Unilateral versus simultaneous bilateral total hip arthroplasty. The Belgian experience


bilateral arthroplasty , complication rate, simultaneous surgery, and total hip arthroplasty

Published online: Jan 08 2024



1 Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma surgery, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium
2 Experimental and Clinical Research Institute (IREC), Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal Pole (NMSK), Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium


Bilateral hip osteoarthritis is frequent. The safety and patient selection for simultaneous bilateral total hip arthroplasty (SBTHA) are still debated. The purpose of this article is to share our experience and assess if performing SBTHA carries more risk than unilateral total hip arthroplasty (UTHA). Methods: A retrospective data analysis was performed on 468 patients who underwent either UTHA (418 patients) or SBTHA (50 patients) using a direct anterior approach between June 2016 and December 2020. Apart from SBTHA patients being significantly younger, there was no significant preoperative difference in demographics, comorbidities, surgical variables and biological values between the two groups. Primary outcomes were 90-days emergency room (ER) visit and readmission, as well as 90-days minor and major complications. Secondary outcomes were length of stay (LOS), operative time and blood loss. Results: 90-days ER visit (p=0.244), 90- days readmission (p=0.091), overall complications rate (p=0.376), minor complications (p=0.952) and major complications (p=0.258) were not statistically different between the two groups. Operative time and average LOS were significantly longer in the SBTHA group (p<0.001). Blood loss was significantly higher (p<0.001) in the SBTHA group. However, no difference in the transfusion rate between the two groups was observed (p=0.724). Conclusion: Complication rate, 90- days hospital readmission and 90-days ER visit were similar between the two groups. This study shows that performing SBTHA is a safe, effective, and doesn’t carry additional risks for patients with bilateral symptomatic osteoarthritis.