Objectives: To identify the impact of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status on postoperative length of stay (LOS) and to document the cost due to LOS after surgical management of the 8 most common lower extremity and 2 most common upper extremity isolated orthopaedic fractures.
Design: Retrospective chart review.
Setting: All patients who presented and underwent one of the 10 selected isolated orthopaedic surgical procedures at a large tertiary care center between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2010.
Patients/participants: Charts for patients undergoing the 10 selected isolated orthopaedic surgical fracture procedures more than 10 years were reviewed. Thirteen thousand seven hundred seventy-six distinct operations were identified. One thousand three hundred ninety-eight distinct operations were included in analysis after selection.
Intervention: This was an observational study. Patients who received operative management for isolated orthopaedic fractures were identified utilizing a CPT code search for analysis in a retrospective chart review.
Main outcome measurements: LOS and cost secondary to LOS.
Results: ASA physical status proved the strongest predictor of postoperative LOS for the 8 most common lower extremity and 2 most common upper extremity isolated orthopaedic procedures. ASA was also a significant predictor of inpatient cost for all isolated orthopaedic procedures included in the study with the exception of CPT code 27536.
Conclusions: ASA classification is an indicator for variance in LOS and total inpatient cost for hospitalized patients. Given that ASA classification is a universally collected data point, this method can be used in almost any hospital system and for any operative service. In addition, this study provides a foundation for many other studies to be conducted which will include multiple institutions and fracture types, such that ASA can be used as a more generalizable predictor of LOS and inpatient cost in orthopaedic trauma patients. This model may be used to accurately predict a patient's postoperative course and the expected cost to the health care system of a given procedure.
Level of evidence: Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.