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Author Topic: bilateral knee replacement  (Read 1681 times)

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Offline JAYHAWK

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bilateral knee replacement
« on: August 24, 2007, 07:47:21 PM »
bilateral knee replacement
on: Today at 07:39:29 PM

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Just found this site and would appreciate some input. I am a 60-year old with very arthritic knees.....played multiple sports and have had five minscectomies (four on the left knee). I have run the gammut of theraputic options (had numerous hyaluronic injections).....take daily anti-inflamatory medication and also now get cortisone injections on a quarterly basis which imparts a degree of pain relief. My orthopaedic surgeon has agreed to do the cortisone injections for as long as I can tolerate the pain. I know that total knee replacement is inevitable and had wanted to delay as long as possible as I am very active physically and as such that I may only have a replacement twice rather than three times.

Problem is that my physical activity has become severely impaired and now giving more consideration to replacement. Any opinions on bilateral replacement versus one at a time.

Thanks,
Steve

Offline costumer

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Re: bilateral knee replacement
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2007, 04:10:35 AM »
  bilateral knee replacement
on: Today at 07:39:29 PM      

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Problem is that my physical activity has become severely impaired and now giving more consideration to replacement.  Any opinions on bilateral replacement versus one at a time.

Hi Steve,

   a lot of people will tell you to do them one at a time, usually many months (or a year) apart. Personally, I want it overwith as soon as possible - and I'm having both done at the same time Sept 18! Had to convince my OS and my primary, but they finally came around. It is a harder rehab, and you have twice the pain (well, maybe not pain level, but both legs will hurt). But I figure if I don't have a good leg to stand and rehab on anyway.. whats the difference! (I'm 47)

   My husband had a co-worker who had both of his done a year and a half ago. He was in his mid-50s and soon to retire. Everyone told him he was nuts, but he was adamant and both he and his wife still say it was the best decision he ever made (possibly except marrying her?).

   So there's a wide age range all in favor of bi-lateral. You will also find many who want them one at a time. So consider carefully your situation and what you can handle.

            -Judy

    One of my clients had a mother who had both of hers done at the same time - she was in her late 80s, (early 90s?) and she did great.
Dx: bi-lat subluxating patellae w/chondromalacia 4/1977
6/78 LR - LK
1/80 TTT-Hauser LK; 12/80 Proximal Realignment Mystery- RK
1/82 Maquet TTT- LK
11/06 Meniscectomy; Mild OA- RK, 12/06 Meniscectomy; Mod OA- LK
3/07 Bi-lat severe arthritis
9/18/07 bi-lat TKR

Offline DeniseC

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Re: bilateral knee replacement
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2007, 04:54:32 AM »
Hi Steve - I have a good friend who had bilateral replacements about 4 years ago.  She said it was the best thing she ever did.  Went to Dr. Dearborn in Fremont, CA (don't know where youare).  I can't imagine doing it, 'way too scary for me, but if I had two really bad knees it would also be scary to anticipate rehabbing on one TKR and one unstable or bad knee!  I think you should trust yourself on what you want to do.  Also, if you have a PT you know and trust, talk to them about what to expect - they will tell you if they think you can manage what's required. 
Best of luck.
1/2005 first meniscectomy
6/2005 second one
severe osteoarthritis both knees
10/06 Hyalgen injection series
8/07 Synvisc injections
Pain meds, exercise, massage!
2/27/08 bilateral TKR's plus a bonus emergency arterial graft
5/14/08 doing better, ROM R124 and L138!

Offline jathib

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  • ACL recon, lateral menisectomy, lateral PKR
Re: bilateral knee replacement
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2007, 12:12:50 PM »
I've had  PKR and there's no way in hell I would do both of them at once. Everyday life was difficult enough with one bad knee, with two it would have been nearly impossible and made me totally dependent on another person. Getting up stairs is an issue, I could never have gotten into my house with two bad knees. Forget sitting on a toilet, with little to hang onto it's nearly impossible to sit and get back up again. Forget driving.

With one bad knee I was able to send my husband back to work in a couple days. I could hobble around on crutches well enough to take care of myself. I could not have done anything with two bad legs and probably would have needed to stay in a rehab center.

All that being said, you should get your knees fixed as soon as possible. The outcome of surgery will be worse the more you damage them. And you are damaging them by continuing to be active and getting cortisone injections. You'll be surprised at how good you'll feel after surgery but if you wait too long the outcome may not be as good as you hoped.

Offline eaglemom

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Re: bilateral knee replacement
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2007, 05:26:29 AM »
I'm not sure this will help in the decision since its yours to make, and live with.  At my rehab place there is a woman, probably 55 - 63ish in age that is rehabing from having both knees done.  She is doing great - slower than she'd like but thats something we all face.  The problem she's found is she is very dependent on her husband for driving, etc.  They both knew it but its been adjustment for them both.  Also, usually they like to have you 3x's a week for rehab.  If you have both done at the same time you can't do it that often because your simply don't have the strength.  So she comes 2 x's - one day only very light work on one leg and heaver duty stuff on the other.  The next time its the opposite.  So potentially rehabing will take longer.

I found it very interesting that the pt she was working with does not agree with doing them at the same time.  She simply feels its too difficult to recover.  The two other pt there both think its great - you go to rehab longer, both knees are fixed together and by doing that you seamingly get both knees in good shape at the same time.

There you have it, everyone has different opinions.  I am not to that point yet - hopefully years away but I have my doubts!  I'd simply give it serious thought and discussion with family and friends and maybe also talk to the pt facility you will be using and get a read on it that way.  Let us know and good luck.