The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 10, 2308 - 2312

Conversion Total Knee Arthroplasty Needs Its Own Diagnosis-Related Group Code

Yayac, Michael et al.


Conversion from a prior knee procedure has been demonstrated to require greater operative times and resources, but still lacks a separate procedural or facility code from primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study is to determine differences in facility costs between patients who underwent primary TKA and those who underwent conversion TKA.


We retrospectively reviewed a consecutive series of patients undergoing primary TKA at 2 hospitals from 2015 to 2017, comparing itemized facility costs between primary and conversion TKA patients. A multivariate regression analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors for increased facility costs, the need for additional implants, length of stay, and discharge disposition.


Of 2447 TKA procedures, 678 (27.7%) underwent conversion TKA, which was associated with greater implant costs ($3931.47 vs $2864.67, P = .0120) and total facility costs in a multivariate regression ($94.30 increase, P = .0316). When controlling for confounding variables, patients with a prior ligament reconstruction ($402 increase, P = .0002) and prior open reduction and internal fixation ($847 increase, P = .0020) had higher costs and were more likely to require stemmed implants ( P < .05). There was an increase in TKA implant cost by $538 in patients with implants from a prior procedure ( P < .0001).


Conversion TKA is associated with greater implant and inpatient facility costs than primary TKA, particularly those who had a history of an open knee procedure. A separate diagnosis-related group should be created for conversion TKA given the increased cost and complexity of these procedures compared to primary TKA.

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