The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 11, 2569 - 2572

Surgeon Mean Operative Times in Total Knee Arthroplasty in a Variety of Settings in a Health System

Khanuja, Harpal S. et al.


High-quality care is essential in total joint arthroplasty. Multiple initiatives such as centers of excellence, patient optimization, and alternative payment models have demonstrated improved outcomes and decreased cost. Many studies have shown that longer operative times (OTs) are associated with increased frequency of postoperative complications. These findings often come from large data sets and may not accurately represent the average OT of individual surgeons. The purpose of this study was to determine the hospital and patient-related factors that influence OT.


This retrospective study reviewed OT of 6003 total knee arthroplasty cases performed by 41 surgeons at 4 hospitals in a single health-care system. Mean OT was calculated for each surgeon. The effect of surgeon, hospital-, and patient-related factors on OT was assessed.


Among the 41 surgeons, the mean OT was 105 ± 25 minutes. Two community hospitals had significantly faster OT compared with the tertiary care academic hospital. Surgeons’ OT for morbidly obese patients was significantly longer compared with normal, overweight, and obese patients. Surgeon volume, surgeon experience, trainee presence, and American Society of Anesthesiologists status did not significantly affect surgical time.


Operative time was influenced by hospital-related (tertiary, community) and patient-related (morbid obesity vs lower body mass index groups) factors. However, specific surgeon factors (surgical volume, experience), surgical team factors (presence or absence of trainee), and patient factors (American Society of Anesthesiologists status) did not significantly alter the OT. Additional studies of larger health systems are needed to examine additional patient, surgeon, and hospital factors which may influence the OT.

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