Background: Upper extremity fractures are increasing in frequency and have profound socioeconomic implications. The purpose of this study was to assess trends in ambulatory upper extremity fracture fixation in the USA from 1996 to 2006 using data from the National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery (NSAS).
Methods: The NSAS was used to identify cases of closed forearm, carpal, metacarpal, and phalanx fractures treated with open or closed reduction with internal fixation in 1996 and 2006. Data were analyzed for trends in fracture location, age, gender, facility type, payor status, and anesthesia type. US census data were used to obtain national population estimates.
Results: Over the 10-year study period, there was a 54.4 % increase in the population-adjusted rate of upper extremity fractures treated with internal fixation (34.6 to 53.4 per 100,000 capita). There was a 173 % increase in the age-adjusted rate of patients over 55 years treated with internal fixation. There was a 505 % increase in the number of cases performed at freestanding surgical centers compared to hospital-based facilities. Though the majority of cases involved general anesthesia, regional anesthesia (16.6 versus 20.6 %) and monitored anesthesia care (7.1 versus 11.8 %) increased in frequency. Private insurance groups funded the majority of surgeries in both study years.
Conclusion: The volume of ambulatory surgery for upper extremity fractures has increased dramatically from 1996 to 2006. Operative treatment of upper extremity fractures has increased markedly. Our analysis provides valuable information for providers and policy-makers for allocating the appropriate resources to help sustain this volume.
- Upper extremity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine