A Safety and Cost Analysis of Outpatient Versus Inpatient Hindfoot Fusion Surgery

Academic Article


  • Background. Hindfoot fusion procedures are increasingly being performed in the outpatient setting. However, the cost savings of these procedures compared with the risks and benefits has not been clearly investigated. The objective of this study was to compare patient characteristics, costs, and short-term complications between inpatient and outpatient procedures. Methods. This was a retrospective review of all patients who underwent inpatient and outpatient hindfoot fusion procedures by a single surgeon, at 1 academic institution, from 2013 to 2017. Data collected included demographics, operative variables, comorbidities, complications, costs, and subsequent reencounters. Results. Of 124 procedures, 34 were inpatient and 90 were outpatient. Between procedural settings, with the numbers available, there was no significant increase in complication rate or frequency of reencounters within 90 days. There were no significant differences in the number of patients with reencounters related to the index procedure within 90 days (P =.43). There were 30 reencounters within 90 days after outpatient surgery versus 4 after inpatient surgery (P =.05). The total number of emergency room visits in the outpatient group within 90 days was significantly higher compared with the inpatient group (P =.04). The average cost for outpatient procedures was US$4159 less than inpatient procedures (P <.0001). Conclusion. Outpatient hindfoot fusion may be a safe alternative to inpatient surgery, with significant overall cost savings and similar rate of short-term complications. On the basis of these findings, we believe that outpatient management is preferable for the majority of patients, but further investigation is warranted. Levels of Evidence: Level III.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Moon AS; McGee AS; Patel HA; Cone R; McGwin G; Naranje S; Shah A
  • Start Page

  • 336
  • End Page

  • 344
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 4