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1.  Older Age Does Not Affect Healing Time and Functional Outcomes After Fracture Nonunion Surgery 
Elderly patients are at risk of fracture nonunion, given the potential setting of osteopenia, poorer fracture biology, and comorbid medical conditions. Risk factors predicting fracture nonunion may compromise the success of fracture nonunion surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of patient age on clinical and functional outcome following long bone fracture nonunion surgery.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data identified 288 patients (aged 18-91) who were indicated for long bone nonunion surgery. Two-hundred and seventy-two patients satisfied study inclusion criteria and analyses were performed comparing elderly patients aged ≥65 years (n = 48) with patients <65 years (n = 224) for postoperative wound complications, Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment (SMFA) functional status, healing, and surgical revision. Regression analyses were performed to look for associations between age, smoking status, and history of previous nonunion surgery with healing and functional outcome. Twelve-month follow-up was obtained on 91.5% (249 of 272) of patients.
Despite demographic differences in the aged population, including a predominance of medical comorbidities (P < .01) and osteopenia (P = .02), there was no statistical differences in the healing rate of elderly patients (95.8% vs 95.1%, P = .6) or time to union (6.2 ± 4.1 months vs. 7.2 ± 6.6, P = .3). Rates of postoperative wound complications and surgical revision did not statistically differ. Elderly patients reported similar levels of function up to 12 months after surgery. Regression analyses failed to show any significant association between age and final union or time to union. There was a strong positive association between smoking and history of previous nonunion surgery with time to union. Age was associated (positively) with 12-month SMFA activity score.
Smoking and failure of previous surgical intervention were associated with nonunion surgery outcomes. Patient’s age at the time of surgery was not associated with achieving union. Advanced age was generally not associated with poorer nonunion surgery outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4212425  PMID: 25360341
elderly; age; nonunion; healing; function
2.  Bone Quality: Educational Tools for Patients, Physicians, and Educators 
Defining bone quality remains elusive. From a patient perspective bone quality can best be defined as an individual’s likelihood of sustaining a fracture. Fracture risk indicators and performance measures can help clinicians better understand individual fracture risk. Educational resources such as the Web can help clinicians and patients better understand fracture risk, communicate effectively, and make decisions concerning diagnosis and treatment.
We examined four questions: What tools can be used to identify individuals at high risk for fracture? What clinical performance measures are available? What strategies can help ensure that patients at risk for fracture are identified? What are some authoritative Web sites for educating providers and patients about bone quality?
Using Google, PUBMED, and trademark names, we reviewed the literature using the terms “bone quality” and “osteoporosis education.” Web site legitimacy was evaluated using specific criteria. Educational Web sites were limited to English-language sites sponsored by nonprofit organizations
The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool® (FRAX®) and the Fracture Risk Calculator (FRC) are reliable means of assessing fracture risk. Performance measures relating to bone health were developed by the AMA convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement® and are included in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative. In addition, quality measures have been developed by the Joint Commission. Strategies for identifying individuals at risk include designating responsibility for case finding and intervention, evaluating secondary causes of osteoporosis, educating patients and providers, performing cost-effectiveness evaluation, and using information technology. An abundance of authoritative educational Web sites exists for providers and patients.
Effective clinical indicators, performance measures, and educational tools to better understand and identify fracture risk are now available. The next challenge is to encourage broader use of these resources so that individuals at high risk for fracture will not just be identified but will also adhere to therapy.
PMCID: PMC3126939  PMID: 21400004
3.  Do Successful Surgical Results after Operative Treatment of Long-bone Nonunions Correlate with Outcomes? 
There has been increased emphasis on validated, patient-reported functional outcomes after orthopaedic interventions for various conditions. The few reports on these types of outcomes after treatment of fracture nonunions are limited to specific anatomic sites, limited by small numbers, and retrospective. To determine whether successful healing of established long-bone nonunions resulted in improved functional outcomes and reduction in patient-reported pain scores, we prospectively followed 80 patients. These patients had a mean of 1.4 surgical procedures before enrollment and a mean of 18 months had elapsed from previous surgery until enrollment. Baseline data and functional scores were obtained before intervention. Seventeen of the 80 patients (21%) had positive intraoperative cultures. At a mean of 18.7 months (range, 12–36 months), 72 (90%) nonunions had healed. Patients with healed nonunions scored better on the Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment. Pain scores among all patients improved compared with baseline, but to a greater degree in patients who achieved healing by final followup. Our data suggest improvement in pain scores is seen in all patients after surgery, whereas successful internal fixation leads to improved function.
Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC2758979  PMID: 19437084

Results 1-3 (3)