TKR decisions to make

Posted by ktgirl @ktgirl, Oct 13, 2021

I found out I need both knees replaced due to RA and OA. I've been hearing people say to get them both done at once. Has anyone done that here and how does the recovery work. How do you do therapy with both knees recovering. Thanks
Carol

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I have bilateral knee replacements. Partial on the right, and total on the Left. I'm a CRRN, Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse. Get both knees done at the same time is a TERRIBLE idea! You need one solid leg, whenever possible, so you can pivot on it, to aid from transferring from the bed, to a chair, or to the toilet. Who do you think is going to LIFT you to do these things? Unless you have a muscle-bound spouse, I STRONGLY advise AGAINST it! Good Luck to you!

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@512dmcrn

I have bilateral knee replacements. Partial on the right, and total on the Left. I'm a CRRN, Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse. Get both knees done at the same time is a TERRIBLE idea! You need one solid leg, whenever possible, so you can pivot on it, to aid from transferring from the bed, to a chair, or to the toilet. Who do you think is going to LIFT you to do these things? Unless you have a muscle-bound spouse, I STRONGLY advise AGAINST it! Good Luck to you!

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That's what I thought too. I couldn't believe people would do that. I am sure I won't do it that way. Thank you for your response. I hope I have good luck with mine.

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Don't do them at the same time !! yes it's a tough rehab and some people will say they never would have done the next one after going thru one, don't listen . Find a GOOD DOCTOR , get yourself ready , do one , do rehab , get strong again , and do the next. BEST OF LUCK

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I would be surprised if a reputable surgeon would do both at once, unless there were some extenuating circumstances. You will need to spend weeks in PT rehab including home exercises if you expect your new knee to get back a near normal range of motion, strength and stability. For many of the weight bearing exercises, including stairs, you need one leg to be stable enough to help take off the load from the operated leg until it is able to take over. You'd be in a walker for much longer than doing one knee at a time.
I had both knees done a year apart. The first knee was much worse, and the 2nd knee was not planned that way, I just knew when it was time. If all is normal and goes well with your rehab on the first knee, just from my experience, you might be able to schedule the 2nd knee in about 3 months, 6 months would be better. Everyone heals at different speeds, so who knows?
Also, I personally know of three people that have only had one knee done, and all of them are happy with their walking ability and so far don't seem to think they will need the other done. I suspect that the new TKR knee when healed, takes pressure and stress off the other old knee and some people can continue without a 2nd TKR.

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I cannot imagine doing this!
I had bilateral hip replacement surgery 7 weeks apart and that was TOO close. The first leg was not strong enough to be of much help in moving when the second was done, and the next 3 months were pretty miserable.
@ddsack is right – at least 3 months. I also like to remind people – your BODY – not just knee – has suffered trauma from surgery, and needs time to heal.
Sue

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@sprinrosa64

Don't do them at the same time !! yes it's a tough rehab and some people will say they never would have done the next one after going thru one, don't listen . Find a GOOD DOCTOR , get yourself ready , do one , do rehab , get strong again , and do the next. BEST OF LUCK

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I just had my 1st TKR July 20th. Im 12 weeks post op. How long do you feel one should wait to do the other knee as long as rehab has gone well and typical.
SuzIeT

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SuzIeT , you now know it's a tough surgery even when all goes well, with that said I waited 8mons. and really got myself prepared to go through it again. There is a lot of healing that must take place even if you feel good ,don;t rush . I have heard many people do 10- 11 months but you will know what's right for you

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@suziet

I just had my 1st TKR July 20th. Im 12 weeks post op. How long do you feel one should wait to do the other knee as long as rehab has gone well and typical.
SuzIeT

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@suziet, I think you yourself, along with advice from your surgeon and physical therapist will be the best judges of when you are ready. Having gone through your first TKR just recently, you already have an idea of how much support from the "good" leg is needed to get through recovery and rehab. Do you feel like your first TKR knee is ready to take on the role of primary support now? If you are a fast healer and have good strength and range of motion and feel like you are mentally ready to do it all over again, I'd be tempted to get the 2nd one over with too, if my medical support team agreed it was a wise choice.

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I've had both hips and both knees replaced, because of the effects of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and I asked my surgeon this same question. He said he will not do both knees at once, because patients are more likely to DIE. Needless to say, I had mine done separately, and I'm so glad I did. I ended up having mine done a year apart, which gave me plenty of time to recover before doing this radical thing to my body again.

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@ddsack

@suziet, I think you yourself, along with advice from your surgeon and physical therapist will be the best judges of when you are ready. Having gone through your first TKR just recently, you already have an idea of how much support from the "good" leg is needed to get through recovery and rehab. Do you feel like your first TKR knee is ready to take on the role of primary support now? If you are a fast healer and have good strength and range of motion and feel like you are mentally ready to do it all over again, I'd be tempted to get the 2nd one over with too, if my medical support team agreed it was a wise choice.

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That all sounds good. I will get the recommendation of the surgical team I used. Thank you. And yes I'm doing great I have been at 120 with my knee since 5 weeks post op. I have been tough on myself with home exercise and have had an excellent PT. I do feel my new TKR is ready to take on the leading role for my next TKR rehab. Its been rough but I think I'm ready mentally, 9 weeks ago I would of never said this, haha. But I believe I'm in a good place now. Thank you again.

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I had both knees replaced last month. Sep 7 and Sep 14. I'm happy I did them so close together. I had three friends who had them done on the same day but my surgeon would not. It was tough after the second one but I never needed help getting to the bathroom or showering. Now at 5 and 6 weeks post op I'm walking without a cane and doing some yard work. I still have a ways to go but I'm glad that I will be able to get back to my activities without another surgery looming. I did work hard before the surgeries doing the pre-op exercises I was given. I believe that helped.

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