Impact of Surgeon Case Volume on Outcomes after Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Steven J. Girdler, Noor Maza, Alexander M. Lieber, Alexander Vervaecke, Hanish Kodali, Nicole Zubizarreta, Jashvant Poeran, Paul J. Cagle, Leesa M. Galatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction:Despite a rapid increase in utilization of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA), volume-outcome studies focusing on surgeon volume are lacking. Surgeon-specific volume-outcome studies may inform policymakers and provide insight into learning curves and measures of efficiency with greater case volume.Methods:This retrospective cohort study with longitudinal data included all rTSA cases as recorded in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Limited Data Set (2016 to 2018). The main effect was surgeon volume; this was categorized using two measures of surgeon volume: (1) rTSA case volume and (2) rTSA + TSA case volume. Volume cutoff values were calculated by applying a stratum-specific likelihood ratio analysis.Results:Among 90,318 rTSA cases performed by 7,097 surgeons, we found a mean annual rTSA surgeon volume of 6 ± 10 and a mean rTSA + TSA volume of 9 ± 14. Regression models using surgeon-specific rTSA volume revealed that surgery from low (<29 cases) compared with medium (29 to 96 cases) rTSA-volume surgeons was associated with a significantly higher 90-day all-cause readmission (odds ratio [OR], 1.17; confidence interval [CI], 1.10 to 1.25; P < 0.0001), higher 90-day readmission rates because of an infection (OR, 1.46; CI, 1.16 to 1.83; P = 0.0013) or dislocation (OR, 1.43; CI, 1.19 to 1.72; P = 0.0001), increased 90-day postoperative cost (+11.3% CI, 4.2% to 19.0%; P = 0.0016), and a higher transfusion rate (OR, 2.06; CI, 1.70 to 2.50; P < 0.0001). Similar patterns existed when using categorizations based on rTSA + TSA case volume.Conclusion:Surgeon-specific volume-outcome relationships exist in this rTSA cohort, and we were able to identify thresholds that may identify low and medium/high volume surgeons. Observed volume-outcome relationships were independent of the definition of surgeon volume applied: either by focusing on the number of rTSAs performed per surgeon or anatomic TSAs performed.Level of evidence:III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1235
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number24
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2023


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