top of page

Value in Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Dear CSS Colleagues:

I’d like to share with you a recent article from Jacob Kirsch and Andrew Jawa. The abstract and article are included. This paper presents an interesting analysis of the Value of Shoulder Arthroplasty and the factors which may affect it. It is critical that we use this lens to analyze what we do in the future. I welcome comments as there is much to consider here. This offers a foundation for more work along these lines. Derek Haas of Avant-Garde Health has offered to partner with us in a Value-based Multicenter Study program, so more to come.

Kind Regards,

“JP” Warner MD

Founder, The CSS

Variation in the value of total shoulder arthroplasty


There is growing interest in maximizing value for patients undergoing discretionary orthopedic surgery but little data to guide improvement efforts. Integrating patient-reported outcomes with time-driven activity-based costing, we explored patient-level variation in the value of total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and characterized factors that contribute to this variation.


Using our institutional registry, we identified 239 patients undergoing elective primary TSA (anatomic or reverse) between 2016-2017 with minimum 2-year follow-up. We calculated value as 2-year postoperative American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES) scores divided by hospitalization time-driven activity-based costs. This number was multiplied by a constant to set the minimum value of TSA to 100. Multivariable linear regression modeling was performed to characterize factors underlying variation in value.


The value of shoulder arthroplasty ranged from 100 to 680, resulting in a variation of 580%. Reverse shoulder arthroplasty was associated with decreased value (79-point decrease vs. anatomic arthroplasty; P < .001; partial R2 = 0.089), as were prior ipsilateral shoulder surgery (38-point decrease; P = .002; partial R2 = 0.031), more self-reported allergies (4-point decrease per 1-unit increase; P = .029; partial R2 = 0.015), diabetes (33-point decrease; P = .045; partial R2 = 0.013), and lower preoperative ASES score (0.7-point increase per 1-unit increase; P = .045; partial R2 = 0.012).


We observed wide variation in the value of shoulder arthroplasty that was most strongly associated with procedure type and certain preoperative characteristics (eg, prior shoulder surgery, number of self-reported allergies, diabetes, ASES score). Awareness of these associations is important for implementation of targeted strategies to effectively reduce variation and redirect resources toward higher-value, cost-conscious care.

Variation in the value of total shoulder arthroplasty
Download PDF • 344KB

Recent Posts

See All


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page