The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 7 , 2057 - 2061

All Patients Should Be Screened for Diabetes Before Total Joint Arthroplasty

Shohat, Noam et al.
Hip Knee


Diabetes is highly prevalent in patients with osteoarthritis before total joint arthroplasty and presents a higher risk of adverse postoperative outcomes. However, the rate of diabetes in this population and optimal screening strategies remain unknown.


We prospectively screened patients undergoing elective total joint arthroplasty for diabetes using glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels. Screening was conducted within 2 time periods between 2012 and 2017. The prevalence of diabetes was assessed using a previous diagnosis of diabetes or, in the absence of diagnosis, by measuring if HbA1c ≥ 6.5% or FBG ≥ 126 mg/dL. Prediabetes was defined as 5.7% ≤ HbA1c ≤ 6.4% or 100 mg/dL ≤ FBG ≤ 125 mg/dL. Occurrence of a 90-day periprosthetic joint infection and wound complications was noted.


A total of 1461 patients were included in the study. The prevalence of diabetes was 20.6%; 178 patients (59.1%) had diagnosed diabetes, and 123 patients (40.9%) had undiagnosed diabetes. Prediabetes was identified in 559 patients (38.3%), resulting in a combined total of 860 (58.9%) patients with diabetes and prediabetes. Total diabetic rates were significantly higher in patients aged >65 years, of nonwhite ethnicity, and undergoing total knee arthroplasty. No significant differences in periprosthetic joint infection and wound complications were observed while comparing patients with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes.


A significant proportion of patients with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes were identified. Preadmission testing provides an opportunity to identify and address this condition, potentially reducing short-term arthroplasty-related complications and avoiding long-term systemic diabetic complications. We strongly recommend universal glycemic screening to all elective arthroplasty patients.

Download article