Achilles Injury and Access to Care in South Florida.

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Foot Ankle Spec


Introduction. Despite the amount of orthopaedic research evaluating access to care based on insurance status, no study quantifies the effects of insurance status on the care of acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Methods. Using Current Procedural Terminology codes, we identified all patients who underwent surgical management of Achilles tendon rupture between December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2018, and followed-up at either a county hospital-based orthopaedic surgery clinic and/or private university-based clinic. Inclusion criteria included patients who (1) underwent surgical management of an Achilles tendon rupture during this time period and (2) were at least 18 years of age at the time of surgery. A univariate 2-tailed t test was used to compare various groups. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results. When compared to adequately insured patients (private and Medicare), underinsured patients (uninsured and Medicaid) experienced a significantly greater time from the date of injury to first clinic visit (14.5 days vs 5.2 days, P < .001), first clinic visit to surgery (34.6 days vs 4.8 days, P < .002), injury to surgery date (48.9 days vs 9.8 days, P < .001), initial presentation to when magnetic resonance imaging was obtained (48.1 days vs 1.9 days, P < .002). Conclusions. Disparities in access to care for Achilles tendon ruptures are intimately related to insurance status. Uninsured and Medicaid patients are subject to institutional delays and decreased access to care when compared to patients with private insurance.Levels of Evidence: Level III: Prognostic, retrospective.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine