Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 468, Issue 8, pp 2218–2223

Medicine versus Orthopaedic Service for Hospital Management of Hip Fractures

  • Cynthia H. Chuang
  • Gregory J. Pinkowsky
  • Christopher S. Hollenbeak
  • April D. Armstrong
Clinical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11999-010-1290-z

Cite this article as:
Chuang, C.H., Pinkowsky, G.J., Hollenbeak, C.S. et al. Clin Orthop Relat Res (2010) 468: 2218. doi:10.1007/s11999-010-1290-z



Hospital care of patients with hip fractures often is managed primarily by either a medicine or orthopaedic service, depending on the institution. Whether complication rates, length of stay, or time to surgery differs on different services is unknown.


We therefore determined whether (1) perioperative complication rates, and (2) length of stay and time to surgery for patients undergoing surgical management of hip fractures differed by the specialty of the primary service.

Patients and Methods

We performed a retrospective cohort study at a university-based academic hospital of patients undergoing surgery for hip fracture admitted to medicine and orthopaedic services during 2006. Of the 98 patients included in the analysis, 34% were managed by a medicine service and 66% by orthopaedics. Using multivariable regression models to adjust for patient characteristics and comorbidities, we determined whether service designation predicted the likelihood of severe or intermediate perioperative complications, length of stay, or time to surgery.


The rate of severe or intermediate complications for patients undergoing surgical management of hip fractures was 30%. Patients with medicine or orthopaedic services did not differ in the rate of severe or intermediate complications or length of stay in adjusted analysis. However, time to surgery was longer in patients managed by the medical service in adjusted analysis.


In our patient cohort, the likelihood of perioperative complications occurring among patients with hip fractures did not differ by service designation in adjusted analysis.

Level of Evidence

Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia H. Chuang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Gregory J. Pinkowsky
    • 3
  • Christopher S. Hollenbeak
    • 2
    • 4
  • April D. Armstrong
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicinePenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesPenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  3. 3.Department of OrthopaedicsPenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryPenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  5. 5.Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA