Original Research

Reasons for Readmission Following Primary Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

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  • Shoulder arthroplasty is an increasingly commonly performed procedure for shoulder arthritis and other conditions.
  • Unplanned readmission in the 30 days after shoulder arthroplasty occurred in about 1 of 40 cases.
  • Increasing age was associated with readmission, particularly age >80 years.
  • Other risk factors for readmission were male sex, anemia, and dependent functional status.
  • The most common reasons for readmission were pneumonia, dislocation, pulmonary embolism, and surgical site infection.




An increasing interest focuses on the rates and risk factors for hospital readmission. However, little is known regarding the readmission following total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). This study aims to determine the rates, risk factors, and reasons for hospital readmission following primary TSA. Patients undergoing TSA (anatomic or reverse) as part of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program in 2011 to 2013 were identified. The rate of unplanned readmission to the hospital within 30 postoperative days was characterized. Using multivariate regression, demographic and comorbidity factors were tested for independent association with readmission. Finally, the reasons for readmission were characterized. A total of 3627 patients were identified. Among the admitted patients, 93 (2.56%) were readmitted within 30 days of surgery. The independent risk factors for readmission included old age (for age 60-69 years, relative risk [RR] = 1.6; for age 70-79 years, RR = 2.3; for age ≥80 years, RR = 23.1; P = .042), male sex (RR = 1.6, P = .025), anemia (RR = 1.9, P = .005), and dependent functional status (RR = 2.8, P = .012). The reasons for readmission were available for 84 of the 93 readmitted patients. The most common reasons for readmission comprised pneumonia (14 cases, 16.7%), dislocation (7 cases, 8.3%), pulmonary embolism (7 cases, 8.3%), and surgical site infection (6 cases, 7.1%). Unplanned readmission occurs following about 1 in 40 cases of TSA. The most common causes of readmission include pneumonia, dislocation, pulmonary embolism, and surgical site infection. Patients with old age, male sex, anemia, and dependent functional status are at higher risk for readmission and should be counseled and monitored accordingly.

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