Interval Time of at Least 6 Weeks Between Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasties is Associated With Decreased Postoperative Complications

Amil R. Agarwal, Alex Gu, Kevin Y. Wang, Andrew B. Harris, Joshua C. Campbell, Savyasachi C. Thakkar, Gregory J. Golladay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Staged, bilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has an increased risk of complications if the second procedure is performed before physiologic recovery from the first. The aims of this study were to 1) determine whether there is a time-dependent relationship between TKA staging and rates of revisions and complications and 2) identify data-driven time intervals that reduce risk of revisions and complications. Methods: Data were collected from a national insurance database from 2015 to 2018. Staged intervals were initially assessed using fixed 6-week intervals. Stratum-specific likelihood ratio analyses were subsequently conducted to observe data-driven staging thresholds. Bivariate and multivariable regression analyses were conducted to determine the associations between the time intervals and 2-year rates of revision surgery and 90-day major complications. We included 25,527 patients undergoing staged bilateral TKA. Results: In comparison to the shortest fixed time interval (1-6 weeks), as the staging interval increased the odds of 2-year all-cause revision and 90-day major complications significantly decreased (P < .05 for all). Stratum-specific likelihood ratio analysis identified 3 data-driven staging categories 1-5, 6-17, and 18-24 weeks that maximized the difference in both 2-year rates of revision and 90-day major complications. Conclusion: Our data showed a time-dependent relationship between the timing of TKA stages and complications. If staging is considered, a delayed interval of at least 6 weeks between procedures may significantly reduce revision and major complications. Level of Evidence: Level III Therapeutic Study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • bilateral timing
  • knee replacement
  • medical complications
  • revision
  • total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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