The purpose of this study was to examine the variation in surgical treatment rates of patients with distal radius fractures across Dutch hospitals. We obtained all reimbursement data for the treatment of distal radius fractures for 2012 and 2013 categorized by hospital. The surgical rate across hospitals was corrected for possible explanatory variables using linear regression analyses. We analysed a total of 95,754 reimbursements. The operative rate ranged from 0% to 23%, with a mean of 9.6%. Hospital type, the percentage of females, the percentage of patients over 65, the mean age, average socioeconomic status and the total number of patients treated explained only 2.6% of the observed differences in the operative rate among hospitals in 2012 and 11.6% in 2013. Our results suggest that subjective factors, such as surgeon's opinions and preferences, significantly influence therapeutic decisions in patients with distal radius fractures. Level of evidence: III.

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Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)

Walenkamp, M., Mulders, M., Goslings, C., Westert, G., & Schep, N. (2017). Analysis of variation in the surgical treatment of patients with distal radial fractures in the Netherlands. Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume), 42(1), 39–44. doi:10.1177/1753193416651577