Delay in Hip Fracture Repair in the Elderly: A Missed Opportunity Towards Achieving Better Outcomes

Umar F. Bhatti, Adil A. Shah, Aaron M. Williams, Ben E. Biesterveld, Chika Okafor, Obeid N. Ilahi, Hasan B. Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Hip fractures are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends surgical repair within 48 hours of admission, as this is associated with lower postoperative mortality and complications. This study demonstrates the association between patient demographics, level of care, and hospital region to delay in hip fracture repair in the elderly. Methods: The National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) was queried for elderly patients (age >65 years) who underwent proximal femoral fracture repair. Identified patients were subcategorized into two groups: hip fracture repair in <48 hours, and hip fracture repair > 48 hours after admission. Patient and hospital characteristics were collected. Outcome variables were timed from the day of admission to surgery and inpatient mortality. Results: Out of 69,532 patients, 28,031 were included after inclusion criteria were applied. 23,470 (83.7%) patients underwent surgical repair within 48 hours. The overall median time to procedure was 21 (interquartile range [IQR] 7-38) hours. Females were less likely to undergo a delay in hip fracture repair (odds ratio [OR; 95% confidence interval {CI}]: 0.82 [0.76-0.88], P< 0.05), and patients with higher Injury Severity Score (ISS ≥25) had higher odds of delay in surgical repair (OR; 95% CI: 1.56 [1.07-2.29], P< 0.05). Patients treated at hospitals in the Western regions of the United States had lower odds of delay, and those treated in the Northeast and the South had higher odds of delay compared to the hospitals in the Midwest (taken as standard). There was no association between trauma level designation and odds of undergoing delay in hip fracture repair. Conclusion: Variables related to patient demographic and hospital characteristics are associated with delay in hip fracture repair in the elderly. This study delineates key determinants of delay in hip fracture repair in the elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-147
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Delay in repair
  • Elderly
  • Hip fractures
  • Surgical repair


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