The Rates of Nonunion and Malunion in Lower Extremity Fractures: Experience in South Carolina Over 17 years


Our purpose was to determine the rates of lower extremity nonunion and malunion over 17 years in South Carolina. Our hypothesis was that malunions and nonunions decreased over time due to improved access to trauma centers and improved orthopaedic surgical training. The South Carolina Department of Budget and Control Hospital Discharge Database was queried between 1998–2014 and yielded a total of 4,994 malunions and 16,454 nonunions. Malunions increased from 1.2% (1998) to 1.8% (2010); nonunions increased from 4.0% (1999) to 5.8% (2011). Older age and gender were predictive of malunion and nonunion. This study identifi ed females as having a higher odds ratio for malunion or nonunion; higher nonunion rates in worker’s compensation or government payer status; and older age as incurring greater risks for sustaining fractures or developing a malunion or nonunion. There was increased prevalence of nonunion and malunion despite improved access to trauma centers and trained orthopaedic trauma surgeons. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(3):129–134, 2020) Key words: fracture, nonunion, malunion, lower extremity, trauma, South Carolina

SKU: JSOA-2020-29-3-F003 Categories: , Tags: , , , , ,

Dane N. Daley, MD; Phillip A. Westbrook, MD; William R. Barfield, PhD, FACSM; Anbesaw Selassie, DrPH, FACE; and Langdon A. Hartsock, MD, FACS