Disruption of Arthroplasty Practice in an Orthopedic Center in Northern Italy During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

J Arthroplasty. 2020 Jul;35(7S):S6-S9. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2020.04.057. Epub 2020 Apr 24.


Background: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has put strain on many healthcare systems around the world, with important consequences. The aim of this paper is to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hip and knee arthroplasties in an Italian high-volume orthopedic center, located in the region of the country first and worst affected by the Coronavirus.

Methods: Data from an institutional database were retrospectively analyzed to obtain the number of hip and knee arthroplasties performed from February 24 to April 10 2020. The figures were compared with those of the same 7-week period of the last year (2019).

Results: The number of hip and knee arthroplasties showed a decrease from 706 in the same period of 2019 to 166 (76.5% less) in the current year. In 2019, a mean of 101 ± 9 hip and knee arthroplasties were performed per week compared with a mean of 24 ± 34 in 2020. Ten patients tested positive for SARS-CoV2 during their hospital stay. Two of these patients died after a regular postoperative period after developing unexpectedly COVID-19 during rehabilitation. The mortality in the 7-week period of the current year was 1.2% compared with 0% in 2019.

Conclusion: The outbreak of COVID-19 had a considerable effect in our center on the number of hip and knee arthroplasties that rapidly decreased to 0 in parallel to the worsening of the situation in the country. Efforts will be soon requested because our practice is going to deal with the after-effects of the pandemic in the near future.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; hip; knee; total joint replacements.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2