Predictive Factors of Extended Length of Hospital Stay Following Total Joint Arthroplasty in a Veterans Affairs Hospital Population

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Improved perioperative care for total joint arthroplasty (TJA) procedures has resulted in decreased hospital length of stay (LOS), including effective discharge on postoperative day (POD) 1 in many patients. It remains unclear what contributes to discharge delay in patients that are not discharged on POD 1. This study investigated factors associated with delayed discharge in patients whose original planned discharge was on POD 1.


A retrospective cohort of 451 patients who underwent a hip or knee TJA procedure from April 2015 to March 2018 with planned discharge on POD 1 was analyzed. Patient characteristics included demographics, lab values, course of treatment, procedure, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), complications, and other factors. Statistical regression was used to identify factors associated with delayed discharge; odds ratios (OR) were calculated for significant factors (α = 0.05).


Of those studied, 70/451 (15.5%) experienced a delay from the planned POD 1 discharge. An increased likelihood of delayed discharge was associated with a nonhome discharge (P < .001, OR = 8.72 [95% CI: 4.22-18.06]) and higher CCI (P = .034, OR = 1.16 [95% CI: 1.01-1.32]). Inpatient physical therapy on the day of surgery was found to significantly correlate with successful discharge on POD 1 (P = .004, OR = 0.44 [95% CI: 0.25-0.77]).


Most patients can be discharged on POD 1 after TJA. Physical therapy on the day of surgery increased the likelihood of patients being discharged on POD 1. Those with a higher CCI and a nonhome discharge were more likely to have a discharge delay. This information can help surgeons counsel patients and prepare for postoperative care.



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