The purpose of this investigation was to identify the prevalence of hypoalbuminemia and obesity in orthopaedic trauma patients with high-energy injuries and to investigate their impact on the incidence of surgical site complications. Patients 18 years of age and older undergoing intramedullary nail fixation of their femoral shaft fractures at a university-based level-1 trauma centre were assessed. Malnutrition was measured using serum markers (albumin <3.5 g/dL) as well as body mass index (BMI) as a marker of obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2). The primary outcome measure was surgical wound complications. A total of 249 patients were included in this study. Ninety-eight patients (39.4%) presented with hypoalbuminaemia and 80 patients (32.1%) were obese. The overall incidence of wound complications in our study population was 9.65% (n = 25/259). A logistic regression model showed that non-obese patients (BMI < 30 kg/m2) were at significantly reduced risk for perioperative wound complications (Odds Ratio 0.400 [95% confidence interval 0.168, 0.954], p = 0.039). This study demonstrated a substantial prevalence of hypoalbuminemia and obesity among orthopaedic trauma patients with high-energy injuries. Obesity may increase the risk of surgical site complications. Future studies are required to further define malnutrition and its correlation with surgical site complications in orthopaedic trauma patients.
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