The Knee, ISSN: 0968-0160, Vol: 13, Issue: 2, Page: 102-105

The practice of bilateral, simultaneous total knee replacement in Scotland over the last decade. Data from the Scottish Arthroplasty Project

P. Walmsley; A. Murray; I. J. Brenkel
The issue of the safety of performing simultaneous, bilateral total knee replacement (SBTKR) for patients with bilateral knee osteoarthritis remains controversial. Several small series have reported inconclusive findings and the few large series published are contradictory.
We present data retrieved from the Scottish Arthroplasty Project on over 19,000 total knee replacements (TKR) performed in Scotland between 1989 and 1999. The trends in the practice of SBTKR are shown together with the associated mortality from the procedure compared with unilateral or staged, bilateral TKR.
The data shows that there was no statistically significant difference in the 90-day mortality between unilateral TKR, staged TKR or SBTKR. In addition, the length of stay for SBTKR has reduced, equaling that of unilateral TKR since 1993. Despite an initial increase in the percentage of consultants performing SBTKR early in the decade, since 1993, only approximately 25% of knee arthroplasty surgeons in Scotland per year ever performed a SBTKR.

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