Patients with HIV Are Not at Higher Risk of Complications After THA, Study Finds

Total hip arthroplasty (THA) is safe for patients living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) have found.

“Patients living with HIV are at a higher risk for orthopedic-related diseases such as osteoarthritis or osteonecrosis of the hip due to changes in their bone metabolism and effects from their medication regimen,” said Senthil Sambandam, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UTSW, who led the study.

“With improvements in HIV treatment leading to increased life expectancies, we are seeing a rise in the need for THA procedures in this patient population. Our study demonstrates that HIV-positive patients can safely undergo THA without concern for increased risk of complications and adds to the growing amount of literature that encourages surgeons to deliver appropriate medical care to a marginalized patient population.”

Using data from the years 2016 through 2019 in the National Inpatient Sample, the UTSW researchers identified 504 HIV-positive patients who had undergone THA and compared their postoperative complications with a cohort of 493 HIV-negative patients.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma, showed no significant difference between the groups for postoperative complications such as pneumonia, periprosthetic infection, wound dehiscence, and superficial and deep surgical site infection Blood transfusion rates were also lower among the HIV-positive patients.

The study was part of a larger effort by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery to analyze arthroplasty complications in various subpopulations in support of UTSW’s commitment to the care of marginalized patient populations and equal treatment for every patient.

“These are important findings because they can help alleviate worries among the medical community about treating a group of patients who are often overlooked,” Dr. Sambandam said. “It’s an important quality-of-life issue for many HIV-positive patients.”


Chowdary AR, Sakthivelnathan V, Beale J, Martinez J, Mounasamy V, Sambandam S. Analysis of inpatient complications in HIV/AIDS patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty – a propensity matched cohort study. J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2023 May 12;40:102168. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2023.102168. eCollection 2023 May.

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