Orthopaedic surgical procedures are increasingly being performed in outpatient settings. The drive for cost reduction without compromising patient safety and outcomes has increased interest in outpatient total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). The primary aim of this study was to perform a review of the evidence regarding the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of outpatient TSA.
A search of the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases was performed using several keywords: “outpatient,” “shoulder replacement,” “ambulatory,” “day case,” “day-case,” “shoulder arthroplasty,” “same day,” and “shoulder surgery.” Studies that were published from May 2010 to May 2020 in the English language were considered. Research design, questions, and outcomes were recorded for each study. Qualitative and quantitative pooled analysis was performed on the data where appropriate.
Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. Six retrospective studies compared complication rates between inpatient and outpatient cohorts and found no significant differences. Four studies found that the complication rate was lower in the outpatient cohort compared with the inpatient cohort. In a pooled analysis, the readmission rate after outpatient TSA was significantly lower than the readmission rate after inpatient TSA at 30 days (0.65% vs. 0.95%) and 90 days (2.03% vs. 2.87%) postoperatively (p < 0.05 for both). Four studies evaluated the cost of outpatient TSA in comparison with inpatient TSA. All of these studies found that TSA at an ambulatory surgery center was significantly less costly than TSA at an inpatient facility, both for the health-care system and for the patient. Patient selection for outpatient TSA may depend on several important factors, including the presence or absence of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, poor functional status, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists class, chronic narcotic use, higher body mass index, and older age.
Our results show that patient selection is the most critical factor that predicts the success of outpatient TSA. While outpatient TSA is significantly less costly than inpatient TSA, patients undergoing outpatient TSA are more likely to be healthier than patients undergoing inpatient TSA. More high-quality long-term studies are needed to add to this body of evidence.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.