OUTCOMES OF PATIENTS WITH ORTHOPAEDIC TRAUMA ADMITTED TO LEVEL 1 TRAUMA CENTRES
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BACKGROUND: Although orthopaedic trauma results in significant disability and substantial financial cost, there is a paucity of large cohort studies that collectively describe the functional outcomes of a variety of these injuries. The current study aimed to investigate the outcomes of patients admitted with a range of orthopaedic injuries to adult Level 1 trauma centres. METHODS: Patients were recruited from the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry (VOTOR), which included all patients with orthopaedic trauma admitted to the two adult Level 1 trauma centres in Victoria (Australia). Patients were categorised into three groups; isolated orthopaedic injuries, multiple orthopaedic injuries and orthopaedic and other injuries. Demographic and injury data were collected from the medical record and hospital/trauma databases, and functional outcome instruments were given at 6 months post-injury. RESULTS: Of the 1303 patients recruited for VOTOR over a 12-month period, 1181 patients were eligible for the study and a response rate of 75.6% was obtained at 6 months post-injury. Patients reported ongoing pain (moderate-severe: 37.2%), disability (79.5%) and inability to return to work (35.2%). Poorer outcomes were evident in patients with orthopaedic and other injuries than those with single or multiple orthopaedic injuries alone. CONCLUSION: A large percentage of patients have ongoing pain and disability and a reduced capacity to return to work 6 months after orthopaedic trauma. Further research into the long-term outcomes of patients with orthopaedic injuries is required to identify patient subgroups and specific injuries and procedures that result in high morbidity.
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