The Use of Race in Risk Assessment Tools Contributes to Systemic Racism

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Nov 21. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01451-y. Online ahead of print.


Many patients suffer from hip or knee osteoarthritis and elect to pursue total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Though perioperative risk is an inherent component of surgery, calculators that assess the risk of complications following TJA can help both surgeons and patients make informed decisions about the risk of surgery and aid in shared decision-making discussions. The inclusion of race in a risk calculator for readmission after TJA is flawed and unacceptable because a patient's race does not increase their risk of a complication after total joint replacement.

Keywords: Readmissions; Risk assessment; Systemic racism; Total joint arthroplasty.