Factors Associated with Longer Length of Hospital Stay After Primary Elective Ankle Surgery for End-Stage Ankle Arthritis

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Background:Longer length of stay in the hospital after elective surgery results in increased use of health-care resources and higher costs. Improved perioperative care permits many foot and ankle surgical procedures to be performed as day surgery. This study determined perioperative factors associated with a longer length of stay after elective total ankle replacement or ankle arthrodesis.Methods:Data were prospectively collected on patients who underwent open or arthroscopic ankle fusion or total ankle replacement for end-stage ankle arthritis at our institution from 2003 to 2010. Univariate and multivariable generalized linear regression models with gamma distribution and log link function were conducted with use of the length of the hospital stay as the dependent variable and preselected risk factors of age, sex, physical and mental functional scores, comorbid factors, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, body mass index, type of surgery, duration of surgery, and surgery day of the week as the independent variables.Results:This study included 343 patients with a median length of stay of seventy-five hours (interquartile range, fifty-two to ninety-seven hours). With use of regression analyses, the variables of age, female sex, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, multiple medical comorbidities, rheumatoid arthritis, lower Short Form-36 Physical Component Summary and General Health domain scores, and open surgery were significantly associated with increased length of stay. Conversely, the variables of obesity, Short Form-36 Mental Component Summary score, surgery day of the week, and surgical duration were not associated with length of stay. Two predictive models of the length of stay were developed: one included only patient-related factors, and the other included patient and surgery-related factors.Conclusions:The patients who are identified with a higher risk of a longer length of stay may warrant better education and more focused perioperative care when designing care pathways and allocating health-care resources.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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