesthesia. This makes for added risk, especially if the patient has a heart or lung issue.

Blood Loss

If a single knee is being replaced, the blood loss is usually limited. However, if both the knees are being replaced, then the patient would need blood transfusion due to the loss of hemoglobin.

Blood Clots

There is purportedly a higher risk of pulmonary embolism occurring in the patient when bilateral knee replacement is performed. A blood clot can break loose and get into the lungs. This can be fatal if it happens.


In case of bilateral knee replacement, there is every chance that the patient will be sent to the rehabilitation center instead of back home as after a single knee replacement surgery. In case the patient spends more time in the rehab, there is every chance that they will be re-admitted to the hospital.

Bilateral Knee Replacement: Who is a Candidate

The best candidates for bilateral knee replacement are the ones that are active and have strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The candidate should possess good general health and would be better off without the history of any lung or heart disease.

Dr. Santosh Shetty, the best knee replacement surgeon in Mumbai, opines that any patient should approach bilateral knee replacement with caution. The best candidate for a bilateral knee replacement surgery would be a healthy young and a risk-loving person. On the day of the surgery, every time he first operates the knee that is worse off with pain. That way if the anesthetist requests him to stop after doing one knee, the worse one is anyway fixed first.

Get in touch with our experts to know If bilateral knee replacement is right for you.

Dr. Santosh Shetty
Dr. Santosh Shetty
Specialist in Joint Replacement and Trauma Surgery with more than 15 years of experience.
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