Impact of COVID-19 on Elective Orthopaedic Surgery Outcomes During the Peak of the Pandemic, an Uptick of Complications: An Analysis of the ACS-NSQIP

David Momtaz, Abdullah Ghali, Rishi Gonuguntla, Travis Kotzur, Farhan Ahmad, Andrea Arce, Ariana Olvera, Christina Brady, Ryan Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction:Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020, COVID-19 has pressured the healthcare system. Elective orthopaedic procedures for American seniors were canceled, delayed, or altered because of lockdown restrictions and public health mandates. We sought to identify differences in the complication rates for elective orthopaedic surgeries before and atfter the pandemic onset. We hypothesized that complications increased in the elderly during the pandemic.Methods:We conducted a retrospective analysis of the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database in patients older than 65 years undergoing elective orthopaedic procedures from 2019 (prepandemic) and April to December 2020 (during the pandemic). We recorded readmission rates, revision surgery, and 30-day postoperative complications. In addition, we compared the two groups and adjusted for baseline features with standard multivariate regression.Results:We included 146,430 elective orthopaedic procedures in patients older than 65 years (94,289 before the pandemic and 52,141 during). Patients during the pandemic had a 5.787 times greater chance of having delayed wait time to the operating room (P < 0.001), a 1.204 times greater likelihood of readmission (P < 0.001), and a 1.761 times increased chance of delayed hospital stay longer than 5 days (P < 0.001) when compared with prepandemic. In addition, during the pandemic, patients were 1.454 times more likely to experience any complication (P < 0.001) when compared with patients prepandemic undergoing orthopaedic procedures. Similarly, patients were also 1.439 times more likely to have wound complication (P < 0.001), 1.759 times more likely to have any pulmonary complication (P < 0.001), 1.511 times more likely to have any cardiac complication (P < 0.001), and 1.949 times more likely to have any renal complication (P < 0.001).Conclusion:During the COVID-19 pandemic, elderly patients faced longer wait times within the hospital and increased odds of complications after elective orthopaedic procedures than similar patients before the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22.00276
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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