Hospitalizations Are Increasing in Distal Upper Extremity Fractures.

Publication/Presentation Date



Introduction Distal upper extremity (DUE) fractures are common and include bony fractures of the wrist, hand, and finger. DUE fractures can require hospital admission for clinical observation or surgical fixation. The trend of hospitalization rate for these injuries may more accurately predict future staffing needs, required resources, and expected revenue for orthopedic surgery hand services. The purpose of this study is to determine the trend of hospitalization percentage from 2009 to 2018 for patients presenting to the United States (US) emergency departments (EDs) with DUE fractures. Methods The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was utilized to collect data from 138,700 patients with wrist, hand, or finger fractures presenting to the US EDs between 2009 and 2018. A total of 752 patients were excluded for ages less than two years old or no sex entry. The unadjusted and adjusted (age, sex, race, and fracture location) hospitalization rates across years were evaluated using binary logistic regression. Results From 2009 to 2018, 137,948 DUE fractures were reported, of which 4749 (3.4%) were hospitalized. Wrist fractures accounted for the highest amount (2953) and the highest proportion of hospitalized patients (62.2%). Higher hospitalization rates were seen among patients 40 years and older (p < 0.05). Together, the DUE fracture hospitalization rate increased significantly (p < 0.05) in 2016 (OR = 1.215, 95% CI = 1.070-1.380), 2017 (OR = 1.154, 95% CI = 1.016-1.311), and 2018 (OR = 1.154, 95% CI = 1.279-1.638) from 2009. The adjusted results showed hospitalization rate statistically increased (p < 0.05) in 2016 (OR = 1.184, 95% CI = 1.040-1.346) and 2018 (OR = 1.389, 95% CI = 1.225-1.575) compared to 2009. An inconsistent increase in hospitalization rate was seen across locations of fracture: wrist (2012, 2013, 2018), hand (2018), and finger (2016, 2018). Conclusions The hospitalization rate of patients with DUE fractures increased in 2016 and 2018 from 2009. These data may predict a need to increase future staffing and resources for orthopedic surgery hand services as hospitals resume pre-pandemic practices.





First Page


Last Page





Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty, USF-LVHN SELECT Program, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Students, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Faculty

Document Type