Early morbidity and mortality after single-stage bilateral total knee replacement

Yoann Lévy, Michel Azar, Laurie Tran, Pascal Boileau, Nicolas Bronsard, Christophe Trojani
Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Surgery & Research: OTSR 2018, 104 (8): 1199-1203

INTRODUCTION: Single-stage bilateral total knee replacement (TKR) has the advantages of requiring only one hospital stay and one anesthesia session, having a shorter rehabilitation period, and reducing the cost of patient care. However, this strategy is controversial because of the perioperative risk. We hypothesized that this strategy did not cause early perioperative mortality and that the early morbidity and readmission rates would be low when patients are selected based on their ASA score.

METHODS: This single-center retrospective study analyzed a cohort of ASA-1 and ASA-2 patients who underwent single-stage bilateral TKR over an 8-year period (2009 to 2016). The study cohort consisted of 116 patients, mainly women with mean age of 69 years at inclusion; 22.4% of patients were ASA-1 and 77.6% were ASA-2. Death and early complications during the first 90 days postoperative, the early readmission rate and the blood-sparing strategy were analyzed using the clinical and paraclinical data collected during the hospital stay, during the convalescent care center stay, and during the follow-up visits at 6 weeks and 3 months postoperative. The analysis was completed using the intrahospital software Clinicom, which allowed us to trace all the events and episodes for each patient.

RESULTS: The early mortality rate was 0%. There were five major complications (4.3%) and thirteen minor complications (11%). The early readmission rate was 5.2%. Homologous blood transfusion was performed in 36% of patients. Administration of tranexamic acid reduced this rate to 24.3% versus 44% in patients not taking it (p=0.06).

CONCLUSION: The perioperative mortality in this selected population is zero and the early morbidity is acceptable. The early readmission rate is also low. Thus proposing single-stage bilateral TKR to patients meeting the criteria defined in this study is a valid strategy.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV, retrospective cohort study.

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