Effect of Surgeon and Hospital Volume on Morbidity and Mortality After Hip Fracture

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Background:Prior studies have examined the relationship between surgeon and hospital volumes and outcome following hip fracture surgical procedures, but the results have been inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to assess the hip fracture volume-outcome relationship by analyzing data from a large, managed care registry.Methods:The Kaiser Permanente Hip Fracture Registry prospectively records information on surgically treated hip fractures within the managed health-care system. Using this registry, all surgically treated hip fractures in patients 60 years of age or older were identified. Surgeon and hospital volume were defined as the number of hip fracture surgical procedures performed in the preceding 12 months and were divided into tertiles (low, medium, and high). The primary outcome was mortality at 1 year postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were mortality at 30 and 90 days postoperatively as well as reoperation (lifetime), medical complications (90-day), and unplanned readmission (30-day). To determine the relationship between volume and these outcome measures, multivariate logistic and Cox proportional hazards regression were performed, controlling for potentially confounding variables.Results:Of 14,294 patients in the study sample, the majority were female (71%) and white (79%), and the mean age was 81 years. The overall mortality rate was 6% at 30 days, 11% at 90 days, and 21% at 1 year. We did not find an association between surgeon or hospital volume and mortality at 30 days, 90 days, or 1 year (p > 0.05). There was also no association between surgeon or hospital volume and reoperation, medical complications, or unplanned readmission (p > 0.05).Conclusions:In this analysis of hip fractures treated in a large integrated health-care system, the observed rates of mortality, reoperation, medical complications, and unplanned readmission did not differ by surgeon or hospital volume. In contrast to other orthopaedic procedures, such as total joint arthroplasty, our data do not suggest that hip fractures need to be preferentially directed toward high-volume surgeons or hospitals for treatment.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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