CONTEXT: Postmarket surveillance is limited in the ability to detect medical device problems. Electronic health records can provide real-time information that might help with device surveillance. Specifically, the frequency of postsurgery care might indicate early problems and determine high-risk patients requiring more active surveillance.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether intensity of postsurgery care is associated with revision risk after total joint arthroplasty (TJA).
DESIGN: Using an integrated health care system's TJA registry, we identified primary TJA performed between April 2001 and July 2013 (22,953 knees and 9904 hips). Survival analyses evaluated the frequency of specific types of outpatient and inpatient utilization 0 to 90 and 91 to 180 days postoperatively and revision risk.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Revision surgery occurring at least 6 months after primary TJA.
RESULTS: Knee arthroplasty recipients with 3 or more outpatient orthopedic allied health/nurse visits within 90 days had a 2.2 times (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6-2.9) higher risk of revision within the first 2 years postoperatively and 10.1 times higher risk (95% CI = 7.6-13.3) after 2 years. Compared with hip arthroplasty recipients who had 0 to 3 visits, patients with 6 or more outpatient orthopedic office visits within 90 days had a 15.7 times (95% CI = 5.7-42.9) higher risk of revision. Similar results were observed for 91-day to 180-day visits.
CONCLUSION: Future studies are needed to determine if more specific data on reasons for the higher frequency of outpatient visits can refine these findings and elicit more specific recommendations for TJA devices.
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