Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a Risk Factor for Complications in Total Joint Arthroplasty

J. Joseph Gholson, Brandon G. Wilkinson, Timothy S. Brown, Yubo Gao, S. Blake Dowdle, John J. Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) has been associated with increased complications following hip and knee arthroplasty. The Purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which SLE is a risk factor in outcomes following total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Methods: The nationwide inpatient sample was used to identify a cohort of 505,841 patients who had a total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) between 2009-2011. Of these patients, 2,284 patients (0.45%) had been previously diagnosed with SLE. The impact of SLE on short-term TJA outcomes was determined using multivariate logistic regression. Differences in discharge destination and length of stay were also evaluated. Results: SLE patients were more likely to have an all-cause medical complication, (OR 1.9, p<0.0001) and more likely to have an all-cause surgical complication (OR 1.3, p<0.0001). SLE patients were four times more likely to become septic in the post-operative period (OR 3.8, p<0.0487). SLE patients were more likely to have a genitourinary complication (OR 1.7, p<0.0001) and bleeding complications requiring transfusion (OR 2.1, p<0.0001). Patients with SLE also had an increased length of stay (0.38 days, p<0.0001) and increased probability of discharging to a facility (OR 2.1, p<0.0001). Discussion: Patients with SLE had an increased rate of both medical and surgical all-cause complications. Patients were specifically found to be at higher risk for sepsis, genitourinary complications, and blood transfusions. Future risk adjustment models should include SLE as a contributor to medical and surgical complications in the postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalThe Iowa orthopaedic journal
StatePublished - 2018


  • Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)
  • sepsis
  • short-term complications
  • SLE
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Total hip arthroplasty
  • total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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