Does Surgical Approach in Total Hip Arthroplasty Affect Rehabilitation, Discharge Disposition, and Readmission Rate?

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Wake Forest School of Medicine Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Surgical technology international 05/2013; XXIII.
Source: PubMed


There is a substantial preoccupation with different surgical approaches and minimally invasive techniques that may improve clinical outcomes for patients who undergo total hip arthroplasty. This study assessed the impact on hospital-related outcomes of the direct anterior approach (DAA) compared with the posterior approach (PA) performed by a single surgeon in 100 consecutive patients in each cohort. Patient age was similar in the DAA (61 ± 1.1 years) compared with the PA (62 ± 1.3, p = 0.733); however, BMI tended to be lower in DAA patients (29.1 ± 0.8) compared with PA patients (31.3 ± 0.7, p = 0.057). The DAA compared with the PA was associated with significantly less blood loss (285 ± 15 vs. 367 ± 21ml, p = 0.002) and transfusions (18 vs. 39 units, p = 0.009), less narcotic usage on postoperative days 1-3 (101 ± 12 vs. 146 ± 12 morphine equivalent dose, p = 0.010), a quicker hospital discharge (70 ± 3.3 vs. 97 ± 5.5 hours, p < 0.001), and a more favorable disposition (97% vs. 84% discharged home, p = 0.003). Thirty-day readmission rate was significantly higher with the PA (9%) compared with the DAA (1%, p = 0.030). The number of cups in the safe zone (5° to 25° anteversion and 30° to 50° inclination) was significantly higher with the DAA (92%) compared with the PA (75%, p = 0.002), possibly attributed to fluoroscopy used with the DAA. The DAA muscle-preservation technique may have led to the benefits observed in this study compared with the muscle-splitting technique associated with the PA.

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