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Total hip arthroplasty versus hemiarthroplasty for treatment of femoral neck fractures: a population-based analysis of practice variation in Ontario, Canada


Aims — This study aimed to describe practice variation in the use of total hip arthroplasty (THA) for older patients with femoral neck fracture and to determine the association between patient, surgeon, and institution factors and treatment with THA.

Methods — We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 49,597 patients aged 60 years and older from Ontario, Canada, who underwent hemiarthroplasty or THA for femoral neck fracture between 2002 and 2017. This population-based study used routinely collected healthcare databases linked through ICES (formerly known as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences). Multilevel logistic regression modelling was used to quantify the association between patient, surgeon, and institution-level variables and whether patients were treated with THA. Variance partition coefficient and median odds ratios were used to estimate the variation attributable to higher-level variables and the magnitude of effect of higher-level variables, respectively.

Results — Over the study period, 9.4% of patients (n = 4,638) were treated with THA. Patient factors associated with higher likelihood of treatment by THA included: younger age, male sex, and diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis. Long-term care residence, use of home care services prior to hip fracture, diagnosis of dementia, higher comorbidity burden, and the most marginalized group were negatively associated with treatment by THA. Treating surgeon and institution accounted for 54.2% and 17.8% of the total variation in treatment with THA, respectively. Surgeon volume of THA procedures in the 365 days prior to surgery was the strongest higher-level predictor of treatment with THA. Specific treating surgeons and institutions still accounted for significant proportions of the variability in treatment with THA (40.3% and 19.5% of total observed variation, respectively) after controlling for available patient, surgeon, and institution-level variables.

Conclusion — The strongest predictors for treatment of patients with femoral neck fracture with THA were patient age, treating surgeon, and treating institution. This practice variation highlights differential access to care for patients.



Tohidi M, Mann SM, Groome PA. Bone Joint J. 2023; 105-B(2):180-9. Epub 2023 Feb 1.

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