Complications after hip or knee replacement surgery

Why is this measure important?

During elective hip or knee replacement surgery, surgeons take out the hip or knee joint that is not working and replace it with an artificial joint, also known as a prosthesis.  

What does this measure show?


This measure tracks patients who experienced serious problems after hip or knee replacement surgery. 

Serious problems from hip or knee replacement surgery can include:

·         Heart attack
·         Pneumonia
·         Infections
·         Bleeding
·         Blood clots
·         Death
·         Problems with how the artificial joint works
·         Joint or wound infection


While some patients have higher risks than others, some of these complications may be preventable. A lower rate may indicate that a hospital provides a higher level of patient care.

These percentages were calculated from Medicare data on patients discharged between July 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012. They don't include people in Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) or people who don’t have Medicare.

Note: Northwestern Memorial Hospital's results are statistically worse than the national rate.

 For this measure, a lower number is better.


Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
  2012 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 4.7
National Average 3.4
Source:U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,
hip knee complication