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JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Norwegian Hip Fracture Register: experiences after the first 2 years and 15,576 reported operations

Jan-Erik Gjertsen, Lars B Engesaeter, Ove Furnes, Leif Ivar Havelin, Kjersti Steindal, Tarjei Vinje, Jonas M Fevang
Acta Orthopaedica 2008, 79 (5): 583-93
18839363

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The Norwegian Hip Fracture Register was established in January 2005 to collect nationwide information as a basis for improved management of patients with hip fractures. We now report our experience after the first 2 years.

METHODS: After both primary operations and reoperations, the surgeons fill in a standardized 1-page form with information about the patient, the fracture, and the operation. Fractures treated with a total hip arthroplasty are reported to the national arthroplasty register, but are added to the hip fracture register before analyses are performed. 4, 12, and 36 months postoperatively, a standardized questionnaire including health-related quality of life (EQ-5D), visual analog scales concerning pain and patient satisfaction, and Charnley class for functional assessment is sent directly from the register to the patients. To evaluate the completeness of registration, our data were compared with data from the Norwegian Patient Registry (NPR).

RESULTS: During the first year of registration, all 55 hospitals treating hip fractures in Norway started to report their hip fracture operations. During 2005, the monthly reporting increased and it stabilized in 2006. 13,251 primary-operated hips (mean age of patients: 80 years; 72% females) and 2,325 reoperations were reported during 2005 and 2006. Compared to the NPR, the completeness of registration was 64% in 2005 and 79% in 2006. 58% of the patients who were alive answered the 4-month questionnaire. The non-responders were older, were more often cognitively impaired, and had a higher degree of comorbidity than the responders. Undisplaced femoral neck fractures (19% of all fractures) were almost exclusively operated with screw osteosynthesis (95%). Dislocated femoral neck fractures (38% of all fractures) were operated with a hemiarthroplasty in 52% of the cases. Osteosynthesis with a hip compression screw was the predominant operation method for trochanteric fractures (81%).

INTERPRETATION: After only 2 years, our nationwide system for surveillance of demographics, treatment, and outcome of hip fractures is functioning well. As expected, the response rate for the 4-month questionnaires was relatively low due to the old population with high comorbidity and cognitive impairment. The different treatment methods used for patients in the same groups of fracture types show that there is still no consensus in Norway regarding the treatment of hip fractures.

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