BMC Musculoskeletal DisordersBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 2018 19:87

No difference in the functional improvements between unilateral and bilateral total knee replacements

Yu-Hao Huang, Chin Lin, Jia-Hwa Yang, Leou-Chyr Lin, Chih-Yuan Mou, Kwo-Tsao Chiang, Man-Gang Lee, Hsien-Feng Chang, Hsueh-Lu Chang, Wen Su, Shih-Jen Yeh, Hung Chang, Chih-Chien Wang & Sui-Lung Su


Differences between staged bilateral total knee replacement (TKR) and simultaneous bilateral TKR have been investigated, but few studies have investigated differences in the functional improvements resulting from these methods. Therefore, this study investigates the different functional improvements between staged bilateral total knee TKR and simultaneous bilateral TKR.


Among 144 potential bilateral TKR patients who were included in this study, 93 (64.6%) patients selected unilateral TKR and 51 (35.4%) selected bilateral TKR. Functional improvements were assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster University osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) and the Medical Outcomes Trust Short Form-36 (SF-36), and patients were interviewed pre-operatively and after 6 months. A generalized equation was used to test for differences in functional improvements.


After TKR, pain, stiffness, function and total WOMAC scores were significantly reduced in both groups, with mean changes from − 26.6 to − 41.4 and from − 27.5 to − 42.2.The mean health change of SF-36 scores, physical component and mental component scores changed to 45.2 ± 18.2, 74.0 ± 15.4 and 77.0 ± 9.6, respectively, in Group 1 and 47.1 ± 17.1, 74.0 ± 15.2 and 75.5 ± 12.1, respectively, in Group 2.

Unilateral and simultaneous bilateral TKR produce similar functional improvements, although current work status may be a novel impact factor.


No differences in functional improvements were identified between patients who selected unilateral versus bilateral TKR, indicating no recommendation for one procedure over the other.

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