The decision to proceed with digital replantation in the elderly can be challenging. In addition to success of the replanted part, perioperative morbidity and mortality must be considered. The purpose of this study was to compare adverse events in patients less than 65 years of age compared with those 65 years and older after digital replantation. We hypothesize that there is an increased incidence of mortality and sentinel adverse events in patients aged 65 and older.We obtained data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample over a 10-year period from 1998 to 2007. Replantation was identified using International Classification of Diseases-9 procedure codes for finger and thumb reattachment (84.21 and 84.22). Adverse events were identified using Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) to identify adverse events occurring during hospitalization. We used the Charlson index to study medical comorbidities and bivariate statistics.During the study period 15,413 finger and thumb replantations were performed in the United States, with 616 performed on patients age 65 and older. The overall in-hospital mortality was 0.04% with no statistical difference when factoring age. For the entire group, the percentage of PSI was 0.6%, the most common being postoperative deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. Overall, there was no difference in PSI between the 2 groups. The older group had a higher rate of transfusion, 4% versus 8% (p < .05) and were more likely to have a nonroutine disposition (ie, nursing home) (p < .001). We found no correlation between the Charlson index and PSI.This study found no difference in sentinel perioperative complications or mortality when comparing replantation patients under 65 years of age and those age 65 and older. Age alone should not be an absolute contraindication to finger replantation. Instead, the patient's functional demands, type of injury, general state of health, and rehabilitative potential should drive the decision of whether to proceed with replantation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jhsa.2011.01.031
View details for Web of Science ID 000290185700017