What does it cost to treat fibular hemimelia in BC’s pediatric population?

An illustration of human leg and knee bones

Fibular hemimelia, also known as fibula deficiency or longitudinal deficiency of the fibula, is a rare congenital orthopaedic condition in which part or all of the fibula (calf bone) is missing. The fibula is the smaller, outer bone of the lower leg and with fibular hemimelia, the leg is also thinner and shorter.

University of British Columbia (UBC) Master’s student, Brittany Lim, is investigating the epidemiology of hospital, physician and patient costs related to the treatment of fibular hemimelia, in pediatric patients in British Columbia. The project is being supervised by Dr. Anthony Cooper, Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC’s Department of Orthopaedics, and Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cooper leads the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Program at BC Children’s Hospital.

This study cohort will retrospectively look at patients treated at the orthopaedic clinic at BC Children’s Hospital with a confirmed diagnosis of fibular hemimelia from April 2017 to March 2022. PopData will link three data sets from the BC Ministry of Health for the project.

“By analyzing the hospital, physician, and out-of-pocket costs associated with the treatment of fibular hemimelia in pediatric patients in BC over the past 5 fiscal years, we will be able to build a cost estimate for inpatient services, and identify the costs related to outpatient services and medication,” says Ms Lim.

The project will also compare public and personal costs associated with treatment by the cohort’s age, treatment type (main service provided), stage of treatment (whether a major surgical procedure has occurred) and neighbourhood income.