Are follow-up radiographs, office visits after hip surgery worth it? 4 study insights

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | December 19, 2016 | Print  |

A study in Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma investigated the necessity of follow-up radiographs and office visits after intertrochanteric hip fracture surgery.

The researchers identified 465 elderly patients who underwent surgery following an intertrochanteric fracture of the femur. They analyzed factors including quality of reduction, time of healing, number of office visits and number of radiographs.


Here's what you need to know:


1. The average healing time was 12.8 weeks; the average follow-up visit was 81.2 weeks.


2. The average number of follow-up office visits after the fracture had healed was 2.8; the average number of follow-up radiographs after the fracture had healed was 2.6.


3. Follow-up radiographs did not reveal significant changes, aside from pathological changes such as arthritis, avascular necrosis and ectopic ossification in nine patients.


4. These follow-up office visits accounted for a direct cost of $192 per patient; these follow-up radiographs accounted for a direct cost of $360.81 per patient.


The researchers concluded, "the current study strongly suggests that there is a negligible role for radiographs and office visits during the follow-up of a well-healed hip fracture when there is documented evidence of radiographic and clinical healing with acceptable fracture alignment and implant position."


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Do surgeons with similar training perform cases with similar costs? 5 study insights
Orthopedic surgeon, hospitalist collaboration reduces length of stay, cost: 5 study insights
Dr. Bernard Ong partners with BizIQ to grow practice: 3 things to know

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