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Joint replacement surgery riskier at hospitals with low surgical volume
Date:6/6/2011

Patients who undergo elective total hip or total knee arthroplasty at hospitals with lower surgical volume had a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and mortality following the procedure. The complications following joint replacement surgery at low-volume sites may be reduced by modifying systems and procedures used before and after surgery according to the findings published today in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

The ACR estimates that 27 million Americans over the age of 25 have doctor-diagnosed osteoarthritis and another 1.3 million US adults suffer with rheumatoid arthritis. For patients with end-stage hip and knee arthritis, total hip and knee arthroplasty are highly successful surgical interventions that offer patients significant improvement in pain, function and health-related quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Hospital Discharge Survey, roughly 230,000 total hip replacements and 543,000 total knee replacements were performed in the U.S. in 2007.

The current study explored the relationship between hospital procedure volume and surgical outcomes following primary total hip or total knee replacements. "With the large number of elective arthroplasty in the U.S, it is important to understand the impact of peri- and post-operative medical complications on the success of joint replacement surgery," said lead author Jasvinder Singh, MD, MPH of the University of Alabama. "Possible cardiac complications, blood clots, or infections increase patient morbidity and mortality risk, which can lead to higher health care utilization and costs."

Researchers used the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council database to identify the number of patients who underwent total hip replacement (n=10,187) and total knee replacement (n=19,418) surgery in 2002 in the state. The mean age of patients in both groups wa
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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