What Factors Affect Whether Patients Return to the Same Surgeon to Replace the Contralateral Joint? A Study of Over 200,000 Patients

Published:December 03, 2021DOI:



      Patients with hip and knee arthritis often undergo bilateral total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a staged or simultaneous fashion. However, when staged, the incidence and factors associated with having both procedures performed by the same surgeon or different surgeon are not well studied.


      All patients undergoing nonsimultaneous bilateral THA or TKA for osteoarthritis were abstracted from the 2010 to 2020 PearlDiver Mariner administrative database. The National Provider Identifier number was used to determine whether the same surgeon performed both surgeries. Demographics, comorbidities, and 90-day complications after the first joint replacement were assessed as possible independent predictors of utilizing a different surgeon for the contralateral joint.


      Of 87,593 staged bilateral THAs, the same surgeon performed 40,707 (46.5%) arthroplasties. Of 147,938 staged bilateral TKAs, the same surgeon performed 77,072 (52.1%) arthroplasties. Notably, older cohorts of patients had independent, stepwise, and significantly greater odds of changing surgeons for the contralateral THA and TKA. Those patients who were insured by Medicare and Medicaid had significantly lower odds of changing surgeons. For both THA and TKA, surgical and implant-related adverse events (surgical site infection/periprosthetic joint infection, periprosthetic fracture, dislocation, manipulation) carried the greatest odds of undergoing the contralateral replacement with a different surgeon.


      Patients covered by Medicaid and sicker patients were significancy less likely to switch surgeons for their contralateral THA or TKA. Additionally, patients experiencing a surgery-related adverse event within 90 days of their first THA or TKA had significantly, increased odds of switching surgeons for their subsequent TJA.


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