Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

Published in
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®
Volume 467 | Issue 10 | Oct, 2009
Articles

Economic Incentives to Promote Innovation in Healthcare Delivery

Harold S. Luft PhD Economics influences how medical care is delivered, organized, and progresses. Fee-for-service payment encourages delivery of services. Fee-for-individual-service, however, offers no incentives for clinicians to efficiently organize the care their patients need. Global capitation provides such incentives; it works well in highly integrated practices but not for independent practitioners. The failures of utilization management in the 1990s demonstrated the need for a third alternative to better align incentives, such as bundling payment for an episode of care. Building on Medicare’s approach to hospital payment, one can define expanded diagnosis-related groups that include all hospital, physician, and other costs during the stay and appropriate preadmission and postdischarge periods. Physicians and hospitals voluntarily forming a new entity (a care delivery team) would receive such bundled payments along with complete flexibility in allocating the funds. Modifications to gainsharing and antikickback rules, as well as reforms to malpractice liability laws, will facilitate the functioning of the care delivery teams. The implicit financial incentives encourage efficient care for the patient; the episode focus will facilitate measuring patient outcomes. Payment can be based on the resources used by those care delivery teams achieving superior outcomes, thereby fostering innovation improving outcomes and reducing waste.

What Rate of Utilization is Appropriate in Musculoskeletal Care?

Jon D. Lurie MD, MS, John Erik Bell MD, Jim Weinstein DO, MS Musculoskeletal procedures often show wide variation in rates across geographic areas, which begs the question, “Which rate is right?” Clearly, there is no simple answer to this question. We summarize a conceptual framework for thinking about how to approach this question for different types of interventions. One guiding principle is the “right rate” is usually the one that results from the choices of a fully informed and empowered patient population. For truly effective care without substantial tradeoffs, the right rate may approach 100%. The rate of operative treatment of hip fracture, for example, approaches the underlying incidence of disease; however, the rate of some forms of effective care, like osteoporosis evaluation and treatment after a fragility fracture, is often quite low and undoubtedly reflects underuse. The recommended approach to underuse is to improve the reliability and accountability of the delivery system. Many other musculoskeletal interventions fall into the category of “preference-sensitive care.” These interventions involve important tradeoffs between risks and benefits. Variations in these procedure rates may represent insufficient focus on patient values and preferences, relying instead on the enthusiasm of the physician for treatment alternatives. The recommended approach in this setting is the use of decision aids and other approaches to informed choice.,[object Object]

The Impact of Disruptive Innovations in Orthopaedics

Erik Hansen MD, Kevin J. Bozic MD, MBA The US healthcare system is currently facing daunting demographic and economic challenges. Because musculoskeletal disorders and disease represent a substantial and growing portion of this healthcare burden, novel approaches will be needed to continue to provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible orthopaedic care to our population. The concept of “disruptive innovations,” which has been studied and popularized by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, may offer a potential framework for developing strategies to improve quality and control costs associated with musculoskeletal care. The introduction of mobile fluoroscopic imaging systems, the development of the Surgical Implant Generation Network intramedullary nail for treatment of long bone fractures in the developing world, the expanding role and contributions of physician assistants and nurse practitioners to the orthopaedic team, and the rise of ambulatory surgery centers are all examples of disruptive innovations in the field of orthopaedics. Although numerous cultural and regulatory barriers have limited the widespread adoption of these “disruptive innovations,” we believe they represent an opportunity for clinicians to regain leadership in health care while at the same time improving quality and access to care for patients with musculoskeletal disease.

Executive Summary: Aligning Stakeholder Incentives in Orthopaedics

Natalia A. Wilson MD, MPH, Anil Ranawat MD, Ryan Nunley MD, Kevin J. Bozic MD, MBA

Aligning Incentives in Orthopaedics: Opportunities and Challenges—the Case Medical Center Experience

Randall E. Marcus MD, Thomas F. Zenty MPA, MHSA, Harlin G. Adelman Esq. For 30 years, the orthopaedic faculty at Case Western Reserve University worked as an independent private corporation within University Hospitals Case Medical Center (Hospital). However, by 2002, it became progressively obvious to our orthopaedic practice that we needed to modify our business model to better manage the healthcare regulatory changes and decreased reimbursement if we were to continue to attract and retain the best and brightest orthopaedic surgeons to our practice. In 2002, our surgeons created a new entity wholly owned by the parent corporation at the Hospital. As part of this transaction, the parties negotiated a balanced employment model designed to fully integrate the orthopaedic surgeons into the integrated delivery system that included the Hospital. This new faculty practice plan adopted a RVU-based compensation model for the physicians, with components that created incentives both for clinical practice and for academic and administrative service contributions. Over the past 5 years, aligning incentives with the Hospital has substantially increased the clinical productivity of the surgeons and has also benefited the Hospital and our patients. Furthermore, aligned incentives between surgeons and hospitals could be of substantial financial benefit to both, as Medicare moves forward with its bundled project initiative.

Aligning Physician and Hospital Incentives: The Approach at Hospital for Special Surgery

Anil S. Ranawat MD, Jonathan H. Koenig BA, Adrian J. Thomas MD, Catherine D. Krna MBA, Louis A. Shapiro FACHE Healthcare administrators and physicians alike are navigating an increasingly complex and highly regulated healthcare environment. Unlike in the past, institutions now require strong collaboration among physician and administrative leaders. As providers and managers are trained and work differently, new methods are needed to provide the infrastructure and resources necessary to create, nurture, and sustain alignment between them. We describe four initiatives by administrators and physicians at Hospital for Special Surgery to work together in mutually beneficial relationships that help us achieve the highest level of patient care, satisfaction and safety. These initiatives include improving management efficiency through an orthopaedic service line structure, helping individual physicians grow their practices through the demand-office-operating room initiative of the Physicians Service Department, controlling costs through the supply effectiveness policy, and promoting teamwork in innovation through the technology transfer program.

Healthcare Quality Measurement in Orthopaedic Surgery: Current State of the Art

Andrew Auerbach MD, MPH Improving quality of care in arthroplasty is of increasing importance to payors, hospitals, surgeons, and patients. Efforts to compel improvement have traditionally focused measurement and reporting of data describing structural factors, care processes (or ‘quality measures’), and clinical outcomes. Reporting structural measures (eg, surgical case volume) has been used with varying degrees of success. Care process measures, exemplified by initiatives such as the Surgical Care Improvement Project measures, are chosen based on the strength of randomized trial evidence linking the process to improved outcomes. However, evidence linking improved performance on Surgical Care Improvement Project measures with improved outcomes is limited. Outcome measures in surgery are of increasing importance as an approach to compel care improvement with prominent examples represented by the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project. Although outcomes-focused approaches are often costly, when linked to active benchmarking and collaborative activities, they may improve care broadly. Moreover, implementation of computerized data systems collecting information formerly collected on paper only will facilitate benchmarking. In the end, care will only be improved if these data are used to define methods for innovating care systems that deliver better outcomes at lower or equivalent costs.

Quality Measurement in Orthopaedics: The Purchasers’ View

David Lansky PhD, Arnold Milstein MD, MPH While all of medicine is under pressure to increase transparency and accountability, joint replacement subspecialists will face special scrutiny. Disclosures of questionable consulting fees, a demographic shift to younger patients, and uncertainty about the marginal benefits of product innovation in a time of great cost pressure invite a serious and progressive response from the profession. Current efforts to standardize measures by the National Quality Forum and PQRI will not address the concerns of purchasers, payors, or policy makers. Instead, they will ask the profession to document its commitment to appropriateness, stewardship of resources, coordination of care, and patient-centeredness. One mechanism for addressing these expectations is voluntary development of a uniform national registry for joint replacements that includes capture of preoperative appropriateness indicators, device monitoring information, revision rates, and structured postoperative patient followup. A national registry should support performance feedback and quality improvement activity, but it must also be designed to satisfy payor, purchaser, policymaker, and patient needs for information. Professional societies in orthopaedics should lead a collaborative process to develop metrics, infrastructure, and reporting formats that support continuous improvement and public accountability.

Executive Summary: Value-based Purchasing and Technology Assessment in Orthopaedics

Anil S. Ranawat MD, Ryan Nunley MD, Kevin Bozic MD As US healthcare expenditures continue to rise, reform has shifted from spending controls to value-based purchasing. This paradigm shift is a drastic change on how health care is delivered and reimbursed. For the shift to work, policymakers and physicians must restructure the present system by using initiatives such as process reengineering, insurance and payment reforms, physician reeducation, data and quality measurements, and technology assessments. Value, as defined in economic terms, will be a critical concept in modern healthcare reform. We summarize the conclusions of this ABJS Carl T. Brighton Workshop on healthcare reform.

Professionalism in 21st Century Professional Practice: Autonomy and Accountability in Orthopaedic Surgery

Eugene S. Schneller PhD, Natalia A. Wilson MD, MPH Orthopaedic surgical practice is becoming increasingly complex. The rapid change in pace associated with new information and technologies, the physician-supplier relationship, the growing costs and growing gap between costs and reimbursements for orthopaedic surgical procedures, and the influences of advertising on the patient, challenge all involved in the delivery of orthopaedic care. This paper assesses the concepts of professionalism, autonomy, and accountability in the 21st century practice of orthopaedic surgery. These concepts are considered within the context of the complex value chain surrounding orthopaedic surgery and the changing forces influencing clinical decision making by the surgeon. A leading impetus for challenge to the autonomy of the orthopaedic surgeon has been cost. Mistrust and lack of understanding have characterized the physician-hospital relationship. Resource dependency has characterized the physician-supplier relationship. Accountability for the surgeon has increased. We suggest implant surgery involves shared decision making and “coproduction” between the orthopaedic surgeon and other stakeholders. The challenge for the profession is to redefine professionalism, accountability, and autonomy in the face of these changes and challenges.

Role of Technology Assessment in Orthopaedics

Charles Turkelson PhD, Joshua J. Jacobs MD A technology assessment is a literature-based research project that seeks to determine whether a medical device, drug, procedure, or biologic is effective or to summarize literature on a given technology. A well-conducted assessment is a form of secondary research that employs the same steps used in primary research studies (ie, well-designed clinical trials). The primary difference is that in technology assessment the investigator does not collect the raw data. Rather, (s)he must use data collected by someone else. Nevertheless, a well-designed assessment, like a well-designed study, employs the scientific method, which is a method designed to combat bias. When there is little available information, such as with new technologies, unbiased examinations can typically show that enthusiasm for that technology is not backed by much data. When there is more information, assessments can not only determine whether a technology is effective, but also how effective it is. Technology assessments can provide busy orthopaedic surgeons (who do not have the time to keep up with and critically evaluate current literature) with succinct information that enables them to rapidly determine what is and what is not known about any given medical technology.

The Impact of Physician-owned Specialty Orthopaedic Hospitals on Surgical Volume and Case Complexity in Competing Hospitals

Xin Lu MS, Tyson P. Hagen MD, Mary S. Vaughan-Sarrazin PhD, Peter Cram MD, MBA Published studies of physician-owned specialty hospitals have typically examined the impact of these hospitals on disparities, quality, and utilization at a national level. Our objective was to examine the impact of newly opened physician-owned specialty orthopaedic hospitals on individual competing general hospitals. We used Medicare Part A administrative data to identify all physician-owned specialty orthopaedic hospitals performing total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) between 1991 and 2005. We identified newly opened specialty hospitals in three representative markets (Durham, NC, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City) and assessed their impact on surgical volume and patient case complexity for the five competing general hospitals located closest to each specialty hospital. The average general hospital maintained THA and TKA volume following the opening of the specialty hospitals. The average general hospital also did not experience an increase in patient case complexity. Thus, based on these three markets, we found no clear evidence that entry of physician-owned specialty orthopaedic hospitals resulted in declines in THA or TKA volume or increases in patient case complexity for the average competing general hospital.

Prometheus Payment Model: Application to Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery

Amita Rastogi MD, MHA, Beth A. Mohr MS, Jeffery O. Williams BS, Mah-Jabeen Soobader MPH, PhD, Francois Brantes MS, MBA The Prometheus Payment Model offers a potential solution to the failings of the current fee-for-service system and various forms of capitation. At the core of the Prometheus model are evidence-informed case rates (ECRs), which include a bundle of typical services that are informed by evidence and/or expert opinion as well as empirical data analysis, payment based on the severity of patients, and allowances for potentially avoidable complications (PACs) and other provider-specific variations in payer costs. We outline the methods and findings of the hip and knee arthroplasty ECRs with an emphasis on PACs. Of the 2076 commercially insured patients undergoing hip arthroplasty in our study, PAC costs totaled $7.8 million (14% of total costs; n = 699 index PAC stays). Similarly, PAC costs were $12.7 million (14% of total costs; n = 897 index PAC stays) for 3403 patients undergoing knee arthroplasty. By holding the providers clinically and financially responsible for PACs, and by segmenting and quantifying the type of PACs generated during and after the procedure, the Prometheus model creates an opportunity for providers to focus on the reduction of PACs, including readmissions, making the data actionable and turn the waste related to PAC costs into potential savings.

Future Young Patient Demand for Primary and Revision Joint Replacement: National Projections from 2010 to 2030

Steven M. Kurtz PhD, Edmund Lau MS, Kevin Ong PhD, Ke Zhao MA, MS, Michael Kelly MD, Kevin J. Bozic MD, MBA Previous projections of total joint replacement (TJR) volume have not quantified demand for TJR surgery in young patients (< 65 years old). We developed projections for demand of TJR for the young patient population in the United States. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify primary and revision TJRs between 1993 and 2006, as a function of age, gender, race, and census region. Surgery prevalence was modeled using Poisson regression, allowing for different rates for each population subgroup over time. If the historical growth trajectory of joint replacement surgeries continues, demand for primary THA and TKA among patients less than 65 years old was projected to exceed 50% of THA and TKA patients of all ages by 2011 and 2016, respectively. Patients less than 65 years old were projected to exceed 50% of the revision TKA patient population by 2011. This study underscores the major contribution that young patients may play in the future demand for primary and revision TJR surgery.,[object Object]

Long-term Clinical and MRI Results of Open Repair of the Supraspinatus Tendon

Christophe Nich MD, Céline Mütschler MD, Eric Vandenbussche MD, PhD, Bernard Augereau MD Open repair of full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff generally improves function, although anatomic failures are not uncommon. We asked whether the presence or absence of an anatomic repair influenced outcomes. We retrospectively analyzed 47 patients (49 shoulders) treated by open proximalized reinsertion of the supraspinatus tendon for chronic retracted detachment. The mean age of the patients at the time of surgery was 59 years. At a minimum 60-month followup (mean, 87 months; range, 60–133 months), we observed an improvement in the age- and gender-adjusted Constant-Murley score from 67% preoperatively to 95% postoperatively and in the pain score. With the last followup MRI, the supraspinatus tendon had reruptured in five patients (12%); the presence of a rerupture did not negatively influence the functional result. Once healing of the repaired tendons was achieved, supraspinatus muscle atrophy never worsened. However, on MRI, fatty infiltration of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis muscles increased postoperatively despite tendon healing. Radiographic centering of the humeral head was preserved and glenohumeral arthritis remained stable. Functional results were better when the standardized supraspinatus muscle area was greater than 0.5 at the final evaluation.,[object Object]

Does Concomitant Low Back Pain Affect Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty Outcomes?

Wendy M. Novicoff PhD, David Rion BS, William M. Mihalko MD, PhD, Khaled J. Saleh MD, MSc

The number of revision total knee arthroplasties (rev-TKA) is increasing every year. These cases are technically difficult and add considerable burden on the healthcare system. Many patients have concomitant low back pain that may interfere with functional outcome. We asked whether having low back pain at baseline would influence amount and rate of improvement on standardized outcomes measures after rev-TKA. We retrospectively reviewed 308 patients from prospectively collected data in a multicenter study. A minimum 24-month followup was available for 221 patients (71.8%). Patients with low back pain at baseline had worse scores on most instruments than their counterparts at baseline, 12 months postsurgery, and 24 months postsurgery. The data suggest concomitant back pain in patients undergoing rev-TKA affects their outcomes as measured by standardized instruments. Orthopaedic surgeons should counsel their patients with back pain regarding the possibility of slower or less complete recovery.,[object Object]

Similar Survival of Eccentric Rotational Acetabular Osteotomy in Patients Younger and Older Than 50 Years

Jin Yamaguchi MD, PhD, Yukiharu Hasegawa MD, PhD, Toshiya Kanoh MD, PhD, Taisuke Seki MD, Kiyoharu Kawabe MD, PhD Pelvic osteotomy for middle-aged patients with hip dysplasia remains controversial. We asked whether pelvic osteotomy would yield lower Harris hip scores and survivorship in older patients than in younger patients. We compared patients younger than 50 years (n = 123) with patients 50 years or older (n = 41). At last followup, the mean Harris hip scores improved similarly in both groups: from 60 to 89 points in the older group and from 63 to 92 points in the younger group. However, in patients with bilateral surgery, the older group tended to have lower mean scores than the younger group (86 versus 93 points, respectively). Fifteen-year survivorship with a Harris hip score less than 80 points as the end point was similar in the two groups (71% in older patients and 81% in younger patients). In patients with bilateral surgery, the 15-year survivorship was lower in the older group (66% in older patients and 83% in younger patients). The data suggest eccentric rotational osteotomy for older patients can provide lasting function in most patients. However, prudent selection of patients is required for older patients with bilateral osteoarthritis.,[object Object]

Crack Revision Improves Fixation of Uncemented HA-coated Implants Compared with Reaming: An Experiment in Dogs

Jorgen Baas MD, PhD, Brian Elmengaard MD, PhD, Thomas Jakobsen MD, Joan Bechtold PhD, Kjeld Soballe MD, DMSc The crack procedure is a surgical technique for preparing the implant cavity at revision of loose joint replacement components. It disrupts the neocortical bone shell that typically forms around the cavity. Using an animal model, we compared the crack technique with reaming. Twenty micromotion implants were inserted bilaterally into the knees of 10 dogs according to our revision protocol, allowing formation of a standardized revision cavity (loose implant, fibrous tissue, and sclerotic bone rim). Eight weeks later we performed revision surgery. On the control side, in which the neocortex was removed, the cavity was reamed. On the intervention side, in which the neocortex was perforated but left in situ, the cavity was cracked. For revision we used non-motioning hydroxyapatite (HA)-coated, plasma-sprayed titanium implants. Observation after revision was 4 weeks. The implants revised by the crack technique had better mechanical fixation in all mechanical parameters by the push-out test. The crack revisions also provided more new bone formation around the implants compared with the reamed revisions but had no effect on new bone ongrowth. The data suggest using this bone-sparing technique may be superior to reaming in terms of achieving improved early implant fixation of uncemented HA-coated revision implants.

Clinical Comparison of Polyethylene Wear with Zirconia or Cobalt-Chromium Femoral Heads

Maiken Stilling MD, Kjeld Anton Nielsen MD, Kjeld Søballe MD, DMSc, Ole Rahbek MD, PhD Ceramic femoral heads were developed to reduce the wear of conventional ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) bearing surfaces in THA. We compared the wear rates of PE acetabular components bearing against femoral heads of zirconia (Zr) or cobalt-chromium (CoCr) in young patients. One surgeon inserted CoCr femoral heads in all 33 patients (33 hips) having THA for primary osteoarthritis from 1996 to 1997 and then Zr femoral heads in all 34 patients (36 hips) from 1998 to 1999. The mean age of the entire cohort was 52.5 years (range, 29–64 years). The shells were solid and hydroxyapatite (HA) -coated, liners were argon-sterilized UHMWPE, and head size was 28 mm. The minimum clinical followup was 56 months (mean, 65 months; range, 56–77 months); minimum 5-year radiographs were available for 62 of the 68 patients. Wear analysis of digitized anteroposterior (AP) radiographs was performed with a computerized method. Demographic data were comparable in the two groups. Mean femoral head penetration rate was similar in the two types of heads (CoCr: 0.25 mm/year; range, 0.21–0.33 mm/year; Zr: 0.23 mm/year; range, 0.20–0.29 mm/year), as was mean linear wear (CoCr: 1.22 mm; range, 0.28–3.78 mm; Zr: 1.11 mm; range, 0.15–2.05 mm). There were no revisions. These data support skepticism regarding the clinical wear advantage of Zr compared with CoCr femoral heads. The explanation for the clinical similarity of wear, despite the theoretical advantages of ceramic heads, needs further investigation.,[object Object]

Seating of Ceramic Liners in the Uncemented Trident® Acetabular Shell: Is There Really a Problem?

D. W. J. Howcroft MBBS, MRCS, A. Qureshi MBBS, MRCS, FRCS (Tr & Orth), N. M. Graham MBBS, MRCS, FRCS (TR & Orth) [object Object],[object Object]

Actual Knee Motion during Continuous Passive Motion Protocols is Less Than Expected

Jesse E. Bible BS, Andrew K. Simpson MD, MHS, Debdut Biswas BA, Richard R. Pelker MD, PhD, Jonathan N. Grauer MD Investigations of the usefulness of continuous passive motion (CPM) after TKA have yielded mixed results, with evidence suggesting its efficacy is contingent on the presence of larger motion arcs. Surprisingly, the range of motion (ROM) the knee actually experiences while in a CPM machine has not been elucidated. In this study, the ability of a CPM apparatus to bring about a desired knee ROM was assessed with an electrogoniometer. The knee experienced only 68% to 76% of the programmed CPM arc, with the higher percentages generated by elevating the head of the patient’s bed. This disparity between true knee motion and CPM should be accounted for when designing CPM protocols for patients or investigations evaluating efficacy of CPM.

Reconstruction of Complete Knee Extensor Mechanism Loss with Gastrocnemius Flaps

Thilak S. Jepegnanam MS Ortho, P. R. J. V. C. Boopalan MS Ortho, Manasseh Nithyananth MS Ortho, V. T. K. Titus MS Ortho We assessed the outcome after reconstruction of traumatic, complete, infected, extensor mechanism loss attributable to high-velocity open knee injuries in eight consecutive patients (all males) who presented to us between February 2005 and September 2007 at an average followup of 24 months. All were treated with gastrocnemius flaps. The loss in extensor mechanism was the patellar tendon in five patients, patella and patellar tendon in two patients, and combined patella, quadriceps, and patellar tendon in one patient. The size of the defect ranged from 8 × 5 cm to 15 × 15 cm. The patients were evaluated for functional outcome of the knee, resolution of infection, range of flexion of the knee, and return to work. Four patients had an excellent outcome whereas the others had a good outcome using the Hospital for Special Surgery knee rating scale. All flaps healed primarily with resolution of infection. The average knee flexion was 110°. All patients except two returned to their original occupation. Three patients had an extensor lag of 5°. The gastrocnemius flap is a good option for open knee injuries with extensor mechanism loss, giving consistent results across a wide spectrum of presentation.,[object Object]

Comparison of Ponseti versus Surgical Treatment for Idiopathic Clubfoot: A Short-term Preliminary Report

Ernst B. Zwick MD, Tanja Kraus MD, Claudia Maizen MD, Gerhardt Steinwender MD, Wolfgang E. Linhart MD The Ponseti method of treatment for congenital clubfeet has gained widespread clinical acceptance. We have used manipulation, serial casting, and surgery to treat congenital clubfeet for almost 3 decades. Considering the Ponseti method of treatment to replace our traditional treatment method, we conducted a randomized, controlled trial evaluating the short-term outcome of the two treatment protocols. We evaluated foot function and applied a standardized measure of health status for children with orthopaedic problems. Nineteen patients (28 feet) were included in the trial. Nine infants (12 feet) were assigned to the Ponseti treatment group, and 10 (16 feet) were assigned to a group with initial casting and posteromedial release at the age of 6 to 8 months. The minimum followup was 3.3 years (mean, 3.5 years; range 3.3–3.8 years). Outcome measures included the Functional Rating System of Laaveg and Ponseti, the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI), and standardized radiographic measurements. At last followup the mean Functional Rating score was higher in the Ponseti group. Passive dorsiflexion and passive inversion-eversion were better in the Ponseti group. PODCI scales were comparable and radiographic outcome measures were similar in both groups. This trial has documented a favorable short-term outcome for the Ponseti method when compared with a traditional treatment protocol.,[object Object]

Internal Hemipelvectomy for Pelvic Sarcomas Using a T-incision Surgical Approach

Richard D. Lackman MD, Eileen A. Crawford MD, Harish S. Hosalkar MD, MBMS (Orth), FCPS (Orth), DNB(Orth), Joseph J. King MD, Christian M. Ogilvie MD Internal hemipelvectomy is performed for pelvic sarcomas when the tumor can be safely resected without sacrificing the entire extremity. Wide exposure and awareness of major neurovascular structures are crucial to the success of this surgery. Various modifications on the standard utilitarian approach have been used to best achieve these goals. We reviewed our experience using the T-incision technique for 30 pelvic sarcoma resections. The minimum followup was 3.6 months (mean, 55 months; range, 3.6–185.4 months). Postoperative complications included minor complications (requiring no surgery or a simple incision and drainage with primary closure) in 27% of patients and major complications (involving a deep infection or more extensive surgical treatment) in 17%. Ninety-two percent of wound complications healed uneventfully with antibiotics and incision and drainage. The 2-, 5-, and 10-year patient survival rates were 67%, 59%, and 53%. The 2-, 5-, and 10-year disease-free survival rates were 68%, 42%, and 42%. The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society and Toronto Extremity Salvage Scores were 69% and 86%, respectively. We believe the T-incision technique for internal hemipelvectomy is an effective surgical approach for pelvic sarcomas when limb salvage is possible.,[object Object]

Long-term Results for Limb Salvage with Osteoarticular Allograft Reconstruction

Christian M. Ogilvie MD, Eileen A. Crawford MD, Harish S. Hosalkar MD, MBMS (Orth), FCPS (Orth), DNB (Orth), Joseph J. King MD, Richard D. Lackman MD Osteoarticular allograft reconstruction after extremity tumor resection has been shown to have a high rate of complications. Although good functional results have been seen, long-term outcomes have not been well studied. We performed a retrospective review of 20 patients who underwent primary osteoarticular allograft reconstruction after extremity sarcoma resection. All postoperative complications related to the allograft reconstruction were recorded. Musculoskeletal Tumor Society 1993 and Toronto Extremity Salvage Score scores were used for functional evaluation at last followup. Minimum followup was 10 years (mean, 16 years; range, 10–21 years). Seventy percent of patients experienced an event during the followup period. Recorded events were fracture (nine patients), progressive arthritis (five), nonunion (four), and infection (two). Sixty percent of allografts were removed at a mean of 5.2 years. Progressive arthritis led to total joint arthroplasty in five patients (25%). Mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society and Toronto Extremity Salvage Score functional scores were 25 of 30 and 95% for patients who retained their original allograft. Osteoarticular allograft reconstruction for extremity sarcomas had a high rate of adverse events (70%) and allograft removal (60%) at long-term followup. Functional outcomes of patients with intact grafts were comparable to outcomes with segmental replacement prostheses reported in the literature.,[object Object]

Incidence of the Remnant Femoral Attachment of the Ruptured ACL

Jocelyn Wittstein MD, Maria Kaseta MD, Robert Sullivan MD, William E. Garrett MD, PhD The presence of remnant tibial and femoral attachments of the ruptured ACL has been described in the literature but the femoral remnant has not been well described as a landmark for tunnel placement during reconstruction. We reviewed operative reports, pictures, and videotapes from 111 ACL reconstructions to determine the incidence of a remnant femoral stump. Patients were divided into two groups: Group A included patients treated from January 2006 through September 2006 (n = 63) when the presence of the femoral footprint was documented retrospectively and Group B included patients treated from September 2006 through June 2007 (n = 48) when the presence or absence of the femoral footprint was documented prospectively. In Group A, there were 48 of 58 (83%) patients with a visible stump and 10 (17%) patients in whom we could not verify the existence of the stump. In Group B, 43 of 44 (98%) patients had a visible stump on the lateral femoral wall that was adequate as a guide for femoral tunnel placement. The native femoral footprint is seen in most cases of ACL reconstruction and can be used for guidance during femoral tunnel preparation.

Digital Templating and Preoperative Deformity Analysis with Standard Imaging Software

Amir A. Jamali MD Analysis of deformity and subsequent correction are the basis for many orthopaedic surgical procedures. In advanced cases of joint degeneration, arthroplasty may be the only available treatment option. Until recently, these analyses and preoperative surgical plans have been performed using standard radiographs, tracing paper, and/or plastic overlays. Numerous customized, commercially available, computer-based preoperative planning software programs have been introduced. The purposes of this study were to describe (1) the techniques used in deformity analysis and preoperative surgical planning using standard radiographs for joint arthroplasty and corrective osteotomies of the extremities, (2) the use of computed tomography (CT) scans to analyze rotational deformities in the presence and absence of joint prostheses and in planning corrective rotational osteotomies or revision joint replacement, and (3) the techniques for analyzing angular deformities of the spine. All these applications were performed with a widely available image analysis software.

Use of Alternative Medicines by Patients with OA that Adversely Interact with Commonly Prescribed Medications

Jacquelyn Marsh BHSc, MSc, Christine Hager BScPharm, Tom Havey BHSc, Sheila Sprague MSc, Mohit Bhandari MD, MSc, FRCSC, Dianne Bryant MSc, PhD Owing to the increasing prevalence, patient interest, and high risk of adverse effects associated with use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), investigation of this issue in an orthopaedic population is warranted. The objectives of this study were to (1) identify the prevalence of CAM use, (2) assess the level of communication between patients and physicians regarding CAMs, (3) uncover reasons for nondisclosure, and (4) identify potentially harmful interactions between CAMs and conventional therapy. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study among patients being treated in orthopaedic surgical clinics for osteoarthritis (OA). Of the 373 participants, 42.9% reported taking one or more CAMs, and 40.6% admitted their surgeons were unaware of their alternative therapy use. Reasons for nondisclosure included, the patient thought: (1) it was not important (29.7%); (2) the surgeon would not be interested (13.5%); and (3) their surgeon would not know about CAMs (8.2%). Twenty-two of 281 patients (7.8%) were taking alternative medicines that could interact with their blood pressure medication, 28.6% were taking anticoagulant/antiplatelet medication and also taking a CAM that could interact, and 5.9% were taking conventional pain medications along with a CAM that potentially could interact. Orthopaedic surgeons should make it part of their consultation to inquire about CAM use.,[object Object]

A Systematic Review of Conflicting Meta-Analyses in Orthopaedic Surgery

Patrick Vavken MD, MSc, Ronald Dorotka MD Meta-analyses are important evaluations in orthopaedic surgery, not only to create clinical guidelines, but also because their findings are included in public health and health policy decision making. However, with increasing numbers of meta-analyses, discordant and frankly conflicting conclusions have been reported. We searched for conflicting meta-analyses, ie, those arriving at different conclusions despite following the same research question, identified potential reasons for these differences, and assessed the statistical significance and clinical importance of differences. We identified conflicting meta-analyses on graft choice in ACL reconstruction and the use of hyaluronic acid. We found significant differences in individual results only for meta-analyses on hyaluronic acid, but the 95% confidence intervals of the magnitude of differences included values as much as 40% for ACL meta-analyses. However, our findings suggest most conflicts derive from differences in the interpretation of pooled results rather than in the actual results. Thus conclusions and interpretations from meta-analyses should be scrutinized as critically as those from any other type of study and subjected to reassessment if deemed necessary.

Case Report: Severe Melorheostosis Involving the Ipsilateral Extremities

Hai-Tao Long MD, Kang-Hua Li MD, Yong Zhu MD Melorheostosis is a rare, noninheritable bone dysplasia characterized by its classic radiographic feature of flowing hyperostosis resembling dripping candle wax, generally on one side of the long bone. The condition originally was described by Leri and Joanny in 1922. Its etiology remains speculative, and treatment in most instances has been symptomatic. Melorheostosis usually affects one limb, more often the lower extremity, and rarely the axial skeleton. We report a rare case of severe melorheostosis in the ipsilateral upper and lower extremities with normal contralateral extremities. The plain radiographs revealed almost all the bones in the affected extremities, from clavicle and scapula to distal phalanges of the fingers and from femur to distal phalanges of the toes, presented extensive, dense hyperostosis and heterotopic ossification in the periarticular soft tissue. Physical examination showed considerable swelling and deformities of the left limbs, stiffness and distortion of the joints, and anesthesia in the left ulnar regions of the forearm and hand. The examination of the right side was normal. Computed tomography scans showed multiple areas of classic candle wax-like hyperostosis and narrowing or disappearance of the medullary cavity. Histologic analysis confirmed the clinical and imaging diagnosis and revealed extremely dense sclerotic bone of cortical pattern.

Case Reports: Unusual Cause of Shoulder Pain in a Collegiate Baseball Player

Cassandra A. Ligh BA, Brian L. Schulman MA, ATC, CSCS, Marc R. Safran MD The objective of reporting this case was to introduce a unique cause of shoulder pain in a high-level Division I NCAA collegiate baseball player. Various neurovascular causes of shoulder pain have been described in the overhead athlete, including quadrilateral space syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, effort thrombosis, and suprascapular nerve entrapment. All of these syndromes are uncommon and frequently are missed as a result of their rarity and the need for specialized tests to confirm the diagnosis. This pitcher presented with nonspecific posterior shoulder pain that was so severe he could not throw more than 50 feet. Eventually, intermittent axillary artery compression with the arm in abduction resulting from hypertrophy of the pectoralis minor and scalene muscles was documented by performing arteriography with the arm in 120° abduction. MRI-MR angiographic evaluation revealed no anatomic abnormalities. The patient was treated successfully with a nonoperative rehabilitation program and after 6 months was able to successfully compete at the same level without pain.

A 38-year-old Man with Left Knee Pain

Benjamin K. Potter MD, Sheila C. Adams MD, Mark J. Kransdorf MD, H. Thomas Temple MD
Back to top