Impact of surgical complications on length of stay after hip fracture surgery

Nicolai Bang Foss, Henrik Palm, Michael Krasheninnikoff, Henrik Kehlet, Peter Henrik Gebuhr

37 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Rehabilitation after hip fracture may be lengthy, with bed-day consumption accounting for up to 85% of the total cost of admission to hospital. Data suggest that surgical complications requiring reoperation may lead to an excessively long in-patient stays. However, the overall impact of surgical complications has not been examined in detail. METHODS: All 600 consecutive patients included were admitted with primary hip fracture and received primary surgical intervention with multimodal rehabilitation. Surgical complications were audited and classified as being due to a patient fall, infection or suboptimal surgery, stratified into either requiring reoperation or not allowing mobilisation because of instability. RESULTS: Of the 600, 116 (19.3, 95% CI 16-22%) patients underwent reoperation or immobilisation; 27.1% of bed-day consumption resulted from surgical complications. The audit showed that 64 complications (55%) were due to suboptimal surgery, 18 (16%) to infection, 6 (5%) to falls and 28 (24%) to no obvious cause. CONCLUSION: Surgical complications secondary to primary hip fracture surgery account for 27.1% of total hospital bed consumption within 6 months. Approximately, 50% of these hospital days might be spared by optimal surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)780-4
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies


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