The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 9 , 2827 - 2834

Dialysis Patients Undergoing Total Knee Arthroplasty Have Significantly Increased Odds of Perioperative Adverse Events Independent of Demographic and Comorbidity Factors

Ottesen, Taylor D. et al.


The prevalence of dialysis-dependent patients is growing, and an increasing number of these patients are being considered for total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Studies assessing the preoperative risk associated with TKA in this population are limited to institutional cohorts with small sample sizes or national inpatient databases that lack follow-up data.


The 2006-2015 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program databases were queried for adult patients undergoing elective TKA. Differences in 30-day any/severe/minor adverse event, need for reoperation, readmission, and mortality were compared for dialysis-dependent and nondialysis TKA patients using risk-adjusted logistic regression. To account for the smaller number of dialysis patients and variations in study populations, coarsened exact matching was used. The proportion of adverse events that occurred before vs after discharge was also assessed.


In total, 250 dialysis-dependent patients and 163,560 nondialysis patients met inclusion criteria. After controlling for patient demographics (age, sex, body mass index, functional status) and overall health (American Society of Anesthesiologists class), matched analysis revealed dialysis-dependent patients to be significantly more likely to experience any adverse event (odds ratio = 2.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34-3.02; P = .001), severe adverse event (odds ratio = 2.49; 95% CI, 1.61-3.84; P < .001), reoperation (odds ratio = 2.38; 95% CI, 1.19-4.75; P = .014), readmission (odds ratio = 2.32; 95% CI, 1.47-3.66; P = .001), and mortality (odds ratio = 6.71; 95% CI, 2.99-22.50; P = .002). The majority of adverse outcomes occurred postdischarge.


Independent of patient demographics and overall health (American Society of Anesthesiologists), patients undergoing dialysis before TKA are significantly more likely to experience 30-day adverse outcomes than matched nondialysis cohorts. Preoperative evaluation of bone health status and management of medical treatment are warranted in this fragile population. Cautious surgical planning, patient counseling, and heightened surveillance are necessitated throughout their perioperative period and postoperative recovery plans may need to be different from nondialysis counterparts. Furthermore, hospitals and physicians must take these increased risks into account when working on bundle payment reimbursement strategies and resource allocation.

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