TKR Beginning stages of BTKR

Mettleinside

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Hi all! I hope you are all well! Welp, my 2 hip replacements went SO well that I got back into my workout routine (scaled back of course due to hips) buuuut...I should have foreseen this coming....I need new knees now! Work, working out (box jumps...old people should NOT do these!), and life have taken their toll on my knees. Bilateral incoming but my doc does not want to do them both at the same time. I want bilateral so I can just get it over and done with, but I am scared. Going through hip replacements I am thinking knees are easier (less painful) but I am not so sure after watching a Osteo surgeon do a mock up knee replacement surgery and....wow....bone saws scare me....these docs could moonlight as carpenters!
So should I push for bilateral? I am SUPER healthy (I have learned so much from my hips that I am pumped up, literally do a bodyweight workout routine that I still do from my days getting prepared for my 2nd hip), young (for this surgery), and eager. I've read the horror stories about bilateral TKR BUT I have seen posts where the OP said they were really glad to get them done at the same time.
If I do not have bilateral my PA-C said they will be staged 6 weeks apart. Which I think is prolonging the issue - but he would know what's good for me, he's the expert!
Thanks all and I will have to change my name too...to something like Mettle H&K or Mettle legs or something IDK yet as I will have A LOT of hardware installed in my legs in the very near future. Suggestions are welcomed...
Anyway, the surgery is not for 3.5 months! They are extremely bottlenecked at the hospital :(
 
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Layla

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Hello and welcome back! Sorry it's under the circumstances. I don't know that I'd push for bilateral even though it's understandable why you'd want it "one and done". I'd trust the surgeon who is familiar with you and your medical history. Normally we hear hips are an easier recovery than knees from those that have experienced both, but naturally there are always exceptions.

I'll leave some pre-op reading material for you to familiarize yourself with along with best wishes for your comfort during this holiday season. I hope you enjoy!

KNEE PRE-OP ARTICLES

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:

Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at some stories of amazing knee recoveries
 

Layla

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If you have a date scheduled, please leave it below and we'll add it to your signature as a TKR until its decided whether you'll have a bilateral replacement. Thanks!

Here is a link to some bilateral threads for you to read if interested.
Bilateral TKR
 

benne68

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Hi @Mettlehips and welcome back.

There is clearly great appeal to going through just one recovery, but the decision about having a bilateral is something you should make in consultation with your surgeon based on his best judgement about how you will handle the surgery and recovery. Is it the same surgeon who did your hips?

As far as knee vs hip, my personal experience is that the knee recovery took longer and was more painful than the hip recovery. That said, each of us is different and you might be one of the lucky ones who finds it easier. Again, if you are having the same surgeon for this procedure, I'd ask for his/her feedback.

I'm sure others of our members will drop by and share their experiences. In the meantime, do check out all the articles in the links provided above.
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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Thank you benne68 and Layla. I have not seen the doctor yet, just the PA-C. But he was 99% sure the doc would want to go staged TKR instead of both at once. The PA-C told me they just did a bilateral TKR and the guy had a difficult time the first 2 weeks. He will be OK but it was torture for him. He also said if I were his close friend or family he would not let me do both at once.
Yes benne68, he is the same doc who replaced my hips also - I trust him as I KNOW for a fact he is very experienced at TKR. One more thing, the PA-C said one of my knees may only need a partial knee replacement (even then he wouldn't do both at once) but for some reason I am advocating for a full TKR all around. When he said partial I immediately thought it wouldn't last as long as a full TKR and I'd be back in there when I'm like 65. When I talk to the doc in February(!) I will know more...
 

beachy

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I've been told by my OS hips are a more even recovery than knees. Knees are an up and down recovery.
You're going to hear horror stories about any joint replacement recovery. Single, bilateral, hips, shoulders, etc. The forums are full of them. But, there are as many postings about successful recoveries.
You may want to search the forums for bilateral TKR posts and those who waited 6 weeks or so in between.
Good luck and I'll be following your recovery!
 

Roy Gardiner

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The PA-C told me they just did a bilateral TKR and the guy had a difficult time the first 2 weeks.
So did I. But each day BOTH knees were recovering.
He will be OK but it was torture for him. He also said if I were his close friend or family he would not let me do both at once.
It's pretty bad. But it is do-able. I was and am very happy with BTKR. Read my recovery diary if you like...
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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Thanks, beachy and Roy for your responses - I will be reading your journeys here in the forums. This is such a big decision, but that's why I am here! Bonesmart.org is the best.
 

Jockette

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Here is another bilateral member who did very well:

And here is a list of others. Even though the beginning is rough, I think most of our bilateral members are happy they did both at the same time.
 

Layla

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The PA-C told me they just did a bilateral TKR and the guy had a difficult time the first 2 weeks. He will be OK but it was torture for him. He also said if I were his close friend or family he would not let me do both at once.
I'd be curious as to what they'd say if you asked to hear about the success stories, not just stories that may discourage you. Possibly when you meet with your surgeon he will be more receptive to your desire to have both done at once. There are success stories for sure that you may have already read in the link I left in my last post. I would specifically ask for the pros and cons of bilateral surgery which you can find easily enough online, but it may be enlightening to hear what your OS has to say. Keep us posted...
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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Thanks Jockette and Layla - I will read those links and a whole lot more here. I will for sure let you all know how this is progressing.
When reading Roy's thread he said something like this, when "challenged" about getting bilateral TKR from someone who did staged surgeries...

Roy retorted "you are the brave one, going through 2 surgeries and recoveries"
this is powerful stuff here....I gotta think about this for a while...
 

Layla

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Interesting viewpoint. I always think bilaterals are brave also, but I guess going back for more of THAT is brave. However, most don't need both done at once and if you've decided on a surgeon, not all will do bilateral joint replacements.

My friend, Mojo333 always says that by the time she found out what was wrong (two deteriorated hips) and that she needed surgery, she was physically exhausted and in so much pain that she didn't even research the bilateral surgery she was about to have, only blindly trusted with "relief" in mind as the long awaited prize. May you make the right decision to do what's best for you.
 

beachy

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This has been an interesting thread.
In 2018 I was considering BTKR. My OS at the time told me both knees were equally bad. I agreed. I was in pain. She suggested 6 months apart.
Eventually, I had the left replaced first.
My recovery was good and that left knee is so strong and pain free that it helped the crappy right knee.
I've waited 4 yrs to replace righty on Jan11, 2023.
Not saying you should, but it worked for me.
 

Jockette

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It’s so great to have choices. My uncle has always said, “this is why there’s chocolate and vanilla!
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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I am taking all of your words to heart and doing my research here of course! But when researching the implant that the doctor is going to use I am pretty impressed by it - the 30 year knee! At least the promotional video left me kind of excited. To get to those dreamy outcomes shown, the hard road must be taken.

https://rediscoveryourgo.com/verilast-knee/verilast-knee-technology/
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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Went in to see the Dr. on 12/30 for the final word - He wants to do PKR cementless on both knees, staggered surgeries. He said I was in a weird spot due to my youngish age. PKR's cementless with a highly durable plastic (improved within the last year or so) would be used with a titanium or cobalt chrome implant. I voiced my reservations about a PKR wearing out but apparently he wasn't too worried plus if I need a TKR in the future it would be way easier.
I wanted the Oxinium implant but they cannot be used cementless...doc said cementless heals stronger to the bone.
Now its just a waiting game until they call to schedule it, then he told me to put myself on the call up list if someone cancels to get me in sooner (4 month wait).
Thanks for reading!
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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I talked my surgeon into bilateral PKR by expressing how good of a candidate I was (youngish, fit) and he agreed! Buuuuut he made a caveat that he has to see me one more time before he signs off on bilateral PKR. If no bilateral he put me on the list for my RPKR for shortly afterwards (don't know how long) but I am progressing!
 

kneeper

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I don't know about cementless for PKR but I've had good luck with my cementless TKR.
 
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Mettleinside

Mettleinside

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Thanks @kneeper! I am hoping cementless is the way to go - I have read that if I would need a revision/TKR later cementless would be way easier to work with as the surgeon would not have to chip/scrape the cement off. Also, my surgeon said the bone grows into the prostheses, so I see that as a plus.
 

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