The presence of functional somatic syndromes (chronic physical symptoms with no identifiable organic cause) in patients undergoing elective joint arthroplasty may affect the recovery experience. We explored the prevalence of functional somatic syndromes among shoulder arthroplasty patients, and their association with postoperative outcomes and costs.
We identified 480 patients undergoing elective total shoulder arthroplasty (anatomic or reverse) between 2015-2018 in our institutional registry with minimum 2-year follow-up. Medical records were queried for the presence of 4 well-recognized functional somatic syndromes: fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, and chronic low back pain. Multivariable linear regression modeling was used to determine the independent association of these diagnoses with hospitalization time-driven activity-based costs and 2-year postoperative American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE), and pain scores.
Nearly 1 in 5 patients (17%) reported at least one functional somatic syndrome. These patients were more likely to be women, chronic opioid users, report more allergies, have a diagnosis of anxiety, and shoulder pathology other than degenerative joint disease (all P ≤ 0.001). After multivariable adjustment, the presence of at least one functional somatic syndrome was independently predictive of lower 2-year ASES (-9.75 points) and SANE (-7.63 points) scores, and greater residual pain (+1.13 points; all P ≤ 0.001). When considered cumulatively, each additional functional disorder was linked to a stepwise decrease in ASES and SANE scores, and an increase in residual pain (P < 0.001). These patients also incurred higher hospitalization costs, with a stepwise rise in costs with an increasing number of disorders (P < 0.001).
Functional somatic syndromes are common in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty, and correlate with suboptimal outcomes and greater resource utilization. Efforts to address the biopsychosocial determinants of health that affect the value proposition of shoulder arthroplasty should be prioritized in the redesign of care pathways and bundling initiatives.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.