Early postoperative complications and discharge time in diabetic patients undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty.


With the increasing elderly population and obesity epidemic, diabetes is an important factor in arthroplasty planning. Although research suggests diabetes is associated with increased postoperative morbidity after hip and knee replacement, the effect of diabetes and varying management with insulin versus non-insulin agents on total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) is not established.


All TSAs from 2015 to 2016 were queried from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Age, gender, BMI, steroid, ASA, operative time, and smoking status were compared between all diabetics, diabetics on insulin, diabetics on non-insulin agents, and non-diabetics to account for confounding variables. Thirty-day postoperative complications, readmission rate, surgical site infection (SSI), and non-routine discharge to rehabilitation were compared using bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regression. Postoperative time to discharge between diabetic groups was analyzed using univariate ANOVA with Tukey's test.


The analysis included 7246 patients (insulin in 5% (n = 380), non-insulin in 13% (n = 922), and non-diabetics in 82% (n = 5944)). Diabetics were more likely to have an ASA ≥ 3 compared to non-diabetics (89.5% vs 50.1%; p < 0.001). Bivariate logistic regression showed statistical significance in readmission and non-routine discharge between all diabetics and non-diabetics (OR 1.7, 1.4; p = 0.001, 0.001), but there was no significance between SSI rate (0.3% vs 0.4%; p = 0.924). Multivariate logistic regression between groups showed significance in readmission between non-insulin diabetics vs non-diabetics (OR 1.5; p = 0.027), readmission and non-routine discharge in insulin vs non-diabetics (OR 2.1, 1.7; p = 0.003, < 0.001), and no significance between insulin and non-insulin diabetics. Postoperative days to discharge were 2.4, 2.0, and 1.8 days in insulin, non-insulin, and non-diabetics respectively. Mean differences were significant between all groups.


Diabetic patients are at a higher risk for readmission and non-routine discharge compared to non-diabetics. Despite no increased risk in SSI, longer postoperative discharge time in diabetics should be considered in TSA planning.

Trial Registration

Not applicable LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, case-control study.