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Two Knee Replacements May Be Better Than One

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 5:33am
Bio-Medicine.Org

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Replacing both knees in one surgery, or simultaneous total knee replacement (TKR) was associated with significantly fewer prosthetic joint infections as well as other revision knee operations within one year after surgery, compared with total knee replacements performed in two separate procedures. However, simultaneous replacement was associated with a moderately higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes within 30 days, according to a study presented today at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

This study included 11,445 patients who underwent simultaneous bilateral knee replacement and 23,715 patients who had both knees replaced in two stages several months apart. Patients' mean ages were 67.2 years in the group who underwent simultaneous surgery and 67.7 years in the group who underwent two surgeries. The majority of patients in both groups were women: 53.9 percent of those who underwent simultaneous surgery and 61.3 percent of those who underwent two procedures.

In this study, patients who underwent simultaneous knee replacements had:

higher risk of heart attack and pulmonary embolism; similar risk of death and stroke; and lower risk of major joint infection or major mechanical malfunction.

"Our study found that the risk of developing a serious joint infection that required an additional knee revision surgery was two times higher in patients who had staged knee replacements compared to the patients who had both knees replaced at the same time (2.2 percent after staged knee replacements and 1.2 percent after bilateral knee replacements)," said John P. Meehan, MD, study author and orthopaedic surgeon from the University of California, Davis.

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