Prevalence, timing, causes, and outcomes of hyponatremia in hospitalized orthopaedic surgery patients

Eileen Hennrikus, George Ou, Bradley Kinney, Erik Lehman, Robert Grunfeld, Jane Wieler, Abdulla Damluji, Charles Davis, Berend Mets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Hyponatremia is common among orthopaedic patients and is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. We examined the prevalence, timing, causes, and outcomes of hyponatremia in adult hospitalized orthopaedic surgery patients. Methods: We evaluated the medical records of 1067 consecutive orthopaedic surgery patients admitted to a tertiary academic institution. The medical records were reviewed to investigate hyponatremia (serum sodium <135 mEq/L) that (1) had been present on hospital admission or (2) had developed postoperatively. The primary outcomes were the prevalence and timing of, and risk factors for, presentation with or development of hyponatremia. Secondary outcomes were hospital length of stay, total hospital cost, and discharge disposition. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the variables associated with hyponatremia and the effects of hyponatremia on clinical outcomes. Results: Of the 1067 patients, seventy-one (7%) had preoperative hyponatremia and 319 (30%) developed hyponatremia postoperatively. Of the latter, 298 (93%) developed hyponatremia within forty-eight hours postoperatively. Compared with patients with normonatremia, those who presented with hyponatremia, on the average, were older (67.2 versus 60.5 years, p < 0.001), had longer hospital stays (4.6 versus 3.3 days, p < 0.001), incurred higher hospital costs ($19,200 versus $17,000, p = 0.006), and were more likely to be discharged to an extended-care facility (odds ratio [OR] = 2.87, p < 0.001). Developing hyponatremia postoperatively resulted, on average, in a longer hospital stay (3.7 versus 3.3 days, p = 0.002) and greater hospital cost ($18,800 versus $17,000, p < 0.001). Age (OR = 1.13 per decade, p = 0.012), spine surgery (OR = 2.76 versus knee, p < 0.001), hip surgery (OR = 1.76 versus knee, p < 0.001), and the amount of lactated Ringer solution used (OR = 1.16, p = 0.002) increased the risk of developing hyponatremia. Conclusions: Hyponatremia in orthopaedic patients is associated with longer, costlier hospitalizations. The factors that significantly increased the risk of developing postoperative hyponatremia were an older age, spine fusion, hip arthroplasty, and the amount of lactated Ringer solution used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1824-1832
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number22
StatePublished - Sep 2 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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