Limb salvage with endoprosthetic reconstruction is the standard of care for the management of lower-extremity bone tumours in skeletally mature patients. The risk of deep postoperative infection in these procedures is high and the outcomes can be devastating. The most effective prophylactic antibiotic regimen remains unknown, and current clinical practice is highly varied. This trial will evaluate the effect of varying postoperative prophylactic antibiotic regimens on the incidence of deep infection following surgical excision and endoprosthetic reconstruction of lower-extremity bone tumours.
Methods and analysis
This is a multicentre, blinded, randomised controlled trial, using a parallel two-arm design. 920 patients 15 years of age or older from 12 tertiary care centres across Canada and the USA who are undergoing surgical excision and endoprosthetic reconstruction of a primary bone tumour will receive either short (24 h) or long (5 days) duration postoperative antibiotics. Exclusion criteria include prior surgery or infection within the planned operative field, known colonisation with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus at enrolment, or allergy to the study antibiotics. The primary outcome will be rates of deep postoperative infections in each arm. Secondary outcomes will include type and frequency of antibiotic-related adverse events, patient functional outcomes and quality-of-life scores, reoperation and mortality. Randomisation will be blocked, with block sizes known only to the methods centre responsible for randomisation, and stratified by location of tumour and study centre. Patients, care givers and a Central Adjudication Committee will be blinded to treatment allocation. The analysis to compare groups will be performed using Cox regression and log-rank tests to compare survival functions at α=0.05.
Ethics and dissemination
This study has ethics approval from the McMaster University/Hamilton Health Sciences Research Ethics Board (REB# 12-009). Successful completion will significantly impact on clinical practice and enhance patients’ lives. More broadly, this trial will develop a network of collaboration from which further high-quality trials in Orthopaedic Oncology will follow.
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.
Physical activity is known to benefit many physiological processes, including bone turnover. There are; however, currently no clinical guidelines regarding the most appropriate type, intensity and duration of activity to prevent bone loss.
To help address this gap in the literature, we performed a retrospective analysis of data from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), a prospective cohort of 9423 adult patients, to determine the relationship between the amount of regular daily physical activity performed and bone mineral density. A total of 1169 female participants aged 75 and over provided information regarding their daily activity levels, including the amount of time spent each week performing physical activity at varying levels of intensity. Multiple and linear regression analyses were used to determine the effect of increasing amounts of this regular physical activity on bone mineral density.
The results indicate that a step increase in the amount of physical activity performed each day resulted in a positive effect on bone mineral density at the hip, Ward’s triangle, trochanter and femoral neck (B = 0.006 to 0.008, p < 0.05). Possible confounding factors such as the use of anti-resorptive therapy, body mass index and age were included in the analysis and suggested that age had a negative effect on bone density while body mass index had a positive effect. Anti-resorptive therapy provided a protective effect against loss of bone density.
The data indicate that a step increase in the amount of daily activity, using simple, daily performed tasks, can help prevent decreases in post-menopausal bone mineral density.
Osteoporosis; Physical activity; Bone mineral density; Post-menopausal
Recent high-level evidence favours therapeutic ultrasound (US) for reducing pain in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). It is unknown how current practice patterns align with current evidence regarding US efficacy and whether physical therapists perceive a need for further high-level evidence. We conducted a descriptive electronic survey to characterize the beliefs and use of US among physical therapists in Ontario treating people with nonsurgical knee OA. Most of the 123 respondents (81%) reported at least some use of US with 45% using it often or sometimes. The main goal for using US was to reduce pain in the surrounding soft tissue (n = 66) and/or the knee joint (n = 43). Almost half (46%) endorsed the belief that US is likely to be beneficial for clients with nonsurgical knee OA. Most respondents (85%) expressed interest in the results of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of US on pain and physical function. Patterns of use reflect the respondents' belief that US is likely to be beneficial for knee OA pain.
To explore the role of patients’ beliefs in their likelihood of recovery from severe physical trauma.
We developed and validated an instrument designed to capture the impact of patients’ beliefs on functional recovery from injury; the Somatic Pre-occupation and Coping (SPOC) questionnaire. At 6-weeks post-surgical fixation, we administered the SPOC questionnaire to 359 consecutive patients with operatively managed tibial shaft fractures. We constructed multivariable regression models to explore the association between SPOC scores and functional outcome at 1-year, as measured by return to work and short form-36 (SF-36) physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores.
In our adjusted multivariable regression models that included pre-injury SF-36 scores, SPOC scores at 6-weeks post-surgery accounted for 18% of the variation in SF-36 PCS scores and 18% of SF-36 MCS scores at 1-year. In both models, 6-week SPOC scores were a far more powerful predictor of functional recovery than age, gender, fracture type, smoking status, or the presence of multi-trauma. Our adjusted analysis found that for each 14 point increment in SPOC score at 6-weeks (14 chosen on the basis of half a standard deviation of the mean SPOC score) the odds of returning to work at 1-year decreased by 40% (odds ratio = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.50 to 0.73).
The SPOC questionnaire is a valid measurement of illness beliefs in tibial fracture patients and is highly predictive of their long-term functional recovery. Future research should explore if these results extend to other trauma populations and if modification of unhelpful illness beliefs is feasible and would result in improved functional outcomes.
Highly successful orthopedic surgeons are a small group of individuals who exert a large influence on the orthopedic field. However, the characteristics of these leaders have not been well-described or studied.
Orthopedic surgeons who are departmental chairs, journal editors, editorial board members of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British edition), or current or past presidents of major orthopedic associations were invited to complete a survey designed to provide insight into their motivations, academic backgrounds and accomplishments, emotional and physical health, and job satisfaction.
In all, 152 surgeons completed the questionnaire. We identified several characteristics of highly successful surgeons. Many have contributed prolific numbers of publications and book chapters and obtained considerable funding for research. They were often motivated by a “desire for personal development (interesting challenge, new opportunities),” whereas “relocating to a new institution, financial gain, or lack of alternative candidates” played little to no role in their decisions to take positions of leadership. Most respondents were happy with their specialty choice despite long hours and high levels of stress. Despite challenges to their time, successful orthopedic surgeons made a strong effort to maintain their health; compared with other physicians, they exercise more, are more likely to have a primary care physician and feel better physically.
Departmental chairs, journal editors and presidents of orthopedic associations cope with considerable demands of clinical, administrative, educational and research duties while maintaining a high level of health, happiness and job satisfaction.
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
Tibial shaft fractures are the most common long bone fracture and are prone to complications such as nonunion requiring reoperations to promote fracture healing. We aimed to determine the fracture characteristics associated with tibial fracture nonunion, and their predictive value on the need for reoperation. We further aimed to evaluate the predictive value of a previously-developed prognostic index of three fracture characteristics on nonunion and reoperation rate.
We conducted an observational study and developed a risk factor list from previous literature and key informants in the field of orthopaedic surgery, as well as via a sample-to-redundancy strategy. We evaluated 22 potential risk factors for the development of tibial fracture nonunion in 200 tibial fractures. We also evaluated the predictive value of a previously-identified prognostic risk index on secondary intervention and/or reoperation rate. Two individuals independently extracted the data from 200 patient electronic medical records. An independent reviewer assessed the initial x-ray, the post-operative x-ray, and all available sequential x-rays. Regression and chi-square analysis was used to evaluate potential associations.
In our cohort of patients, 37 (18.5%) had a nonunion and 27 (13.5%) underwent a reoperation. Patients with a nonunion were 97 times (95% CI 25.8-366.5) more likely to have a reoperation. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that fractures with less than 25% cortical continuity were predictive of nonunion (odds ratio = 4.72; p = 0.02). Such fractures also accounted for all of the reoperations identified in our sample. Furthermore, our data provided preliminary validation of a previous risk index predictive of reoperation that includes the presence of a fracture gap post-fixation, open fracture, and transverse fracture type as variables, with an aggregate of fracture gap and an open fracture yielding patients with the highest risk of developing a nonunion.
We identified a significant association between degree of cortical continuity and the development of a nonunion and risk for reoperation in tibial shaft fractures. In addition, our study supports the predictive value of a previous prognostic index, which inform discussion of prognosis following operative management of tibial fractures.
Tibial shaft fractures; Reoperation; Secondary intervention; Fracture prognostic index; Fracture characteristics; Nonunion; Cortical continuity
Manufacturers of implants and materials in the field of orthopaedics use significant amounts of funding to produce informational material to influence the decision-making process of orthopaedic surgeons with regards to choice between novel implants and techniques. It remains unclear how far orthopaedic surgeons are really influenced by the materials supplied by companies or whether other, evidence-based publications have a higher impact on their decision-making. The objective was to evaluate the subjective usefulness and usage of different sources of information upon which orthopaedic surgeons base their decisions when acquiring new implants or techniques.
We undertook an online survey of 1174 orthopaedic surgeons worldwide (of whom n = 305 were head of their department). The questionnaire included 34 items. Sequences were randomized to reduce possible bias. Questions were closed or semi-open with single or multiple answers. The usage and relevance of different sources of information when learning about and selecting orthopaedic treatments were evaluated. Orthopaedic surgeons and trainees were targeted, and were only allowed to respond once over a period of two weeks. Baseline information included country of workplace, level of experience and orthopaedic subspecialisation. The results were statistically evaluated.
Independent scientific proof had the highest influence on decisions for treatment while OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) driven activities like newsletters, white papers or workshops had the least impact. Comparison of answers from the three best-represented countries in this study (Germany, UK and USA) showed some significant differences: Scientific literature and congresses are significantly more important in the US than in the UK or Germany, although they are very important in all countries.
Independent and peer-reviewed sources of information are preferred by surgeons when choosing between methods and implants. Manufacturers of medical devices in orthopaedics employ a considerable workforce to inform or influence hospital managers and leading doctors with marketing activities. Our results indicate that it might be far more effective to channel at least some of these funds into peer-reviewed research projects, thereby assuring significantly higher acceptance of the related products.
Orthopaedics; Survey; Decision-making process; Evidence-based medicine; Online evaluation; Opinion; Internet-based
Despite the prominence of hip fractures in orthopedic trauma, the assessment of fracture healing using radiographs remains subjective. The variability in the assessment of fracture healing has important implications for both clinical research and patient care. With little existing literature regarding reliable consensus on hip fracture healing, this study was conducted to determine inter-rater reliability between orthopedic surgeons and radiologists on healing assessments using sequential radiographs in patients with hip fractures. Secondary objectives included evaluating a checklist designed to assess hip fracture healing and determining whether agreement improved when reviewers were aware of the timing of the x-rays in relation to the patients’ surgery.
A panel of six reviewers (three orthopedic surgeons and three radiologists) independently assessed fracture healing using sequential radiographs from 100 patients with femoral neck fractures and 100 patients with intertrochanteric fractures. During their independent review they also completed a previously developed radiographic checklist (Radiographic Union Score for Hip (RUSH)). Inter and intra-rater reliability scores were calculated. Data from the current study was compared to the findings from a previously conducted study where the same reviewers, unaware of the timing of the x-rays, completed the RUSH score.
The agreement between surgeons and radiologists for fracture healing was moderate for “general impression of fracture healing” in both femoral neck (ICC = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.42-0.71) and intertrochanteric fractures (0.50, 95% CI: 0.33-0.62). Using a standardized checklist (RUSH), agreement was almost perfect in both femoral neck (ICC = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.82-0.87) and intertrochanteric fractures (0.88, 95% CI: 0.86-0.90). We also found a high degree of correlation between healing and the total RUSH score using a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis, there was an area under the curve of 0.993 for femoral neck cases and 0.989 for intertrochanteric cases. Agreement within the radiologist group and within the surgeon group did not significantly differ in our analyses. In all cases, radiographs in which the time from surgery was known resulted in higher agreement scores compared to those from the previous study in which reviewers were unaware of the time the radiograph was obtained.
Agreement in hip fracture radiographic healing may be improved with the use of a standardized checklist and appears highly influenced by the timing of the radiograph. These findings should be considered when evaluating patient outcomes and in clinical studies involving patients with hip fractures. Future research initiatives are required to further evaluate the RUSH checklist.
Hip fractures; Reliability; Fracture healing; Radiographs
To perform a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis to identify preoperative factors associated with a good seizure outcome in children with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex undergoing resective epilepsy surgery.
Electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Web of Science), archives of major epilepsy and neurosurgery meetings, and bibliographies of relevant articles, with no language or date restrictions.
We included case-control or cohort studies of consecutive participants undergoing resective epilepsy surgery that reported seizure outcomes. We performed title and abstract and full text screening independently and in duplicate. We resolved disagreements through discussion.
One author performed data extraction which was verified by a second author using predefined data fields including study quality assessment using a risk of bias instrument we developed. We recorded all preoperative factors that may plausibly predict seizure outcomes.
To identify predictors of a good seizure outcome (i.e. Engel Class I or II) we used logistic regression adjusting for length of follow-up for each preoperative variable.
Of 9863 citations, 20 articles reporting on 181 participants were eligible. Good seizure outcomes were observed in 126 (69%) participants (Engel Class I: 102(56%); Engel class II: 24(13%)). In univariable analyses, absence of generalized seizure semiology (OR = 3.1, 95%CI = 1.2–8.2, p = 0.022), no or mild developmental delay (OR = 7.3, 95%CI = 2.1–24.7, p = 0.001), unifocal ictal scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormality (OR = 3.2, 95%CI = 1.4–7.6, p = 0.008) and EEG/Magnetic resonance imaging concordance (OR = 4.9, 95%CI = 1.8–13.5, p = 0.002) were associated with a good postoperative seizure outcome.
Small retrospective cohort studies are inherently prone to bias, some of which are overcome using individual participant data. The best available evidence suggests four preoperative factors predictive of good seizure outcomes following resective epilepsy surgery. Large long-term prospective multicenter observational studies are required to further evaluate the risk factors identified in this review.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious health issue. There have been widespread research efforts in the area of IPV over the past several decades, primarily focusing on obstetrics, emergency medicine, and primary care settings. Until recently there has been a paucity of research focusing on IPV in surgery, and thus a resultant knowledge gap. Renewed interest in the underlying risk of IPV among women with musculoskeletal injuries has fueled several important studies to determine the nature and scope of this issue in orthopaedic surgery. Our review summarizes the evidence from surgical research in the field of IPV and provides recommendations for developing and evaluating an IPV identification and support program and opportunities for future research.
Intimate partner violence; Domestic violence; Identification program; Orthopaedic surgery; Musculoskeletal injury
The assessment of post-surgical outcomes among patients with Workers’ Compensation is challenging as their results are typically worse compared to those who do not receive this compensation. These patients’ time to return to work is a relevant outcome measure as it illustrates the economic and social implications of this phenomenon. In this meta-analysis we aimed to assess the influence of this factor, comparing compensated and non-compensated patients.
Two authors independently searched MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), CINAHL, Google Scholar, LILACS and the Cochrane Library and also searched for references from the retrieved studies. We aimed to find prospective studies that compared carpal tunnel release and elective rotator cuff surgery outcomes for Workers’ Compensation patients versus their non-compensated counterparts. We assessed the studies’ quality using the Guyatt & Busse Risk of Bias Tool. Data collection was performed to depict included studies characteristics and meta-analysis. Three studies were included in the review. Two of these studies assessed the outcomes following carpal tunnel release while the other focused on rotator cuff repair. The results demonstrated that time to return to work was longer for patients that were compensated and that there was a strong association between this outcome and compensation status - Standard Mean Difference, 1.35 (IC 95%; 0.91-1.80, p < 0.001).
This study demonstrated that compensated patients have a longer return to work time following carpal tunnel release and elective rotator cuff surgery, compared to patients who did not receive compensation. Surgeons and health providers should be mindful of this phenomenon when evaluating the prognosis of a surgery for a patient receiving compensation for their condition.
Type of study/level of evidence
Meta-analysis of prospective Studies/ Level III
Workers’ compensation; Hand surgery; Outcomes; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Rotator cuff tears; Systematic review; Time to return to work
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important health issue. Many medical students and residents have received training relating to IPV, but previous studies show that many students feel that their training has been inadequate. Our objective was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about IPV among university medical students and surgical residents.
We administered an online survey to a sample of Ontario medical students and surgical residents. The survey instrument was a modified version of the Provider Survey.
Two hundred medical students and surgical residents participated in the survey (response rate: 29%). Misperceptions about IPV among respondents included the following: 1) victims must get something from the abusive relationships (18.2%), 2) physicians should not interfere with a couple’s conflicts (21%), 3) asking about IPV risks offending patients (45%), 4) Victims choose to be victims (11.1%), 5) it usually takes ‘two to tango’ (18.3%), and 6) some patients’ personalities cause them to be abused (41.1%). The majority of respondents (75.0%) believed identifying IPV was very relevant to clinical practice. The majority of medical students (91.2%) and surgical residents (96.9%) estimated the IPV prevalence in their intended practice to be 10% or less. Most of the medical students (84%) and surgical residents (60%) felt that their level of training on IPV was inadequate and over three quarters of respondents (77.2%) expressed a desire to receive additional education and training on IPV.
There are misconceptions among Canadian medical students and surgical residents about intimate partner violence. These misconceptions may stem from lack of education and personal discomfort with the issue or from other factors such as gender. Curricula in medical schools and surgical training programs should appropriately emphasize educational opportunities in the area of IPV.
Intimate Partner Violence; Violence prevention; Cross-sectional survey; Medical education
Previous reviews have demonstrated that patient outcomes following orthopaedic surgery are strongly influenced by the presence of Workers’ Compensation. However, the variability in the reviews’ methodology may have inflated the estimated strength of this association. The main objective of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the influence of Workers’ Compensation on the outcomes of orthopaedic surgical procedures.
We conducted a systematic search of the literature published in this area from 1992–2012, with no language restrictions. The following databases were used MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), CINAHL, Google Scholar, LILACS and Pubmed. We also hand-searched the reference sections of all selected papers. We included all prospective studies evaluating the effect of compensation status on outcomes in adult patients who had undergone surgery due to orthopaedic conditions or diseases. Outcomes of interest included disease specific, region specific and/or overall quality of life scales/questionnaires and surgeons’ personal judgment of the results. We used an assessment tool to appraise the quality of all included studies. We used Review Manager to create forest plots to summarize study data and funnel plots for the assessment of publication bias.
Twenty studies met our eligibility criteria. The overall risk ratio for experiencing an unsatisfactory result after orthopaedic surgery for patients with compensation compared to non-compensated patients is 2.08 (95% CI 1.54–2.82). A similar association was shown for continuous data extracted from the studies using assessment scales or questionnaires (Standard Mean Difference = −0.70 95% CI -0.97- −0.43).
Among patients who undergo orthopaedic surgical procedures, those receiving Workers’ Compensation experience a two-fold greater risk of a negative outcome. Our findings show a considerably lower estimate of risk compared to previous reviews that include retrospective data. Further research is warranted to determine the etiological explanation for the influence of compensation status on patient outcomes.
Systematic Review Registration Number
Surgery is indicated for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) when conservative measures are unsuccessful. High tibial osteotomy (HTO), unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA), and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are surgical options intended to relieve knee OA pain and dysfunction. The choice of surgical intervention is dependent on several factors such as disease location, patient age, comorbidities, and activity levels. Regardless of surgical treatment, complications such as infection, loosening or lysis, periprosthetic fracture, and postoperative pain are known risks and are indications for revision surgery. The clinical and economic implications for revision surgery are underappreciated. Over 55,000 revision surgeries were performed in 2010 in the US, with 48% of these revisions in patients under 65 years. Total costs associated with each revision TKA surgery have been estimated to be in excess of $49,000. The current annual economic burden of revision knee OA surgery is $2.7 billion for hospital charges alone. By 2030, assuming a 5-fold increase in the number of revision procedures, this economic burden will exceed $13 billion annually. It is appealing to envision a therapy that could delay or obviate the need for arthroplasty. From an actuarial standpoint, this would have the theoretical downstream effect of substantially reducing the number of revision procedures. Although no known therapies currently meet these criteria, such a breakthrough would have a tremendous impact in lessening the clinical and economic burden of knee OA revision surgery.
arthroplasty; knee; osteoarthritis; revision
Although there is general consensus about the efficacy of total hip replacement (THR) in young patients, the most appropriate bearings in young patients remain highly debated. The three most popular bearings in use include metal-on-polyethylene (MOP), metal-on-metal (MOM) and ceramic-on-ceramic (COC). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of literature to summarise the best available evidence on relative success of the three most popular bearings used in THR in young active patients. Our findings support the use of MOM bearings in the management of the young arthritic hip. These findings, largely based upon observational studies, should be taken in the context of the limitations of such non-randomised study designs.
Background and purpose
Hip fractures are among the top causes of global disability. Conduction of high-quality studies such as randomized controlled trials to assess the effectiveness of interventions remains crucial. The geographic distribution of hip fracture studies is largely unknown. We wanted to make a global assessment of national contributions of randomized controlled trials on surgical interventions for hip fracture.
We performed a systematic search for randomized controlled trials on surgical interventions for hip fracture that were published from May 1970 to May 2011. Study information including sample size and study location was abstracted. The number of trials and cumulative sample size of hip fracture clinical trials were analyzed with respect to geographic region (city, country, and continent).
We identified 199 randomized trials investigating surgical interventions. Sweden ranked highest with 50 trials (8,941 patients). The United Kingdom followed with 40 trials (7,589 patients). Other countries contributed substantially less. The United States and Canada together contributed only a tenth of the total number of trials contributed by European countries.
Global contributions to randomized trials and the total number of patients recruited have been led by Scandinavian countries and the UK. Countries with few trials but a large burden of hip fractures have an opportunity to engage in high-quality research to resolve important surgical questions and improve the generalizability of study results.
Orthopaedic surgery is a high-risk specialty in which errors will undoubtedly occur. Patient safety incidents can yield valuable information to generate solutions and prevent future cases of avoidable harm. The aim of this study was to understand the causative factors leading to all unnecessary deaths in orthopaedics and trauma surgery reported to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) over a four-year period (2005–2009), using a qualitative approach.
Reports made to the NPSA are categorised and stored in the database as free-text data. A search was undertaken to identify the cases of all-cause mortality in orthopaedic and trauma surgery, and the free-text elements were used for thematic analysis. Descriptive statistics were calculated based on the incidents reported. This included presenting the number of times categories of incidents had the same or similar response. Superordinate and subordinate categories were created.
A total of 257 incident reports were analysed. Four main thematic categories emerged. These were: (1) stages of the surgical journey – 118/191 (62%) of deaths occurred in the post-operative phase; (2) causes of patient deaths – 32% were related to severe infections; (3) reported quality of medical interventions – 65% of patients experienced minimal or delayed treatment; (4) skills of healthcare professionals – 44% of deaths had a failure in non-technical skills.
Most complications in orthopaedic surgery can be dealt with adequately, provided they are anticipated and that risk-reduction strategies are instituted. Surgeons take pride in the precision of operative techniques; perhaps it is time to enshrine the multimodal tools available to ensure safer patient care.
Patient safety; Errors; Orthopaedics; Trauma surgery; Quality improvement
Deep infection following endoprosthetic limb reconstruction for sarcoma of the long bones is a devastating complication occurring in 15% of sarcoma patients. Optimizing infection protocols and conducting definitive surgical trials are critical to improving outcomes. In this study, the PARITY (Prophylactic Antibiotic Regimens in Tumor Surgery) investigators aimed to examine surgeon preferences in antibiotic prophylaxis and perceptions about current evidence, as well as to ascertain interest in resolving uncertainty in the evidence with clinical trials.
We used a cross-sectional survey to examine current practice in the prescription of prophylactic antibiotics in Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery. The survey was approved by our institution’s Ethics Board and emailed to all Active Members of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) and Canadian Orthopaedic Oncology Society (CANOOS). Survey answers were collected using an anonymous online survey tool.
Of the 96 surgeons who received the questionnaire, 72 responded (75% response rate (% CI: 65.5, 82.5%)). While almost all respondents agreed antibiotic regimens were important in reducing the risk of infection, respondents varied considerably in their choices of antibiotic regimens and dosages. Although 73% (95% CI: 61, 82%) of respondents prescribe a first generation cephalosporin, 25% favor additional coverage with an aminoglycoside and/or Vancomycin. Of those who prescribe a cephalosporin, 33% prescribe a dosage of one gram for all patients and the reminder prescribe up to 2 grams based on body weight. One in three surgeons (95% CI: 25, 48%) believes antibiotics could be discontinued after 24 hours but 40% (95% CI: 30, 53%) continue antibiotics until the suction drain is removed. Given the ongoing uncertainty in evidence to guide best practices, 90% (95% CI: 81, 95%) of respondents agreed that they would change their practice if a large randomized controlled trial showed clear benefit of an antibiotic drug regimen different from what they are currently using. Further support for a clinical trial was observed by an overwhelming surgeon interest (87%; 95% CI: 77, 93%) in participating in a multi-center randomized controlled study.
The current lack of guidelines for the prescription of prophylactic antibiotics in Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery has left Orthopaedic Oncologists with varying opinions and practices. The lack of current evidence and strong surgeon support for participating in a definitive study provides strong rationale for clinical trials.
Knowledge and training in evidence-based medicine (EBM) and clinical research is under-represented in most surgical training programs in North America. To address a lack of resources for surgeons, trainees and related specialties, we developed a Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (PPCR) course. The current study evaluated transfer of knowledge and perceptions about the course.
The course was an intensive 2.5-day workshop consisting of interactive lectures and small group breakout sessions. Pre- and postcourse tests were completed by participants. The Fresno test, questions from the Centre of Applied Medical Statistics (CAMS) test and questions developed by the course chairs were used to determine if participants’ knowledge of EBM, clinical research methodology and statistics improved. We also elicited participant perceptions of the course.
Overall participant knowledge about EBM and clinical research methods improved significantly from the pre- to the postcourse test (mean improvement in score 13.5%, relative increase 35.3%, p < 0.001). Specifically, improvements were demonstrated on the Fresno test (mean improvement 13.5%, relative increase 36.1%, p < 0.001) and the CAMS test (mean improvement 11.4%, relative increase 20.1%, p = 0.001). Participants showed the greatest improvement in general knowledge about clinical research (mean improvement 15.4%, relative increase 46.5%, p < 0.001). The PPCR course was well received; 30 (81.1%) participants who completed the course evaluation gave it a positive rating.
Participants in a short course focusing on EBM and clinical research methodology had significant improvements in scores on tests of knowledge gained. Widespread implementation of similar courses may bridge knowledge gaps for surgeons, surgical trainees and health professionals. Whether shorter knowledge gains are retained in the longer term remains unknown.