Postoperative Stiffness Requiring Manipulation Under Anesthesia Is Significantly Reduced After Simultaneous Versus Staged Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty

John P. Meehan, Shafagh Monazzam, Troy Miles, Beate Danielsen, Richard H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: For patients with symptomatic bilateral knee arthritis, it is unknown whether the risk of developing stiffness requiring manipulation under anesthesia postoperatively is higher or lower for those undergoing simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA) compared with those having staged bilateral TKA. Therefore, we undertook this study to evaluate the risk of requiring manipulation under anesthesia in staged versus simultaneous bilateral TKA as well as patients undergoing unilateral TKA.

METHODS: We utilized the California Patient Discharge Database, which is linked with the California Emergency Department, Ambulatory Surgery, and master death file databases. Using a literature-based estimate of the number of patients who failed to undergo the second stage of a staged bilateral TKA, replacement cases were randomly selected from patients who had unilateral TKA and were matched on 8 clinical characteristics of the patients who had staged bilateral TKA. Hierarchical multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine the risk-adjusted odds of manipulation in patients undergoing unilateral TKA, staged bilateral TKA, and simultaneous bilateral TKA using yearly hospital TKA volume as a random effect. Adjustment was made to allow fair comparison of the outcome at 90 and 180 days of follow-up after staged compared with simultaneous bilateral TKA.

RESULTS: During the time period from 2005 through 2013, the cumulative incidence of manipulation within 90 days was 2.14% for unilateral TKA (4,398 events per 205,744 patients), 2.11% for staged bilateral TKA (724 events per 34,352 patients), and 1.62% for simultaneous bilateral TKA (195 events per 12,013 patients). At 180 days of complete follow-up, the cumulative incidence of manipulation was 3.07% after unilateral TKA (6,313 events per 205,649 patients), 2.89% after staged bilateral TKAs (957 events per 33,169 patients), and 2.29% after simultaneous bilateral TKA (267 events per 11,653 patients). With multivariate analyses used to adjust for relevant risk factors, the 90-day odds ratio (OR) of undergoing manipulation after simultaneous bilateral TKA was significantly lower than that for unilateral TKA (OR = 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 0.86) and staged bilateral TKA (OR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.90). Similarly, at 180 days, the odds of undergoing manipulation were significantly lower after simultaneous bilateral TKA than after both unilateral TKA (OR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.84) and staged bilateral TKA (OR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.93). The frequency of manipulation was significantly associated with younger age, fewer comorbidities, black race, and the absence of obesity.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the ORs were small (close to 1), simultaneous bilateral TKA had a significantly decreased rate of stiffness requiring manipulation under anesthesia at 90 days and 180 days after knee replacement compared with that after staged bilateral TKA and unilateral TKA.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2085-2093
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 20 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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