The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 10 , 3273 - 3280.e1

Comparing the 30-Day Risk of Venous Thromboembolism and Bleeding in Simultaneous Bilateral vs Unilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty

Masrouha, Karim Z. et al.


Simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty (SBTKA) may offer certain benefits; however, its overall safety is still disputed. This study aimed at comparing the risk of thromboembolism and bleeding in patients who underwent SBTKA vs unilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2008 to 2015 was used to investigate the short-term postoperative complications and their risk factors following SBTKA as compared to unilateral TKA. Demographics, comorbidities, and 30-day outcomes were analyzed. Complications with an increased incidence following SBTKA were stratified to identify subgroups of patients at high risk.


A total of 155,022 patients were identified, of which 150,581 underwent unilateral TKA and 4441 underwent SBTKA. The SBTKA group was found to be at a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), bleeding, and composite morbidity. Stratification analysis revealed that SBTKA subgroups at higher risk of VTE include patients of black or Asian origin, obese patients, and those who underwent anesthesia other than general or spinal/epidural. SBTKA subgroups at higher risk of bleeding include patients older than 85 years, those with race other than white, underweight and obese patients, and patients who underwent anesthesia other than spinal/epidural. Although none of the subgroups were protected from bleeding, patients who underwent spinal/epidural anesthesia had a lower risk of bleeding compared to other types of anesthesia.


SBTKA confers an increased risk of postoperative VTE, bleeding, and composite morbidity at 30 days, with no increase in mortality.

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