Is Double Knee Replacement Right For You?

african american man holding kneePatients deciding whether to have a double knee replacement must carefully consider the pros and cons, an orthopedic surgeon says.

“Many people want to have a double knee replacement because they feel they can get it over with faster since there’s one surgery, one hospital stay and one course of rehabilitation,” said Dr. Geoffrey Westrich.

Called a “bilateral procedure,” double knee replacement enables people with severely arthritic knees to get back to their normal lives faster, “and for the right patient, it’s a good option,” said Westrich. He is research director of adult reconstruction and joint replacement at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

“However, double knee replacement is not for everyone, and people should be well-informed before making a decision,” he added.

Double knee replacement has a higher rate of complications, including heart problems and blood clots. Patients lose more blood, so are more likely to need a blood transfusion, and rehabilitation is much more demanding, Westrich said.

Patients must be in excellent physical condition, aside from the arthritis, and have no underlying health problems, he explained.