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Know your Doctor October 2018

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Life immediately after simultaneous bilateral (both knees surgery in one sitting) total knee replacement surgery

Total knee replacement (TKR) surgery is, arguably, one of the most successful operations ever.  However, it is normal and reasonable for patients to fear about surgery and the risks involved. Most patients are worried about the complications of the procedure and most importantly, life immediately specially after both knees surgery. While some believe that the operation may be painful, others assume that normal daily activities can be seriously restricted in the immediate post-operative period.  

In India, almost 90% of knee arthritis patients suffer from both knees issues. Some years ago, surgeons used to do one knee surgery at a time. Now there is no debate, and doubt, about doing both knees surgery at the same sitting. It is one operation, one admission, one anaesthetic and very safe, thanks to the advance in technology. 
Although we hear a lot about advances in technology and success stories of the operation, there is very little written about the fear factor and what really happens in the immediate post-operative phase. No matter, how best the surgery is done or latest technology used, the comfort of most the important person in this whole arrangement, the patient, is the most critical issue.
For years, we have been looking at this aspect of knee replacement surgery and, it appears that the hard work is ultimately paying off.  Our well researched and published “care pathway” has enabled us to mobilise TKR patients early and safely. Patients are well informed about this whole process before the admission. Our accelerated post-operative pain management protocol has helped us to keep the pain at bay and, therefore, mobilise the patients very early. Our patients are allowed to take shower within 48 to 72 hours after the procedure. This feature is unique in our practice. This has made most patients very happy as over all appearance change from “patient feel” to “normal feel”. A well-informed discharge lesson makes patients more confident of looking after themselves at home after discharge. We believe that life is really made easy for patients and their relatives who have to support them in the immediate post-operative phase.

A happy patient is the best outcome measure after any surgical procedure. 

Dr. Vijay D Shetty is attached at Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital as a Full-time Orthopaedic & Arthroscopic Surgeon (Adult Hip & Knee Specialist).