To investigate the ability of a validated geriatric trauma risk prediction tool to stratify hospital quality metrics and inpatient cost for middle-aged and geriatric patients admitted from the emergency department for operative treatment of an ankle fracture.
Prospective cohort study.
Single Academic Medical Center.
Patients 55 years of age and older who sustained a rotational ankle fracture and who were treated operatively during their index hospitalization.
Calculation of validated trauma triage score, Score for Trauma Triage in Geriatric and Middle Aged (STTGMA), using patient demographics, injury severity, and functional status. Patients were stratified into groups based on scores to create a minimal-, low-, moderate-, and high-risk cohort.
Main Outcome Measurements:
Length of stay, complications, need for intensive care unit–/step-down unit–level care, discharge location, and index admission costs.
Fifty ankle fracture patients met inclusion criteria. The mean length of stay was 7.8 ± 5.2 days with a significant difference among the 4 risk groups (4.6-day difference between low and high risk). 73.1% of minimal-risk patients were discharged home compared with 0% of high-risk patients. There was no difference in complication rate or in need for intensive care unit–level care between groups. However, high-risk patients had a mean total inpatient cost 2 times greater than that of minimal-risk patients.
The Score for Trauma Triage in Geriatric and Middle-Aged tool is able to meaningfully stratify older patients with ankle fracture who require operative fixation regarding hospital quality metrics and cost. This information may allow for efficient targeted reductions in costs while optimizing outcomes.
Level of Evidence:
Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.