Systemic Complications of Obesity in Operative Acetabular Fractures

Academic Article


  • Objective:To determine the effect of obesity on rates of systemic complications in operatively treated acetabular fractures.Design:Retrospective Case-Control study.Setting:Level 1 Trauma Center.Patients/Participants:All patients with acetabular fractures managed operatively from January 2015 to December 2019. Patients were divided into groups based on their body mass index (BMI) (normal weight = BMI <25 kg/m2, overweight = BMI 25-30, obese = BMI 30-40, and morbidly obese = BMI >40).Intervention:Operative management of an acetabular fracture.Main Outcome Measurement:Systemic complications, including mortality, sepsis, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or venous thrombotic event.Results:A total of 428 patients were identified. One hundred nine patients (25.4%) were in normal weight, 133 (31.1%) were overweight, 133 (31.1%) were obese, and 53 (12.4%) were morbidly obese. The rate of systemic complications was 17.5%, and overall mortality rate was 0.005%. There were no significant differences between the different BMI groups in all-cause complications or any individual complications. When the morbidly obese group was compared with all other patients, there were also no significant differences in all-cause complications or any individual complications.Conclusion:In conclusion, in this study, there was no association with increasing BMI and inpatient systemic complications after operative management of acetabular fractures. As we continue to refine our understanding of how obesity affects outcomes after acetabular fracture surgery, other indices of obesity might prove more useful in predicting complications. In the obese population, there are well-documented risks of postoperative infections and challenges in obtaining an anatomic reduction, but the fear of postoperative systemic complications should not deter surgeons from undertaking operative management of acetabular fractures in the obese population. Because the prevalence of obesity in trauma patients continues to increase, it is incumbent on us to continue to improve our understanding of optimal treatment for our patients.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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    Author List

  • Lameka M; Mabry S; Montgomery T; Wilson AL; Fellows K; McGwin G; Spitler CA
  • Start Page

  • 184
  • End Page

  • 188
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 4