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Home / Research » Total Elbow Arthroplasty in the United States: Evaluation of Cost, Patient Demographics, and Complication Rates

Total Elbow Arthroplasty in the United States: Evaluation of Cost, Patient Demographics, and Complication Rates

Zhou H, Orvets ND, Merlin G, Shaw J, Dines JS, Price MD, Eichinger JK, Li X.  Total elbow arthroplasty in the United States: Evaluation of cost, patient demographics, and complication rates.  Orthopedic Reviews (Pavia). 2016 April;8(1): 43-46.


Abstract
Total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) is utilized in the treatment of rheumatoid and post-traumatic elbow arthritis. TEA is a relatively low volume surgery in comparison to other types of arthroplasty and therefore little is known about current surgical utilization, patient demographics and complication rates in the United States. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the current practice trends and associated inpatient complications of TEA at academic centers in the United States. We queried the University Health Systems Consortium administrative database from 2007 to 2011 for patients who underwent an elective TEA. A descriptive analysis of demographics was performed which included patient age, sex, race, and insurance status. We also evaluated the following patient clinical benchmarks: hospital length of stay (LOS), hospital direct cost, inhospital mortality, complications, and 30-day readmission rates. Our cohort consisted of 3146 adult patients (36.5% male and 63.5% female) with an average age of 58 years who underwent a total elbow arthroplasty (159 academic medical centers) in the United States. The racial demographics included 2334 (74%) Caucasian, 285 (9%) black, 236 (7.5%) Hispanic, 16 (0.5%) Asian, and 283 (9%) other patients. The mean LOS was 4.2±5 days and the mean total direct cost for the hospital was 16,300±4000 US Dollars per case. The overall inpatient complication rate was 3.1% and included mortality <1%, DVT (0.8%), re-operation (0.5%), and infection (0.4%). The 30-day readmission rate was 4.4%. TEA is a relatively uncommon surgery in comparison to other forms of arthroplasty but is associated with low in-patient and 30-day perioperative complication rate. Additionally, the 30-day readmission rate and overall hospital costs are comparable to the traditional total hip and knee arthroplasty surgeries.
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