How does sickle cell disease affect the peri-operative outcome in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty? A large-scale, National Inpatient Sample-based study

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Archives of orthopaedic and traumatic surgery. Archiv fur orthopadische und Unfall-Chirurgie


INTRODUCTION: In view of the vaso-occlusive pathophysiology affecting osseous micro-circulation, sickle cell disease (SCD) is well known to present with diverse skeletal and arthritic manifestations. With prolonged life-expectancy over the past decades, there has been a progressive increase in the proportion of SCD patients requiring joint reconstructions. Owing to the paucity of evidence in the literature, the post-operative complication rates and outcome in these patients following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are still largely unknown.

METHODS: Based on the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database (using ICD-10 CMP code), patients who underwent TKA between 2016 and 2019 were identified. The cohort were classified into two groups: A-those with SCD; and B-those without. The data on patients' demographics, co-morbidities, details regarding hospital stay including expenditure incurred, and complications were analyzed and compared.

RESULTS: Overall, 558,361 patients underwent unilateral, primary TKA; among whom, 493 (0.1%) were known cases of SCD (group A). Group A included a significantly greater proportion of younger (60.14 ± 10.87 vs 66.72 ± 9.50 years; p < 0.001), male (77.3 vs 61.5%; p < 0.001); and African-American (88.2 vs 8.3%B; p < 0.001) patients, in comparison with group B. Group A patients were also at a significantly higher risk for longer duration of peri-operative hospital stay (p < 0.001), greater health-care costs incurred (p < 0.001), and greater need for alternative step-down health-care facilities (p < 0.001) following discharge. Among the SCD patients, 24.7%, 20.9% and 24.9% developed acute chest syndrome, pain crisis and splenic sequestration crisis, respectively during the peri-operative period. Group A patients had a statistically greater incidence of acute renal failure (ARF; p = 0.014), need for blood transfusion (p < 0.001) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT; p = 0.03) during the early admission period.

CONCLUSION: The presence of SCD substantially lengthens the duration of hospital stay and enhances health care-associated expenditure in patients undergoing TKA. SCD patients are at significantly higher risk for systemic complications including acute chest syndrome, pain crisis, splenic sequestration crisis, acute renal failure, higher need for blood transfusions and deep venous thrombosis during the initial peri-operative period following TKA.

PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print