Operative Time Affects Short-Term Complications in Total Joint Arthroplasty

Kyle R. Duchman, Andrew J. Pugely, Christopher T. Martin, Yubo Gao, Nicholas A. Bedard, John J. Callaghan

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114 Scopus citations


Background Increased operative time has been associated with increased complications after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of operative time on short-term complications after TJA while also identifying patient and operative factors associated with prolonged operative times. Methods The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was queried from 2011-2013 to identify all patients who underwent primary total hip or knee arthroplasty. Patients were stratified by operative time, and 30-day morbidity and mortality data compared using univariate and multivariable analyses. Results We identified 99,444 patients who underwent primary TJA. The overall incidence of complications after TJA was 4.9%. Overall complications were increased in patients with operative times >120 minutes (5.9%) as compared to patients with operative times <60 minutes or 60-120 minutes (4.6% and 4.8%, respectively; P < .001). Wound complications, including surgical site infection, were also increased for procedures lasting >120 minutes. In a multivariable analysis, operative time exceeding 120 minutes remained an independent predictor of any complication and wound complication, with each 30-minute increase in operative time beyond 120 minutes further increasing risk. Patient age ≤65 years, male sex, black race, body mass index ≥30 kg/m2, and an American Society of Anesthesiologists classification of 3 or 4, predicted operative times >120 minutes. Conclusion We found that operative time >120 minutes was associated with increased short-term morbidity and mortality after primary TJA. Younger age, male sex, black race, obesity, and increased comorbidity were risk factors for operative time exceeding 120 minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1285-1291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • complications
  • operative time
  • total hip arthroplasty
  • total joint arthroplasty
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • wound complications


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