Bilateral knee replacement is a procedure in which both the knees are operated. It is defined as the surgery to replace diseased weight bearing surfaces of both the knees with the help of an artificial material which is made up of metal and plastic prosthesis devices. In this procedure, general or spinal anesthesia is given. The surgeon shaves the joint cartilage at the ends of the femur and tibia and fits them prosthetic caps they are reattached to the remaining bone with specialized cement. After the surgery is completed, there will be a large dressing on the knee area. A drainage tube will be there to help drain excess fluids from the joint post surgery.
The most common reason for a bilateral total knee replacement is severe arthritis. It causes pain and stiffness in both knees interfering with activities of daily living. Even simple activities like bending for picking something become difficult. It is ideal for patients who have significant deformity of both knees. This type of surgery allows the patient to walk straighter and without any pain and complications.
You will be admitted to the hospital and you shall undergo medical investigations required prior to surgery. Investigation reports are evaluated and you are explained about the procedure. Pre anaesthetic check-up (PAC) is conducted and your consent for the procedure is taken.
You would be moved to OT. You would undergo spinal anaesthesia and surgery will then be performed. After the surgery, you will be shifted to normal hospital room. Pain medications would be started. You may have a X-Ray of operated joint.
You would wear a knee immobilizer and undergo cold therapy unit on the knee. Our rehabilitation team would help you in getting mobilized.
You will get out of bed with walker or cane and perform post-operative exercises. You will be discharged with follow up instructions on medications and physiotherapy.
It takes about 4-8 weeks for complete recovery after surgery. You would be asked to visit the doctor after 8-10 following surgery for incision inspection and stiches/stapler removal.
During 1-3 weeks after surgery you would need walking aids, either walker or cane can be used. You may need an elevated commode seat and grab bar in washroom for safety. During these weeks you would be encouraged to walk and undergo rehabilitation exercises. The same shall continue till 6 weeks following which regular activity can be undertaken.
While recovering you would need to follow specific precautions provided to you by your therapists which include-
• Do not pivot or twist your operated leg.
• Do not kneel or squat.
In general the patients recover well and would need routine follow-up, however, you may need to visit the hospital in emergency in case following occur-
• You have increasing pain in the operative site.
• There is increased redness, swelling, warmth or discharge from the operated site.
• If your ability to flex(bend your knee) has decreased or remains the same as when you were discharged from the hospital.
• You have temperature above 101 for more than 24 hours.