Metabolic Syndrome Increases Risk of Readmission and Complications in Operative Fixation of Pilon Fractures

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Journal Article

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metabolic syndrome (mets); orthopaedic trauma; patient outcomes; pilon fracture; value based care


Background Studies demonstrate that metabolic syndrome (MetS) negatively impacts surgical outcomes. This study sought to identify how metabolic syndrome affects outcomes after open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of traumatic pilon fractures. Methods Patients who underwent ORIF for pilon fractures from 2012 to 2019 were identified in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Patients with MetS were compared to non-MetS patients for rates of adverse events, prolonged stay, readmission, discharge location, and operative time in the 30-day postoperative period. All statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS version 26.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). Paired student t-tests were used to assess continuous variables. Pearson's Chi-square and odds ratios were used for categorical variables. Results A total of 1,915 patients met this study's inclusion criteria, and 127 MetS patients were identified in the cohort. The MetS cohort was older (62.7 vs 49.5 years old, p-value <0.01), with a greater proportion of female patients (59.1% vs 50.2%, p=0.054). MetS patients experienced significantly higher rates of infectious complications (7.9% vs 3.9% OR 2.75 (CI 1.36-5.53), p=0.008), major adverse events (11% vs 4.3%, OR 2.79 (CI 1.53-5.09) p=0.002), and readmissions. MetS patients also had longer lengths of stay (7 days vs 3.8 days, p-value<0.001), and were more likely to be discharged to a non-home location (51.2% vs 19.5%, p-value<0.01, OR 4.32 (CI=3.0-6.24) p<0.001). Conclusion Patients with MetS have an increased risk of 30-day major complications, infection, readmissions, discharge to a non-home location, and prolonged operative time, and therefore warrant additional consideration for perioperative monitoring.


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