How race, socioeconomic status affect total joint replacement patients

Patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and patients from racial minorities were less likely to have a total joint replacement, according to a study published March 5 in The Journal of Arthroplasty.

Researchers examined a retrospective cohort of 131 Black patients and 276 white patients who had a total joint replacement. Severity of osteoarthritis, preoperative Knee Society and Harris Hip scores and time to surgery were measured.

Black patients had higher severity of osteoarthritis compared to white patients, and there wasn't any significant difference in hip or knee pain scores, the study found. Researchers also found Black patients tended to have longer wait times for joint replacements. Low-income patients had lower hip and knee pain scores and higher osteoarthritis pain scores.

The study concluded, "Despite presenting with more advanced osteoarthritis, black patients reported similar levels of joint dysfunction and had longer surgical wait times when compared with white patients. Lower socioeconomic status was similarly associated with more severe degenerative joint disease."

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