The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 11, 2586 - 2593

Discharge Home is Associated With Decreased Early Complications Following Primary Total Joint Arthroplasty

Mayer, Michael A. et al.
Hip Knee


Primary total hip (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) volume has increased over the past decade. Patients discharged home (HD) have demonstrated improved postoperative outcomes compared with non-home discharge (NHD) patients. We reviewed trends in HD over the past decade and compared complication rates between HD and NHD primary total joint arthroplasty (TJA) patients.


Retrospective analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was performed on TJA cases and patients were grouped by discharge type. Trends in the prevalence of HD were compared by chi-square test, from 2011 to 2016. Univariate and bivariate statistics were performed. Multivariate logistic and propensity score–matched analyses were used to control for confounding variables.


During the 6-year review, HD increased significantly for THA (71.2% to 83.6%) and TKA (65.6% to 80.7%). Overall HD was 75.4% of THA and 71.0% of TKA patients. Propensity matching identified 16,580 THA pairs and 34,952 TKA pairs. Compared with NHD patients, HD patients had shorter operative times, were younger, and had shorter lengths of stay. Controlling for confounders, the HD patients had lower risk of death within 30 days, lower risk of major medical morbidity, decreased risk of reoperation, and decreased risk of readmission compared with NDH patients. Multivariate models demonstrated similar findings.


HD in both THA and TKA independently predicts decreased early (30-day) postoperative complications after controlling for confounding variables. Given the improved outcomes, we advocate for continued emphasis on HD rather than NHD when clinically appropriate.

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