Bilateral total knee arthroplasty in patients 70 years and older

Erik P Severson, E Marc Mariani, Michael H Bourne
Orthopedics 2009, 32 (5): 316
Recently an increase has been shown in perioperative morbidity and mortality in patients older than 70 years undergoing sequential or simultaneous total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using 1 anesthetic. This study prospectively compared perioperative morbidity, mortality, and functional outcomes in patients 70 years and older undergoing sequential bilateral TKA under 1 anesthetic vs a control undergoing only unilateral TKA. Seventy patients (140 knees), 70 years and older, who underwent sequential bilateral TKA under 1 anesthetic were matched with a control series of 312 patients undergoing unilateral TKA during the same time period. All patients were evaluated pre- and postoperatively at regular time intervals. No mortalities were noted in either group. Perioperative complication rates were not statistically different between groups. Knee Society scores and SF-36v2 scores were better at 6-month and 1-year follow-up in the sequential bilateral knee group. Results from this study were not as expected based on previous reports in the literature. Although functional outcomes in this study were consistent with previous reports, patients did not demonstrate the expected difference in complications. This study is the first prospective study looking specifically at patients 70 years and older undergoing unilateral vs bilateral TKA under 1 anesthetic. According to our data, age alone is not a reason to exclude patients from sequential bilateral TKA under 1 anesthetic.

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