Database study shows increase in arthroscopic elbow procedures

By Monica Jaramillo

Results from a national insurance database search found a significant increase in the rate of arthroscopic elbow procedures during the 5-year period studied. The findings also showed regional differences among the different procedure types, and indicated most procedures were performed in men and patients aged between 40 years and 59 years.

Investigators searched for the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) billing codes and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis codes using the PearlDiver Patient Record Database for patients who underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery between 2007 and 2011. Of the 20 million records, investigators identified 4,127 patients who underwent 6,268 elbow arthroscopies. Procedures and CPT codes that corresponded with study criteria included diagnostic arthroscopy, loose body removal, synovectomy and debridement. In addition, researchers determined infection at 30 days, stiffness at 90 days and nerve injury at 180 days.


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