Bilateral TKR: having two knees done? Don't compare surgeries!!

Josephine

NURSE DIRECTOR EMERITUS
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If you are having bilateral knee replacements (BTKR) or getting a second knee done after some months or years from the first, it's tempting to compare one knee with the other. But DON'T do it!!! The second knee was in a different condition to the first when it went under surgery, and the surgery was different too - even if the surgeries are done at the same time.

One thing has always intrigued me in over 50 years of joint replacements and it doesn't matter if they belong to different people or are on the same body - NO TWO KNEES ARE THE SAME! No, not anyhow!

You would be amazed at the differences that can occur:
~ skin incisions
~ progressing incision through muscles
~ retraction of soft tissues
~ preparation of bone
~ application of jigs
~ cutting with jigs
~ assessing jig cuts
~ assessing for implant size
~ trial reductions with trial implants
~ insertion of implants
~ assessment of final results
~ closure of deep incision
~ closure of skin incision

caused by:
~ different types of skin (even on the same person!)
~ pre-existing scars
~ natural anatomical variations in the soft tissues
~ natural anatomical variation in the bones
~ disease differences such as cysts, osteophytes and collapse

There are more, but I'm sure you get the picture.

So this is why comparisons should never be made between one knee and another whether they are both yours or one belongs to someone else!
 

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