Urgent Arthroplasty Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Operating Risks in Low-Prevalence Areas.
Burton, Hannah L.
Hubble, Matthew J.
Toms, Andrew D.
RightsCopyright © 2020, Burton et al.
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Background and objective Orthopaedic services have reorganised their delivery of care in response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. In this study, we aimed to share our operating experience during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and analyse its effect on urgent hip and knee arthroplasty. Our study involved a comparative analysis between a cohort of patients from 2019 (pre-COVID) and another from 2020. Methods Tha data relating to patients undergoing urgent operations requiring arthroplasty interventions such as for infection, periprosthetic fracture (PPF) and neck of femur fracture (NOF) between April and July of 2020 and 2019 were reviewed prospectively and retrospectively. Patients were categorised according to the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) case prioritisation and the COVID-19 risk assessment. Data were collected on 30-day mortality, readmissions, reoperations, complications, length of hospital stay and theatre efficiency. This was analysed, matched and compared. Statistical analysis was performed on categorical variables including the time to the theatre as well as dual consultant operating. Results A total of 46 consecutive patients were included in the 2020 cohort with a mean age of 78 years (range: 58-108 years). The median length of stay was 6.5 days (range: 3-35 days) and the median time to theatre for NOF patients was 23.8 hours (range: 16.2-87.7 hours). There were six complications and two deaths; one of the deaths was COVID-19-related. A total of 56 patients were included from 2019 with a mean age of 74.6 years (range: 45-88 years). The median length of stay was five days (range: 1-18 days) and the median time to theatre for NOF patients was 40.8 hours (range: 18.9-167 hours). There were four complications and one death. Conclusion Based on our findings, it is safe to perform complex surgery in a region of low community prevalence of COVID-19, and the outcomes were comparable to those from a pre-COVID-19 cohort.