The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 10, 2365 - 2370

Reasons and Risk Factors for Delayed Discharge After Total Knee Arthroplasty Using an Opioid-Sparing Discharge Protocol

Saku, Sami A. et al.


In this study, we aimed to assess the length of hospital stay after total knee arthroplasty in a European healthcare setting. We also aimed to investigate risk factors and reasons for delayed discharge when using an opioid-sparing fast-track protocol.


From our institutional database, we retrospectively identified all primary elective unilateral total knee arthroplasties performed during January to December 2015. Both patient-related and surgery-related variables were collected from our databases. Risk factors were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression analysis.


The median length of stay (LOS) was 3 days. Independent risk factors for delayed discharge were higher age, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists score, general anesthesia, surgery performed toward the end of the week, longer duration of surgery, longer stay in the post-anesthesia care unit, and shorter preoperative walking distance. The main reasons for delayed discharge were delayed functional recovery and pain.


This study identified several independent risk factors for an LOS longer than 3 days. These risk factors add to the current knowledge on which patients have an increased risk of prolonged LOS, and which patients should be targeted when striving to further reduce the LOS.

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