Cost Analysis, Complications, and Discharge Disposition Associated With Simultaneous vs Staged Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty.

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BACKGROUND: Simultaneous vs staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty (BTKA) has long been debated. The primary objective of this study was to compare actual hospital costs and complication rates in patients undergoing simultaneous BTKA (simBTKA) and staged BTKA (staBTKA) at a single institution.

METHODS: A total joint arthroplasty database from a single hospital was used to identify all patients who underwent primary BTKA from 2013 to 2016 and divided into simultaneous and staged groups. StaBTKA patients were included if both procedures were performed within 1 year by the same surgeon. The combined total hospital cost of both procedures was used, and inpatient rehabilitation (IPR) costs were added for all patients discharged to IPR.

RESULTS: There were 225 simBTKA and 337 staBTKA patients. SimBTKA patients were younger (61 ± 8 vs 66 ± 8 years, P < .001), had lower body mass index (31.3 ± 5.9 vs 34.0 ± 7.2, P < .001), were more predominately male (48% vs 38%, P = .029), and more likely to require IPR as compared with staBTKA patients. There was no difference in total hospital cost for simBTKA as compared with staBTKA ($24,596 ± $5652 vs $24,915 ± $5756, P = .586). Complications were more prevalent in the simBTKA group, including venous thromboembolism (5.4% vs 1.4%, P = .006) and blood transfusions (15.8% vs 6.2%, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: There were higher complication rates with no significant cost savings in actual hospital costs associated with simBTKA, when accounting for the cost of IPR, as compared with staBTKA. The total cost analysis of simBTKA vs staBTKA, using actual cost data, merits further evaluation.