I totally agree with Bolding. I had bilateral TKR 19 months ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Both my knees were equally bad and I felt that enough is enough so I got both replaced at the same time. I think because I had hit rock bottom, I totally surrendered to get my knees fixed. And I didnt even know much about TKR at that time. I didnt think twice about doing bilateral either because I have always been a practical person. So I thought what could be better than 1 surgery, 1 hospitalization, 1 recovery, saves money and time too. Of course like what Bolding said, it also all depends on your medical condition and whether you can find an OS with good track record and willing to do bilaterals.
Today, I am grateful for my pain free knees and my active lifestyle. I can run up and down stairs and do a lot of stuff. But because of my delayed surgery, OA has caused permanent damage to my body. My ROM is 120 which is the same as before TKR and I am still having the same stiffness from prolonged sitting, standing and walking. I still have numbness at the scar area and tightness too. I think we all have to be practical and not expect too much. Even though we are still experiencing the effects of the damage caused by OA or TKR, I feel that it is a small price to pay to gain my life back. This is something I have to live with but I am thankful that it does not impair my overall function.
Just the other day, a friend's friend called me and told me that she had TKR on one knee last April. She complained to me that she still felt the numbness on her knee but no pain. So I told her that its normal because the one of the nerve at the front of the knee had been cut to gain access and usually they cannot be successfully joined back. So I asked her when she will do the other knee and she said she might not do it because her TKR knee felt unnatural due to the numbness. I asked her whether her arthritic knee felt natural before TKR and she said obviously not. In the end she admitted that she was scared to go back to do the other leg. And she was envious that I had bone a bilateral already. I thought this was quite an interesting conversation, something to learn from.
I totally agree with having simultaneous bilateral TKR if both knees are equally or almost equally bad. But I understand that not all doctors want to do BTKR. Some would rather do a staged BTKR. The closest I have come across are patients doing staged BTKR within 3 days apart, same hospitalization. And there are patients who have done it within 1 month and several months apart. So for patients who worry about the risk of doing simultaneous BTKR, this is an option.
I have done a simultaneous BTKR 18 months ago and would not have done it any other way. It was the best thing I ever did. It is not as difficult as most people think. In fact, I feel it is really manageable. As what Colsen1238 has said, its utmost important to get an OS with lots of experience with TKR. As they say, the issue is not with the type of implant, it is the skill of the person who puts it in.
I can totally relate to your problem. At the rate that you are suffering, you should not wait any longer to do TKR and you are certainly not young to do TKR. I did my bilateral TKR at age 49 and I know of people who has done the same at age 28 and 31 as they have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Initially, these people struggled to find an OS who would do the TKR at their age but eventually they found an OS willing to do it because the consideration for better quality of life outweighs the age factor.
You would be surprised how long these new implants would lasts. You can read about all these information in my blog. It would be good to have adequate information about TKR because the lack of it and listening to people who have not done TKR would not help at all.
Please know that you do not have to continue to suffer. You can make a change for yourself and with this change, you can look forward to a better quality of life.
I had bilateral TKR 16 months ago at the age of 50 and it was the best thing I ever did.
After TKR, I tend to be very observant of people struggling and walking in pain. I want to reach out to tell them that their problem can be fixed. Sometimes, I do but sometimes, certain circumstances prevent me from doing so. I realized that the main reason that prevent people from doing TKR is fear. It could be fear of the surgery, risks, complications, pain, recovery etc. But I believe that if people have adequate knowledge about TKR, its success rate and a positive mindset, they may be able to gather the courage to do it.
That's why I started a blog a few months ago to create awareness and share experiences. I have written posts on my personal experience with bilateral TKR and a lot of related topics. Feel free to check out my blog and leave your comments.