July 11, 2023

Complications, safety of simultaneous bilateral TKAs

Editor's Note

In this study, researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC Los Angeles, find that patients having simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) are at increased risk of several types of complications, compared with patients having unilateral TKAs.

A total of 21,044 patients having simultaneous bilateral TKAs and 126,264 matched patients having unilateral TKAs were included in the analysis.

Patients in the bilateral TKA group had a significantly increased risk of postoperative complications, compared with those in the unilateral TKA group, including:

  • pulmonary embolism (0.27% vs 0.13%)
  • stroke (0.13% vs 0.06%)
  • respiratory failure (0.46% vs 0.34%)
  • anemia (26.89% vs 14.86%)
  • need for blood transfusion (5.23% vs 0.67%).

Patients in the bilateral group also were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 90 days (2.80% vs 2.05%).

The researchers concluded that surgeons and patients should consider these potential complications when contemplating simultaneous bilateral TKAs.


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