Thirty-Year Study on Hip Replacements Helps Doctors PlanThis large study of two groups of patients compares single total hip replacement (THR) with bilateral THR (both hips are done at the same time). Simultaneous bilateral THR decreases time in the hospital and time off work. Only one operation means only one anesthesia. It might be easier to keep everything even (symmetrical) from side to side if both are done at once.
The researchers matched patients in both groups based on the type of implant used. This was important because different implants have different failure rates. Patients were followed for up to 27 years or until death.
The death rate between the two groups in the first year after the operation was about the same. Patients who died within the first year after THR were much older than those who survived.
Differences occurred in post-operative problems. The bilateral group had more lung problems (blood clots) after surgery. Long-term survival, implant survival, and function were the same between the two groups.
The authors conclude that bilateral THRs work well in younger, healthy adults. Information from long-term studies like this can help doctors counsel patients. They may also be able to avoid problems after surgery.
Michael E. Berend, MD, et al. Simultaneous Bilateral versus Unilateral Total Hip Arthroplasty: An Outcomes Analysis. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. June 2005. Vol. 20. No. 4. Pp. 421-426.
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