The objectives were (1) to compare the morbidity and mortality of patients with hip fractures surgically repaired within and after 48 hours of the occurrence of fracture and (2) to establish whether timing of repair alone had a major role in determining how the patients fared after the surgical repair or whether comorbidities also affected outcomes.
The study involved the medical records of 49 patients (aged 51 to 99 years) admitted to Coney Island Hospital between January 2003 and January 2004 with a primary diagnosis of hip fracture who underwent surgical repair.
Analysis of data was done by retrospective chart review of patients admitted with the diagnosis of hip fracture to an acute care hospital setting. Follow-up continued until the patients were transferred to a rehabilitation facility for physical or occupational therapy after surgery.
The preoperative health status of each patient was assessed by cardiopulmonary risk index score, based on comorbid conditions, and postoperative outcome was determined by complications (such as bed sores, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism) or death.
Patients who underwent early surgical repair (within 48 hours) had fewer postoperative complications (14.7%, as compared with 33.3% in the group undergoing surgery >48 hours after fracture). CPRI scores in the early and delayed surgery groups were also compared with regard to postoperative mortality and morbidity. It appeared that there was a higher statistical correlation between CPRI scores and complications among patients in the early surgery group (P = 0.39) and an insignificant correlation among patients in the delayed surgery group (P = 0.07).
Surgical repair of hip fractures within the first 48 hours was associated with better health outcomes in a nationally representative sample, as observed in an acute care facility, irrespective of comorbid conditions.
Department of Internal Medicine, Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.
*Address for correspondence: Department of Internal Medicine, Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, NY 11235. E-mail: email@example.com