Low Mortality of Orthopedic Trauma Patients With Asymptomatic COVID-19: A Level I Trauma Center Pandemic Experience

Patrick A. Massey, Lincoln K. Andre, Steven M. Kautz, Chase Lobrano, R. Shane Barton, Kevin J. Perry, Brad J. Chauvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Early (2020) reports on mortality in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who underwent orthopedic surgery ranged from 20.5% to 56%, but these studies included elderly patients with multiple comorbidities. The mortality rate for younger and asymptomatic COVID-19–positive patients undergoing orthopedic surgery after high-energy trauma is underreported. The purpose of this study was to compare the 30-day mortality of asymptomatic COVID-19–positive patients and COVID-19–negative patients surgically treated for orthopedic trauma at a Level I trauma center during the coronavirus pandemic. A secondary objective was to compare the patients’ postoperative hospital course and length of stay. Methods: This study is a single-center retrospective review of all patients who underwent an orthopedic surgical procedure at a Level I trauma center during a 3-month period early in the COVID-19 pandemic. All patients received a preoperative nasopharyn-geal swab to determine COVID-19 infection status. Preoperative demographic variables, perioperative and postoperative mortality within 30 days, length of stay, and intensive care unit days were compared between COVID-19–positive and COVID-19–negative patients. Results: Of the 471 total patients, 13 were COVID-19–positive and 458 were COVID-19–negative prior to surgery. The average age of all patients was 40.5 ± 19.8 years. The mortality rate in the COVID-19–positive group was 0% vs 0.7% in the COVID-19–negative group, with no significant difference between groups (P=0.77). The COVID-19–positive group vs the COVID-19–negative group had no significant difference in hospital length of stay (7.4 days vs 4.4 days, respectively, P=0.12). Conclusion: Asymptomatic COVID-19–positive orthopedic trauma patients treated with surgery at a Level I trauma center in a 3-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic had a 0% mortality rate, and we found no differences between COVID-19–positive and COVID-19–negative patients with respect to mortality and hospital length of stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalOchsner Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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