An outpatient bilateral total knee replacement means that the two joints are repaired over time in an outpatient same day surgical center. The goal of a bilateral knee replacement surgery is to remove both affected joints along with any painful arthritis that has formed and replace them with two fully functioning prosthetic knees.
Jeffery T. says, “The best thing about having this surgery was not having the pain anymore.”
Knee replacement surgery requires a surgeon to repair the damaged knee joint by replacing the original surface with a prosthesis. The prosthetic is made of metal, ceramic, and plastic and it can restore the function of the knee and eliminate the pain of arthritis. Bilateral knee replacement surgery means that both knees are replaced, sometimes, as in the case of Jeffrey, each knee is repaired consecutively, several months apart.
The knee itself is a complex, weight supporting joint. The knee joint works to bring together the two long bones in the lower (tibia) and upper leg (femur), holding them at the flex point (patella) with muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Each bone is covered by a softer layer of cartilage that works as shock absorbers to keep the bones from rubbing together. Knee replacement removes the damaged portion of the knee itself and replaces it with a prosthesis cemented to the remaining bone.
Replacing both knees surgically can occur in one sitting or in two, depending on the health and preferences of the patient and the consulting physician. When both knees are replaced simultaneously the surgery is called a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. When the knee replacement surgery occurs concurrently, the procedure is termed a staged bilateral knee replacement. Jeffrey had his left knee surgery in May and his right was completed in August of the same year.
A staged bilateral knee replacement surgery focuses on one knee at a time in two separate surgeries. Each surgery is about two hours long and are done typically a few months apart to allow time for healing. The goal is to allow one knee to heal before undertaking the second surgery.
With a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement, the patient undergoes one surgery to replace both knees. This means there is one hospital stay and rehabilitation during the entire process. However, the rehabilitation process is slower. Patients need more assistance typically after these surgeries and it is more difficult because both knees are affected.