Maximilian Kerschbaum, Lisa Klute, Leopold Henssler, Markus Rupp, Volker Alt, Siegmund Lang

September 2023, pp 1 - 13 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07919-7

First Online: 15 September 2023


To investigate the association between treatment, comorbidities, concomitant injuries, and procedures with in-hospital mortality in patients aged 80 years or older with axis fractures.


Data were extracted from the German InEK (Institut für das Entgeltsystem im Krankenhaus) GmbH database (2019–2021) for patients aged 80 years or older with axis fractures and the in-hospital mortality rate was calculated. Differences in comorbidities and concomitant diseases and injuries were analyzed using the Chi-square test. In surgically treated patients, odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to analyze potential risk factors for in-hospital mortality.


Among 10,077 patients, the in-hospital mortality rate was 8.4%, with no significant difference between surgically (9.4%) and non-surgically treated patients (7.9%; p = 0.103). The most common comorbidities were essential hypertension (67.3%), atrial fibrillation (28.2%), and chronic kidney disease (23.3%), while the most common concomitant injuries were head and face wounds (25.9%), concussions (12.8%), and atlas fractures (11.6%). In surgically treated patients, spinal cord injury (OR = 4.62, 95% CI: 2.23–9.58), acute renal failure (OR = 3.20, 95% CI: 2.26–4.53), and acute bleeding anemia (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.64–2.59) were associated with increased in-hospital mortality (all p 


Comprehensive geriatric assessment and optimization of comorbidities during treatment are crucial. The indication for surgical treatment must be carefully individualized. Future studies should focus on the choice of surgical technique, perioperative blood management, and intraoperative navigation as potential protective factors.

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