The Effect of Social Deprivation on Fracture-Healing and Patient-Reported Outcomes Following Intramedullary Nailing of Tibial Shaft Fractures

Zachery Hong, David C. Clever, Lauren M. Tatman, Anna N. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background:Social deprivation is a state marked by limited access to resources due to poverty, discrimination, or other marginalizing factors. We investigated the links between social deprivation and orthopaedic trauma, including patient-reported outcomes, radiographic healing, and complication rates following intramedullary nailing of tibial shaft fractures.Methods:We retrospectively reviewed 229 patients who underwent intramedullary nailing of tibial shaft fractures at our Level-I trauma center. The Area Deprivation Index (ADI), a validated proxy for social deprivation, was used to group patients into the most deprived tercile (MDT), the intermediate deprived tercile (IDT), and the least deprived tercile (LDT) for outcome comparison. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) was used to measure the domains of Physical Function (PF), Pain Interference (PI), Anxiety, and Depression, and radiographic healing was assessed with the Radiographic Union Scale in Tibial fractures (RUST) system.Results:On univariate analyses, patients from the MDT reported worse PF, PI, Anxiety, and Depression scores than those from the LDT within the first year of postoperative follow-up. On multivariable regression analysis, PROMIS score outcomes were influenced by age, race, and smoking status, but not by social deprivation tercile. Furthermore, residing in the MDT was associated with a 31% increase in time to radiographic union compared with the LDT (β = 0.27; p = 0.01).Conclusions:Following intramedullary nailing of tibial shaft fractures, social deprivation is associated with slower fracture-healing and potentially influences short-term PROMIS scores. These results warrant further investigation in additional patient populations with orthopaedic trauma and highlight the importance of developing interventions to reduce inequities faced by patients from low-resource settings.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1968-1976
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 16 2022


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