The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S97 - S101

Emergency Department Visit Within One Year Prior to Elective Total Joint Arthroplasty Is Predictive of Postoperative Return to Emergency Department Within 90 Days

Gabbard, Michael D. et al.
Hip Knee


The Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, developed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, aims to improve the quality of joint replacement. Metrics including emergency room visit rates after primary total knee and total hip arthroplasty (TKA and THA) are of particular interest. The purpose of this study is to determine if preoperative emergency department (ED) visits are predictive of postoperative ED visits among patients undergoing elective THA or TKA.


In a retrospective analysis of 6996 patients who underwent elective primary arthroplasty (2453 hips, 4543 knees), we identified all patients who had an ED visit from up to 1 year prior to their surgical date to 90 days after. We assessed if preoperative visit frequency or temporality is predictive of a return to the ED visit within 90 days.


TKA and THA patients with a single preoperative ED visit had an odds ratio of 1.9 and 2.0, respectively, of returning to the emergency room postoperatively ( P < .001). Increasing preoperative visit frequency correlated with increasing odds ratios (1.9-16.7, P < .001). The proximity of the most recent preoperative visit prior to surgery had a positive trend toward a larger effect, but did not clearly demonstrate a dose-dependent effect.


Presentation to the ED is common prior to total joint arthroplasty and is predictive of a postoperative visit within 90 days. Increasing preoperative visit frequency further increases a patient’s risk of a postoperative visit within 90 days.

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