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, vascular 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 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.
Before bilateral knee replacement surgery, the knee replacement surgeon may conduct a serious of diagnostic tests to check for your overall fitness. These generally include an ECG, blood tests, and a chest X-ray.
You may also be advised to perform a few exercises to strengthen the muscles of your knee and legs. This helps ensure faster and easy recovery. You are advised to talk to your surgeon and a few of his patients to set expectations out of the procedure. You should be aware of the approximate knee replacement recovery time and the amount of pain that you are likely to experience.
You will be told not to eat or drink anything at least six to 12 hours before the surgery. If needed, your surgeon will conduct an arthroscopic examination of your knee to see the extent of damage and device a surgical approach that best suits your condition.
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 anaesthesia to make you unconscious or induce numbness. The knee is cut open (in case of open surgery) and a small incision is made in case of minimally invasive surgery.
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.
Bilateral knee replacement surgery cost is significantly less in India as compared to any other country in the world. This is despite the fact that the orthopaedic hospitals in the country make use of the best quality implants and avail all types of rehabilitation facilities for speedy recovery of the patient who have had replacement of both the knees.
The cost of knee surgery in India is less than one-tenth the cost of same surgery in the US. The quality of treatment in both these countries is more or less the same. Bilateral knee replacement in India is a popular procedure and is availed by thousands of patients each year. India is regarded as one of the best countries for knee replacement surgery in the world.
Cost of knee replacement surgery in India proves highly economical if it is performed on both the knees. A patient saves thousands of dollars by opting to get both the knees replaced than just one.
The following table indicates the cost of total knee surgery in India (bilateral) and some of the most popular medical tourism destinations:
Cost of Bilateral Knee Replacement in India and Abroad
Q. What is the time duration of the bilateral knee replacement surgery?
A. The surgery may take 1-3 hours to complete if a single knee is operated. Both the knees take four to five hours time.
Q. For how long should I use the bandage after surgery?
A. The bandage can be used for one week until the wound is dry and should be changed daily with a new dry sterile gauze.
Q. What are the uses of knee replacement surgery?
A. Knee replacement surgery eases pain and increases the joint mobility without causing pain and discomfort.
Q. Is any special equipment required after surgery?
A. A CPM machine might be required for the first few days after surgery to increase the range of motion. The mobility devices like crutches and walkers can be used.
Q. Can I resume to my daily activities like before?
A. Normal daily activities can be done along muscle strengthening exercises. Running, jumping, and bicycling should be avoided.
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