Ten-Year Trends in Medical Complications Following 540,623 Primary Total Hip Replacements from a National Database

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Abstract

Background:

More than 75,000 total hip replacements were performed in England and Wales in 2014, and this figure is predicted to increase. Trends in mortality and complications following total hip replacement from 2005 to 2014 were evaluated to quantify risk and to identify “at-risk” groups to better inform recommendations for patient care.

Methods:

Our primary analysis estimated 90-day inpatient mortality following total hip replacement using Hospital Episode Statistics data from 2005 to 2014. Secondary analyses explored 30-day rates of lower respiratory tract infection, renal failure, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, deep-vein thrombosis, cerebrovascular accident, and Clostridium difficile. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to estimate population averages, adjusting for time and prognostic covariates.

Results:

From January 2005 to July 2014, a total of 540,623 total hip replacements were reported. The 90-day mortality rate dropped steadily, from 0.60% in 2005 to 0.15% in 2014. Reported postoperative complications (with the exception of lower respiratory tract infection and renal failure) reduced year-on-year, despite a steady rise in the average Charlson Comorbidity Index score. The 30-day rate of lower respiratory tract infection and renal failure increased from 0.54% to 0.84% and 0.21% to 1.09%, respectively. The risk of mortality was significantly higher for those who developed a lower respiratory tract infection (odds ratio [OR] = 42.3) or renal failure (OR = 36.5) than for those who developed pulmonary embolism (OR = 10.9) or deep-vein thrombosis (OR = 2.6).

Conclusions:

Despite a population with increasing levels of comorbidity, indicators of quality of care improved from 2005 to 2014, with the exception of the rates of lower respiratory tract infection and renal failure. Postoperative care should focus on reducing the risk of lower respiratory tract infection and renal failure, both of which increased and were strongly associated with mortality. Moreover, they appeared to occur in identifiable high-risk groups; modifications to routine care should be considered for these patients.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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