Several studies have found the negative impact of alcohol use disorder (AUD), most notably coagulation derangements. We sought to investigate the effects of AUD after primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for (1) postoperative complications, (2) lengths of stay, and (3) costs of care.
This was a retrospective database analysis of Medicare patients with AUD undergoing primary TKA performed between 2005 and 2014. Patients with AUD were matched to controls in a 1:5 ratio by age, sex, and medical comorbidities. The query yielded 354,690 TKA patients: 59,126 with AUD and 295,564 without AUD.
Patients with AUD had significantly greater odds ratio (OR) of medical complications, including venous thromboembolism (VTE) within 90 days (OR: 1.41, P < 0.0001) and at 1 year (OR: 1.51, P < 0.0001) and greater 2-year implant-related complications after primary TKA. Furthermore, patients with AUD had significantly longer lengths of stay (4 versus 3 days, P < 0.0001) and incurred a significantly higher episode of care costs ($15,569.76 versus $13,763.06, P < 0.0001).
The present study demonstrated a significant association between AUD and the development of VTE. We hope this research will aid in risk stratification and tailoring of VTE chemoprophylaxis and postoperative management in this at-risk group after TKA.
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