Identifying Predictors of Time to Soft-Tissue Reconstruction following Open Tibia Fractures.
BACKGROUND: Controversy remains regarding the optimal timing of soft-tissue coverage following severe lower extremity trauma. This study identifies nationwide practice patterns and factors associated with discrepancies in time to first flap surgery following open tibia fractures. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed on the National Trauma Databank from 2008 to 2015 to identify patients who presented with an open tibia fracture and underwent subsequent flap reconstruction. A least absolute shrinkage and selection operator algorithm was performed, revealing those factors most significantly associated with differences in time to flap surgery from hospitalization. RESULTS: A total of 3297 patients were included in the analysis. Mean ± SD and median times to first flap surgery were 230.1 ± 246.7 hours and 169.1 hours, respectively. Older age, nonwhite race, treatment in the South, and non-private insurance status were all independently associated with an increased time to flap surgery. In addition, more surgical débridements; a higher Injury Severity Score and/or Abbreviated Injury Scale score; and a nerve, vascular, and/or crush injury were independent predictors of an increased time to flap surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Most patients who present with open tibia fractures requiring soft-tissue coverage undergo flap reconstruction after the historical 72-hour window. Specific sociodemographic and clinical factors were independently predictive of an increased time to flap surgery. These findings suggest that not all patients in the United States are receiving the same level of care in lower extremity trauma reconstruction, emphasizing the need to develop more explicit national standards. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Risk, III.
Shammas, RL; Mundy, LR; Truong, T; Weber, JM; Grier, AJ; Cho, EH; Peskoe, SB; Gage, MJ; Hollenbeck, ST
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