Healthcare Utilization Following Hemipelvectomy or Hip Disarticulation in the Military Health System

Daniel Wido, Colin J. Harrington, Rebecca N. Schulz, Kalyn C. Jannace, Douglas G. Smith, Paul F. Pasquina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Amputations at the hip and pelvic level are often performed secondary to high-energy trauma or pelvic neoplasms and are frequently associated with a prolonged postoperative rehabilitation course that involves a multitude of health care providers. The purpose of this study was to examine the health care utilization of patients with hip- and pelvic-level amputations that received care in the U.S. Military Health System. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent a hip- or pelvic-level amputation in the Military Health System between 2001 and 2017. We compiled and reviewed all inpatient and outpatient encounters during three time points: (1) 3 months pre-amputation to 1 day pre-amputation, (2) the day of amputation through 12 months post-amputation, and (3) 13-24 months post-amputation. Health care utilization was defined as the average number of encounter days/admissions for each patient. Concomitant diagnoses following amputation including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain were also recorded. Results: A total of 106 individuals with hip- and pelvic-level amputations were analyzed (69 unilateral hip disarticulation, 6 bilateral hip disarticulations, 27 unilateral hemipelvectomy, 2 bilateral hemipelvectomies, and 2 patients with a hemipelvectomy and contralateral hip disarticulation). Combat trauma contributed to 61.3% (n = 65) of all amputations. During the time period of 3 months pre-amputation, patients had an average of 3.8 encounter days. Following amputation, health care utilization increased in both the year following amputation and the time period of 13-24 months post-amputation, averaging 170.8 and 77.4 encounter days, respectively. Patients with trauma-related amputations averaged more total encounter days compared to patients with disease-related amputations in the time period of 12 months following amputation (203.8 vs.106.7, P < .001) and the time period of 13-24 months post-amputation (92.0 vs. 49.0, P = .005). PTSD (P = .02) and traumatic brain injuries (P < .001) were more common following combat-related amputations. Conclusions: This study highlights the increased health care resource demand following hip- and pelvic-level amputations in a military population, particularly for those patients who sustained combat-related trauma. Additionally, patients with combat-related amputations had significantly higher rates of concomitant PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Understanding the extensive needs of this unique patient population helps inform providers and policymakers on the requirements for providing high-quality care to combat casualties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E235-E241
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


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