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Dr. Michael Bates, MD

Dr. Michael Bates, MD
Dr. Michael Bates, MD

When arthritis or other damage to the knee joint becomes severe, patients may consider knee replacement surgery. A bilateral knee replacement is when both knees are replaced during the same surgical procedure.

Dr. Michael Bates, MD, explains which patients are strong candidates for a bilateral knee replacement and the challenges during and after surgery. Dr. Bates specializes in adult reconstruction, total knee replacements, partial knee replacements and posterior & anterior hip replacements.

The most common reasons a patient requests a bilateral surgery are:

  • Only one (albeit more difficult) recovery period
  • Less time off from work because of the one healing period

However, not everyone is a candidate for bilateral knee replacement. Choosing the correct patient is critical to the surgery’s success, and I typically offer this procedure selectively. 

Candidates for Surgery

I consider this surgery for patients who are highly self-motivated, have a strong social support system of family or friends and, most importantly, are physically healthy – at a healthy weight, with no heart disease and no or very well-controlled diabetes.

Bilateral knee replacement surgery does come with the elevated risks associated with a longer surgical procedure as well as a more challenging recovery.

Surgical RISKS

As a bilateral knee replacement keeps a patient in surgery roughly twice as long, I make sure they understand the risks of infection, blood clots and blood loss that accompany any major surgical procedure. While the elevated risk is still relatively small, it is something I take into consideration to help counsel my patients on their decision.


Rehabilitating two total knee replacements simultaneously is a tougher recovery and is important to consider and discuss with your surgeon. 

Preparation allows many people to successfully navigate this recovery. The first couple of weeks tend to be the most challenging. Having a reliable support system to help with daily activities like caretaking and transportation is hugely important to a patient's safety and successful recovery.

Dr. Michael Bates, MD, is a fellowship-trained hip and knee surgeon with OrthoCarolina University.

To make an appointment with Dr. Bates, schedule online or call us at 704.323.2100


February 29, 2024

I had both knees replaced 5 years ago .Would highly recommend it .Had no problems ,Quality of life has been greatly improved.
- Paul

March 25, 2023

I had both knees done Nov 17th 2020,the quality of life is drastically better,so in my opinion if you can do it.but make sure you do all the p.t.its the key,other then having a great surgeon.
- Scott G Dortenzio

June 26, 2022

My husband had bi lateral knee surgery June 21, 2022. He has 94 % and 93% bend already, following his exercises and PT, and he is doing great! Caretakers, resting, exercises, eating well, PT, is the name of the game!
- Kim
Reply From: OrthoCarolina

June 27, 2022

Thank you for your comment, Kim. We love to hear it and are so glad your husband is doing well! Tell him to keep up the great work in PT!