gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

One-stage bilateral versus unilateral total knee arthroplasty

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author B. Rausch - Baumann-Klinik, Karl-Olga-Krankenhaus, Orthopädie, Stuttgart
  • S. Schmitt - Stuttgart
  • C. Trepte - Stuttgart

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novEP57

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 Rausch et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




The timing of the operative treatment for patients with degenerative changes in both knees remains controversial. Higher occurrence rates for deep venous thrombosis and cardiopulmonary complications are the reasons against, decreased hospitalization, reduced cost, and reduced anesthetic risk are the reasons for a one-stage bilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

The aim of this study was to determine if any differences existed in our patients.

Material and methods

Between May 2001 and November 2004 95 patients underwent 190 one-stage sequential bilateral TKAs under the same anesthesia. A group of 95 other patients who underwent unilateral primary TKA during the same time interval were selected to match.

Different variables were considered such as gender, age, weight, pre-operative diagnosis, medical comorbitity, length of hospital stay, duration of the operation and anesthesia, type of prothesis, perioperative management protocol, amount of blood loss, postoperative complications, and pre- and postoperative clinical and function score.


There were no significant preoperative differences between the patients having bilateral or unilateral TKAs, and, in particular, the comorbitity grade was not significantly different. Clinical and functional outcome according to the Knee Society Guidelines were similar for both groups. Average length of hospital stay and blood loss was increased in the one-stage group, but not doubled compared to the unilateral group.


Although the one-satge bilateral procedure was associated with few early postoperative complications in our series, it is a safe and effective option in selected patients with bilateral degenerative knee problems.