Total joint arthroplasty is a highly successful surgical procedure for patients with painful arthritic joints. The increasing prevalence of the procedure is generating significant expenditures in the American healthcare system. Healthcare payers, specifically the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, currently target total joint arthroplasty as an area for healthcare cost-savings initiatives, resulting in increased scrutiny surrounding orthopaedic care, health resource utilization, and hospital readmissions. Identifying the complications associated with total hip and total knee arthroplasty that result in readmissions will be critically important for predictive modeling and for decreasing the number of readmissions following total joint arthroplasty. Additionally, improving perioperative optimization, providing seamless episodic care, and intensifying posthospital coordination of care may result in a decreasing number of unnecessary hospital readmissions. Identified modifiable risk factors that significantly contribute to poor clinical outcome following total joint arthroplasty include morbid obesity; poorly controlled diabetes and nutritional deficiencies; Staphylococcus aureus colonization; tobacco use; venous thromboembolic disease; cardiovascular disease; neurocognitive, psychological, and behavioral problems; and physical deconditioning and fall risk. Both clinical practice and research will be enhanced if there is standardization of defined total joint arthroplasty complications and utilization of stratification schemes to identify high-risk patients. Subsequently, clinical intervention would be warranted to address modifiable risk factors before proceeding with total joint arthroplasty.