Treating Two Knees with One Surgery—March 18, 2014

Patients with arthritis in both knees sometimes choose to undergo a double replacement surgery on the same day. A recent study looked at whether this operation is safe for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Researchers compared data on same-day double knee replacements for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Patients with RA are often considered sicker than OA patients, according to the authors of this study.

The researchers found that RA patients were more likely to have postoperative anemia (not enough healthy red blood cells) and to receive blood transfusions. However, there was not a significant difference in 30-day death rates or complications between the two groups.

The authors of this study concluded that same-day double knee replacement appeared to be safe for healthy candidates with RA.

Mark P. Figgie, MD, of the Surgical Arthritis Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, led this study.

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