Frailty has been shown to portend worse outcomes in surgical patients. Our goal was to identify the impact of frailty on outcomes and resource utilization among patients undergoing minor lower extremity amputation in the United States.
Using the Nationwide Readmission Database, we identified all adults undergoing a minor amputation between 2010 and 2015, and assessed 90-day outcomes, including readmission, reamputation, mortality, and cumulative hospitalization costs. Frailty was defined by International Classification of Diseases codes consistent with the ten frailty clusters as defined by the Johns Hopkins Adjusted Clinical Group System. Multivariable regression models were developed for risk adjustment. An estimated 302 798 patients (mean age = 61.8 years) were identified, of which 15.2% were categorized as Frail.
Before adjustment, frailty was associated with increased rates of readmission (44% vs. 36%, P < .001) and in-hospital mortality (4% vs. 2%, P < .001). Frailty was also associated with increased cumulative costs of care ($39 417 vs. $27 244, P < .001). After risk adjustment, frailty remained an independent predictor of readmission (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.18, CI 1.14-1.23), in-hospital mortality (AOR 1.48, CI 1.34-1.65), and incremental costs (+$7 646, CI $6927-$8365).
Frailty is an independent marker of worse outcomes following minor foot amputation, and may be utilized to direct quality improvement efforts.
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