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Impact of Hospital Volume on Postoperative Complications and In-Hospital Mortality After Musculoskeletal Tumor SurgeryAnalysis of a National Administrative Database
Koichi Ogura, MD1; Hideo Yasunaga, MD, PhD1; Hiromasa Horiguchi, PhD1; Kazuhiko Ohe, MD, PhD1; Yusuke Shinoda, MD, PhD1; Sakae Tanaka, MD, PhD1; Hirotaka Kawano, MD, PhD1
1 Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery (K.Ogura, Y.S., S.T., H.K.), Health Management and Policy (H.Y., H.H.), and Medical Informatics and Economics (K.Ohe), Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan. E-mail address for H. Kawano: hkawano-tky@umin.net
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Investigation performed at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Sep 18;95(18):1684-1691. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00913
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We are aware of only one report describing the relationship between operative volume and outcomes in musculoskeletal tumor surgery, although numerous studies have described such relationships in other surgical procedures. The aim of the present study was to use a nationally representative inpatient database to evaluate the impact of hospital volume on the rates of postoperative complications and in-hospital mortality after musculoskeletal tumor surgery.


We used the Japanese Diagnostic Procedure Combination administrative database to retrospectively identify 4803 patients who had undergone musculoskeletal tumor surgery during 2007 to 2010. Patients were then divided into tertiles of approximately equal size on the basis of the annual hospital volume (number of patients undergoing musculoskeletal tumor surgery): low, twelve or fewer cases/year; medium, thirteen to thirty-one cases/year; and high, thirty-two or more cases/year. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the relationships between various factors and the rates of postoperative complications and in-hospital mortality adjusted for all patient demographic characteristics.


The overall postoperative complication rate was 7.2% (348 of 4803), and the in-hospital mortality rate was 2.4% (116 of 4803). Postoperative complications included surgical site infections in 132 patients (2.7%), cardiac events in sixty-four (1.3%), respiratory complications in fifty-one (1.1%), sepsis in thirty-one (0.6%), pulmonary emboli in sixteen (0.3%), acute renal failure in eleven (0.2%), and cerebrovascular events in seven (0.1%). The postoperative complication rate was related to the duration of anesthesia (odds ratio [OR] for a duration of more than 240 compared with less than 120 minutes, 2.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.68 to 3.53; p < 0.001) and to hospital volume (OR for high compared with low volume, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.96; p = 0.027). The mortality rate was related to the diagnosis (OR for a metastatic compared with a primary bone tumor, 3.67; 95% CI, 1.66 to 8.09; p = 0.001), type of surgery (OR for amputation compared with soft-tissue tumor resection without prosthetic reconstruction, 3.81; 95% CI, 1.42 to 10.20; p = 0.008), and hospital volume (OR for high compared with low volume, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.50; p < 0.001).


We identified an independent effect of hospital volume on outcomes after adjusting for patient demographic characteristics. We recommend regionalization of musculoskeletal tumor surgery to high-volume hospitals in an attempt to improve patient outcomes.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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