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Effect of COVID-19 on a rural orthopaedic hip fracture service.

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Abstract

Aims: Our rural orthopaedic service has undergone service restructure during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to sustain hip fracture care. All adult trauma care has been centralised to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for assessment and medical input, before transferring those requiring operative intervention to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. We aim to review the impact of COVID-19 on hip fracture workload and service changes upon management of hip fractures. Methods: We reviewed our prospectively maintained trust database and National Hip Fracture Database records for the months of March and April between the years 2016 and 2020. Our assessment included fracture pattern (intrascapular vs extracapsular hip fracture), treatment intervention, length of stay and mortality. Results: We treated 288 patients during March and April between 2016 and 2020, with a breakdown of 55, 58, 53, 68, and 54 from 2016 to 2020 respectively. Fracture pattern distribution in the pre-COVID-19 years of 2016 to 2019 was 58% intracapsular and 42% extracapsular. In 2020 (COVID-19 period) the fracture patterns were 65% intracapsular and 35% extracapsular. Our mean length of stay was 13.1 days (SD 8.2) between 2016 to 2019, and 5.0 days (6.3) days in 2020 (p < 0.001). Between 2016 and 2019 we had three deaths in hip fracture patients, and one death in 2020. Hemiarthroplasty and dynamic hip screw fixation have been the mainstay of operative intervention across the five years and this has continued in the COVID-19 period. We have experienced a rise in conservatively managed patients; ten in 2020 compared to 14 over the previous four years. Conclusion: There has not been a reduction in the number of hip fractures during COVID-19 period compared to the same time period over previous years. In our experience, there has been an increase in conservative treatment and decreased length of stay during the COVID -19 period.Cite this article: Bone Joint Open 2020;1-8:500-507.

Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2020
Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Journal Bone & Joint Open
Print ISSN 2633-1462
Publisher British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery
Pages 500 - 507
DOI https://doi.org/10.1302/2633-1462.18.BJO-2020-0082.R1
Keywords Hip fracture; Orthopaedic service; COVID-19; Conservative
Publisher URL https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/full/10.1302/2633-1462.18.BJO-2020-0082.R1

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