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
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
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
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.
The optimal treatment of displaced femoral neck fractures in patients over 60 years is controversial. While much research has focused on the impact of total hip arthroplasty (THA) and hemiarthroplasty (HA) on surgical outcomes, little is known about patient preferences for either alternative. The purpose of this study was to elicit surgical preferences of patients at risk of sustaining hip fracture using a novel decision board.
We developed a decision board for the surgical management of displaced femoral neck fractures presenting risks and outcomes of HA and THA. The decision board was presented to 81 elderly patients at risk for developing femoral neck fractures identified from an osteoporosis clinic. The participants were faced with the scenario of sustaining a displaced femoral neck fracture and were asked to state their treatment option preference and rationale for operative procedure.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of participants were between the age of 60 and 80 years; 89% were female; 88% were Caucasian; and 49% had some post-secondary education. Ninety-three percent (93%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87-99%) of participants chose THA as their preferred operative choice. Participants identified several factors important to their decision, including the perception of greater walking distance (63%), less residual pain (29%), less reoperative risk (28%) and lower mortality risk (20%) with THA. Participants who preferred HA (7%; 95% CI, 1-13%) did so for perceived less invasiveness (50%), lower dislocation risk (33%), lower infection risk (33%), and shorter operative time (17%).
The overwhelming majority of patients preferred THA to HA for the treatment of a displaced femoral neck fracture when confronted with risks and outcomes of both procedures on a decision board.
After the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997, the registration of all clinical trials became mandatory prior to publication. Our primary objective was to determine publication rates for orthopaedic trauma trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov. We further evaluated methodological consistency between registration and publication.
We searched Clinical Trials.gov for all trials related to orthopaedic trauma. We excluded active trials and trials not completed by July 2009, and performed a systematic search for publications resulting from registered closed trials. Information regarding primary and secondary outcomes, intervention, study sponsors, and sample size were extracted from registrations and publications.
Of 130 closed trials, 37 eligible trials resulted in 16 publications (43.2%). We found no significant differences in publication rates between funding sources for industry sponsored studies and nongovernment/nonindustry sponsored studies (p > 0.05). About half the trials (45%) did not include the NCT ID in the publication. Two (10%) publications had major changes to the primary outcome measure and ten (52.6%) to sample size.
Registration of orthopaedic trauma trials does not consistently result in publication. When trials are registered, many do not cite NCT ID in the publication. Furthermore, changes that are not reflected in the registry of the trial are frequently made to the final publication.
Trial registration; Clinicaltrials.gov; Orthopaedic trauma
One of the disadvantages of the Impact Factor (IF) is self-citation. The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator excludes self-citations and considers the quality, rather than absolute numbers, of citations of a journal by other journals. The present study re-evaluated the influence of self-citation on the 2007 IF for 18 major orthopaedic journals and investigated the difference in ranking between IF and SJR.
The journals were analysed for self-citation both overall and divided into a general group (n = 8) and a specialized group (n = 10). Self-cited and self-citing rates, as well as citation densities and IFs corrected for self-citation (cIF), were calculated. The rankings of the 18 journals by IF and by SJR were compared and the absolute difference between these rankings (ΔR) was determined.
Specialized journals had higher self-citing rates (p = 0.01, Δmedian = 9.50, 95%CI -19.42 to 0.42), higher self-cited rates (p = 0.0004, Δmedian = -10.50, 95%CI -15.28 to -5.72) and greater differences between IF and cIF (p = 0.003, Δmedian = 3.50, 95%CI -6.1 to 13.1). There was no significant correlation between self-citing rate and IF for both groups (general: r = 0.46, p = 0.27; specialized: r = 0.21, p = 0.56). When the difference in ranking between IF and SJR was compared between both groups, sub-specialist journals were ranked lower compared to their general counterparts (ΔR: p = 0.006, Δmedian = 2.0, 95%CI -0.39 to 4.39).
Citation analysis shows that specialized orthopaedic journals have specific self-citation tendencies. The correlation between self-cited rate and IF in our sample was large but, due to small sample size, not significant. The SJR excludes self-citations in its calculation and therefore enhances the underestimation in ranking of specialized journals.
Two types of methods are used to assess learning curves: outcome assessment and process assessment. Outcome measures are usually dichotomous rare events like complication rates and survival or require an extensive follow-up and are therefore often inadequate to monitor individual learning curves. Time-action analysis (TAA) is a tool to objectively determine the level of efficiency of individual steps of a surgical procedure.
We are currently using TAA to determine the number of cases needed for surgeons to reach proficiency with a new innovative hip implant prior to initiating a multicentre RCT. By analysing the unedited video recordings of the first 20 procedures of each surgeon the number and duration of the actions needed for a surgeon to achieve his goal and the efficiency of these actions is measured. We constructed a taxonomy or list of actions which together describe the complete surgical procedure. In the taxonomy we categorised the procedure in 5 different Goal Oriented Phases (GOP):
1. the incision phase
2. the femoral phase
3. the acetabulum phase
4. the stem phase
5. the closure pase
Each GOP was subdivided in Goal Oriented Actions (GOA) and each GOA is subdivided in Separate Actions (SA) thereby defining all the necessary actions to complete the procedure. We grouped the SAs into GOAs since it would not be feasible to measure each SA. Using the video recordings, the duration of each GOA was recorded as well as the amount of delay. Delay consists of repetitions, waiting and additional actions. The nett GOA time is the total GOA time – delay and is a representation of the level of difficulty of each procedure. Efficiency is the percentage of nett GOA time during each procedure.
This allows the construction of individual learning curves, assessment of the final skill level for each surgeon and comparison of different surgeons prior to participation in an RCT. We believe an objective and comparable assessment of skill level by process assessment can improve the value of a surgical RCT in situations where a learning curve is expected.
Evidence-based medicine posits that health care research is founded upon clinically important differences in patient centered outcomes. Statistically significant differences between two treatments may not necessarily reflect a clinically important difference. We aimed to quantify the sample sizes and magnitude of treatment effects in a review of orthopaedic randomized trials with statistically significant findings.
We conducted a comprehensive search (PubMed, Cochrane) for all randomized controlled trials between 1/1/95 to 12/31/04. Eligible studies include those that focused upon orthopaedic trauma. Baseline characteristics and treatment effects were abstracted by two reviewers. Briefly, for continuous outcome measures (ie functional scores), we calculated effect sizes (mean difference/standard deviation). Dichotomous variables (ie infection, nonunion) were summarized as absolute risk differences and relative risk reductions (RRR). Effect sizes >0.80 and RRRs>50% were defined as large effects.
Using regression analysis we examined the association between the total number of outcome events and treatment effect (dichotomous outcomes).
Our search yielded 433 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), of which 76 RCTs with statistically significant findings on 184 outcomes (122 continuous/62 dichotomous outcomes) met study eligibility criteria. The mean effect size across studies with continuous outcome variables was 1.7 (95% confidence interval: 1.43–1.97). For dichotomous outcomes, the mean risk difference was 30% (95%confidence interval:24%–36%) and the mean relative risk reduction was 61% (95% confidence interval: 55%–66%; range: 0%–97%). Fewer numbers of total outcome events in studies was strongly correlated with increasing magnitude of the treatment effect (Pearson's R = -0.70, p < 0.01). When adjusted for sample size, the number of outcome events revealed an independent association with the size of the treatment effect (Odds ratio = 50, 95% confidence interval: 3.0–1000, p = 0.006).
Our review suggests that statistically significant results in orthopaedic trials have the following implications-1) On average large risk reductions are reported 2) Large treatment effects (>50% relative risk reduction) are correlated with few number of total outcome events. Readers should interpret the results of such small trials with these issues in mind.
Although surgeons acknowledge the importance of irrigating open fracture wounds, the choice of irrigating fluid and delivery pressure remains controversial. Our objective was to clarify current opinion with regard to the irrigation of open fracture wounds.
We used a cross-sectional survey and a sample-to-redundancy strategy to examine surgeons' preferences in the initial management of open fracture wounds. We mailed this survey to members of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and delivered it to attendees of an international fracture course (AO, Davos, Switzerland).
Of the 1,764 surgeons who received the questionnaire, 984 (55.8%) responded. In the management of open wounds, the majority of surgeons surveyed, 676 (70.5%), favoured normal saline alone. Bacitracin solution was used routinely by only 161 surgeons (16.8%). The majority of surgeons, 695 (71%) used low pressures when delivering the irrigating solution to the wound. There was, however considerable variation in what pressures constituted high versus low pressure lavage. The overwhelming majority of surgeons, 889 (94.2%), reported they would change their practice if a large randomized controlled trial showed a clear benefit of an irrigating solution – especially if it was different from the solution they used.
The majority of surgeons favour both normal saline and low pressure lavage for the initial management of open fracture wounds. However, opinions varied as regards the comparative efficacy of different solutions, the use of additives and high versus low pressure. Surgeons have expressed considerable support for a trial evaluating both irrigating solutions and pressures.