Does morbid obesity negatively affect the hospital course of patients undergoing treatment of closed, lower-extremity diaphyseal long-bone fractures?

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Orthopedics (Impact Factor: 0.96). 01/2011; 34(1):18. DOI: 10.3928/01477447-20101123-03
Source: PubMed


Obesity is prevalent in the developed world and is associated with significant costs to the health care system. The effect of morbid obesity in patients operatively treated for long-bone fractures of the lower extremity is largely unknown. The National Trauma Data Bank was accessed to determine if morbidly obese patients (body mass index >40) with lower extremity fractures have longer length of hospital stay, higher cost, greater rehabilitation admission rates, and more complications than nonobese patients. We identified patients with operatively treated diaphyseal femur (6920) and tibia (5190) fractures. Polytrauma patients and patients younger than 16 years were excluded. Morbidly obese patients were identified by ICD-9 and database comorbidity designation (femur, 131 morbidly obese; tibia, 75 morbidly obese). Patients meeting these criteria who were not morbidly obese were used as controls. Sensitivity analyses were performed to analyze patients with isolated trauma to the tibia or femur. Morbidly obese patients were more likely to be admitted to a subacute facility. Length of stay trended higher in morbidly obese patients. There was no significant relationship between obesity and inpatient mortality or inpatient complications. These trends held true when considering patients with multiple injuries and patients who had isolated long-bone injuries. Our study showed that morbidly obese patients may have greater rehabilitation needs following long-bone fractures in the lower extremity. Our study showed no difference in mortality or complications, although further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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    • "Injury (2015), higher Injury Severity Score (ISS), higher rates of intra-abdominal injuries, bilateral tibia fractures, intensive care admissions, and inhospital deaths [10]. In the adult population, obese patients with femur or tibia fractures have a higher rate of discharge to subacute facilities [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To assess the association of obesity and postoperative complications after operative management of tibial shaft fractures. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is an increasing epidemic that can complicate the treatment of simple injuries and can increase health care costs. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether obesity is a factor in the utilization of inpatient physical therapy services and length of stay following a traumatic lower leg fracture. A retrospective study of patients admitted to the hospital in 2005 and 2006 with a primary discharge diagnosis of lower leg or ankle fracture was conducted. Inclusion criteria were age > or = 18 years, only 1 involved lower extremity, and nonweight-bearing on the affected extremity per physician orders. Patients were excluded from the study if they had a fibular fracture only, pathological fractures, multiple trauma, severe cardiac or vascular comorbidities, or cognitive impairments. Data were compiled into 3 categories on the basis of body mass index (BMI): < 30, 30-35, > 35. Physical therapy services were measured in 15-minute units of time. These data were analyzed by within-group and between-group comparisons and with regression analysis. A total of 181 patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of distal lower extremity or ankle fracture were included in the study. Patients with a BMI >35 used more physical therapy services (mean services, 9.8 units) than did patients with a BMI of 30-35 (mean services, 6.2 units) or a BMI <30 (mean services, 5.6 units) (P = .001). Length of stay was also highest among patients with a BMI >35. Factors other than BMI may be associated with length of stay and physical therapy use and may confound the association. Previous studies have shown that there is an increase in health care utilization among the bariatric population. The present study demonstrates similar findings for physical therapy services. Increased length of stay and physical therapy utilization among the bariatric population also result in increased staff utilization and equipment costs.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2012 · North Carolina medical journal
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study examined whether differences existed in inpatient rehabilitation outcomes and therapy participation in nonobese and obese patients with orthopedic trauma. Design: This was a retrospective study of 294 consecutive patients admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Main outcomes included participation in therapy sessions, Functional Independence Measure (FIM) ratings, walking distance and stair climb, length of stay, FIM efficiency (FIM score gain/length of stay), and discharge to home. Data were stratified by patient body mass index values (nonobese, <30 kg/m; or obese, ≥30 kg/m). Results: There were no differences in therapy participation or length of stay between groups. Both total and motor FIM ratings at discharge were lower in obese patients compared with nonobese patients (P < 0.05). FIM efficiency was significantly lower in the obese than in the nonobese group (2.6 ± 1.5 vs. 3.1 ± 1.5 points gained per day; P = 0.05). Walking distance and stair climb ability were similar between groups by discharge. Even morbidly obese patients attained some improvement with independence in walking. Conclusions: Obese patients make significant functional improvement during rehabilitation, but at a lesser magnitude and rate as their nonobese counterparts. Even with morbid obesity, small but important functional gains can occur during rehabilitation for orthopedic trauma.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists
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