The Impact of Hepatitis C on Short-Term Outcomes of Total Joint Arthroplasty

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Abstract

Background:

With recent advances in the treatment of infection with hepatitis C increasing lifespan and quality of life, the need for total joint arthroplasty in this patient population is expected to grow. Presently, there are limited and conflicting data on the perioperative outcomes of lower-extremity total joint arthroplasty among patients with hepatitis C. The purpose of our study was to assess the association between hepatitis C and perioperative outcomes of lower-extremity total joint arthroplasty.

Methods:

The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database was used to identify patients who underwent a total hip or knee arthroplasty in the United States from 1998 to 2010. Controls were matched in a three-to-one ratio to patients with hepatitis-C infection according to surgical procedure, age, race, sex, Deyo comorbidity score, and year of surgical procedure. Outcomes included perioperative complications (any, medical, surgical) and mean length of stay.

Results:

There were 1,700,400 total joint arthroplasties performed and recorded in the database during the study period, among which 8044 patients (0.47%) had a documented hepatitis-C infection. The frequency of hepatitis-C infection increased from 1.9 per 1000 total joint arthroplasties in 1998 to 5.9 per 1000 total joint arthroplasties in 2010 (slope = 0.47; r2 = 0.93). Compared with matched controls, patients with hepatitis C had a 30% increased risk of any complication (95% confidence interval, 17% to 44%; p < 0.001), a 15% increased risk of a medical complication (95% confidence interval, 2% to 30%; p = 0.025), a 78% increased risk of a surgical complication (95% confidence interval, 49% to 112%; p < 0.001), and a mean length of stay that was 14% longer (95% confidence interval, 12% to 15%; p < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Infection with hepatitis C is an infrequent but increasingly common comorbidity among patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty. Given these findings, orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the increased risks of total joint arthroplasty in patients with hepatitis C and should discuss these risks with potential surgical candidates during a shared decision-making process.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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