Total Knee Replacements: One at a Time, or Both Together?If you have arthritis in both knees and need both joints replaced, should you have them done one at a time or both at the same time? This debate goes on in medical circles. Some doctors recommend both at the same time because it saves money and time. Others do only one at a time for safety and because of the increased rate of problems.
A doctor from the University of Tennessee reviewed studies done so far on this issue. In this article he presents the reported advantages and disadvantages of having both knees done at the same time (bilateral replacement). On the positive side:
The downside of bilateral knee joint replacement:
The doctor concludes that each patient must be evaluated one at a time when making the decision to do both knees at once. Reports seem to suggest this operation should be limited to patients younger than 70. They should be free of heart disease. Patient selection is the key to success.
Douglas A. Dennis, MD. Debate: Bilateral Simultaneous Total Knee Arthroplasty. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. November 2004. Vol. 428. Pp. 82-83.
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