Background:The risk of postoperative complications in patients who had a positive COVID-19 test prior to a total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to study the complications and mortality associated with a recent COVID-19 diagnosis prior to TJA.Methods:Patients undergoing primary and revision total hip arthroplasties (THAs) or total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) were identified using the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) Data Enclave. Patients were divided into a COVID-19-positive group (positive polymerase chain reaction [PCR] test, clinical diagnosis, or positive antibody test) and a COVID-19-negative group, and the time from diagnosis was noted. There was no differentiation between severity or acuity of illness available. The postoperative complications reviewed included venous thromboembolism, pneumonia, acute myocardial infarction, readmission rates, and 30-day mortality rates.Results:A total of 85,047 patients who underwent elective TJA were included in this study, and 3,516 patients (4.13%) had had a recent positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at 2 weeks prior to TJA were at increased risk of pneumonia (odds ratio [OR], 2.46), acute myocardial infarction (OR, 2.90), sepsis within 90 days (OR, 2.63), and 30-day mortality (OR, 10.61).Conclusions:Patients with a recent COVID-19 diagnosis prior to TJA are at greater risk of postoperative complications including 30-day mortality. Our analysis presents critical data that should be considered prior to TJA in patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1372
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 6 2023


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