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Healthcare disparities among orthopedic trauma patients in the USA: socio-demographic factors influence the management of calcaneus fractures

Boris A Zelle, Nicolas A Morton-Gonzaba, Christopher F Adcock, John V Lacci, Khang H Dang, Ali Seifi
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2019 November 12, 14 (1): 359

BACKGROUND: Socio-demographic factors have been suggested to contribute to differences in healthcare utilization for several elective orthopedic procedures. Reports on disparities in utilization of orthopedic trauma procedures remain limited. The purpose of our study is to assess the roles of clinical and socio-demographic variables in utilization of operative fixation of calcaneus fractures in the USA.

METHODS: The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) dataset was used to analyze all patients from 2005 to 2014 with closed calcaneal fractures. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of clinical and socio-demographic variables on the utilization of surgical versus non-surgical treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 17,156 patients with closed calcaneus fractures were identified. Operative treatment was rendered in 7039 patients (41.03%). A multivariate logistic regression demonstrated multiple clinical and socio-demographic factors to significantly influence the utilization of surgical treatment including age, gender, insurance status, race/ethnicity, income, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, psychosis, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse (p <  0.05). In addition, hospital size and hospital type (teaching versus non-teaching) showed a statistically significant difference (p <  0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Besides different clinical variables, we identified several socio-demographic factors influencing the utilization of surgical treatment of calcaneus fractures in the US patient population. Further studies need to identify the specific patient-related, provider-related, and system-related factors leading to these disparities.

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