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Back playing golf 3 months after having a bilateral simultaneous knee replacement

Bernie Irwin, age 66, from Iver was suffering from severe knee pain. His knees had started to deteriorate five years ago and gradually over time was starting to get worse. 

Bernie says, “I was in constant pain whether I was lying in bed, getting in and out of the bath, walking and working was so restrictive. My passion is golf and I was not able to play that very often. I realised I had to do something drastic.” 

Mr Henry Bourke and Mr Rakesh Kucheria, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons offer a procedure, the bilateral simultaneous knee replacement where they perform surgery on both your knees together, at the same time, one on each knee. 

Mr Bourke explains: “Double knee replacements are usually done on different days and months apart. So, the patient must go through major surgery and recovery twice. Alternatively, the replacements are done one after the other in a long operation. By operating at the same time for 60 to 90 minutes, Mr Kucheria and I can replace both knees in one go which means the patient takes less time to recover.” He adds “We are a left-hand and right-hand combination of surgeons which means we don’t tend to get in each other’s way.”

The most common reason for a Bilateral Total Knee Replacement is severe arthritis that is causing pain and stiffness in both knees interfering with activities of daily living and significantly reducing one’s quality of life. 


 And Bernie continues, “What a difference having both knees replaced. I am back to normal activities, I am pain free and after three months I am back playing nine holes of

golf.  “Having both knees done at the same time was so scarey but so worthwhile, as the recovery time is the same as having one knee replaced. Mr Bourke was amazing. He explained everything to me beforehand and the care I received from Mr Bourke before and after surgery has been superb. I think Mr Bourke is the future”.

The recovery period for a Bilateral Knee Replacement is between six to twelve weeks. Most of the time is spent at home, although in the latter few weeks patients can get out of the house and do a little a bit of gentle walking. Unfortunately, patients cannot drive a car in the first six weeks and are not allowed to fly in this period due to the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. Most patients are mobile by six weeks, walking independently or just with a single stick. A return to gentle sporting activities such as golf usually is possible by three months.

Mr Bourke concludes, “Mr Kucheria and I are delighted that Bernie has managed to make such a great recovery in a relatively short period of time and that he could get back to playing golf so quickly”.