Is early operative fixation of unstable ankle fractures cost effective? Comparison of the cost of early versus late surgery
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A retrospective study of all patients who sustained an ankle fracture requiring operative treatment was performed. 98 patients were admitted over a 14-month time period. All fractures treated conservatively were excluded.
Materials and methods
The inpatient length of stay and the cost of operating less than and more than 24 and 48 h from admission was determined.
There was a significant difference (p value <0.001) in cost and length of stay in patients operated less than and more than 24 h, and less than and more than 48 h from admission. There was no difference in cost and length of stay between the 2 groups of less than 24 and 48 h. However, length of stay and cost rose significantly if the operation was delayed more than 48 h.
The results show that the length of stay and cost is significantly reduced by operating on ankle fractures early. There is no significant difference in the length of stay or cost if the operation is performed earlier than 24 or 48 h from admission.
KeywordsAnkle injuries Cost effectiveness Comparison Pre-operative period
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 4.Department of Health (2008) NHS reference costs 2006–07. Department of Health, LondonGoogle Scholar