The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 4, 1079 - 1083

Hospital Volume and Postoperative Infections in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Anis, Hiba K. et al.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations of hospital volume with revision surgery for infection and superficial incisional infections.


A review of 12,541 primary total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) at a large integrated health system from 2014 to 2017 was conducted. Sixteen hospitals were classified as low-volume, medium-volume, or high-volume hospitals according to the mean number of TKAs/year (<250, 250-500, and >500, respectively). Thresholds were guided by percentiles and the literature on volume-outcome relationships. Medical records were reviewed for revision surgery for infection and superficial incisional infections during a mean 2-year review period. Multivariate analyses, adjusted for clinical and patient characteristics, were performed to evaluate the association between hospital volume and infection.


The overall rate of revision surgery for infection was 0.7% ( n = 82), and the overall rate of superficial incisional infection was 2.6% ( n = 324). After accounting for potential confounders, hospital volume was not found to have a significant association with revision surgery for infection when comparing high-volume and low-volume hospitals (odds ratio, 1.615; 95% confidence interval, 0.761-3.427; P = .212) as well as when comparing high-volume and medium-volume hospitals (odds ratio, 1.464; 95% confidence interval, 0.853-2.512; P = .166). Moreover, the risk of superficial incisional infection at high-volume hospitals was similar to that at low-volume ( P = .107) and medium-volume ( P = .491) hospitals.


Infection outcomes are quality metrics that are frequently used to compare hospitals including those of varying volumes. Using contemporary thresholds, this study found that infection rates after TKA at high-volume hospitals are comparable to low-volume and medium-volume hospitals.

Download article