Effect of COVID-19 on Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Surgical Volume in the United States

Nicholas A. Bedard, Jacob M. Elkins, Timothy S. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Background: In an effort to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and preserve essential health care resources, starting in mid-March 2020, surgeons have been instructed to only perform essential surgical procedures. The vast majority of hip and knee arthroplasty surgery does not meet the definition of essential surgery. This study estimated the number of arthroplasty procedures that would be canceled because of these important restrictions. Methods: The US hip and knee arthroplasty procedure volume projections for 2020 were estimated from four recently published studies. Data from the American Joint Replacement Registry were utilized to determine what percentage of these cases would be considered nonessential surgery. Monthly and weekly estimates of nonessential hip and knee arthroplasty procedures that would have occurred had there not been any restrictions due to COVID-19 were calculated. Results: After excluding essential procedures, it was estimated that approximately 30,000 primary and 3000 revision hip and knee arthroplasty procedures will be canceled each week while COVID-19 restrictions regarding nonessential surgery are in place. If only 50% of nonessential cases were actually canceled across the United States, that would still result in the cancellation of 15,001 primary and 1435 revision hip and knee arthroplasty procedures per week while restrictions are in place. Conclusion: This study highlights the profound impact COVID-19 is having on our current hip and knee arthroplasty volume. The large number of cases canceled because of COVID-19 translates into major financial losses for health care institutions and may have a profound impact on our patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S45-S48
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • cancelation
  • total hip arthroplasty
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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