Outpatient status reduces infection, morbidity for ankle fracture patients: 3 study insights


A study in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found ankle fracture surgeries conducted on an outpatient basis were associated with lower rates of inflection and morbidity when compared with ankle fracture surgeries conducted on an inpatient basis.

The researchers identified patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of ankle fractures from 2005 to 2013. They investigated whether outpatient or inpatient status was associated with complications, readmissions and reoperations within 30 days of the procedure.


Here's what you need to know:


1. The outpatient procedure was associated with lower rates of urinary tract infection (0.4 percent compared with 0.9 percent), pneumonia (0 percent compared with 0.5 percent), venus thromboembolic events (0.3 percent compared with 0.8 percent) and blood transfusion (0.1 percent compared with 0.6 percent).


2. The outpatient procedure was associated with reduced 30-day medical morbidity.


3. There were no significant differences between the two cohorts when considering surgical complications, unplanned readmissions or unplanned reoperations.


The researchers concluded that their findings "lend reassurance to surgeons who defer admission for low-risk patients," for example, patients with closed fractures and minimal comorbidities.


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