Orthopedic Knee Surgery: How Much is Too Much?

Knee replacement surgery is one of the more involved procedures in any orthopedic surgeon’s schedule. It is neither minimally invasive nor easily recoverable, and is typically reserved for cases when wear or damage proves insurmountable.

But as intense as the procedure is, some proponents have begun calling for double knee replacements on occasion, a procedure known as simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. It is the subject of much disagreement:

A study in May in the Journal of Arthroplasty compared cases matched for risks in simultaneous bilateral and unilateral knee surgeries in a database of nearly 44,000 patients. It found no significant difference in the rate of complications including infection, hospital re-admission, or death. But bilateral procedures were associated with increased overall complications and risk of subsequent surgery within 30 days.

Each side has a point, of course. If a patient is likely to replace the second knee anyway and endure many months of rehab, there is no question that it’s more efficient to combine both procedures into a single hospital stay. On the other hand, a second, separate surgery doubles all the risks we associate with orthopedic surgery, inducing the chance of infection, blood clots, and other complications.

The only sure way to determine which approach is right for you is to speak with the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego. Contact my offices to set up your appointment today.

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