Bilateral Knee Pain Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Replacement

Bilateral Knee Pain Causes, Symptoms, Treatment,  Replacement

Bilateral Knee Pain Definition

A person with bilateral knee pain has discomfort in the structures of both knees. Knee pain may be due to injury, inflammation or infection. 

Bilateral knee pain is also known as arthralgia (joint pain) of lower leg, arthralgia of knee less than three months, arthralgia of lower leg, arthralgia of the lower leg, knee joint pain, knee pain, knee pain < 3 months, left knee joint pain, left knee pain, left patellofemoral syndrome, pain in left knee, pain in right knee, patellogemoral syndrome, right knee joint pain, right knee pain, and right patellofemoral syndrome.

Bilateral Knee Pain Causes

Causes for bilateral knee pain include:
  • Arthritis
  • Chondromalacia patella
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Knee bursitis
  • Knee contusion
  • Knee fracture
  • Knee sprain
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Osgood Schlatter

Bilateral Knee Pain Symptoms

Bilateral knee pain is when a person has discomfort in the structures of both knees. The pain may be due to injury, infection, or inflammation. Symptoms include knee pain, knee swelling, knee tenderness, and bruising. More serious symptoms of  Bilateral knee pain include fever, severe knee pain, and redness of the skin overlying the knee joint.

Bilateral Knee Pain Treatment

Treatment of knee pain depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Some may benefit from antibiotics, crutches, and an elastic wrap to the knee.

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Bilateral Knee Replacement

What is Bilateral Total Knee Replacement?

When the cartilage has worn away in both knees, an artificial knee (called a prosthesis) can take its place. The surgery to implant both of the prosthesis is termed a Bilateral Total Knee Replacement. Only the surface of the joint is removed - the arthritic ends of the bones are shaved off and replaced with new metal and plastic surfaces. The knee replacement recreates almost normal function of the knee, and its main goal is to relieve pain. It may also help to restore motion of both knees and straighten the limbs.

What is a Simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Replacement?

A Simultaneous staged procedure means to replace both knees on the same day, under one anesthesia. This takes place in the same surgical event, within one hospital stay and is followed by a single rehabilitation period.

What is a Staged Bilateral Total Knee Replacement?

The Staged procedure means that both knee replacements take place as two separate surgical events. Surgeries are performed several months apart one from the other, requiring two hospital stays, two anesthesias and two rehabilitation periods.

Benefits of Bilateral Total Knee Replacement

Following Bilateral Total Knee Replacement surgery, there are relatively fewer cardiovascular complications and fewer incidences of deep vein thrombosis of the leg veins.

The general risks to the heart, lung and brain due to anesthesia are minimized in simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Replacement surgery as both the knees are operated upon on the same day.

There is shorter rehabilitation period following simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Replacement.

Risks of Bilateral Total Knee Replacement

Fat embolism – This may result from release of fat into the blood stream when the bone is cut and manipulated for instrumentation and prosthesis.

Excessive bleeding.

Allergic reaction to general anesthesia.

Infection at the incision site or of the bone (osteomyelitis).

Who should have a Bilateral Total Knee Replacement?

The most common reason for a Bilateral Total Knee Replacement is severe arthritic pain equally symptomatic in both knees, that interferes with the patient's activities of daily living and significant reduces the patient's quality of life. Usually complaints are worst with weight bearing activities, as standing and walking. Untreated, knee arthritis is usually painful, functionally limiting, it compromises the patient's independence and progresses over time. Another indication is several deformities in both knees, in which not correcting both knees deformities at the same time will compromise the clinical result.

Alternatives to Bilateral Total Knee Replacement

Pain and anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications are available over-the-counter (e.g. Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve) or as a prescription (e.g. Celebrex, Bextra). NSAIDs are effective at pain relief (analgesia), and to reduce swelling (anti-inflammatory).

Intra-articular injections – Two medications are commonly used for this purpose; cortisone and synvisc. These medications can be injected into the knee joint (intra-articularly). They provide temporary relief of pain and inflammation in the knee joint, thus helping through the delay and waiting period before Bilateral Total Knee Replacement surgery.

Knee Arthroscopy – Arthroscopic surgery of the knee is beneficial (as an alternative to Total Knee Replacement) to relieve mechanical symptoms such as a catching sensation, a giving way, or painful popping. Knee arthroscopy to treat isolated pain, with no other symptoms, can also be beneficial.
Knee Osteotomy - The idea of an osteotomy is to shift the weight-bearing from the worn out side of the joint to the healthier side.

The Bilateral Total Knee Replacement recreates almost normal function of the knee, and its main goal is to relieve pain. It may also help to restore motion of both knees and straighten the limbs. However, the benefits and risks to perform single or Bilateral Total Knee Replacement are best to be reviewed during your consultation with your physician to arrive at a final decision.