Obese patients at elevated risk to have complications after orthopedic trauma

By Casey Tingle

This study of patients admitted to a level 1 trauma center for orthopedic injuries showed patients who were obese experienced more complications, as well as longer hospital and intensive care unit stays, than non-obese patients.

Researchers collected data for 30 months on 376 patients who were surgically treated for a high-energy fractures of the proximal or diaphyseal femur, pelvic ring, acetabulum or spine. Researchers identified patients with a BMI of 30 or greater as obese and patients with a BMI of less than 30 as non-obese. Overall, 42% of patients were considered obese.

Researchers found obese patients were more likely to be treated for pelvic ring injuries, while non-obese patients were more likely to be treated for femoral fractures. Results showed obese patients waited a mean of 47% longer than non-obese patients to have their fractures stabilized.


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