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J Orthop Trauma. 2018 Mar;32(3):111-115. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001078.

Patient Mortality in Geriatric Distal Femur Fractures.

Author information

1
OrthoIndy Trauma, St. Vincent Trauma Center, St. Vincent Orthopedics and Spine Center, Indianapolis, IN.
2
Carle Physician Group, Champaign, IL.
3
Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI.
4
University of Colorado Health, Memorial Central Hospital, Colorado Springs, CO.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate 1-year mortality rates in elderly patients who undergo operative treatment for distal femur fractures and identify potential risk factors for mortality.

DESIGN:

Retrospective chart review.

SETTING:

Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS:

Two hundred eighty-three elderly patients (average age 76.0 years ± 9.8) who sustained distal femur fractures between 2002 and 2012.

INTERVENTION:

Fracture fixation of the distal femur.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Survival up to 1 year after surgery.

RESULTS:

The 1-year mortality rate for distal femur fractures in elderly patients was 13.4%. There were no statistically significant differences in overall mortality between native bone and periprosthetic fractures, intramedullary nail or open reduction internal fixation, or across Orthopaedic Trauma Association fracture classifications. Overall patient mortality was significantly higher at 30 days (P = 0.036), 6 months (P = 0.019), and 1 year (P = 0.018), when surgery occurred more than 2 days from the injury. Mean Charlson Comorbidity Index scores were significantly lower in survivors versus nonsurvivors at all time intervals (30 days, P = 0.023; 6 months, P = 0.001 and 1 year P ≤ 0.001). A time to surgery of more than 2 days, regardless of baseline illness, did not result in improved survivability at 1 year.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overall mortality for distal femur fractures was 13.4% in the elderly population. A surgical treatment more than 2 days after injury was associated with increased patient mortality.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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