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1.  Factors affecting the relative age effect in NHL athletes 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):157-161.
The relative age effect (RAE) has been reported for a number of different activities. The RAE is the phenomena whereby players born in the first few months of a competition year are advantaged for selection to elite sports. Much of the literature has identified elite male athletics, such as the National Hockey League (NHL), as having consistently large RAEs. We propose that RAE may be lessened in the NHL since the last examination.
We examined demographic and selection factors to understand current NHL selection biases.
We found that RAE was weak and was only evident when birth dates were broken into year halves. Players born in the first half of the year were relatively advantaged for entry into the NHL. We found that the RAE is smaller than reported in previous studies. Intraplayer comparisons for multiple factors, including place of birth, country of play, type of hockey played, height and weight, revealed no differences. Players who were not drafted (e.g., free agents) or who played university hockey in North America had no apparent RAE.
We found little evidence of an RAE in the current NHL player rosters. A larger study of all Canadian minor hockey intercity teams could help determine the existence of an RAE.
PMCID: PMC4035396  PMID: 24869606
2.  Choosing Wisely (and carefully) Canada 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):149.
PMCID: PMC4035392  PMID: 24869602
3.  Choisir avec soin (et sensément) 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):151.
PMCID: PMC4035393
4.  Review of a medical student–run surgery lecture series and skills lab curriculum 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):152-154.
Evidence suggests that early exposure to surgical techniques, surgical knowledge and mentors strongly correlates with students’ interest, knowledge and confidence in general surgery as a postgraduate career choice. Preclerkship exposure to surgery and implementation of a formal surgical curriculum is often restricted owing to attending surgeon time commitments and cost limitations. To promote earlier exposure to surgery, a group of senior medical students at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., developed and implemented a novel pilot program with a surgical lecture series and a surgical skills laboratory for preclerkship students. This commentary discusses the effectiveness of these initiatives.
PMCID: PMC4035394  PMID: 24869604
5.  Single incision laparoscopic surgery in Canadian children 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):155-156.
As minimally invasive surgery progresses, there have been attempts to modify the technique to minimize both the number and visibility of incisions. These newer techniques are known by multiple acronyms, including single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS). The SILS technique has gained popularity in the United States, particularly owing to its perceived improved cosmesis. The SILS technique has been primarily used in adults, and the number of pediatric publications on the topic is underwhelming. We have begun to evaluate SILS at our centre to determine its applicability in both a Canadian and pediatric practice, and this commentary discusses our initial application of the procedure.
PMCID: PMC4035395  PMID: 24869605
6.  Does ultrasonography accurately diagnose acute cholecystitis? Improving diagnostic accuracy based on a review at a regional hospital 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):162-168.
Acute cholecystitis is one of the most common diseases requiring emergency surgery. Ultrasonography is an accurate test for cholelithiasis but has a high false-negative rate for acute cholecystitis. The Murphy sign and laboratory tests performed independently are also not particularly accurate. This study was designed to review the accuracy of ultrasonography for diagnosing acute cholecystitis in a regional hospital.
We studied all emergency cholecystectomies performed over a 1-year period. All imaging studies were reviewed by a single radiologist, and all pathology was reviewed by a single pathologist. The reviewers were blinded to each other’s results.
A total of 107 patients required an emergency cholecystectomy in the study period; 83 of them underwent ultrasonography. Interradiologist agreement was 92% for ultrasonography. For cholelithiasis, ultrasonography had 100% sensitivity, 18% specificity, 81% positive predictive value (PPV) and 100% negative predictive value (NPV). For acute cholecystitis, it had 54% sensitivity, 81% specificity, 85% PPV and 47% NPV. All patients had chronic cholecystitis and 67% had acute cholecystitis on histology. When combined with positive Murphy sign and elevated neutrophil count, an ultrasound showing cholelithiasis or acute cholecystitis yielded a sensitivity of 74%, specificity of 62%, PPV of 80% and NPV of 53% for the diagnosis of acute cholecystitis.
Ultrasonography alone has a high rate of false-negative studies for acute cholecystitis. However, a higher rate of accurate diagnosis can be achieved using a triad of positive Murphy sign, elevated neutrophil count and an ultrasound showing cholelithiasis or cholecystitis.
PMCID: PMC4035397  PMID: 24869607
7.  Minimally displaced clavicle fracture after high-energy injury: Are they likely to displace? 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):169-174.
Nondisplaced or minimally displaced clavicle fractures are often considered to be benign injuries. These fractures in the trauma patient population, however, may deserve closer follow-up than their low-energy counterparts. We sought to determine the initial assessment performed on these patients and the rate of subsequent fracture displacement in patients sustaining high-energy trauma when a supine chest radiograph on initial trauma survey revealed a well-aligned clavicle fracture.
We retrospectively reviewed the cases of trauma alert patients who sustained a midshaft clavicle fracture (AO/OTA type 15-B) with less than 100% displacement treated at a single level 1 trauma centre between 2005 and 2010. We compared fracture displacement on initial supine chest radiographs and follow-up radiographs. Orthopedic consultation and the type of imaging studies obtained were also recorded.
Ninety-five patients with clavicle fractures met the inclusion criteria. On follow-up, 57 (60.0%) had displacement of 100% or more of the shaft width. Most patients (63.2%) in our study had an orthopedic consultation during their hospital admission, and 27.4% had clavicle radiographs taken on the day of admission.
Clavicle fractures in patients with a high-energy mechanism of injury are prone to fracture displacement, even when initial supine chest radiographs show nondisplacement. We recommend clavicle films as part of the initial evaluation for all patients with clavicle fractures and early follow-up within the first 2 weeks of injury.
PMCID: PMC4035398  PMID: 24869608
8.  Intraoperative systemic lidocaine for pre-emptive analgesics in subtotal gastrectomy: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):175-182.
Pre-emptive intravenous lidocaine infusion is known to improve postoperative pain in abdominal surgery. We assessed the effect of intravenous lidocaine infusion in patients who underwent subtotal gastrectomy.
We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with patients undergoing subtotal gastrectomy for early gastric cancer divided into 2 groups: 1 group received intravenous lidocaine infusion preoperatively and throughout surgery, and the other received normal saline infusion (placebo). We assessed postoperative outcomes, including pain scores on a visual analogue scale (VAS), administration frequency of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) and the amount of consumed fentanyl. Postoperative nausea and vomiting, length of hospital stay (LOS), time to return to regular diet and patient satisfaction at discharge were evaluated.
There were 36 patients in our study. Demographic characteristics were similar between the groups. The VAS pain scores and administration frequency of PCA were significantly lower in the lidocaine group until 24 hours after surgery, and fentanyl consumption was significantly lower in this group until 12 hours postoperatively compared with the placebo group. The total amount of consumed fentanyl and the total administration frequency of PCA were significantly lower in the lidocaine than the control group. No significant differences were detected in terms of nausea and vomiting, return to regular diet, LOS and patient satisfaction, and there were no reported side-effects of lidocaine.
Intravenous lidocaine infusion reduces pain during the postoperative period after subtotal gastrectomy.
PMCID: PMC4035399  PMID: 24869609
9.  The effects on oxidative DNA damage of laparoscopic gastric band applications in morbidly obese patients 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):183-187.
Obesity may induce oxidative stress, causing oxidative damage of DNA. We examined associations between decreasing serum and urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels and weight loss in morbidly obese patients before and 6 months after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB).
We compared patients who had surgery for morbid obesity with healthy, nonobese controls. Urine and fasting blood samples were collected once from the controls and from the morbidly obese patients before and 6 months after the LAGB. The serum and urinary 8-OHdG levels were evaluated in these groups using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.
We included 20 patients who had surgery for morbid obesity (8 men, 12 women, mean body mass index [BMI] 46.82 ± 4.47) and 20 healthy, nonobese people (10 men, 10 women, mean BMI 22.52 ± 2.08) in our study. There was no significant difference in serum 8-OHdG levels between the groups, whereas urinary 8-OHdG levels were significantly higher in morbidly obese patients than in controls. Weight, BMI and serum and urinary 8-OHdG levels were significantly decreased in morbidly obese patients 6 months after LAGB.
The LAGB provides efficient weight loss in patients with morbid obesity. The systemic oxidative DNA damage was increased by the morbid obesity, but this increase was not related to weight gain, and it was more evident in serum than urine samples. After LAGB for morbid obesity, the oxidative DNA damage declined both in serum and urine.
PMCID: PMC4035400  PMID: 24869610
10.  A comparison of the modified Tokuhashi and Tomita scores in determining prognosis for patients afflicted with spinal metastasis 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):188-193.
The prognosis of patients with spinal metastasis is not very promising and hard to predict. It is for this reason that scoring systems, such as the modified Tokuhashi and Tomita scores, have been created. We sought to determine the effectiveness of these scores in predicting patient survival.
We retrospectively reviewed the data of all patients treated for spinal metastasis between March 2003 and March 2012 in our centre. We computed the Tokuhashi and Tomita scores and compared them with documented patient survival. The 2 scores were also compared with one another.
We identified 128 patients with spinal metastasis. The average survival of patients with predicted poor, average and good prognosis was 5, 17 and 25 months, respectively for the modified Tokuhashi score and 3, 16 and 19 months, respectively, for the Tomita score. Poor, average and good prognosis predictions differed significantly from one another for all 3 categories for the Tokuhashi score (all p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the moderate and good prognoses for the Tomita score (p = 0.15). When comparing both scores, we obtained a weighted κ of 0.4489 (standard deviation 0.0568, 95% confidence interval 0.3376–0.5602), demonstrating moderate agreement between scores.
Both scores have merit for use in a clinical setting and can be used as tools to help determine treatment choice. The modified Tokuhashi score had better accuracy in determining actual survival.
PMCID: PMC4035401  PMID: 24869611
11.  The impact of an acute care surgery clinical care pathway for suspected appendicitis on the use of CT in the emergency department 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):194-198.
The natural evolution of an acute care surgery (ACS) service is to develop disease-specific care pathways aimed at quality improvement. Our primary goal was to evaluate the implementation of an ACS pathway dedicated to suspected appendicitis on patient flow and the use of computed tomography (CT) in the emergency department (ED).
All adults within a large health care system (3 hospitals) with suspected appendicitis were analyzed during our study period, which included 3 time periods: pre-and postimplementation of the disease-specific pathway and at 12-month follow-up.
Of the 1168 consultations for appendicitis that took place during our study period, 349 occurred preimplementation, 392 occurred postimplementation, and 427 were follow-up visits. In all, 877 (75%) patients were admitted to the ACS service. Overall, 83% of patients underwent surgery within 6 hours. The mean wait time from CT request to obtaining the CT scan decreased with pathway implementation at all sites (197 v. 143 min, p < 0.001). This improvement was sustained at 12-month follow-up (131 min, p < 0.001). The pathway increased the number of CTs completed in under 2 hours from 3% to 42% (p < 0.001). No decrease in the total number of CTs or the pattern of ultrasonography was noted (p = 0.42). Wait times from ED triage to surgery were shortened (665 min preimplementation, 633 min postimplementation, 631 min at the 12-month follow-up, p = 0.040).
A clinical care pathway dedicated to suspected appendicitis can decrease times to both CT scan and surgical intervention.
PMCID: PMC4035402  PMID: 24869612
12.  Differences in telomerase activity between colon and rectal cancer 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):199-208.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and the third leading cause of cancer death in both sexes. The disease progresses as a multistep process and is associated with genetic alterations. One of the characteristic features of cancer is telomerase activation. We sought to evaluate the differences in telomerase activity between colon cancer and adjacent normal tissue and to correlate the differences in telomerase activity between different locations with clinicopathological factors and survival.
Matched colon tumour samples and adjacent normal mucosa samples 10 cm away from the tumour were collected during colectomy. We assessed telomerase activity using real time polymerase chain reaction. Several pathological characteristics of tumours, including p53, Ki-67, p21, bcl2 and MLH1 expression were also studied.
We collected samples from 49 patients. There was a significantly higher telomerase activity in colon cancer tissue than normal tissue. Adenocarcinomas of the right colon express significantly higher telomerase than left-side cancers. Colon cancers and their adjacent normal tissue had significantly more telomerase and were more positive to MLH1 than rectal cancers. The expression of p53 negatively correlated to telomerase activity and was linked to better patient survival.
Colon and rectal cancers seem to have different telomerase and MLH1 profiles, and this could be another factor for their different biologic and clinical behaviour and progression. These results support the idea that the large bowel cannot be considered a uniform organ, at least in the biology of cancer.
PMCID: PMC4035403  PMID: 24869613
13.  Outcomes following surgical treatment of periprosthetic femur fractures: a single centre series 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):209-213.
Periprosthetic femoral fracture after total hip arthroplasty (THA) is an increasing clinical problem and a challenging complication to treat surgically. The aim of this retrospective study was to review the treatment of periprosthetic fractures and the complication rate associated with treatment at our institution.
We reviewed the cases of patients with periprosthetic femoral fractures treated between January 2004 and June 2009. We used the Vancouver classification to assess fracture types, and we identified the surgical interventions used for these fracture types and the associated complications.
We treated 45 patients with periprosthetic femoral fractures during the study period (15 men, 30 women, mean age 78 yr). Based on Vancouver classification, 2 patients had AL fractures, 9 had AG, 15 had B1, 24 had B2, 2 had B3 and 4 had C fractures. Overall, 82% of fractures united with a mean time to union of 15 (range 2–64) months. Fourteen patients (31%) had complications; 11 of them had a reoperation: 6 to treat an infection, 6 for nonunion and 2 for aseptic femoral component loosening.
Periprosthetic fractures are difficult to manage. Careful preoperative planning and appropriate intraoperative management in the hands of experienced surgeons may increase the chances of successful treatment. However, patients should be counselled on the high risk of complications when presenting with this problem.
PMCID: PMC4035404  PMID: 24869614
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):214-216.
PMCID: PMC4035405  PMID: 24869615
15.  Impact of perioperative acute ischemic stroke on the outcomes of noncardiac and nonvascular surgery: a single centre prospective study 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E55-E61.
Although ischemic stroke is a well-known complication of cardiovascular surgery it has not been extensively studied in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. The aim of this study was to assess the predictors and outcomes of perioperative acute ischemic stroke (PAIS) in patients undergoing noncardiothoracic, nonvascular surgery (NCS).
We prospectively evaluated patients undergoing NCS and enrolled patients older than 18 years who underwent an elective, non-daytime, open surgical procedure. Electrocardiography and cardiac biomarkers were obtained 1 day before surgery, and on postoperative days 1, 3 and 7.
Of the 1340 patients undergoing NCS, 31 (2.3%) experienced PAIS. Only age (odds ratio [OR] 2.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–3.2, p < 0.001) and preoperative history of stroke (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.2–4.8, p < 0.001) were independent predictors of PAIS according to multivariate analysis. Patients with PAIS had more cardiovascular (51.6% v. 10.6%, p < 0.001) and noncardiovascular complications (67.7% v. 28.3%, p < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was 19.3% for the PAIS group and 1% for those without PAIS (p < 0.001).
Age and preoperative history of stroke were strong risk factors for PAIS in patients undergoing NCS. Patients with PAIS carry an elevated risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC4035406  PMID: 24869617
16.  The “weekend warrior”: Fact or fiction for major trauma? 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E62-E68.
The “weekend warrior” engages in demanding recreational sporting activities on weekends despite minimal physical activity during the week. We sought to identify the incidence and injury patterns of major trauma from recreational sporting activities on weekends versus weekdays.
We performed a retrospective cohort study using the Alberta Trauma Registry comparing all adults who were severely injured (injury severity score [ISS] ≥ 12) while engaging in physical activity on weekends versus weekdays between 1995 and 2009.
Among the 351 identified patients (median ISS 18; median hospital stay 6 d; mortality 6.6%), significantly more were injured on the weekend than during the week (54.8% v. 45.2%, p = 0.016). Common mechanisms were motocross (23.6%), hiking or mountain/rock climbing (15.4%), skateboarding or rollerblading (12.3%), hockey/ice-skating (10.3%) and aircraft- (9.9%) and water-related (7.7%) activities. This distribution was similar regardless of the day of the week. Most patients were injured as a result of a ground-level (21.9%) or higher fall while hiking, mountain climbing or rock climbing (25.9%); motocross-related incidents (24.2%); or collision with a tree, person, man-made object or moving vehicle (14.0%). Injury patterns were similar across both groups (all p > 0.05): head (55.8%), spine (35.1%), chest (35.0%), extremities (31.1%), face (17.4%), abdomen (13.1%). Surgical intervention was required in 41% of patients: 15.1% required open reduction and internal fixation, 8.3% spinal fixation, 7.4% craniotomy, 5.1% facial repair and 4.3% laparotomy.
The weekend warrior concept may be a validated entity for major trauma.
PMCID: PMC4035407  PMID: 24869618
17.  Does regional variation impact decision-making in the management and palliation of pancreatic head adenocarcinoma? Results from an international survey 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E69-E74.
Management and palliation of pancreatic head adenocarcinoma is challenging. End-of-life decision-making is a variable process involving multiple factors.
We conducted a qualitative, physician-based, 40-question international survey characterizing the impact of medical, religious, social, training and system factors on care.
A total of 258 international clinicians completed the survey. Respondents were typically fellowship-trained (78%), with a mean of 16 years’ experience in a university-affiliated (93%) hepato-pancreato-biliary group (96%) practice. Most (91%) believed resection is potentially curative. Most patients were discussed preoperatively by multi-disciplinary teams (94%) and medical assessment clinics (68%), but rarely critical care (21%). Intraoperative surgical palliation included double bypass or no intervention for locally advanced nonresectable tumours (41% and 49% v. 14% and 85%, respectively, for patients with hepatic metastases). Postoperative admission to the intensive care unit was frequent (58%). Severe postoperative complications were often treated with aggressive cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubation and critical care (96%), with no defined time points for futility (74%). Admitting surgeons guided most end-of-life decisions (97%). Formal medical futility laws were rarely available (26%). Insurance status did not alter treatment (97%) or palliation (95%) in non–universal care regions. Clinician experience, regional culture and training background impacted treatment (all p < 0.05).
Despite remarkable overall agreement, geographic and training differences are evident in the treatment and palliation of pancreatic head adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC4035408  PMID: 24869619
18.  Clinical outcomes of minimally invasive endoscopic and conventional sternotomy approaches for atrial septal defect repair 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E75-E81.
Concerns remain that minimally invasive atrial septal defect (ASD) repair may compromise patient outcomes. We compared clinical outcomes of adult patients undergoing ASD repair via a minimally invasive endoscopic approach versus a “gold standard” sternotomy.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical outcomes of consecutive patients who underwent ASD patch repair at our institution between 2002 and 2012. We compared in-hospital/30-day mortality, postoperative complications, length of stay in hospital and in the intensive care unit and blood product requirements between patients who underwent right mini-thoracotomy (MT) and those who underwent conventional sternotomy.
During the study period, 73 consecutive patients underwent ASD patch repair at our institution: 51 (age 47 ± 16 yr, 66.7% women) in the MT group and 22 (age 46 ± 21 yr, 59.1% women) in the sternotomy group. In-hospital mortality was similar between the 2 groups (MT 0% v. sternotomy 4.5%, p = 0.30). There were no significant differences in any postoperative complications or blood product requirements. No patients in the MT group suffered stroke, retrograde aortic dissection or leg ischemia. Mean intensive care unit (MT 1.2 ± 1.2 d v. sternotomy 1.7 ± 2.2 d, p = 0.26) and hospital length of stays (MT 5.1 ± 2.2 d v. sternotomy 6.3 ± 3.6 d, p = 0.17) were similar between the groups; however, there was a trend toward fewer patients requiring prolonged hospital stays (> 10 d) in the MT group (3.9% v. 18.2%, p = 0.06).
Repair of ostium secundum and sinus venosus ASD can be performed safely via MT endoscopic approach with similar outcomes as sternotomy. Patient preference for a more cosmetically appealing incision may be considered without concern of compromised outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4035409  PMID: 24869620
19.  Attempting primary closure for all open fractures: the effectiveness of an institutional protocol 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E82-E88.
Immediate primary closure of open fractures has been historically believed to increase the risk of wound infection and fracture nonunion. Recent literature has challenged this belief, but uncertainty remains as to whether primary closure can be used as routine practice. This study evaluates the impact of an institutional protocol mandating primary closure for all open fractures.
We retrospectively reviewed all open fractures treated in a single level 1 trauma centre in a 5-year period. Prior to the study, a protocol was adopted standardizing management of open fractures and advocating primary closure of all wounds as a necessary goal of operative treatment. Patient and fracture characteristics, type of wound closure and development of infectious and bone healing complications were evaluated from time of injury to completion of outpatient follow-up.
A total of 297 open fractures were treated, 255 (85.8%) of them with immediate primary closure. Type III open injuries accounted for 24% of all injuries. Wounds that were immediately closed had a superficial infection rate of 11% and a deep infection rate of 4.7%. Both proportions are equivalent to or lower than historical controls for delayed closure. Fracture classification, velocity of trauma and time to wound closure did not correlate significantly with infection, delayed union or nonunion.
Attempting primary closure for all open fractures is a safe and efficient practice that does not increase the postoperative risk of infection and delayed union or nonunion.
PMCID: PMC4035410  PMID: 24869621
20.  Single-incision versus conventional laparoscopic appendectomy in 688 patients: a retrospective comparative analysis 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E89-E97.
Laparoscopic surgery has become the standard for treating appendicitis. The cosmetic benefits of using single-incision laparoscopy are well known, but its duration, complications and time to recovery have not been well documented. We compared 2 laparoscopic approaches for treating appendicitis and evaluated postoperative pain, complications and time to full recovery.
We retrospectively reviewed the cases of consecutive patients with appendicitis and compared those who underwent conventional laparoscopic appendectomy (CLA) performed using 3 incisions and those who underwent single-incision laparoscopic appendectomy (SILA). During SILA, the single port was prepared to increase visibility of the operative site.
Our analysis included 688 consecutive patients: 618 who underwent CLA and 70 who underwent SILA. Postsurgical complications occurred more frequently in the CLA than the SILA group (18.1% v. 7.1%, p = 0.018). Patients who underwent SILA returned to oral feeding sooner than those who underwent CLA (median 12 h v. 22 h, p < 0.001). These between-group differences remained significant after controlling for other factors. Direct comparison of only nonperforated cases, which was determined by pathological examination, revealed that SILA was significantly longer than CLA (60 min v. 50 min, p < 0.001). Patients who underwent SILA had longer in-hospital stays than those who underwent CLA (72 v. 55 h, p < 0.001); however, they had significantly fewer complications (3.0% v. 14.4%, p = 0.006).
In addition to its cosmetic advantages, SILA led to rapid recovery and no increase in postsurgical pain or complications.
PMCID: PMC4035411  PMID: 24869622
21.  A comparison of pain scores and medication use in patients undergoing single-bundle or double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E98-E104.
No gold standard exists for the management of postoperative pain following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). We compared the pain scores and medication use of patients undergoing single-bundle (SB) or double-bundle (DB) ACLR in the acute postoperative period. Pain and medication use was also analyzed for spinal versus general anesthesia approaches within both surgery types.
We assessed 2 separate cohorts of primary ACLR patients, SB and DB, for 14 days postoperatively. We used a standard logbook to record self-reported pain scores and medication use. Pain was assessed using a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS). Medications were divided into 3 categories: oral opioids, oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and acetaminophen.
A total of 88 patients undergoing SB and 41 undergoing DB ACLR were included in the study. We found no significant difference in VAS pain scores between the cohorts. Despite similar VAS pain scores, the DB cohort consumed significantly more opioid and analgesia medication (p = 0.011). Patients who underwent DB with spinal anesthesia experienced significantly less pain over the initial 14-day postoperative period than those who received general anesthesia (p < 0.001).
Adequate pain relief was provided to all ACLR patients in the initial postoperative period. Patients in the DB cohort experienced more pain, as evidenced by the significant difference in consumption of opioids and acetaminophen, than the SB cohort. Patients who underwent spinal anesthesia experienced less pain in the acute postoperative period than those who received general anesthesia.
PMCID: PMC4035412  PMID: 24869623
22.  Low-intensity pulsed ultrasonography versus electrical stimulation for fracture healing: a systematic review and network meta-analysis 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3):E105-E118.
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.
PMCID: PMC4035413  PMID: 24869616
23.  The 14th Bethune Round Table Conference on International Surgery 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(3 Suppl 1):S1-S16.
PMCID: PMC4049156

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