Double knee surgery versus single knee surgery – which is best for me?

If knee pain or problems in both your knees is interfering with your wellbeing and participation in the activities you love, you might be recommended to undergo surgery for the replacement of both knees.

There are two options to consider when you require two knees to be replaced:

  • Staged bilateral knee replacement in which your knees are replaced in two separate, single knee replacement surgeries.
  • Double knee replacement surgery in which both knees are replaced in the same operation.

As with any medical treatment, there are pros and cons to each approach.

Two single knee replacement surgeries



 The staged approach allows one knee to recover before the second surgery

The overall rehabilitation process can be  much longer

The surgeries are conducted months apart, giving you time to recover in-between

Total time spent recovering is longer as there are two operations to recover from

Shorter visits to the hospital

In between operations, your second knee that has not yet been replaced will need to work harder, which will be difficult if it is in poor condition

Reduced risk of complications

Higher cost


More time off work


Double knee replacement surgery



Less total time spent in hospital

Because the surgery and anaesthesia is prolonged, there is a slight increase in complications. However, these are uncommon

One rehabilitation period is faster  overall

It is not recommended for patients with heart or lung disease

One stay in hospital

Stay in a rehabilitation centre afterwards is more likely

One dose of anaesthesia

Longer surgery time

Less total time off work

More painful recovery


Whether you choose to have your knees replaced simultaneously or separately, it’s important to seek guidance from a professional before deciding. As one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter performing double and single knee replacement surgery using advanced technologies, you can call our office if you would like more advice.

If you would like more information on our knee replacement surgeries, click below for our free specialist guide Your Complete Guide to Knee Replacement Surgery or contact us today.

18 Nov 2020

Published by Default Admin

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