Regionalization of isolated pediatric femur fracture treatment: Recent trends observed using the kids' inpatient database

William C. Sessions, Amanda J. Nickel, Walter H. Truong, Ryan D. McMahon, Michael D. Finch, Andrew G. Georgiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Isolated pediatric femur fractures have historically been treated at local hospitals. Pediatric referral patterns have changed in recent years, diverting patients to high volume centers. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the treatment location of isolated pediatric femur fractures and concomitant trends in length of stay and cost of treatment. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of surgical admissions for femoral shaft fracture was performed using the 2000 to 2012 Kids' Inpatient Database. The primary outcome was hospital location and teaching status. Secondary outcomes included the length of stay and mean hospital charges. Polytrauma patients were excluded. Data were weighted within each study year to produce national estimates. Results: A total of 35,205 pediatric femoral fracture cases met the inclusion criteria. There was a significant shift in the treatment location over time. In 2000, 60.1% of fractures were treated at urban, teaching hospitals increasing to 81.8% in 2012 (P<0.001). Mean length of stay for all hospitals decreased from 2.59 to 1.91 days (P<0.001). Inflation-adjusted total charges increased during the study from $9499 in 2000 to $25,499 in 2012 per episode of treatment (P<0.001). Total charges per hospitalization were ∼$8000 greater at urban, teaching hospitals in 2012. Conclusions: Treatment of isolated pediatric femoral fractures is regionalizing to urban, teaching hospitals. Length of stay has decreased across all institutions. However, the cost of treatment is significantly greater at urban institutions relative to rural hospitals. This trend does not consider patient outcomes but the observed pattern appears to have financial implications. Level of Evidence: Level III - case series, database study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number6
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. All rights reserved.


  • epidemiology
  • femur fracture
  • pediatric femur
  • pediatric trauma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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