ICJR Interviews: Regional vs. General Anesthesia in Shoulder Arthroplasty

    Patients undergoing anatomic or reverse shoulder arthroplasty who receive regional anesthesia may stay in the hospital a bit longer than those who receive general anesthesia, but in the long run, they have better outcomes.

    That’s the conclusion of a study from NYU Langone Medical Center that looked at outcomes of more than 4000 shoulder arthroplasty patients in the New York State Department of Health’s Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative Systems (SPARCS) inpatient database.

    In this retrospective review, patients were grouped according to type of anesthesia they received:
    Regional anesthesia alone
    >General anesthesia alone
    General anesthesia plus regional anesthesia

    The goal of the study, according to NYU’s Young W. Kwon, MD, PhD, was to determine if the type of anesthesia a shoulder arthroplasty patient received could contribute to improved outcomes.

    Dr. Kwon and his colleagues found that patient who received general anesthesia were discharged sooner than those who received regional anesthesia, but they were also significantly more likely to have in-hospital complications following surgery and more likely to be readmitted within 90 days after discharge.

    One of the most important findings was that patients who received regional anesthesia were more likely to be discharged home instead of to a rehabilitation facility. That can contribute to significant cost savings in a 90-day episode of care.

    Click the image above to hear Dr. Kwon discuss the study, “General or Regional Anesthesia for Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Comparison of Perioperative Outcomes” (Poster 316), which was presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Orlando.

    Producer and Director: Michael Bugera; Post Production: Charles J. Maynard