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.

Knee Surgery Continues to Advance

The field of orthopedic knee surgery covers everything from minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to total knee replacements. Although the majority of procedures we see at my San Diego orthopedic practice fall into the less invasive category, some edge cases will always require more involved interventions.

That’s why we are always monitoring the latest techniques and advances in knee surgery. Although the most common procedures are by now well known and considered safe, innovations continue to develop to cut down on recovery and rehabilitation. Case in point: a new artificial knee that has some patients back to work the very same day.

Of course there are always caveats, and not every candidate will respond in precisely the same way:

Professor Wilkinson adds that the success of a knee replacement also depends on many other factors, including age, weight, how active a person is and their attitude to post- rehabilitation therapy.

We are experienced in total knee replacement procedures, and proud to help many athletes, adults and children regain mobility after a serious injury. If you’re suffering with knee pain and want to learn about the vanguard in orthopedic knee surgery, contact my San Diego practice here today.