To compare the hospital course of patients with minimally displaced (<1 cm) lateral compression type 1 injuries treated before and after implementation of lateral stress radiographs (LSRs) to determine management.
Retrospective comparative cohort.
Urban level 1 trauma center.
Isolated lateral compression type 1 injuries managed before (n = 33) and after implementation of LSRs (n = 40) to determine management.
Patients in a prestress cohort managed nonoperatively versus patients in an LSR cohort managed operatively if stress positive (≥1 cm displacement on LSRs).
Main Outcome Measurements:
Physical therapy clearance before discharge, discharge location, hospital length of stay, and inpatient opioid morphine milligram equivalents were measured.
The prestress and LSR protocol groups were similar in demographic/injury characteristics (age, sex, mechanism, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, Nakatani classification, bilateral/unilateral injury, Denis zone, sacral fracture completeness, and sacral comminution). Forty-five percent of LSR protocol patients were stress-positive (n = 18) and managed operatively. The LSR protocol group was more likely to clear physical therapy by discharge (97.5% vs. 75.8%, PD: 21.7%, 95% CI: 5.1%–36.8%, P = 0.009), less likely to discharge to a rehabilitation facility (2.5% vs. 18.2%, PD: −15.7%, CI: −30.0% to −0.5%, P = 0.04), and had no difference in length of stay (MD: 0.0, CI:-1.0 to 1.0, P = 0.57) or inpatient opioid morphine milligram equivalents (MD: 9.0, CI: −60.0 to 101.0, P = 0.71).
Implementation of an LSR protocol to determine management of minimally displaced stress-positive lateral compression type 1 injuries was associated with increased rates of operative management, physical therapy clearance by discharge, and a reduction in the number of patients discharging to rehabilitation facilities.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.