Perioperative morbidity and mortality of 2-team simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty

Craig N Dimitris, Benjamin C Taylor, John G Mowbray, Robert N Steensen, Steven T Gaines
Orthopedics 2011, 34 (12): e841-6
Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has a well-established track record for relieving pain associated with arthritis of the knee joint. The total rate of bilateral TKA has doubled over the past 2 decades, and the rate in women has tripled over that same time period. In patients with bilateral knee arthritis, a decision must be made whether to operate at 2 different settings (staged), a single setting with 1 surgeon (sequential simultaneous), or a single setting with 2 surgeons (2-team simultaneous). The purpose of this study was to examine the perioperative morbidity and mortality of 2-team simultaneous bilateral TKA. Two hundred twenty-seven consecutive 2-team simultaneous bilateral TKA and 216 consecutive unilateral TKA patients were reviewed. Major (deep infection, death, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, revision within the 1-year follow-up) and minor (all other) complications were compared. No deaths occurred, and the major and minor complication rates were not statistically significantly different between the 2 groups, but a trend toward higher rates of both major and minor complications existed in the bilateral TKA group. Two-team simultaneous bilateral TKA offers the potential benefits of decreased overall recovery time, decreased overall cost, decreased number of anesthetic administrations, and simultaneous correction of significant deformity. It remains an appropriate option in select patients.

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