Impact of tobacco usage on readmission and complication rates following shoulder replacement surgery: A study of 164,527 patients

Christopher A. White, Calista L. Dominy, Justin E. Tang, Nicholas L. Pitaro, Akshar V. Patel, Kevin C. Wang, Jun S. Kim, Samuel K. Cho, Paul J. Cagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Tobacco carcinogens have adverse effects on bone health and are associated with inferior outcomes following orthopedic procedures. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact tobacco use has on readmission and complication rates following shoulder arthroplasty. Methods: The 2016–2018 National Readmissions Database was queried to identify patients who underwent anatomical, reverse, and hemi-shoulder arthroplasty. ICD-10 codes Z72.0 × (tobacco use disorder) and F17.2 × (nicotine dependence) were used to define “tobacco-users.” Demographic, 30-/90-day readmission, surgical complication, and medical complication data were collected. Inferential statistics were used to analyze complications for both the cohort as a whole and for each procedure separately (i.e. anatomical, reverse, and hemiarthroplasty). Results: 164,527 patients were identified (92% nontobacco users). Tobacco users necessitated replacement seven years sooner than nonusers (p < 0.01) and were more likely to be male (52% vs. 43%; p < 0.01). Univariate analysis showed that tobacco users had higher rates of readmission, revisions, shoulder complications, and medical complications overall. In the multivariate analysis for the entire cohort, readmission, revision, and complication rates did not differ based on tobacco usage; however, smokers who underwent reverse shoulder arthroplasty in particular were found to have higher 90-day readmission, dislocation, and prosthetic complication rates compared to nonsmokers. Conclusion: Comparatively, tobacco users required surgical correction earlier in life and had higher rates of readmission, revision, and complications in the short term following their shoulder replacement. However, when controlling for tobacco usage as an independent predictor of adverse outcomes, these aforementioned findings were lost for the cohort as a whole. Overall, these findings indicate that shoulder replacement in general is a viable treatment option regardless of patient tobacco usage at short-term follow-up, but this conclusion may vary depending on the replacement type used.

Original languageEnglish
JournalShoulder and Elbow
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • 30-day readmissions
  • 90-day readmission
  • complications
  • infection
  • shoulder arthroplasty
  • tobacco


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