This article was originally published here
J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Oct 12. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01168-4. Online ahead of print.
Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is one of the most commonly performed, major elective surgeries in the USA. African American TKA patients on average experience worse clinical outcomes than whites, including lower improvements in patient-reported outcomes and higher rates of complications, hospital readmissions, and reoperations. The mechanisms leading to these racial health disparities are unclear, but likely involve patient, provider, healthcare system, and societal factors. Lower physical and mental health at baseline, lower social support, provider bias, lower rates of health insurance coverage, higher utilization of lower quality hospitals, and systemic racism may contribute to the inferior outcomes that African Americans experience. Limited evidence suggests that improving the quality of surgical care can offset these factors and lead to a reduction in outcome disparities.