Avera Medical Minute: Double Knee Replacement Surgery

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY)- A Pierre man is grateful for having both knees replaced, and is making future plans with more mobility in mind.

Knee Replacement

Rather than dealing with daily knee pain, Merlyn Hilmoe is making big plans, after Bilateral, or double knee replacement surgery. "My wife and I are traveling to Israel, walking all over Israel, not having to stop and rest every three minutes because my knee pain is so bad," said Merlyn. "Hopefully, I'll be able to motor all over the place there with these great new knees."

Just a few months ago, walking around as a tourist was out of the question. Just repositioning in bed was excruciating. "When you go to lay down it was like pain level 28, off the chart for that split second," said Merlyn.

The pain had been a part of Merlyn's life for thirty years. When he visited Doctor Mark Hagy at Avera Medical Group Pierre, the suggestion was made to replace them both during the same surgery, a bilateral knee replacement. "And I, of course, am thinking in my head I'm a 19-year-old motorcycle person, let's do it! And when you wake up in recovery at 66, you find out you're not quite as mobile as you used to be, reflected Merlyn. "within two weeks, I was extremely I did both knees at the same time."

Not everyone is a candidate for double knee replacement surgery, but Dr. Hagy said Merlyn was a candidate. He's under the age of 75, his heart, lungs, and kidney are good, and he passed other indicators.
"People that are motivated and have good infrastructure and good support or if they don't, they're very upfront and willing to go to a rehabilitation facility if necessary," advised Dr. Hagy.

The surgery was successful. "Merlyns up and walking after surgery, on the floor, and the expectation is he's gonna walk that day and the next morning," said Dr. Hagy, noting that many of his patients with double knee replacement surgery have gone home the next day.

Improvements in the surgery mean local anesthetic and less blood loss.

Dr. Hagy offers many types of Orthopedic Surgery. "If you have a single limb, arthritic ankle, any other knee, foot or ankle injury, we are here to provide good, cutting-edge service, to the people of Central South Dakota and to really try to make a difference in your life."

A whole new world awaits Merlyn, a world free of pain and more mobility. "I'm feeling pretty darn good, going up and down ladders, even though I'm doing it without my wife knowing about it," said Merlyn. "I love it!"