Background: As the health care system in the United States shifts toward value-based care, there has been increased interest in performing total joint arthroplasty in the outpatient setting to optimize costs, outcomes, and patient satisfaction. Several studies have demonstrated success in performing ambulatory total knee and hip arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to compare short-term outcomes and complications after total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) across the inpatient and outpatient operative settings. Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program database was queried to identify 575 patients undergoing primary TEA using the Current Procedural Terminology code 24363. Of this sample, 458 were inpatient and 117 were outpatient procedures. Propensity score matching using a 3:1 inpatient-to-outpatient ratio was performed to account for baseline differences in several variables—age, sex, body mass index class, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, and various comorbidities—between the inpatient and outpatient groups. After matching, the rates of various short-term outcomes and complications were compared between the inpatient and outpatient groups. Results: Inpatient TEA was associated with a higher rate of complications relative to outpatient TEA, including non-home discharge (14.9% vs. 7.5%, P = .05), unplanned hospital readmission (7.4% vs. 0.9%, P = .01), surgical complications (7.6% vs. 2.6%, P = .04), and medical complications (3.6% vs. 0.0%, P = .04). Conclusion: Outpatient TEA has a lower short-term complication rate than inpatient TEA. Outpatient TEA should be considered for patients for whom such a discharge pathway is feasible. Future research should focus on risk stratification of patients and specific criteria for deciding when to pursue outpatient TEA.
- Level III
- Retrospective Cohort Comparison using Large Database
- Total elbow arthroplasty
- Treatment Study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine