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If your doctor is recommending you have joint replacement surgery for more than one joint, you may be wondering what is the best course of action. Can more than one joint be replaced during the same surgical procedure? And what are the benefits, concerns and recovery time associated with single versus multiple joint replacement surgeries.
Below we’ve outlined factors you and your doctor will consider. Together you’ll decide the best approach for replacing your joints.
Some people who need joint replacement surgery only have degeneration or arthritis in one joint. For them, a single surgery may be the only treatment they need.
Other patients, especially those with arthritis, have pain in several joints. Arthritis can attack both knees, your shoulder and hip, etc. In this case, you may need to replace multiple joints.
If you need a pair of joints replaced, like both knees or hips, one option is replacing both in a single, longer surgery. This is known as bilateral joint replacement, or a double knee or hip replacement.
Another option is to stagger your surgeries. You’ll have separate procedures at least three months apart.
You and your doctor will discuss whether you are an ideal candidate for one surgery or you’ll need multiple surgeries. Your age, weight, health conditions, pain tolerance and which joints need replacement will all be considered. Other factors include:
No matter what plan you choose, we’ll make sure you understand the benefits and risks. We’ll also make sure you know what to expect during and after the procedure, including rehabilitation and recovery.