Heart health could be a factor in bilateral knee surgery recovery

Jasmine Phu

July 15, 2011

Scientists at the Hospital for Special Surgery recently found one possible way to identify risk factors in patients who are planning to undergo bilateral knee replacement surgery. This type of operation can be more beneficial than getting multiple procedures because it can cut down on expenses, time spent in the hospital and healing.

However, simultaneous knee surgery in both legs is associated with a high risk of complications that could be fatal.

Patients who participated in the study were found to be four times as likely to experience adverse post-surgery outcomes if they had pulmonary hypertension, and roughly 5.5 times more at risk if they suffered from congestive heart failure.

"What we sought to do…was to provide evidence-based risk stratification for who should be considered at high risk for morbidity and mortality when undergoing bilateral knee replacement surgery," said Stavros Memtsoudis, the leading researcher on the study. "This is an elective procedure so, in the end, the primary concern should be for patient safety."

An older adult who may have gotten or is planning to get this surgery can purchase a personal emergency alert system for added security that a medical alert will be sent out should he or she sustain an injury during the healing process.

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