Postoperative Patient Falls on an Orthopedic Inpatient Unit

Duncan B. Ackerman, Robert T. Trousdale, Patti Bieber, Joan Henely, Mark W. Pagnano, Daniel J. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


We are not aware of any data looking specifically at inpatient falls in an orthopedic ward. We reviewed all postoperative orthopedic patients who fell during 2003 and 2005 on a single postoperative orthopedic unit. Seventy patients (1%) fell, resulting in 2.5 falls per 1000 musculoskeletal inpatient days. Most (n = 45, 64%) were bathroom related, were unassisted (n = 54, 77%), and occurred during the evening or night shift (n = 46, 66%). Thirteen (19%) patients acquired an injury as a consequence. Female sex (odds ratio [OR] = 1.9), patient age greater than 65 years (OR = 1.7), prolonged admission (OR = 1.7), and admission for primary or revision knee arthroplasty (OR = 5.0) were all significant risk factors for a postoperative inpatient fall. This information has provided us with some insight to direct the development of a fall prevention program specific to postoperative orthopedic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • total hip arthroplasty
  • total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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