Morbidity and mortality after hip fracture: the impact of operative delay

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2004 Jun;124(5):334-40. doi: 10.1007/s00402-004-0662-9. Epub 2004 Apr 17.


Introduction: The relationship between the timing of surgery after hip fracture and the subsequent survival of the patient has been studied extensively, yet still remains a controversy. This study aims to assess the impact of operative delay on the 1-year survival of patients and on the rate of complications during the postoperative hospital stay.

Materials and methods: Medical and demographic data were extracted from the hospital records of 651 consecutive hip fracture patients over 60 years old. Information on mortality was obtained by cross-linkage with the Department of Interior population files. The multivariate survival analysis model was utilized to assess the association between the time from fracture incident to surgery and the outcome (1-year survival and postoperative complications).

Results: The hazard ratio (HR) of 1-year mortality for postponing surgery beyond 48 h was 1.63 (95%CI 1.11-2.40), as derived by the Cox proportional hazards model. Other variables found to be independently associated with decreased survival are: male gender (HR=1.54), mental deterioration (HR=2.94), postoperative mobility (HR=2.45), and severity of pre-existing diseases (HR=1.96). Occurrence of general complications during the postoperative hospital stay was a significant predictor of decreased 1-year survival (HR=1.83).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that early (within 48 h) surgical treatment of hip fractures is associated with improved 1-year survival.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / mortality*
  • Hip Fractures / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors