Bi-lateral TKR

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what does the term 'Bi-lateral TKR' mean - surely both knees can't be operated upon at the same time. Or can it?  How on earth could you get back on your feet with both knees stiff and painful . Please excuse my ignorance - its all new to me.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Margaret, I am afraid that's exactly what it means.Talk to your Dr. about surgery, therapy, and recovery time. I have had only one done with the other right behind it. Unfortunley I am still not back at work after 3 months. Ask your physician as many questions as you can possible think of. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I'm not sure if that's what it means , but I need both knees done, and asked if I could have them done at the same time, and was told definitely not, , the risks are high, 40 percent chance of heart attack , obviously double the risk of blood clot, and all sorts of other things, some surgeons do do it, but not mine, said he wouldn't put me through it, also the recovery is really slow, and very hard. I'm 54, so it's not like my age is against me, I'm other than my arthritis, pretty healthy, and usually active, . Once she explained the pros and cons I didn't want them done together, and I only had a pkr. 😀, hope that help answer your question.👍
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  • Posted

    Indeed, that's the definition. There are several of those brave souls on here the will respond to the 3nd part of your question
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  • Posted

    hi margaret -- well, yes, it is possible.  i met a lady in rehab who was there after exactly that operation.  she was walking on crutches quite well, sitting at that point (under a week after the operation) was impossible.  i sat there lst for words as i was struggling in a major way after "just" one knee.  she told me that she wanted it done and over with in one swoop.

    i live in switzerland and only a handful of doctors do this, obviously only if both knees are so bad that it justifies the intervention.  my own doctor flatly refused.  and looking back, i can see why.  every patient is different but i could not even think about having had both done at the same time.

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  • Posted

    Hi Margaret. Yes it can be done, but it's not easy. I'm 57 and 8 weeks post op from having my left knee and right hip replaced. Not the same I know, but every medical professional I've come across greeted the news with a sharp intake of breath! The good news is that it gets everything over with at the same time and you can only feel one area of pain at a time. The downside is that recovery is very difficult. I've no regrets about having opposite side knee and hips done at the same time - I rarely feel pain from my hip, pain from my knee drowns it out! Seriously though, think very carefully about it and please don't hesitate to ask if I can help in any way. Best wishes xxx
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    • Posted

      Thank you all for your responses.  It hasn't been suggested in any way that I should have a bi-lateral TKR, nor would I request it .  In fact my consultant said he would only operate on the second knee when the first was stable.  I am 76 yrs old, fit in all other ways except painful joints, of a positive frame of mind but not expecting an easy ride.  But, having heard the term, I just wondered ...   Thanks again to you all.  These forums are extremely helpful.biggrin
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    • Posted

      Hi, I am one of those brave soles also lol I had both knees done on the 3rd March, it was extremely painful and difficult, still not back at work but bend is good just having a little problem with straightening,

      I don't know if I would recommend having both done at the same time because to be honest it was bloody painful ( excuse the French) lol x

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  • Posted

    I am one of those brave souls. I just wanted it done so that I didn't have prolonged pain or time of being unable to do things. I'm currently living in India and it's fairly common here. I'm 51 now, and had the surgery nearly 7 months ago. Afterward, I thought surely there must have been a momentarty laps of judgement in making the decision to just get it over with. It is a challeng to deal with. You really need your legs for so much more than just walking! But I'm here today to tell you that it's quite doable.
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  • Posted

    Hi, Yes, I had both knees done at the SAME time....TKR!!  Painful yes, but wouldn't have done it any other way!!  I was up walking the same day of surgery and walking on a treadmill 4 days later.  My Range of motion are both back to normal...however, now 5 months later, my one knee started to swell and has blood on it, my surgeon drained it and told me to elevate, ice and take ibuprofen!!  Plus I own a boutique so I am on my feet long hours....Have learned that I need to take more breaks and elevate!! 
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  • Posted

    I chose to have Bilateral as both of my knees were as bad as each other and I just wanted to get it over and done with.  Wasn't sure whether I was brave or stupid. My surgeon, who is absolutely brilliant, had faith in me being able to handle it being young enough, 58, and strong enough both physically and mentally.  I am now 9 days post op and doing really well. Have been easily walking without aid since day 4 which is just amazing.  I had worked with a Physio before the op to build muscle strength which I think was a big factor in reaching 105 bend before leaving hospital. Keeping up with the exercise program at home also essential.  Feeling really stiff today, and I do suspect that I have worse to come, but so far I am really happy that I made the decision to do both.  Having a surgeon and anaesthatist that are forward thinking and using new techniques to reduce post op pain have been a big factor.  Both knees were pretty much anaesthetised for the first week post op. I cannot thank my surgical team enough...just brilliant..and a big factor in my ease of recovery so far. I honestly was expecting a much worse time of it.  

    Ali, Perth Australia

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    • Posted

      Wow Ali, that sounds like a dream operation. It's great to hear that these sort of things do happen! And that there is some really great up and coming techniquest. I keep thinking, if I need to do this in 20 years, it's gotta be different. Now there's hope. Can you tell I'm a planner?
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  • Posted

    Hi Margaret, I had both my knees done at the same time 10 weeks ago & have no regrets.  I walked from the bed to the door of my room that afternoon & the second day walked half way along the hospital hallway.  I had a wonderful surgeon & anaesthetist who ensured that I had fantastic pain relief. I never used crutches.  I started with a frame, then wheelie walker & at 2 weeks progressed to a stick. Walking was almost pain free compared to the pain before the surgery.  It is a long road & you do have to work hard with your exercise, rest as much as possible & drink lots of water.  I am 68 years old & am so pleased it is all behind me & I can only go forwards from here.
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    • Posted

      Well after reading this, I wish my surgeon would have let me have them both done at the same time, at least it would be all done, I did discuss it with the physio, sue and she said my surgeon NEVER does them together, makes you wonder if one of his surgery s went a bit wrong, cause I did really give a hard push for it, to no avail, . Can't do a lot about it now, am seeing him on the 9 June, so hopefully he will have a date for me fingers crossed.
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  • Posted

    I am 71 and have both knees replaced 13 weeks ago. Playing. Golf. 1 leg a bit stiff at times.  I do a ton of stretching and excercise.

    the first 3 weeks were very hard. Two at the same time are not for the faint hearted. I went in in great shape. That helps. The 40% heart attack risk, for someone healthy, is not true. Any questions?

    stretching and progressing excercise is the key to a god recovery.

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