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Shoulder & Elbow

Higher complication rates following primary total shoulder arthroplasty in patients presenting from areas of higher social deprivation

an analysis of 17,698 patients

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The aim of this study was to characterize the influence of social deprivation on the rate of complications, readmissions, and revisions following primary total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), using the Social Deprivation Index (SDI). The SDI is a composite measurement, in percentages, of seven demographic characteristics: living in poverty, with < 12 years of education, single-parent households, living in rented or overcrowded housing, households without a car, and unemployed adults aged < 65 years.


Patients aged ≥ 40 years, who underwent primary TSA between 2011 and 2017, were identified using International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 Clinical Modification and ICD-10 procedure codes for TSA in the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database. Readmission, reoperation, and other complications were analyzed using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression controlling for SDI, age, ethnicity, insurance status, and Charlson Comorbidity Index.


A total of 17,698 patients with a mean age of 69 years (SD 9.6), of whom 57.7% were female, underwent TSA during this time and 4,020 (22.7%) had at least one complication. A total of 8,113 patients (45.8%) had at least one comorbidity, and the median SDI in those who developed complications 12 months postoperatively was significantly greater than in those without a complication (33 vs 38; p < 0.001). Patients from areas with higher deprivation had increased one-, three-, and 12-month rates of readmission, dislocation, humeral fracture, urinary tract infection, deep vein thrombosis, and wound complications, as well as a higher three-month rate of pulmonary embolism (all p < 0.05).


Beyond medical complications, we found that patients with increased social deprivation had higher rates of humeral fracture and dislocation following primary TSA. The large sample size of this study, and the outcomes that were measured, add to the literature greatly in comparison with other large database studies involving TSA. These findings allow orthopaedic surgeons practising in under-served or low-volume areas to identify patients who may be at greater risk of developing complications.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2024;106-B(2):174–181.

Correspondence should be sent to Krishna P. Mandalia. E-mail:

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