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Author Topic: two knees at once?  (Read 2814 times)

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Offline marilyn

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two knees at once?
« on: February 01, 2005, 10:54:14 PM »
My doctor reccomends I have both knees replaced in one procedure, what do you think?

Offline tanna76

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 12:05:14 AM »
Hi Marilyn.
I would imagine to do both at once would make getting around absolutely impossible (as opposed to just very difficult!) I dont know from personal experience but i know of a guy who ruptured his ACL in both knees and he had his reconstructions a couple of months apart so at least he had one reasonably intact knee at all times, not only for getting himself around the house but also to aid in rehab. I guess for you it would depend on how bad your knees are in the first place and if you have someone who can stay at home with you to look after you while you recover. I guess it would be a plus to get both surgeries out of the way all in one go, but you need to weigh up the pro and cons, and dont let your surgeon talk you into doing both at once if you dont think you can handle it.
 Best of luck. Let us know how you get along.

Offline knight_of_knee

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 12:19:28 AM »
My OS refused to scope both knees at once.  He said that it would cause too much disability and that having a "good leg" to use after surgery was very important.

I don't think I'd want to have both done at once...  Did you doctor give you any reason as to why he'd want to do them both at the same time?  Are your knee problems so severe that delaying one surgery would cause irreperable harm?

I think also you might want to think about your resources when considering one vs. both at a time.  Do you have someone who is reliable to help you while you are healing?  Do you live in a house that is easily navigatable?  Would you have to go up and downstairs reguarly?  Would be able to walk after surgery or would you have to use a wheelchair?

Good luck to you,

Sid


Offline kath

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2005, 12:54:53 AM »
Marilyn...is your dr referring to total knee replacements or partial knee replacements?  I had PKRs done on both knees in November and though it was certainly a challenge to have both done at once, it was the right decision for me.  It's important to have lots of help at home for the first couple of weeks.  TKRs on both would be a tougher recuperation.

There is a separate section on TKRs in the Arthritis Department which you may wish to read...Kath
« Last Edit: February 02, 2005, 12:57:22 AM by kath »
Bi-lateral unicompartmental Nov 2004

Offline ATsoccergirl

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2005, 01:49:44 AM »
In the clinical casebook, there used to be a case in which due to severe varus deformities a lady underwent a bilateral TKR.  Since you are immediately weight-bearing, I think the whole experiance would be more based on pain tolerance.  You also need to consider if only one knee is done, will your other knee be able to handle the added stress.  You will need to weigh out if the pain in the knee you wait on will be more than if both are done at once. 

In terms of bilateral ACL reconstructions, the trend is moving towards doing both at once also.
1999 LR, 2002 ACL/PLC recon, reversal of LR, 2004 ACL revision, 2006 Car accident torn PCL and small fractures resulting in bone chips in my knee.  Torn MCL 3 times.  Wicked screws under IT band and Pes Anserine.  June 2008-Hip Arthroscopy.

Offline kath

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2005, 02:22:19 AM »
Marilyn...ATsoccergirl brings up a good point.  When people suffer from bow-legs or knock-knees, PKRs or TKRs re-aligns the legs.  Depending on how severe the deformity is, correcting one knee at a time can cause problems for the other knee/hip/back because one leg can be shorter than the other.  Originally it was recommended I have osteotomy done on one leg at a time, with the surgery for the other leg being booked as soon as I could be full weight bearing.  I'm totally happy with having the PKRs done at the same time...and my legs are now straight compared to how bow-legged I was!

Your pain tolerance is certainly something to think about, and it sounds like you may want to ask your Dr more questions about both knees being done vs one at a time.  Perhaps there is someone on this site who had a bilateral TKR and can offer some advice...Kath
Bi-lateral unicompartmental Nov 2004

Offline marilyn

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2005, 05:55:06 PM »
Thank you all for writing. I have no cartiledge left in either knee. The right knee gives me a lot of pain, the left knee does not. When the doctor told me I needed to replacements (total) I was overwhelmed and very apprehensive. I am 68 years old and have a lot of anxiety about this operation. I have some issues with being difficult to sedate, very resistant to pain pills and shots. I am very afraid of the pain. I told my doctor this and suggested the less invasive surgery with smaller incision where they do not remove the knee cap...this is being done at Baylor in Dallas he said he had done it  that way but did not like to do it that way. I doubt this as the Baylor report said only three percent of American doctors have the tools to do this surgery that way.

I finally got up enough courage to call and make an appointment for the right knee which is the worst, was given the answer throughthe nurse that "the doctor says he does both knees at once or none at all. He says the pain level is the same, the anxiety level is the same." I have talked to many people who have had one knee done and only one person who had two done at once and she is glad it is over but said it nearly killed her (the pain).

I am in a state of feelig likd "I am damned if i I do and damned if I don't."

I do have a husband at home who could help me, a son offering to come home to help out awhile and a cleaning girl once every two weeks. I feel like a stupid wimp as I have an 83 year old friend who went thru this alone with no help but she did one knee at a time.

I welcome all opinions and consider them all sent in good faith. good luck to all of you. Marilyn

Offline kath

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 06:45:24 PM »
Marilyn...I would strongly suggest you get a second opinion from another OS.  I get nervous when I hear a blanket statement like only doing two knees at once or none at all.  This doesn't sound like a doctor who has his patient's best interest at heart.  At the very least, another doctor could confirm the necessity of both knees at once or based on your personal situation, assess the situation differently.  It may give you peace of mind.

There are hospitals who do perform the minimally invasive procedure for TKRs, and there are specific criteria for patients to be candidates.  Zimmer actually makes the tiny instruments to perform the surgery.  If I can find the post I placed awhile ago, it gives further info about the procedure and I will send it to you.

Please think about getting another opinion...Kath

PS: Marilyn, I just sent you a private message.  To read it just click on the new messages at the top left under user info
« Last Edit: February 02, 2005, 07:01:36 PM by kath »
Bi-lateral unicompartmental Nov 2004

Offline smiley196

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 09:26:26 PM »
Hi Marlyn, Persoanlly I dont think I would EVER want to have two at once. If you were to get them even just a few weeks apart, then you could get some strengh back, and deal with the pain. If you do have both done at once I would suggest getting 2 or 3 good freinds/family to live with you for a bit until you start feeling better.
*16 years old*
Left Knee:
Torn:PCL, ACL, MCL
SEVERAL dislocations
Grade 3 Chondromalacia
Medial & Lateral Meniscus tears
Plica Syndrome
Sept 14th 2005-(LK)ACL recon, TTT, menisectomy,plica removal

May 26th/06-Torn ACL(RK)

June 14th/06-(LK)ACL graft recon, screw removal, menisectomy

Offline Lizzie - UK

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 09:36:49 PM »
Marilyn

I had bilateral arthroscopies done on me in May 2002 just to investigate one knee and on the other knee it was to trim a torn medial mensicus and remove a suprapatella plica and rmove some scar tissue and some osteophytes and nodules on my ACL.

I would NEVER EVER have it done again and this was minor surgery.  I just found that I didn't have a leg to stand on LOL, although it was not funny. It was extremely painful to get around and I vowed that I would never let any OS do both my knees again.

I know that some people do have bilateral surgeries to their knees because they have problems with anaesthetics etc.  I think it is a toss up with what is best for each individual.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.  Remember it is YOUR decision and not your OS!

Much love ... Lizzie
Past History of L&R Knee
Bilateral OA
Medial Meniscal Tears
Lateral Releases & Medial Reefings
Ruptured LCL, MCL & PCL
Adhesions in the interconylar notch of ACL removed
Suprapatella plication
Debridements/Lavages
Deep chondral fissure in crest of patella
Awaiting MRI - LK
TKR - RK

Offline marilyn

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2005, 09:30:46 PM »
I appreciate all the replies and comments. I am definitely doing what you suggest and making another appointment with another doctor today. See? I THOUGHT  TWO KNEES AT ONCE WAS TOO MUCH. And apparently I was right. Will let you know what happens at this next appointment. Thanks again,
p.s. kath...goingto the site you suggested to read more, thanks.

Offline Lizzie - UK

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2005, 09:42:21 PM »
Hi Marilyn

I think that it is a good idea to get a second opinion whenever you are thinking of undergoing surgery.  At least this way you can get unbiaised opinions and then it is up to you what you want to do.

I wish you well with whatever you end up doing.

Take care ... Lizzie xx
Past History of L&R Knee
Bilateral OA
Medial Meniscal Tears
Lateral Releases & Medial Reefings
Ruptured LCL, MCL & PCL
Adhesions in the interconylar notch of ACL removed
Suprapatella plication
Debridements/Lavages
Deep chondral fissure in crest of patella
Awaiting MRI - LK
TKR - RK

Offline clare

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Re: two knees at once?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2005, 06:42:34 AM »
Hi there- I am on the list for two partial knee replacements- I am afraid if I only get one done  I won't get the other one done?
I am 63 years old and do have help at home but is this enough to have both knees done at once- is the incisiion a lot quicker to heal and is the total healing a lot a quicker than total knee replacement- my arthritis has stayed to the inner part of both knees- thanks for your answers- an inactive gramma