The knee plays an important role in mobility. However, this joint may get damaged or diseased over a period of time because of an injury or conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and so on. The damage to the knee joint may lead to terrible pain and immobility. A knee replacement surgery is advised when the pain and mobility are not improved despite continuous use of medications and physical exercises.
A bilateral knee replacement surgery is performed when both the knees are damaged to diseased. If only one knee is affected, then the knee replacement surgeon recommends the patient to undergo replacement of just one knee, a procedure known as unilateral knee replacement surgery. Osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, knee deformity, avascular necrosis, and swelling and inflammation of the cartilage surrounding the knee are some of the indications for unilateral and bilateral knee replacement surgery.
A knee replacement surgeon may decide to conduct a total knee replacement surgery or a partial knee replacement surgery, depending on the extent of the damage. A minimally invasive surgery can also be conducted with the help of an arthroscope. This type of surgery allows for minimal healing time, quick knee replacement recovery time, and fewer complications.
A bilateral knee replacement surgery is sometimes performed on both the knees in a single surgery or the surgeon may decide to operate on them individually in separate surgeries. The former case is preferred when the patient is young and the overall health is normal and maintained. In the latter case, there could be a gap of a few hours or a few days between the two surgeries.
During bilateral knee replacement surgery, you will be given general or spinal
The surgeon removes the kneecap and then the damaged or diseased parts of the knee are removed. These are replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic implants (as chosen by the surgeon, depending on the requirement). The implants are fixed using cemented or cementless fixation. The incision is closed with the help of stitches.
Bilateral knee replacement surgery lasts anywhere between one to three hours (is a single knee is replaced) or four to five hours (if both are replaced during the same surgery). Once the surgery is over, you are transferred to the recovery room for a few hours.
Bilateral knee replacement surgery is a major procedure and therefore, recovery may take time. You are likely to experience pain for the initial few weeks. However, it goes away gradually as you start performing physical exercises recommended by the doctor.
You should keep your wound dry and clean to prevent infection after the surgery. In addition, you should elevate your leg often for reduced pain. Talk to your surgeon if you experience redness, swelling, or inflammation around the knee.
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