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Inhospital Complications and Costs of Simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty: The Case for Selection and Potential Cost Savings

Published:February 27, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.02.094

      Abstract

      Background

      Published comparisons between bilateral and unilateral total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) remain biased, as most patients undergoing bilateral TKA are prescreened and healthier than average patients having unilateral procedures. Our objectives were to compare postoperative complications and resource utilization of patients having simultaneous bilateral TKAs with similar patients having unilateral procedures.

      Methods

      The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was used to identify patients undergoing primary elective TKA from 2002 to 2011. A total of 4,445,263 patients were identified. Of these, 190,783 (4%) were having same-day bilateral procedures. Patients with staged bilateral TKA during the same hospitalization were excluded. Complications and costs were compared to a matched cohort of patients having unilateral procedures. This cohort was matched based on age, gender, and 30 comorbid-defined elements in the NIS.

      Results

      A total of 172,366 (90%) simultaneous bilateral procedures were matched 1:1 to patients with unilateral procedures for the adjusted analysis. Patients with bilateral procedures were at an increased risk for many complications including postoperative anemia (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 2.2-2.3, P < .001), cardiac (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 2.0-2.3, P < .001), and inhospital mortality (OR: 3.3; 95% CI: 2.6-4.3). These patients also incurred in higher hospital costs ($19,343 vs $12,852, P < .001) and were discharged more commonly to a rehabilitation facility (70% vs 32%, P < .001).

      Conclusion

      Patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral TKA are at an increased risk of developing important postoperative complications and mortality compared with unilateral cases. These data highlight the importance of patient selection and optimization for bilateral TKA and potential cost savings.

      Keywords

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