The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 29, Issue 6, 1114 - 1118

Head Computed Tomography Is Not Useful for Evaluating Patients Change in Mental Status Following Total Joint Arthroplasty

Wong, Justin C. et al.
Hip Knee

We retrospectively reviewed 187 patients who presented with neurologic abnormality after total joint arthroplasty to establish the incidence of diagnosed organic brain disorders in these patients and determine the utility of advanced head imaging studies. 139 of 187 (74.3%) patients underwent imaging for altered mental status (AMS) and 48 patients for a focal neurologic deficit (FND). Acute findings on head imaging were more common in the FND group. The incidence of stroke and transient ischemic attack was significantly lower in the AMS group compared to FND group (Stroke: 0% vs 12.5%, p <0.001; TIA: 0% vs. 16.7%, P < .001). Advanced head imaging for evaluation of TJA patients with a change in mental status is of low yield. An algorithm for evaluation of these patients is proposed.

Download article