Use of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program in orthopaedic surgery

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2015 May;473(5):1574-81. doi: 10.1007/s11999-014-3597-7.


Background: The goal of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) is to improve patient safety. The database has been used by hospitals across the United States to decrease the rate of adverse events and improve surgical outcomes, including dramatic decreases in 30-day mortality, morbidity, and complication rates. However, only a few orthopaedic surgical studies have employed the ACS NSQIP database, all of which have limited their analysis to either single orthopaedic procedures or reported rates of adverse events without considering the effect of patient characteristics and comorbidities.

Question/purposes: Our specific purposes included (1) investigating the most common orthopaedic procedures and 30-day adverse events, (2) analyzing the proportion of adverse events in the top 30 most frequently identified orthopaedic procedures, and (3) identifying patient characteristics and clinical risk factors for adverse events in patients undergoing hip fracture repair.

Methods: We used data from the ACS NSQIP database to identify a large prospective cohort of patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery procedures from 2005 to 2011 in more than 400 hospitals around the world. Outcome variables were separated into the following three categories: any complication, minor complication, and major complication. The rate of adverse events for the top 30 orthopaedic procedures was calculated. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine risk factors for each of the outcome variables for hip fracture repair.

Results: Of the 1,979,084 surgical patients identified in the database, 146,774 underwent orthopaedic procedures (7%). Of the 30 most common orthopaedic procedures, the top three were TKA, THA, and knee arthroscopy with meniscectomy, which together comprised 55% of patients (55,575 of 101,862). We identified 5368 complications within the top 30 orthopaedic procedures, representing a 5% complication rate. The minor and major complication rates were 3.1% (n = 3174) and 2.8% (n = 2880), respectively. The most common minor complication identified was urinary tract infection (n = 1534) and the most common major complication identified was death (n = 850). An American Society of Anesthesiologists class of 3 or higher was a consistent risk factor for all three categories of complications in patients undergoing hip fracture repair.

Conclusions: The ACS NSQIP database allows for evaluating current trends of adverse events in selected surgical specialties. However, variables specific to orthopaedic surgery, such as open versus closed injury, are needed to improve the quality of the results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Data Mining
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation / standards
  • Hip Fractures / mortality
  • Hip Fractures / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects
  • Orthopedic Procedures / mortality
  • Orthopedic Procedures / standards*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / trends
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends
  • Quality Improvement / standards*
  • Quality Improvement / trends
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / trends
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States