(HealthDay News) – More than 5% of patients who undergo total hip and knee arthroplasty have unplanned readmission within 90 days, according to a study published in the Oct. 16 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Benjamin Zmistowski, from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the incidence, causes, and risk factors for readmission following total joint arthroplasty using data from an institutional arthroplasty database for 10,633 admissions for primary arthroplasty (5,207 knees and 5,426 hips) performed from January 2004 through December 2008. Patients requiring an unplanned readmission within 90 days of discharge were identified from the same database.

The researchers found that in 5.3%of total joint arthroplasties (564 cases) there were 591 unplanned readmissions within 90 days of discharge. Joint-related infection was the most common cause of readmission, followed by stiffness. Independent predictors of readmission within 90 days included black race, male sex, discharge to inpatient rehabilitation, longer hospital stay, unilateral replacement, decreased age, decreased distance between home and the hospital, and total knee replacement.

“It is imperative that measures to limit these complications, through appropriate prophylactic measures and prevention of increased duration of hospital stay and discharge to an inpatient facility, be effectively implemented to limit the physical and psychological impact of readmission on patients and the financial burden to society,” the authors write.

One or more authors disclosed a financial tie with an entity in the biomedical arena.

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