Timing a factor in outcomes disparities

Some minority groups wait too long for surgery

The potential for gender and racial disparities is an issue of primary concern for orthopaedic surgeons. According to a poster presentation at the 2009 Annual Meeting, Hispanic and African-American patients tend to have poorer joint function before undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery, and female patients have less preoperative joint function than male patients across ethnic groups.

“Studies have shown that the timing of joint replacement surgery is an important determinant of outcome,” says James Slover, MD, MS, primary author. “This means that patients with worse joint function before surgery do not do as well after the surgery.”

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