Frailty Transitions One Year After Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is prevalent and offered to patients regardless of frailty status experiencing pain, disability, and functional decline. This study aims to describe changes in levels of frailty 1 year after TJA. Methods: We identified a retrospective cohort of adult patients undergoing primary TJA between 2005 and 2016 using an institutional total joint registry. Associations between categorized frailty deficit index (FI) and change in FI were analyzed using linear regression models. Mortality, deep periprosthetic joint infection, and reoperation were analyzed using time to event methods. Results: In total, 5341 patients (37.6% non-frail, 39.4% vulnerable, and 23.0% frail) with items necessary to determine FI at 1 year after TJA were included. Preoperatively, 29% of vulnerable patients improved to non-frail 1 year later, compared to only 11% regressing to frail. Four in 10 frail patients improved to vulnerable/non-frail. Improvements in activities of daily living (ADL) were more evident in frail and vulnerable patients, with >30% reduction in the percentage of patients expressing difficulties with walking, climbing stairs, and requiring ADL assistance 1 year after TJA. Increases in frailty 1 year after TJA were associated with significantly increased rates of mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.24-1.82, P < .001), deep periprosthetic joint infection (HR 3.98, 95% CI 1.85-8.58, P < .001), and reoperation (HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.19-2.72, P = .005). Conclusion: Frailty states are dynamic with patient frailty shown to be modifiable 1 year after TJA. Preoperative frailty measurement is an important step toward identifying those that may benefit most from TJA and for postoperative frailty surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18.e2
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • activities of daily living
  • frailty
  • outcomes
  • perioperative complications
  • total joint arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Frailty Transitions One Year After Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this