BACKGROUND: While orthogeriatric care to patients with hip fractures is established, the impact of similar intervention in patients with fragility fractures in general is lacking. Therefore, we aimed to assess the impact of an orthogeriatric intervention on postoperative complications and readmissions among patients admitted due to and surgically treated for fragility fractures.
METHODS: A prospective observational cohort study with a retrospective control was designed. A new orthogeriatric unit for acute patients of sixty-five years or older with fragility fractures in terms of hip, vertebral or appendicular fractures was opened on March 1, 2014. Patients were excluded if the fracture was cancer-related or caused by high-energy trauma, if the patient was operated on at another hospital, treated conservatively with no operation, or had been readmitted within the last month due to fracture-related complications.
RESULTS: We included 591 patients; 170 in the historical cohort and 421 in the orthogeriatric cohort. No significant differences were found between the two cohorts with regard to the proportion of participants experiencing complications (24.5% versus 28.3%, p = 0.36) or readmission within 30 days after discharge (14.1% vs 12.1%, p = 0.5). With both cohorts collapsed and adjusting for age, gender and CCI, the odds of having postoperative complications as a hip fracture patient was 4.45, compared to patients with an appendicular fracture (p < 0.001). Furthermore, patients with complications during admission were at a higher risk of readmission within 30 days than were patients without complications (22.3% vs 9.5%, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: In older patients admitted with fragility fractures, our model of orthogeriatric care showed no significant differences regarding postoperative complications or readmissions compared to the traditional care. However, we found significantly higher odds of having postoperative complications among patients admitted with a hip fracture compared to other fragility fractures. Additionally, our study reveals an increased risk of being readmitted within 30 days for patients with postoperative complications.