A bilateral knee replacement procedure is the same as a single knee replacement surgery, expect that both knees are operated on at the same time. Bilateral knee replacement or knee replacement may also known as arthroplasty. This type of procedure is considered for people suffering from severe knee injuries or arthritis. The surgical technique replaces damaged knee joints with artificial joints.
The upper (thigh) and lower leg (calf) is held together at the knee joint. The knee joint is made up of layers of cartilage that protect the knee and absorb the shock of walking and running. A thick cushion is found between the bone ends of the thighbone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). One of the most common causes of knee damage is osteoarthritis, which breaks down this joint cartilage and surrounding bone tissues.
Who Benefits from Bilateral Knee Replacement Surgery?
Individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis, arthritis and other bone degenerative disorders may be suitable candidates for bilateral knee replacement, but a surgeon will make a determination according to age, the amount of damage done to the knee joints, as well as what methods for strengthening or stability treatments have already been tried. For many, a single or bilateral knee replacement procedure may offer increased mobility and range of motion, reduced pain and improved quality of life for about 15 years following the surgical procedure.
Bilateral Knee Joint Surgical Procedure
In recent years, high tech equipment such as laparoscopic or endoscopic equipment and computer assisted surgery, also known as CAS, offers minimally invasive surgical techniques that are especially beneficial to those undergoing a bilateral knee joint replacement. Such procedures cause less tissue damage, reduce recovery time and enable the patient to get up and back on his feet more quickly.
Computer assisted surgery is utilized through the use of electromagnetic tools and infrared cameras that display images of the knee on a monitor or camera in the operating room. These images are transported through a small tube such as an endoscope, which allows the surgeon to view the operating field without the necessity of making a large incision. In most cases, incisions for laparoscopic, endoscopic or CAS-type surgical procedures range about one-half inch in length.
Knee replacement surgery requires a hospital stay and is generally performed under general anesthesia. The physician will make an incision and remove the damaged parts of the knee joint, replacing them with a metal or plastic prosthesis. Upon completion of the procedure, the incision is closed and a drain tube placed into the incision site to help remove buildup of fluid.
It is very important for patients to begin using their new knee joint soon after surgery. Physical therapy involving range of motion as well as walking as soon as possible will help to facilitate healing and mobility.
Cost of Procedures
In the United States, a knee replacement surgical procedure can cost up to or over $30,000, as compared to the $12,000 charged in India. The cost of ligament repair can cost around $17,000 per knee in America, with knee abrasion arthroplasty costing nearly twice that amount.
Who Performs Bilateral Knee Replacement Surgeries?
Orthopedic surgeries have developed a multitude of various sub-surgeries and sub-specialties, including hand, foot and back surgeries. Careful research and knowledge will help patients to understand the process they are going through, as well as to provide in-depth knowledge of surgical and healing processes. Orthopedic surgeons perform all types of orthopedic surgical procedures including knee surgeries. Potential patients should check to make sure their physician is certified with State, Provincial, or National Board of Orthopedic surgeon organizations or associations in their country of origin.