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Knee News

Knee Joint Replacement Takes Center Stage

People needing both knees replaced can have both done at the same time (one-stage). Or they can enter the hospital two separate times (two-stage). The two-stage method has a much shorter wait between operations than ever before.

But what about the costs? Is it less expensive to do a one-stage or two-stage knee replacement for people who need both knees done? It makes sense that the one-stage method would have a shorter total hospital stay and lower costs.

A recent study from Stanford University School of Medicine looks at cost issues. They compared 91 one-stage patients with 32 two-stage patients. They looked at both the hospital costs and costs after discharge. All patients had both knees replaced.

The researchers found that hospital costs for a one-stage knee replacement are almost 25 percent less than for a two-stage operation. But the costs go up afterwards when the one-stage patients go to a rehab unit for up to nine days.

Most of the two-stage patients went directly home. Some had home health services, but this was much less costly than in-patient rehab services. The authors conclude that what happens after surgery is more important in comparing costs of one-stage to two-stage knee replacements. One-stage patients are more likely to need a longer stay in a rehab unit.

Alex Macario, MD, MBA, et al. Economics of One-Stage Versus Two-Stage Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasties. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. September 2003. Vol. 414. Pp. 149-156.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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