Given the large number of publications in all fields of practice, it is essential that clinicians focus on the resources that provide the highest level of evidence (LOE). We sought to determine the LOE that exists in the field of pediatrics, present in the general pediatric as well as high impact clinical literature.
Clinical pediatric literature, published between April 2011 and March 2012 inclusive in high-impact clinical journals (HICJ) (New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, & The Lancet) and the highest-impact general pediatric journals (GPJ) (Pediatrics, Journal of Pediatrics, & Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine), was assessed. In addition to the LOE, articles were evaluated on criteria including subspecialty within pediatrics, number of authors, number of centers, and other parameters. Eligible level I randomized control trials were appraised using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines.
Of 6511 articles screened, 804 met inclusion criteria (68 in HICJ and 736 in GPJ). On average, LOE in pediatrics-focused articles within The Lancet were significantly higher than all GPJ (p < 0.05). Average CONSORT scores were significantly higher in HICJ vs. GPJ (15.2 vs. 13.6, respectively, p < 0.001).
LOE and quality of randomized control trials within the pediatric field is highest within HICJ, however, only represent a small proportion of data published. Following CONSORT criteria, and promoting studies of high LOE may allow authors and readers to turn to journals and articles of greater clinical impact.
Evidence-based medicine; Data quality; Journal impact factor
Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is increasingly being applied to inform clinical decision-making in orthopaedic surgery. Despite the promotion of EBM in Orthopaedic Surgery, the adoption of results from high quality clinical research seems highly unpredictable and does not appear to be driven strictly by randomized trial data. The objective of this study was to pilot a survey to determine if we could identify surgeon opinions on the characteristics of research studies that are perceived as being most likely to influence clinical decision-making among orthopaedic surgeons in Canada.
A 28-question electronic survey was distributed to active members of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) over a period of 11 weeks. The questionnaire sought to analyze the influence of both extrinsic and intrinsic characteristics of research studies and their potential to influence practice patterns. Extrinsic factors included the perceived journal quality and investigator profiles, economic impact, peer/patient/industry influence and individual surgeon residency/fellowship training experiences. Intrinsic factors included study design, sample size, and outcomes reported. Descriptive statistics are provided.
Of the 109 members of the COA who opened the survey, 95 (87%) completed the survey in its entirety. The overall response rate was 11% (95/841). Surgeons achieved consensus on the influence of three key designs on their practices: 1) randomized controlled trials 94 (99%), 2) meta-analysis 83 (87%), and 3) systematic reviews 81 (85%). Sixty-seven percent of surgeons agreed that studies with sample sizes of 101–500 or more were more likely to influence clinical practice than smaller studies (n = <100). Factors other than design influencing adoption included 1) reputation of the investigators (99%) and 2) perceived quality of the journal (75%).
Although study design and sample size (i.e. minimum of 100 patients) have some influence on clinical decision making, surgeon respondents are equally influenced by investigator reputation and perceived journal quality. At present, continued emphasis on the generation of large, methodologically sound clinical trials remains paramount to translating research findings to clinical practice changes. Specific to this pilot survey, strategies to solicit more widespread responses will be pursued.
Evidence-based medicine; Orthopaedic surgery; Clinical practice; Patient care
On December 16, 2012 a 23 year old female was gang-raped on a bus in Delhi. We systematically reviewed professional online media sources used to inform the timing, breadth of coverage, opinions and consistency in the depiction of events surrounding the gang-rape.
We searched two news databases (LexisNexis Academic and Factivia) and individual newspapers for English-language published media reports covering the gang-rape. Two reviewers screened the media reports and extracted data regarding the time, location and content of each report. Results were summarized qualitatively.
We identified 534 published media reports. Of these, 351 met our eligibility criteria. Based on a time chart, the total number of reports published increased steadily through December, but plateaued to a steady rate of articles per day by the first week of January. Content analysis revealed significant discrepancies between various media reports. From the 57 articles which discussed opinions about the victim, 56% applauded her bravery, 40% discussed outrage over the events and 11% discussed cases of victim-blaming.
The global media response of the December 16th gang-rape in India resulted in highly inconsistent depiction of the events. These findings suggest that although the spread of information through media is fast, it has major limitations.
Delhi; Gang-rape; Media coverage
Scoping reviews are innovative studies that can map a range of evidence to convey the breadth and depth of a large field. An evidence-based approach to the wide spectrum of surgical interventions for scoliosis is paramount to enhance clinical outcomes. The objectives of this scoping review were to identify critical knowledge gaps and direct future research.
This study was completed according to the methodology of Arksey and O’Malley. Two reviewers performed duplicate systematic screening of eligibility. Studies were classified according to patient age, scoliosis etiology, outcomes reported, study design, and overall research theme.
There were 1763 eligible studies published between 1966 and 2013. The literature focused on adolescents (83% of studies) with idiopathic scoliosis (72%). There was a dominance of observational designs (88%), and a paucity of randomized trials (4%) or systematic reviews (1%). Fifty six percent of studies were conducted in North America, followed by 23% in Europe and 18% in Asia. Few high-level studies investigated surgical indications, surgical approaches, surgical techniques, or implant selection. Patient important outcomes including function, health-related quality of life, pain, and rates or re-operation were infrequently reported.
Current research priorities are to (1) undertake high-quality knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation activities; (2) conduct a series of planning meetings to engage clinicians, patients, and methodologists; and (3) clarify outcome reporting and strategies for methodological improvement. Higher-quality studies are specifically needed to inform surgical indications, surgical approaches, surgical techniques, and implant selection. Engaging global partners may increase generalizability.
Scoliosis; Spinal deformity; Scoping review; Systematic review; Clinical epidemiology
Benign and malignant lower extremity primary bone tumors are among the least common conditions treated by orthopaedic surgeons. The literature supporting their surgical management has historically been in the form of observational studies rather than prospective controlled studies. Observational studies are prone to confounding bias, sampling bias, and recall bias.
(1) What are the overall levels of evidence of articles published on the surgical management of lower extremity bone tumors? (2) What is the overall quality of reporting of studies in this field based on the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) checklist? (3) What are the most common pitfalls in reporting that authors might improve on?
All studies describing the surgical management of lower extremity primary bone tumors from 2002 to 2012 were systematically reviewed. Two authors independently appraised levels of evidence. Quality of reporting was assessed with the STROBE checklist. Pitfalls in reporting were quantified by determining the 10 most underreported elements of research study design in the group of studies analyzed, again using the STROBE checklist as the reference standard. Of 1387 studies identified, 607 met eligibility criteria.
There were no Level I studies, two Level II studies, 47 Level III studies, 308 Level IV studies, and 250 Level V studies. The mean percentage of STROBE points reported satisfactorily in each article as graded by the two reviewers was 53% (95% confidence interval, 42%–63%). The most common pitfalls in reporting were failures to justify sample size (2.2% reported), examine sensitivity (2.2%), account for missing data (9.8%), and discuss sources of bias (14%). Followup (66%), precision of outcomes (64%), eligibility criteria (55%), and methodological limitations (53%) were variably reported.
Observational studies are the dominant evidence for the surgical management of primary lower extremity bone tumors. Numerous deficiencies in reporting limit their clinical use. Authors may use these results to inform future work and improve reporting in observational studies, and treating surgeons should be aware of these limitations when choosing among the various options with their patients.
Bone has the capacity to regenerate and not scar after injury – sometimes leaving behind no evidence at all of a prior fracture. As surgeons capable of facilitating such healing, it becomes our responsibility to help choose a treatment that minimizes functional deficits and residual symptoms. And in the case of the geriatric hip fracture, we have seen the accumulation of a vast amount of evidence to help guide us. The best method we currently have for selecting treatment plans is by the practice of evidence-based medicine. According to the now accepted hierarchy, the best is called Level I evidence (e.g., well performed randomized controlled trials) – but this evidence is best only if it is available and appropriate. Lower forms of accepted evidence include cohort studies, case control studies, case series, and case reports, and last, expert opinion – all of which can be potentially instructive. The hallmark of evidence-based treatment is not so much the reliance on evidence in general, but to use the best available evidence relative to the particular patient, the clinical setting and surgeon experience. Correctly applied, varying forms of evidence each have a role in aiding surgeons offer appropriate care for their patients – to help them best fix the fracture.
fracture; orthopedic trauma; evidence-based medicine; surgical decision making; level of evidence; expert opinion; collective intelligence
Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative meniscal tears is a commonly performed procedure, yet the role of conservative treatment for these patients is unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluates the efficacy of arthroscopic meniscal débridement in patients with knee pain in the setting of mild or no concurrent osteoarthritis of the knee in comparison with nonoperative or sham treatments.
We searched MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published from 1946 to Jan. 20, 2014. Two reviewers independently screened all titles and abstracts for eligibility. We assessed risk of bias for all included studies and pooled outcomes using a random-effects model. Outcomes (i.e., function and pain relief) were dichotomized to short-term (< 6 mo) and long-term (< 2 yr) data.
Seven RCTs (n = 805 patients) were included in this review. The pooled treatment effect of arthroscopic surgery did not show a significant or minimally important difference (MID) between treatment arms for long-term functional outcomes (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.10 to 0.23). Short-term functional outcomes between groups were significant but did not exceed the threshold for MID (SMD 0.25, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.48). Arthroscopic surgery did not result in a significant improvement in pain scores in the short term (mean difference [MD] 0.20, 95% CI −0.67 to 0.26) or in the long term (MD −0.06, 95% CI −0.28 to 0.15). Statistical heterogeneity was low to moderate for the outcomes.
There is moderate evidence to suggest that there is no benefit to arthroscopic meniscal débridement for degenerative meniscal tears in comparison with nonoperative or sham treatments in middle-aged patients with mild or no concomitant osteoarthritis. A trial of nonoperative management should be the first-line treatment for such patients.
Minimally invasive surgery for discectomy may accelerate recovery and reduce pain, but it also requires technical expertise and is associated with increased risks. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the effects of minimally invasive versus open surgery on functional outcomes, pain, complications and reoperations among patients undergoing cervical or lumbar discectomy.
We searched MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Library for reports of relevant randomized controlled trials published to Jan. 12, 2014. Two reviewers assessed the eligibility of potential reports and the risk of bias of included trials. We analyzed functional outcomes and pain using standardized mean differences (SMDs) that were weighted and pooled using a random-effects model.
We included 4 trials in the cervical discectomy group (n = 431) and 10 in the lumbar discectomy group (n = 1159). Evidence overall was of low to moderate quality. We found that minimally invasive surgery did not improve long-term function (cervical: SMD 0.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.09 to 0.31; lumbar: SMD 0.04, 95% CI −0.11 to 0.20) or reduce long-term extremity pain (cervical: SMD −0.21, 95% CI −0.52 to 0.10; lumbar: SMD 0.08, 95% CI −0.16 to 0.32) compared with open surgery. The evidence suggested overall higher rates of nerve-root injury (risk ratio [RR] 1.62, 95% CI 0.45 to 5.84), incidental durotomy (RR 1.56, 95% CI 0.80 to 3.05) and reoperation (RR 1.48, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.26) with minimally invasive surgery than with open surgery. Infections were more common with open surgery than with minimally invasive surgery (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.04 to 1.38), although the difference was not statistically significant.
Current evidence does not support the routine use of minimally invasive surgery for cervical or lumbar discectomy. Well-designed trials are needed given the lack of high-quality evidence.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is detrimental to mental health. The Domestic Violence Survivor Assessment (DVSA), which includes a mental health assessment, is often used to evaluate abuse survivors in a counseling situation. The DVSA seeks to outline the cognitive state of women as per the stages of change as they attempt to move toward a life with no IPV.
The objective of this study was to explore predictors of change in mental health and distress among women who entered a women's shelter more than once.
Women entering a women's shelter more than once over a 3-year period were assessed by a trained social worker using the DVSA. A logistic regression analysis examined relationships between the chosen characteristics and the participants’ mental health through the DVSA stages of change.
We analyzed complete data for 94 women who entered the shelter a mean of 3.3 times (range 2–8) over a mean period of 16.1 days (range: 1–391). Thirty-six women (36/94; 38.3%) progressed through the stages. The average number of visits among women who progressed through the stages was 4. Our multivariable logistic regression showed women who had more visits to the shelter were almost twice as likely to progress through the stages compared to women who entered the shelter fewer times (OR=1.928; 95% CI=1.292–2.877; p=0.001). In the univariate analysis, only increased number of visits was significantly associated with progressing through the stages of change (OR=1.694; 95% CI=1.237–2.322; p=0.001). The other factors were not significantly associated with a change in mental health and distress (p>0.05).
Women who enter women's shelters more frequently may be more likely to progress through the DVSA mental health stages compared to other women. Women's shelters may be helpful in assisting progression through the stages of change, thereby improving their mental health after abuse.
Intimate partner violence; mental health stages; DVSA stages of change; repeated shelter visits
More than 320 000 hip fractures occur annually in North America. An estimated 30% of this population have cognitive impairment. We sought to determine the extent to which patients with cognitive impairment or dementia have been included in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing hip fracture management.
We conducted a systematic search of 3 electronic journal databases of articles published between January 2000 and June 2010. Studies were screened in duplicate to collect English-language RCTs assessing operative interventions for femoral head, neck or intertrochanteric fractures. We systematically collected descriptive data and used the χ2 test for comparison between groups as appropriate.
We screened 1201 abstracts, 72 of which were eligible for inclusion in our review. Femoral neck and intertrochanteric fractures were equally represented. Thirty-three (46%) studies did not report the inclusion or exclusion of patients with cognitive impairment. Nineteen (26%) studies explicitly included cognitively impaired patients, whereas 20 (28%) excluded them. Only 2 trials (3%) reported outcomes specific to cognitively impaired patients. Fourteen trials (19.4%) reported the use of a validated cognitive assessment tool. None of the trials that reported inclusion of cognitively impaired patients were from North American centres.
One in 3 patients with hip fractures have concomitant cognitive impairment, yet 8 of 10 hip fracture trials excluded or ignored this population. The ambiguity or exclusion of these patients misses an opportunity to study outcomes and identify factors associated with improved prognosis.
There has been a noted increase in the diagnosis and reporting of sporting hip injuries and conditions in the medical literature but reporting at the minor hockey level is unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the trend of reporting hip injuries in amateur ice hockey players in Canada with a focus on injury type and mechanism.
A retrospective review of the Hockey Canada insurance database was performed and data on ice hockey hip injuries reported between January 2005 and June 2011 were collected. The study population included all male hockey players from Peewee (aged 11–12 years) to Senior (aged 20+ years) participating in amateur level competition sanctioned by Hockey Canada. Reported cases of ice hockey hip injuries were analyzed according to age, mechanism of injury, and injury subtype. Annual injury reporting rates were determined and using a linear regression analysis trended to determine the change in ice hockey hip injury reporting rate over time.
One hundred and six cases of ice hockey-related hip injuries were reported in total. The majority of injuries (75.5%) occurred in players aged 15–20 years playing at the Junior level. Most injuries were caused by a noncontact mechanism (40.6%) and strains were the most common subtype (50.0%). From 2005 to 2010, the number of reported hip injuries increased by 5.31 cases per year and the rate of reported hip injury per 1,000 registered players increased by 0.02 cases annually.
Reporting of hip injuries in amateur ice hockey players is increasing. A more accurate injury reporting system is critical for future epidemiologic studies to accurately document the rate and mechanism of hip injury in amateur ice hockey players.
amateur ice hockey; hip injury; pelvic injury; mechanism
The role of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in the management of fractures remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of a definitive trial to determine the effect of LIPUS on functional and clinical outcomes in tibial fractures managed operatively.
We conducted a multicenter, concealed, blinded randomized trial of 51 skeletally mature adults with operatively managed tibial fractures who were treated with either LIPUS or a sham device. All participating centers were located in Canada and site investigators were orthopedic surgeons specializing in trauma surgery. The goals of our pilot study were to determine recruitment rates in individual centers, investigators’ ability to adhere to study protocol and data collection procedures, our ability to achieve close to 100% follow-up rates, and the degree to which patients were compliant with treatment. Patients were followed for one year and a committee (blinded to allocation) adjudicated all outcomes. The committee adjudicators were experienced (10 or more years in practice) orthopedic surgeons with formal research training, specializing in trauma surgery.
Our overall rate of recruitment was approximately 0.8 patients per center per month and site investigators successfully adhered to the study protocol and procedures. Our rate of follow-up at one year was 84%. Patient compliance, measured by an internal timer in the study devices, revealed that 39 (76%) of the patients were fully compliant and 12 (24%) demonstrated a greater than 50% compliance. Based on patient feedback regarding excessive questionnaire burden, we conducted an analysis using data from another tibial fracture trial that revealed the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) dysfunction index offered no important advantages over the SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) score. No device-related adverse events were reported.
Our pilot study identified key issues that might have rendered a definitive trial unfeasible. By modifying our protocol to address these challenges we have enhanced the feasibility of a definitive trial to explore the effect of LIPUS on tibial fracture healing.
The TRUST definitive trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov on 21 April 2008 (identifier: NCT00667849).
Ultrasound; Fracture healing; Randomized controlled trial
To best inform evidence-based patient care, it is often desirable to compare competing therapies. We performed a network meta-analysis to indirectly compare low intensity pulsed ultrasonography (LIPUS) with electrical stimulation (ESTIM) for fracture healing.
We searched the reference lists of recent reviews evaluating LIPUS and ESTIM that included studies published up to 2011 from 4 electronic databases. We updated the searches of all electronic databases up to April 2012. Eligible trials were those that included patients with a fresh fracture or an existing delayed union or nonunion who were randomized to LIPUS or ESTIM as well as a control group. Two pairs of reviewers, independently and in duplicate, screened titles and abstracts, reviewed the full text of potentially eligible articles, extracted data and assessed study quality. We used standard and network meta-analytic techniques to synthesize the data.
Of the 27 eligible trials, 15 provided data for our analyses. In patients with a fresh fracture, there was a suggested benefit of LIPUS at 6 months (risk ratio [RR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.97–1.41). In patients with an existing nonunion or delayed union, ESTIM had a suggested benefit over standard care on union rates at 3 months (RR 2.05, 95% CI 0.99–4.24). We found very low-quality evidence suggesting a potential benefit of LIPUS versus ESTIM in improving union rates at 6 months (RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.58–1.01) in fresh fracture populations.
To support our findings direct comparative trials with safeguards against bias assessing outcomes important to patients, such as functional recovery, are required.
Inadequate sample size and power in randomized trials can result in misleading findings. This study demonstrates the effect of sample size in a large, clinical trial by evaluating the results of the SPRINT (Study to Prospectively evaluate Reamed Intramedullary Nails in Patients with Tibial fractures) trial as it progressed.
The SPRINT trial evaluated reamed versus unreamed nailing of the tibia in 1226 patients, as well as in open and closed fracture subgroups (N=400 and N=826, respectively). We analyzed the re-operation rates and relative risk comparing treatment groups at 50, 100 and then increments of 100 patients up to the final sample size. Results at various enrollments were compared to the final SPRINT findings.
In the final analysis, there was a statistically significant decreased risk of re-operation with reamed nails for closed fractures (relative risk reduction 35%). Results for the first 35 patients enrolled suggested reamed nails increased the risk of reoperation in closed fractures by 165%. Only after 543 patients with closed fractures were enrolled did the results reflect the final advantage for reamed nails in this subgroup. Similarly, the trend towards an increased risk of re-operation for open fractures (23%) was not seen until 62 patients with open fractures were enrolled.
Our findings highlight the risk of conducting a trial with insufficient sample size and power. Such studies are not only at risk of missing true effects, but also of giving misleading results.
Level of Evidence
Intimate partner violence (IPV)—physical, sexual, psychologic, or financial abuse between intimate partners—is the most common cause of nonfatal injury to women in North America. As many IPV-related injuries are musculoskeletal, orthopaedic surgeons are well positioned to identify and assist these patients. However, data are lacking regarding surgeons’ knowledge of the prevalence of IPV in orthopaedic practices, surgeons’ screening and management methods, and surgeons’ perceptions about IPV.
We aimed to identify (1) surgeon attitudes and beliefs regarding victims of IPV and batterers and (2) perceptions of surgeons regarding their role in identifying and assisting victims of IPV.
We surveyed 690 surgeon members of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. The survey had three sections: (1) general perception of orthopaedic surgeons regarding IPV; (2) perceptions of orthopaedic surgeons regarding victims and batterers; and (3) orthopaedic relevance of IPV. One hundred fifty-three surgeons responded (22%).
Respondents manifested key misconceptions: (1) victims must be getting something out of the abusive relationships (16%); (2) some women have personalities that cause the abuse (20%); and (3) the battering would stop if the batterer quit abusing alcohol (40%). In the past year, approximately ½ the respondents (51%) acknowledged identifying a victim of IPV; however, only 4% of respondents currently screen injured female patients for IPV. Surgeons expressed concerns regarding lack of knowledge in the management of abused women (30%).
Orthopaedic surgeons had several misconceptions about victims of IPV and batterers. Targeted educational programs on IPV are needed for surgeons routinely caring for injured women.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand and manage emotions in oneself and others. It was originally popularized in the business literature as a key attribute for success that was distinct from cognitive intelligence. Increasing focus is being placed on EI in medicine to improve clinical and academic performance. Despite the proposed benefits, to our knowledge, there have been no previous studies on the role of EI in orthopedic surgery. We evaluated baseline data on EI in a cohort of orthopedic surgery residents.
We asked all orthopedic surgery residents at a single institution to complete an electronic version of the Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). We used completed questionnaires to calculate total EI scores and 4 branch scores. Data were analyzed according to a priori cutoff values to determine the proportion of residents who were considered competent on the test. Data were also analyzed for possible associations with age, sex, race and level of training.
Thirty-nine residents (100%) completed the MSCEIT. The mean total EI score was 86 (maximum score 145). Only 4 (10%) respondents demonstrated competence in EI. Junior residents (p = 0.026), Caucasian residents (p = 0.009) and those younger than 30 years (p = 0.008) had significantly higher EI scores.
Our findings suggest that orthopedic residents score low on EI based on the MSCEIT. Optimizing resident competency in noncognitive skills may be enhanced by dedicated EI education, training and testing.
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of supine versus lateral position on clinical signs of fat embolism during orthopedic trauma surgery. Dogs served as the current study model, which could be extended and/or serve as a basis for future in vivo studies on humans. It was hypothesized that there would be an effect of position on clinical signs of fat embolism syndrome in a dog model.
Materials and Methods:
12 dogs were assigned to supine (n = 6) and lateral (n = 6) position groups. Airway pressures, heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary artery wedge pressure, right atrial pressure, arterial and venous blood gases, white blood count, platelet count and neutrophil count were obtained. Dogs were then subjected to pulmonary contusion in three areas of one lung. Fat embolism was generated by reaming one femur and tibia, followed by pressurization of the canal.
No difference was found in any parameters measured between supine and lateral positions at any time (0.126 < P < 0.856).
The position of trauma patients undergoing reamed intramedullary nailing did not alter the presentation of the features of the lung secondary to fat embolism.
Canine; fat embolism syndrome; position; trauma surgery
An important source of debate in many orthopaedic practices is the choice of performing simultaneous or staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty.
The objective of this meta-analysis is to compare simultaneous bilateral with staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty for peri-operative complication rates, infection rates and mortality outcomes.
All relevant citations were retrieved from MEDLINE, EMBASE, COCHRANE databases and the unpublished literature. Included studies were assessed for methodological quality and abstracted data was conducted independently by two reviewers. Data was categorized into subgroups and pooled using the DerSimonian and Laird’s random effects model.
A total of 18 articles were identified from 873 potentially relevant titles and selected for inclusion in the primary meta-analyses. The incidence of mortality was significantly higher in the simultaneous group at 30 days (RR [relative risk] 3.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.68–8.02, p = 0.001, I2 = 59%, n = 67,691 patients), 3 months (RR 2.45, 95% CI 2.15–2.79, p < 0.00001, I2 = 0%, n = 66,142 patients) and 1 year (RR 1.85, 95% CI 1.66–2.06, p < 0.001, I2 = 0%, n = 65,322 patients) after surgery. However, there were no significant differences between the two groups in regards to in-hospital mortality rates (R 1.18, 95% CI 0.74–1.88, p = 0.48, I2 = 0%, n = 33,814 patients). In addition, there was no increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, cardiac complication, and pulmonary embolism or infection rates in either comparison group.
The results of the analysis suggest that simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty has a significantly higher rate of mortality at 30 days, 3 months and 1 year after surgery, but similar infection and complication rates in comparison to staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty.
simultaneous or staged bilateral; total knee arthroplasty; meta-analysis; complication rates; infection; mortality
Over 320,000 hip fractures occur in North America each year and they are associated with a mortality rate ranging from 14% to 36% within 1 year of surgery. We assessed whether mortality and reoperation rates have improved in hip fracture patients over the past 31 years.
3 electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials on hip fracture management, published between 1950 and 2013. Articles that assessed the surgical treatment of intertrochanteric or femoral neck fractures and measured mortality and/or reoperation rates were obtained. We analyzed overall mortality and reoperation rates, as well as mortality rates by fracture type, comparing mean values in different decades. Our primary outcome was the change in 1-year postoperative mortality.
70 trials published between 1981 and 2012 were included in the review. Overall, the mean 1-year mortality rate changed from 24% in the 1980s to 23% in the 1990s, and to 21% after 1999 (p = 0.7). 1-year mean mortality rates for intertrochanteric fractures diminished from 34% to 23% in studies published before 2000 and after 1999 (p = 0.005). Mean mortality rates for femoral neck fractures were similar over time (∼20%). Reoperation rates were also similar over time.
We found similar mortality and reoperation rates in surgically treated hip fracture patients over time, with the exception of decreasing mortality rates in patients with intertrochanteric fractures.
The use of hip arthroscopy has been steadily rising as technology, experience and surgical education continue to advance. Previous reports of the complication rate associated with hip arthroscopy have varied. The purpose of this study was to report our experience with hip arthroscopy complications at a single Canadian institution (McMaster University).
We performed a retrospective chart review of 2 hip arthroscopists at the same institution to identify patients who had undergone the index surgery and had been followed for a minimum of 6 months postoperatively. We used a standard data entry form to collect information on patient demographic and clinical characteristics, including age, sex, surgical indication and type of complication if any.
A total of 211 patients underwent 236 hip arthroscopies. The mean age at time of surgery was 37 ± 13 years and mean follow-up was 394 ± 216.5 days. The overall complication rate associated with hip arthroscopy was 4.2% (95% confidence interval 2.3%–7.6%). We identified 4 major and 6 minor complications.
Overall, hip arthroscopy appears to be safe, with minor complications occurring more frequently than major ones. However, surgeons should recognize the possibility of serious complications associated with this procedure. Future research should focus on prospective designs looking for potential prognostic factors associated with hip arthroscopy complications.
Assessing fracture healing in clinical trials is subjective. The new Function IndeX for Trauma (FIX-IT) score provides a simple, standardized approach to assess weight-bearing and pain in patients with lower extremity fractures. We conducted an initial validation of the FIX-IT score.
We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 50 patients with lower extremity fractures across different stages of healing to evaluate the reliability and preliminary validity of the FIX-IT score. Patients were independently examined by 2 orthopedic surgeons, 1 orthopedic fellow, 2 orthopedic residents and 2 research coordinators. Patients also completed the Short Form-36 version 2 (SF-36v2) questionnaire, and convergent validity was tested with the SF-36v2.
For interrater reliability, the intraclass correlation coefficents ranged from 0.637 to 0.915. The overall interrater reliability for the total FIX-IT score was 0.879 (95% confidence interval 0.828–0.921). The correlations between the FIX-IT score and the SF-36 ranged from 0.682 to 0.770 for the physical component summary score, from 0.681 to 0.758 for the physical function subscale, and from 0.677 to 0.786 for the role–physical subscale.
The FIX-IT score had high interrater agreement across multiple examiners. Moreover, FIX-IT scores correlate with the physical scores of the SF-36. Although additional research is needed to fully validate FIX-IT, our results suggest the potential for FIX-IT to be a reliable adjunctive clinician measure to evaluate healing in lower extremity fractures.
Level of evidence
Diagnostic Study Level I.
Performing multiple tests in primary research is a frequent subject of discussion. This discussion originates from the fact that when multiple tests are performed, it becomes more likely to reject one of the null hypotheses, conditional on that these hypotheses are true and thus commit a type one error. Several correction methods for multiple testing are available. The primary aim of this study was to assess the quantity of articles published in two highly esteemed orthopedic journals in which multiple testing was performed. The secondary aims were to determine in which percentage of these studies a correction was performed and to assess the risk of committing a type one error if no correction was applied.
The 2010 annals of two orthopedic journals (A and B) were systematically hand searched by two independent investigators. All articles on original research in which statistics were applied were considered. Eligible publications were reviewed for the use of multiple testing with respect to predetermined criteria.
A total of 763 titles were screened and 127 articles were identified and included in the analysis. A median of 15 statistical inference results were reported per publication in both journal A and B. Correction for multiple testing was performed in 15% of the articles published in journal A and in 6% from journal B. The estimated median risk of obtaining at least one significant result for uncorrected studies was calculated to be 54% for both journals.
This study shows that the risk of false significant findings is considerable and that correcting for multiple testing is only performed in a small percentage of all articles published in the orthopedic literature reviewed.
Type one error; Multiple testing; Bonferroni; Orthopedic literature; Family wise error rate