The benefits of bilateral knee replacement include fewer surgeries and shorter recovery periods, explains Men's Health Advisor. Shorter overall hospital stays and, as a consequence, reduced costs for both patients and medical facilities are other benefits, note G. Stubbs and other researchers in a study published on PubMed.
There are two forms of bilateral knee replacement, notes the Rothman Institute. The first, simultaneous bilateral knee replacement, involves one surgical event and a single rehabilitation period. The result is a shorter hospital stay and the associated lower costs. However, this procedure is only recommended for patients in good health because of the stress it places on the cardiovascular system. Another disadvantage of the procedure is that the initial rehabilitation periods are more strenuous because both legs are incapacitated.
Staged bilateral knee replacement surgery, on the other hand, involves two separate surgical events set apart by a period of several months, explains the Rothman Institute. The procedure demands two rehabilitation periods, resulting in longer hospital stays and higher costs. However, when compared to simultaneous bilateral knee replacement surgery, staged bilateral knee replacement surgery carries a reduced risk of excessive blood loss and places less stress on the cardiovascular system. In addition, rehabilitation, particularly in the initial stages, is less strenuous. For these reasons, it is typically recommended for patients over 80 years old and those with pulmonary, vascular or cardiac medical conditions.