Having both knee joints done at the same time is a hotly debated topic among doctors. Studies have been done comparing staged total knee replacements (TKRs) and bilateral simultaneous TKR.
Staged surgery means the patient has one knee done, and then waits six months to have the second one done. Bilateral simultaneous TKR means both knees are done at the same time. The bilateral method usually does save time and money, except when complications occur.
Patient selection is the key to reducing the risk of complications after bilateral simultaneous TKRs. Patients should be younger than 70 years old and in good health. A previous history of heart disease is a big risk factor for heart and lung problems with bilateral TKRs. Studies show a threefold increase in heart and lung problems after having
both knees replaced at the same time.