Outpatient rotator cuff repairs increase 272% in a decade — 5 facts on orthopedics in ASCs

A recent article in Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons provided an overview of complications and adverse events associated with outpatient orthopedic surgery performed in an ambulatory surgery center.

Here's what you need to know:

1. In the decade between 1996 and 2006, there was a 272 percent population-adjusted increase in outpatient rotator cuff repairs.

2. The rate of complications and adverse events following orthopedic surgery performed at an ASC ranges from 0.05 percent to 20 percent.

3. When considering both surgical and patient risk factors, the most common complications following orthopedic surgery at an ASC are pain, nausea, infection, impaired healing and bleeding.

4. The most important surgeon-controlled factors related to complications are surgical time, type of anesthesia and site of surgery.

5. The most important patient risk factors related to complications are older age, female sex, diabetes mellitus, smoking status and high body mass index.

The article concludes, "As the use of ASCs continues to rise, an understanding of risk factors and outcomes becomes increasingly important to guide indications for and management of orthopedic surgery in the outpatient setting."

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