Symposium: Complications of Hip Arthroplasty

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 468, Issue 9, pp 2363-2371

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Factors That Predict Short-term Complication Rates After Total Hip Arthroplasty

  • Nelson F. SooHooAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Eugene FarngAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine
  • , Jay R. LiebermanAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Connecticut
  • , Lauchlan ChambersAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine
  • , David S. ZingmondAffiliated withDepartment of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, UCLA School of Medicine



There remains uncertainty regarding the relative importance of patient factors such as comorbidity and provider factors such as hospital volume in predicting complication rates after total hip arthroplasty (THA).


We therefore identified patient and provider factors predicting complications after THA.


We reviewed discharge data from 138,399 patients undergoing primary THA in California from 1995 to 2005. The rate of complications during the first 90 days postoperatively (mortality, infection, dislocation, revision, perioperative fracture, neurologic injury, and thromboembolic disease) was regressed against a variety of independent variables, including patient factors (age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, Charlson comorbidity score) and provider variables (hospital volume, teaching status, rural location).


Compared with patients treated at high-volume hospitals (above the 20th percentile), patients treated at low-volume hospitals (below the 60th percentile) had a higher aggregate risk of having short-term complications (odds ratio, 2.00). A variety of patient factors also had associations with an increased risk of complications: increased Charlson comorbidity score, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, advanced age, male gender, and black race. Hispanic and Asian patients had lower risks of complications.


Patient and provider characteristics affected the risk of a short-term complication after THA. These results may be useful for educating patients and anticipating perioperative risks of THA in different patient populations.

Level of Evidence

Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.