Summary: This study analyzed characteristics of hip fracture patients who did not undergo surgery within 24 hours after hospitalization, as recommended by the Belgian quality standards. Reasons for delay were analyzed. Delay in surgery for hip fracture was related to the medical condition of the patients. Introduction: To compare patients with optimal timing to patients with a delay in hip surgery, with respect to outcome (complications (postoperative) and mortality) and reasons for delay. Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records compared patients operated on within 24h (Group A) to patients operated on more than 24h after admission (Group B). A follow-up period of 5 years after release or up to the time of data collection was used. Reasons for delay in relation with mortality were analyzed descriptively. Descriptive statistics were used for patient demographics and complications. Relationships causing a delayed surgery and mortality were analyzed using binary logistic regression. Additionally, a survival analysis was provided for overall mortality. Results: Respectively, 536 and 304 patients were included in Group A and B. The most prominent reason for delaying surgery was the patient not being medically fit (20.7%). Surgical delay was associated with more cardiovascular (p = 0.010), more pulmonary (p < 0.001), and less hematologic complications (p=0.037). Thirty-day mortality was higher with increasing age (p < 0.001), with hematologic (p < 0.001) or endocrine-metabolic complications (p = 0.001), and lower when no complications occurred (p = 0.004). Mortality at the end of data collection was higher for patients with delayed surgery (OR = 2.634, p < 0.001), an increased age (p = 0.006), male gender (p < 0.001), institutionalized patients (p = 0.009), pulmonary complication (p = 0.002), and having no endocrine-metabolic complications (p = 0.003). Survival analysis showed better survival for patients operated on within 24h (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Delayed surgery for patients with hip fractures was associated with bad additional medical conditions. Survival was higher for patients operated on within 24h of admission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2235-2245
Number of pages11
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Delayed surgery
  • Hip fractures
  • Patient outcomes
  • Reasons for delay
  • Retrospective


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