The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 12, 2726 - 2729

Effect of Total Joint Arthroplasty Surgical Day of the Week on Length of Stay and Readmissions: A Clinical Pathway Approach

Edwards, Paul K. et al.
Hip Knee


The demand for total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is increasing at the same time that alternative payment models place increased scrutiny on the cost of these procedures. Using a clinical pathway model, this study aimed to examine the effect of day of surgery on length of stay (LOS).


A retrospective electronic chart review was conducted on 2968 cases over 20 months at a single hospital. Least square means analysis of the effect of surgical day of the week on LOS was conducted using Statistical Analysis Software 9.3, followed by Tukey’s multiple comparison test. Logistic regression assessed the effect of surgical day of week on readmission.


Within the primary TJA group, there was no significant difference in mean LOS for each day of the week (1.17, 1.32, 1.29, 1.27, and 1.27 for Monday through Friday, respectively). Of all days, mean LOS for revision TJA (1.51, 1.57, 1.57, 2.49, and 2.03) only differed significantly for Thursday (P < .0001), although in adjusted analysis with age and American Society of Anesthesiologist, this difference was no longer significant (P = .3954). Readmission was likewise not significantly affected by surgical day of week (chi sq = 1.426, P = .8396) in the sample.


As the volume of joint arthroplasties increases and alternative payment models are implemented, programs that promote decreased LOS regardless of operative day of the week are critical. Practices can use clinical pathway models to reduce costs related to LOS while maintaining a high level of patient care.

Download article