Deficiencies in the delivery of musculoskeletal trauma care in low- and middle-income countries can be attributed to a variety of causes, all of which can be linked to failure of the health system to deliver the necessary services to prevent death and disability. As such, a “systems” approach will be required to improve the delivery of services. The goal of this review is to familiarize the orthopaedic surgeon with selected topics in public health, including health systems, burden of disease, disability adjusted life year (DALY), cost-effective analysis, and related concepts (eg, met versus unmet need, access, utilization, effective coverage).
The trauma pandemic disproportionately kills and maims citizens of low-income countries although the immediate cause of the trauma is often an industrial export of a high-income country, such as a motor vehicle. Addressing the trauma pandemic in low-income countries requires access to relevant research information regarding prevention and treatment of injuries. Such information is also generally produced in high-income countries. We reviewed two years’ worth of articles from leading orthopaedic and general medical journals to determine whether the scientific literature appropriately reflects the global burden of musculoskeletal disease, particularly that due to trauma. General medical journals underrepresented musculoskeletal disease, but within musculoskeletal disease an appropriate majority of papers were regarding trauma, in particular the epidemiology and prevention of injury. Orthopaedic journals, while focusing on musculoskeletal conditions, substantially underrepresented the global burden of disease due to trauma and hardly consider injury epidemiology and prevention. If orthopaedic surgeons want to maximize their global impact, they should focus on writing about trauma questions relevant to their colleagues in low-income countries and ensuring these same colleagues have access to the literature.
Approximately 2000 lives are lost in Uganda annually through road traffic accidents. In Kampala, they account for 39% of all injuries, primarily in males aged 16–44 years. They are a result of rapid motorization and urbanization in a country with a poor economy. Uganda’s population is an estimated 28 million with a growth rate of 3.4% per year. Motorcycles and omnibuses, the main taxi vehicles, are the primary contributors to the accidents. Poor roads and drivers compound the situation. Twenty-three orthopaedic surgeons (one for every 1,300,000 people) provide specialist services that are available only at three regional hospitals and the National Referral Hospital in Kampala. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries are managed nonoperatively by 200 orthopaedic officers distributed at the district, regional and national referral hospitals. Because of the poor economy, 9% of the national budget is allocated to the health sector. Patients with musculoskeletal injuries in Uganda frequently fail to receive immediate care due to inadequate resources and most are treated by traditional bonesetters. Neglected injuries typically result in poor outcomes. Possible solutions include a public health approach for prevention of road traffic injuries, training of adequate human resources, and infrastructure development.
Over the last 50 years, the commitment of orthopaedic surgeons to basic and clinical research and evaluation of treatment outcomes has made possible remarkable improvements in the care of people with injuries and diseases of the limbs and spine. A group of Oregon orthopaedic surgeons has had an important role in these advances, especially in the orthopaedic specialties of sports medicine and hip reconstruction. Since Don Slocum (Iowa Orthopaedic Resident, 1934-1937), started practice in Eugene, Oregon, in 1939, three orthopaedic surgeons, Denny Collis, Craig Mohler and Paul Watson, who received their orthopaedic residency education at the University of Iowa, and three orthopaedic surgeons, Stan James, Tom Wuest and Dan Fitzpatrick, who received their undergraduate, medical school and orthopaedic residency education at the University of Iowa, have joined the group Dr. Slocum founded. These individuals, and their partners, established and have maintained a successful growing practice that serves the people of the Willamette valley, but in addition, they have made important contributions to the advancement of orthopaedics.
The ongoing process of population aging is associated with an increase in prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions with a concomitant increase in the demand of orthopaedic services. Shortages of orthopaedic services have been documented in Canada and elsewhere. This population-based study describes the number of patients seen by orthopaedic surgeons in office and hospital settings to set the scene for the development of strategies that could maximize the availability of orthopaedic resources.
Administrative data from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and Canadian Institute for Health Information hospital separation databases for the 2005/06 fiscal year were used to identify individuals accessing orthopaedic services in Ontario, Canada. The number of patients with encounters with orthopaedic surgeons, the number of encounters and the number of surgeries carried out by orthopaedic surgeons were estimated according to condition groups, service location, patient's age and sex.
In 2005/06, over 520,000 Ontarians (41 per 1,000 population) had over 1.3 million encounters with orthopaedic surgeons. Of those 86% were ambulatory encounters and 14% were in hospital encounters. The majority of ambulatory encounters were for an injury or related condition (44%) followed by arthritis and related conditions (37%). Osteoarthritis accounted for 16% of all ambulatory encounters. Orthopaedic surgeons carried out over 140,000 surgeries in 2005/06: joint replacement accounted for 25% of all orthopaedic surgeries, whereas closed repair accounted for 16% and reductions accounted for 21%. Half of the orthopaedic surgeries were for arthritis and related conditions.
The large volume of ambulatory care points to the significant contribution of orthopaedic surgeons to the medical management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions including arthritis and injuries. The findings highlight that surgery is only one component of the work of orthopaedic surgeons in the management of these conditions. Policy makers and orthopaedic surgeons need to be creative in developing strategies to accommodate the growing workload of orthopaedic surgeons without sacrificing quality of care of patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
Sickness certification is a frequent and sometimes problematic task for orthopaedic surgeons.
Our aim was to explore how orthopaedic surgeons view their sick-listing commission and sick-listing practice.
Semi-structured interviews with seventeen orthopaedic surgeons from five orthopaedic clinics in four Swedish counties. The focus was on the experiences of these physicians in relation to handling of sickness certification. Phenomenographic analysis was performed to reveal differences in existing views.
The orthopaedic surgeons' views on sick-listing seemed mainly to be a consequence of how they perceived their role in the healthcare system. Three categories were found: The "isolated specialists", whose work and responsibilities were confined to the orthopaedic clinic, and did not really include sickness certification; the "orthopaedic advisers", who saw themselves mainly as advice-givers in the general health care system and perceived sickness certification as part of their job; the "system-integrated physicians", who perceived the orthopaedic clinic as one part of the healthcare system and whose ultimate goal was to get the patient well functioning in her life again with regained work ability, seeing sick-listing as one of the instruments to achieve this. Some informants described difficulties in handling conflicting opinions with patients in relation to the need for sick-leave.
Orthopaedic surgeons certify a large proportion of total sickness benefits. Some orthopaedic surgeons may certify sickness benefits sub-optimally for patients and society due to a narrow view of their role in the health care system or due to poor skills in handling discordant opinions with the patient. This problem can be addressed at the level of the individual physician and at the system level.
Musculoskeletal injuries are a major public health problem globally, contributing a large burden of disability and suffering. This burden could be considerably lowered by implementation of affordable and sustainable strategies to strengthen orthopaedic trauma care, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This article summarizes the global burden of musculoskeletal injuries and provides several examples of successful programs that have improved care of injuries in health facilities in low- and middle-income countries. Finally, it discusses WHO efforts to build on the country experiences and to make progress in lowering the burden of musculoskeletal injuries globally.
Before the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, there were documented insurance-based disparities in access to orthopaedic surgeons and care of orthopaedic conditions. While Massachusetts passed healthcare reform in 2007 with many similar provisions, it is unknown whether the disparities were present during the period of the law’s enactment.
We asked whether differences in rates of surgery between patients with novel government-subsidized healthcare plans and other forms of insurance, and between uninsured and insured patients, were similar after institution of the Massachusetts reform laws.
We identified 7577 patients diagnosed with upper extremity injuries between January 1, 2007 and October 1, 2010. From an institutional administrative database, we extracted demographics, insurance status, and plan of care. Insurance categories included government-subsidized healthcare plan (Commonwealth Care), private insurance, workers compensation, military-related (TriCare), Medicare, Medicaid (MassHealth), non-Commonwealth Care, and other insured and uninsured. After adjusting for age, gender, and diagnosis, we compared the proportions of patients who underwent elective surgery.
Of 7577 patients, 1685 (22%) underwent elective upper extremity surgery. The adjusted rates of surgery were similar across most insurance categories, with higher rates in the workers compensation and TriCare categories compared with Commonwealth Care. Uninsured patients were as likely to undergo surgery as insured patients.
In a population with near-universal health insurance, a government-run health insurance exchange, and novel, government-subsidized, managed care plans, we found few insurance-based differences in rates of elective upper extremity orthopaedic surgery in a cohort of patients after healthcare reform.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, economic and decision analysis. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Each year nearly 5 million people worldwide die from injuries, approximately the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Ninety percent of these injuries occur in developing countries and that number is growing. Road traffic accidents account for 1.2 million of these 5 million deaths. For each death from trauma, three to eight more are permanently disabled. Orthopaedic surgeons should consider the victims of this epidemic by using their ability and capacity to treat these injuries. SIGN (Surgical Implant Generation Network, Richland, WA, USA) builds local surgical capability in developing countries by providing training and equipment to surgeons for use in treating the poor. It assists in treating long-bone fractures by using an intramedullary nail interlocking screw system. C-arm imaging, unavailable in many of these hospitals, is not necessary to accomplish interlocking. Surgery is performed primarily by local surgeons who record their cases on the SIGN surgical database. Discussion of these reports provides a means of communication and education among surgeons. This database demonstrates the capability of these surgeons. It also demonstrates that the SIGN intramedullary nail is safe for use in the developing world as it has been successful in treating 36,000 trauma patients.
In Canada, new models of orthopaedic care involving advanced practice physiotherapists (APP) are being implemented. In these new models, aimed at improving the efficiency of care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, APPs diagnose, triage and conservatively treat patients. Formal validation of the efficiency and appropriateness of these emerging models is scarce. The purpose of this study is to assess the diagnostic agreement of an APP compared to orthopaedic surgeons as well as to assess treatment concordance, healthcare resource use, and patient satisfaction in this new model.
120 patients presenting for an initial consult for hip or knee complaints in an outpatient orthopaedic hospital clinic in Montreal, Canada, were independently assessed by an APP and by one of three participating orthopaedic surgeons. Each health care provider independently diagnosed the patients and provided triage recommendations (conservative or surgical management). Proportion of raw agreement and Cohen’s kappa were used to assess inter-rater agreement for diagnosis, triage, treatment recommendations and imaging tests ordered. Chi-Square tests were done in order to compare the type of conservative treatment recommendations made by the APP and the surgeons and Student t-tests to compare patient satisfaction between the two types of care.
The majority of patients assessed were female (54%), mean age was 54.1 years and 91% consulted for a knee complaint. The raw agreement proportion for diagnosis was 88% and diagnostic inter-rater agreement was very high (κ=0.86; 95% CI: 0.80-0.93). The triage recommendations (conservative or surgical management) raw agreement proportion was found to be 88% and inter-rater agreement for triage recommendation was high (κ=0.77; 95% CI: 0.65-0.88). No differences were found between providers with respect to imaging tests ordered (p≥0.05). In terms of conservative treatment recommendations made, the APP gave significantly more education and prescribed more NSAIDs, joint injections, exercises and supervised physiotherapy (p<0.05). Patient satisfaction was significantly higher for APP care than for the surgeons care (p<0.05).
The diagnoses and triage recommendations for patients with hip and knee disorders made by the APP were similar to the orthopaedic surgeons. These results provide evidence supporting the APP model for orthopaedic care.
Physiotherapist; Healthcare service research; Musculoskeletal diseases and professional autonomy
Malawi has a population of about 13 million people, 85% of whom live in rural areas. The gross national income per capita is US$620, with 42% of the people living on less than US$1 per day. The government per capita expenditure on health is US$5. Malawi has 266 doctors, of whom only nine are orthopaedic surgeons. To address the severe shortage of doctors, Malawi relies heavily on paramedical officers to provide the bulk of healthcare. Specialized orthopaedic clinical officers have been trained since 1985 and are deployed primarily in rural district hospitals to manage 80% to 90% of the orthopaedic workload in Malawi. They are trained in conservative management of most common traumatic and nontraumatic musculoskeletal conditions. Since the program began, 117 orthopaedic clinical officers have been trained, of whom 82 are in clinical practice. In 2002, Malawi began a local orthopaedic postgraduate program with an intake of one to two candidates per year. However, orthopaedic clinical officers will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future. Orthopaedic clinical officer training is a cost-effective way of providing trained healthcare workers to meet the orthopaedic needs of a country with very few doctors and even fewer orthopaedic surgeons.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a major health issue that involves any physical, sexual or psychological harm inflicted by a current or former partner. Musculoskeletal injuries represent the second most prevalent clinical manifestation of IPV. Health care professionals, however, rarely screen women for IPV. Using qualitative methods, this study aimed to explore the perceived barriers to IPV screening and potential facilitators for overcoming these barriers among orthopaedic surgeons and surgical trainees.
We conducted three focus groups with orthopaedic surgeons, senior surgical trainees, and junior surgical trainees. A semi-structured focus group guide was used to structure the discussions. Transcripts and field notes from the focus groups were analyzed using the qualitative software program N’Vivo (version 10.0; QSR International, Melbourne, Australia). To further inform our focus group findings and discuss policy changes, we conducted interviews with two opinion leaders in the field of orthopaedics. Similar to the focus groups, the interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed, and then analyzed.
In the analysis, four categories of barriers were identified: surgeon perception barriers; perceived patient barriers; fracture clinic barriers and orthopaedic health care professional barriers. Some of the facilitators identified included availability of a crisis team; development of a screening form; presence of IPV posters or buttons in the fracture clinic; and the need for established policy or government support for IPV screening. The interviewees identified the need for: the introduction of evidence-based policy aiming to increase awareness about IPV among health care professionals working within the fracture clinic setting, fostering local and national champions for IPV screening, and the need to generate change on a local level.
There are a number of perceived barriers to screening women in the fracture clinic for IPV, many of which can be addressed through increased education and training, and additional resources in the fracture clinic. Orthopaedic health care professionals are supportive of implementing an IPV screening program in the orthopaedic fracture clinic.
Intimate partner violence (IPV); Musculoskeletal injuries; Barriers; Screening
This study evaluated Internet use among orthopaedic patients in a private practice general orthopaedic setting. Of 201 participants, 45% had used the Internet either personally or through a surrogate to search for information about their orthopaedic condition. Utilization of the Internet was significantly higher than that reported for a community orthopaedic practice surveyed in 1998, suggesting that utilization by orthopaedic patient populations mirrors the increasing societal use for health information.
Most users in this study employed multiple search strategies, including using search engines and sites recommended by others. The majority of users found medical information on Internet sites to be useful and accurate. The number one choice for reconciling conflicting information was to ask a physician or a nurse. Most users and non-users reported that they would recommend the Internet to others as a source for medical information. We recommend several strategies for orthopaedic surgeons to stay abreast of these changes and to utilize Internet Patient education resources to their own advantage.
The trauma pandemic disproportionately kills and maims citizens of low-income countries although the immediate cause of the trauma is often an industrial export of a high income country, such as a motor vehicle. Addressing the trauma pandemic in low-income countries requires access to relevant research information regarding prevention and treatment of injuries. Such information is also generally produced in high income countries. We explored various means of making scientific information available to low-income country surgeons using the internet. If orthopaedic surgeons want to maximize their global impact, they should focus on writing about trauma questions relevant to their colleagues in low-income countries and ensuring these same colleagues have access to the literature.
Serbia, a middle-income country, is located in southeastern Europe, with territory of 88,361 km2 and 9,400,000 inhabitants. Average month salary is US$542 and the registered unemployment rate is 22%. The country is administratively divided into 30 districts (193 municipalities). The healthcare system is territorially organized. In the state capital there are five clinical hospitals with musculoskeletal traumatology departments, as well as one in each of the four university centers. In addition, there are orthopaedic departments in 40 smaller hospitals throughout the country and in three military hospitals, along with several pediatric surgical departments involved in managing musculoskeletal trauma. There are 524 orthopaedic trauma surgeons (1:18,000 people), with a minor number of additionally trained general and pediatric surgeons who care for musculoskeletal problems. Bonesetters are neither recognized nor included in the healthcare system. Orthopaedic traumatology services are well organized, with variable accessibility depending on the distance between injury site and nearest medical facility. Preventive strategies are well developed and mainly consider agricultural, industrial, and traffic injuries. Distribution of medical institutions is satisfactory. Future activities should include continuing medical education of specialists, exclusion of inappropriate specialists, improvement of preventive strategies and medical transport facilities, as well as standardization of medical equipment, diagnostics, and treatment protocols.
The Internet should, in theory, facilitate access to peer-reviewed scientific articles for orthopaedic surgeons in low-income countries (LIC). However, there are major barriers to access, and most full-text journal articles are available only on a subscription basis, which many in LIC cannot afford. Various models exist to remove such barriers. We set out to examine the potential, and reality, of journal article access for surgeons in LIC by studying readership patterns and journal access through a number of Internet-based initiatives, including an open access journal (“PLoS Medicine”), and programs from the University of Toronto (The Ptolemy Project) and World Health Organization (WHO) (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative [HINARI]).
Do Internet-based initiatives that focus on peer-reviewed journal articles deliver clinically relevant information to those who need it? More specifically: (1) Can the WHO’s program meet the information needs of practicing surgeons in Africa? (2) Are healthcare workers across the globe aware of, and using, open access journals in a manner that reflects global burden of disease (GBD)?
We compared actual Ptolemy use to HINARI holdings. We also compared “PLoS Medicine” readership patterns among low-, middle-, and high-income regions.
Many of the electronic resources used through Ptolemy are not available through HINARI. In contrast to higher-income regions, “PLoS Medicine” readership in Africa is proportional to both the density of healthcare workers and the GBD there.
Free or low-cost Internet-based initiatives can improve access to the medical literature in LIC. Open access journals are a key component to providing clinically relevant literature to the regions and healthcare workers who need it most.
Despite improvements in the outcome of individuals sustaining significant injury, the optimum management of fractures in traumatised patients remains an area of debate and publication. There is, however, a paucity of studies regarding the specifics of acquired experience and training of junior orthopaedic surgeons in the practical application of these skills. Our null hypothesis is that, despite alteration in surgical training, the perceived confidence and adequacy of training of UK orthopaedic specialist trainees in the application of damage control orthopaedics (DCO) and early total care (ETC) philosophy is unaffected.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
A web-based survey was sent to a sample of orthopaedic trainees. From 888 trainees, 222 responses were required to achieve a 5% error rate with 90% confidence.
A total of 232 responses were received. Trainees reported a high level of perceived confidence with both external fixation and intramedullary devices. Exposure to cases was sporadic although perceived training adequacy was high. A similar pattern was seen in perceived operative role with the majority of trainees expecting to be performing such operations, albeit under varying levels of supervision. In a more complicated case of spanning external fixation for a ‘floating knee, trainees reported a decreased level of perceived confidence and limited exposure. One-third of trainees reported never having been involved in such a case. In contrast to nationally collated logbook data, exposure to and perceived confidence in managing cases involving ETC and DCO were similar.
Despite changes in the training of junior orthopaedic surgeons, trainee-reported confidence and adequacy of training in the practical application of DCO and ETC was high. Exposure to cases overall was, however, seen to be limited and there was a suggestion of disparity between current operative experiences of trainees and that recorded in the national trainee logbook.
Multiple trauma; Fracture fixation; Intramedullary; Wounds and injuries; Education; Medical; Graduate
Men with hip fractures are more likely to experience postoperative complications than women. The Medical Orthopaedic Trauma Service program at New York Presbyterian Hospital utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to care for patients with hip fractures. The service is comanaged by an attending hospitalist and orthopaedic surgeon, with daily walking rounds attended by the hospitalist, orthopaedic resident, physical therapist, social worker, and a dedicated Medical Orthopaedic Trauma Service physician assistant.
We asked whether a multidisciplinary service for patients with hip fracture decreases (1) the incidence of inpatient complications in men, (2) the length of hospitalization, and (3) 90-day and 1-year mortality.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 74 men who had surgery for a nonperiprosthetic femoral neck, intertrochanteric, or subtrochanteric fracture for two 7-month periods before and after implementation of the Medical Orthopaedic Trauma Service. Age, ethnicity, comorbidity status, time to surgery, and postoperative complication data were collected. Regression modeling was used to evaluate the likelihood of postoperative complications, length of hospitalization, and 90-day and 1-year mortality while controlling for age, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, fracture type, and time from admission to surgery.
We observed a decrease in the likelihood of experiencing at least one inpatient complication in male patients after implementation of the Medical Orthopaedic Trauma Service (odds ratio = 0.264). There was no difference in length of hospitalization, 90-day mortality, or 1-year mortality.
Multidisciplinary collaboration for patients with hip fractures can decrease the likelihood of experiencing inpatient complications in male patients.
Level of Evidence
Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Specially trained physiotherapists (advanced practice physiotherapists (APP)) are working in orthopaedic clinics to improve access to orthopaedic services and support chronic disease management. Little attention has been paid to the impact APPs may have on non-surgical patients. In non-surgical patients with hip or knee arthritis consulting an APP in an orthopaedic clinic, the objectives were to: 1) describe patients’ recall of APP recommendations, use of self-management strategies, and barriers to management six weeks following consultation; and, 2) compare exercise behaviour and self-efficacy at baseline and six weeks.
This was a single group pre-and post-intervention study of patients who saw an APP when consulting the orthopaedic departments of two hospitals. At baseline and six weeks participants completed the adapted Stanford Exercise Behaviour Scale (response options: none, < 60 minutes/week, 1–3 hours/week or > 3 hours/week), and the Chronic Disease Self-efficacy Scale (range 1–10; higher scores indicate higher self-efficacy). At follow-up participants completed questions on recall of APP recommendations, use of self-management strategies and barriers to management. Seventy three non-surgical patients with hip or knee arthritis participated, a response rate of 89% at follow-up. Seventy one percent of patients reported that the APP recommended exercise, of whom 83% reported exercising to manage their arthritis since the visit. Almost 50% reported an increase in time spent stretching; over 40% reported an increase in time spent walking or doing strengthening exercises at follow-up. Common barriers to arthritis management were time, cost and other health problems. Mean chronic disease self-efficacy scores significantly improved from 6.3 to 7.2 (p < 0.001). The mean difference was 0.95 (95% CI 0.43, 1.62); the effect size was 0.51.
This pilot study of an APP intervention for non-surgical patients referred for orthopaedic consultation showed promising results, particularly for enhancing use of conservative management strategies such as exercise.
Arthritis; Physiotherapists; Advanced practice; Non-surgical; Self-management behaviours; Orthopaedics
The developing world contains more than ¾ of the world’s population, and has the largest burden of musculoskeletal disease. Published studies provide crucial information that can influence healthcare policies. Presumably much information regarding burden in the developing world would arise from authors from developing countries. However, the extent of participation of authors from the developing world in widely read orthopaedic journals is unclear.
We surveyed four influential English-language orthopaedic journals to document the contributions of authors from developing countries.
We surveyed Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, and the American and British volumes of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, from May 2007 through May 2010. The country of origin of all authors was identified. We used the designations provided by the International Monetary Fund to define countries as either developed or developing.
Two hundred sixty-five of 3964 publications (7%) included authors from developing countries. Ninety percent of these had authors from developing countries with industrialized and emerging-market economies. Publications from Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for only 0.4% of the 3964 articles reviewed and 5.6% of the 265 articles with developing world authorship. Countries with the least robust economies were least represented. Less than 1/3 of articles with authors from the developing world had coauthors from developed or other developing countries.
Additional studies are needed to determine the reasons for the low representation noted and to establish strategies to increase the number of orthopaedic publications from parts of the world where the burden of musculoskeletal disease is the greatest.
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.
Traditionally, surgical diseases including emergency and injury care have garnered less attention and support internationally when compared to other medical specialties. Over the past decade however, healthcare professionals have increasingly advocated for the need to address the global burden of non-communicable diseases. Surgical disease, including traumatic injury, is among the top causes of death and disability worldwide and the subsequent economic burden is substantial, falling disproportionately on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The future of global health in these regions depends on a redirection of attention to diseases managed within surgical, anesthesia and emergency specialties. Increasing awareness of these disparities, as well as increasing focus in the realms of policy and advocacy, is crucial. While the barriers to providing quality trauma and emergency care worldwide are not insurmountable, we must work together across disciplines and across boundaries in order to negotiate change and reduce the global burden of surgical disease.
In India, health policies, services, health indices, and medical education are improving despite the country’s enormous population and limited resources. Orthopaedic training in India should be geared to serve the predominantly rural population (72% of total population) living in some 550,000 villages, but unless the basic amenities improve in villages and towns, orthopaedists will remain averse to serving in these areas. Traditional practitioners play an important role in musculoskeletal trauma care in villages and even some town and city areas, and hence cannot be ignored. We suggest a stratified system of orthopaedic training for medical graduates, postgraduates, and paramedics with a well-defined need-based curriculum, and a clear cut division of labor, terms, and conditions to suit the stratified social and demographic structure of India. This stratified system is intended to provide appropriate musculoskeletal trauma care services to the rural population, reduce neglected and mismanaged trauma, consequently avoiding subsequent orthopaedic disability, and reduce the financial burden of managing these cases. This system also intends to prevent overloading of teaching hospitals and apex institutes and ensure availability of subspecialized orthopaedic services in the country at designated centers. Traditional practitioners shall be periodically educated regarding safe orthopaedic practices, which are anticipated to yield improved trauma care services.
Fragility fractures represent a major health problem, as they cause deformity, disability and increased mortality rates. Orthopaedic surgeons should identify patients with fragility fractures and manage their osteoporosis in order to reduce the risk of future fracture; therefore, orthopaedic surgeons’ knowledge about managing fragile fracture should be evaluated.
A questionnaire was administered to 2,910 orthopaedic surgeons to address the respondents’ knowledge. The questions covered the topics of diagnosis, treatment and approach to a patient with a fragility fracture. The data-collection period for this survey spanned one year.
There were 2,021 orthopaedic surgeons who participated in this study. Less than 10% of the respondents included bone mass densitometry (BMD) when evaluating patients with fragile fractures 32% prescribed proper dosage of calcium and vitamin D; approximately 30% would refer if falling from a height was suspected.
The majority of orthopaedic surgeons questioned lacked knowledge of fragility fracture management. This is reflected by limited knowledge of osteoporosis assessment and treatment in most areas. An appropriate method should be created to manage patients with fragility fractures to guarantee the patient the best possible care.
AIMS: To evaluate the efficacy of combined care between orthopaedic surgeons and geriatricians in the management of patients with fractured necks of femur. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective study of the admissions to a district general hospital with hip fractures was carried out over a 5-year period. In the years 1992-1994, medical problems in this patient group were managed by a consultation-only service. At the end of 1994, a consultant geriatrician was appointed to manage these patients jointly with the orthopaedic surgeons, and the study was then carried through until the end of 1996. Information about the patients from admission to discharge or death was gathered prospectively using a proforma for the 3 years prior to orthogeriatric care, and the 2 years after. Main outcome measures were mortality, length of stay and discharge destination. These were compared for the two periods--pre- and post-orthogeriatric care. RESULTS: No significant differences were noted in mortality, length of stay or discharge destination. CONCLUSIONS: Combined orthogeriatric care according to our model did not have an impact on our chosen outcome measures.