Who Goes to Inpatient Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing Facilities Unexpectedly Following Total Knee Arthroplasty?

Alexander J. Rondon*, Timothy L. Tan, Max R. Greenky, Karan Goswami, Noam Shohat, Jessica L. Phillips, James J. Purtill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) represent a significant portion of post-operative expenses of bundled payments for total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Although many surgeons no longer routinely send patients to IRFs or SNFs, some patients are unable to be discharged directly home. This study identified patient factors for discharge to post-acute care facilities with an institutional protocol of discharging TKA patients home. Methods: A retrospective review of patients undergoing primary unilateral TKA at a single institution from 2012 to 2017 was performed. All surgeons discharged patients home as a routine protocol. An electronic query followed by manual review identified discharge disposition, demographic factors, co-morbidities, and other patient factors. In total, 2281 patients were identified, with 9.6% discharged to SNFs or IRFs and 90.4% discharged home. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to create 2 predictive models for patient discharge: pre-operative visit and hospital course. Results: Among 43 variables studied, 6 were found to be significant pre-operative risk factors for a discharge disposition other than home. In descending order, age 75 or greater, female, non-Caucasian race, Medicare status, history of depression, and Charlson Comorbidity Index were predictors for patients going to IRFs. In addition, any in-hospital complications led to a higher likelihood of being discharged to IRFs and SNFs. Both models had excellent predictive assessments with area under curve values of 0.79 and 0.80 for pre-operative visit and hospital course. Conclusion: This study identifies pre-operative and in-hospital factors that predispose patients to non-routine discharges, which allow surgeons to better predict patient post-operative disposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1351.e1
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • cost
  • discharge
  • inpatient rehabilitation
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • total knee arthroplasty


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