Sex differences in complications and readmission rates following shoulder arthroplasty in the United States

JSES Int. 2020 Feb 29;4(1):95-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jseint.2019.11.007. eCollection 2020 Mar.


Introduction: Shoulder arthroplasty (SA) procedures are increasingly performed in the United States. However, there is a lack of data evaluating how patient sex may affect perioperative complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sex-based differences in 30-day postoperative complication and readmission rates after SA.

Methods: Total SA and reverse SA cases between 2012-2016 were identified from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. The 30-day complication rate, readmission rate, operation time, length of stay, and mortality were compared between women and men. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent perioperative complications associated with patient sex.

Results: Of 12,530 SA cases, 6949 (55.4%) were female and 5499 (44.5%) were male. Compared with women, on average men were significantly younger, had lower body mass index, and were less likely to be functionally dependent, and less likely to have an American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 3+ (P < .001). Although overall complications and readmission rates between women and men were similar (3.4% vs. 3.7%, P = .489; 3.0% vs. 2.8%, P = .497), men were significantly less likely to develop urinary tract infections (UTIs; odds ratio [OR] 0.58, P = .032) and require transfusions (OR 0.49, P < .001) and had shorter lengths of stay (P < .001). However, men were significantly more likely to have a superficial surgical site infection (OR 2.63, P = .035) and 6.8 minute longer operating time (P < .001) compared with women.

Conclusion: Though the overall complication risk is similar between the sexes, their risk profiles are distinct. Men had decreased risk of UTI, blood transfusions, and shorter length of stay but increased risk of surgical site and longer operating time compared with women. This disparity should be discussed when counseling and risk-stratifying patients for SA.

Keywords: Shoulder arthroplasty; perioperative complications; readmissions; reverse total shoulder arthroplasty; sex differences; total shoulder arthroplasty.