Preoperative wait time for orthopedic surgeries at a military medical center

David J. Wilson, David A. Crawford, Edward D. Arrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We performed a retrospective review of elective orthopedic surgeries performed at our institution in 2008. Surgical wait time was defined as the interval between when surgery was offered and when it was performed. Data were available for 1,120 patients and included date and type of procedure, patient age, American Society of Anesthesia (ASA) category, and military rank. Mean wait time for all procedures was 69.1 days. Significant differences were found with regard to patient age, ASA class, rank, and type of procedure. Older patients with higher ASA had significantly longer wait times. Enlisted soldiers had the shortest wait times and retirees the longest. Total joint procedures had the longest wait time (mean 140 days) and the highest anesthesia class. Elective trauma procedures had the shortest wait time (mean 27.2 days). Sports procedures accounted for 46.3% of all cases reviewed. In our cohort, older patients with higher ASA class and those undergoing a total joint procedure can expect longer preoperative wait times. No preferential care given to officers, as enlisted soldiers had the shortest wait times. At our military medical center, which closely models a managed care system, patients can expect to wait more than 2 months for elective orthopedic surgeries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-744
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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