Send to

Choose Destination
Injury. 2016 Feb;47(2):465-70. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2015.10.026. Epub 2015 Oct 20.

Obesity is associated with increased postoperative complications after operative management of tibial shaft fractures.

Author information

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, United States.
Division of Orthopaedic Trauma, University of Virginia Health System, PO Box 800159 HSC, Charlottesville, VA, 22908, United States. Electronic address:



To assess the association of obesity and postoperative complications after operative management of tibial shaft fractures.


Patients who underwent operative management of a tibial shaft fracture were identified in a national database by Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for: (1) open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) and (2) intramedullary nailing (IMN) procedures in the setting of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes for tibial shaft fracture. These groups were then divided into non-obese, obese, and morbidly obese cohorts using ICD-9 codes. Each cohort was then assessed for grouped complications within 90 days, removal of implants within 6 months, and nonunion within 9 months postoperatively. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.


From 2005 to 2012, 14,638 patients who underwent operative management of tibial shaft fractures were identified, including 4425 (30.2%) ORIF and 10,213 (69.8%) IMN. Overall, 1091 patients (7.4%) were coded as obese and 820 (5.6%) morbidly obese. In each operative group, obesity and morbid obesity was associated with a substantial increase in the rate of major and minor medical complications, venous thromboembolism, infection, procedures for implant removal, and nonunion.


In patients who undergo either ORIF or IMN for tibial shaft fractures, obesity and its related medical comorbidities are associated with significantly increased rates of postoperative medical complications, infection, nonunion, and implant removal compared to non-obese patients.


Complication; Infection; Medical; Nonunion; Obesity; Tibia fracture

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center