Introduction: This study investigates the incidence, risk factors for, and clinical outcomes of hematoma following total elbow arthroplasty. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patient and surgical characteristics as predictors of post-operative hematoma in 382 total elbow arthroplasty (196 primary, 157 revision, and 29 conversion) between May 2004 and February, 2017. For comparison of outcomes, cases were matched (1:2) with controls by age, gender, type of surgery, and surgical indication. Results: Nineteen post-operative hematomas (5.0%; 19/382) were identified. Total elbow arthroplasty for post-traumatic arthritis (6.7%; 4/60), aseptic loosening (7.9%; 3/38), sequelae of periprosthetic joint infection (6.1%; 5/81), and non-union (28.6%; 2/7) had the highest incidence of hematoma. Clinic aspiration and compressive wrap was performed in 14 patients and avoided a return to the operating room in 78.6% (11/14). Seven patients (36.8%) required a return to the operating room, of which five (71.4%) had positive cultures and required treatment for prosthetic joint infection. Compared to the matched controls, hematoma formation predicted a higher rate of reoperation (36.8% versus 7.9%; p = 0.007) and a higher rate of subsequent prosthetic joint infection (35.7% versus 0%; p = 0.008). Conclusion: Hematoma formation is associated with both prosthetic joint infection and return to the operating room after total elbow arthroplasty. Strategies to prevent hematoma formation after total elbow arthroplasty may reduce complication rates.
- periprosthetic joint infection
- total elbow arthoplasty
- wound complications