The Changing Characteristics of Arthroplasty Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study
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BACKGROUND: Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is among the most common operations performed worldwide, with global volumes on the rise. It is important to understand if the characteristics of this patient population are changing over time for resource allocation and surgical planning. The purpose of this study is to examine how this patient population has changed between 2003 and 2017. METHODS: A retrospective review of a prospective TJA database was conducted. Age, gender, body mass index, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, responsible diagnoses, and comorbidities were compared over 5-year intervals between 2003 and 2017. All patients undergoing primary, elective TJA were included. RESULTS: Overall, 17,138 TJAs were included. Mean body mass index increased over the study period for total hip arthroplasty (THA; 29.4-30.4 kg/m2, P < .0001) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA; 32.0-3.1 kg/m2, P < .0001) patients. THA patients were significantly younger in more recent years (68.0-66.8 years old, P = .0026); this trend was not observed among TKA patients. Over the study period, a significantly higher proportion of patients were American Society of Anesthesiologists class III/IV for THA (50.5%-72.3%) and TKA (57.5%-80.7%) (P < .00001). Prevalence of common comorbidities did not change significantly. CONCLUSION: The key findings of this retrospective analysis of a large prospective database are that patients undergoing TJA are becoming younger and more obese. It is unclear whether patients are becoming more medically complex. These trends paint a concerning picture of a population that is increasingly complex, and may require a greater allocation of resources in the future. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, retrospective cohort study.
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