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1.  Radiographic and safety details of vertebral body stenting: results from a multicenter chart review 
Background
Up to one third of BKP treated cases shows no appreciable height restoration due to loss of both restored height and kyphotic realignment after balloon deflation. This shortcoming has called for an improved method that maintains the height and realignment reached by the fully inflated balloon until stabilization of the vertebral body by PMMA-based cementation. Restoration of the physiological vertebral body height for pain relief and for preventing further fractures of adjacent and distant vertebral bodies must be the main aim for such a method. A new vertebral body stenting system (VBS) stabilizes the vertebral body after balloon deflation until cementation. The radiographic and safety results of the first 100 cases where VBS was applied are presented.
Methods
During the planning phase of an ongoing international multicenter RCT, radiographic, procedural and followup details were retrospectively transcribed from charts and xrays for developing and testing the case report forms. Radiographs were centrally assessed at the institution of the first/senior author.
Results
100 patients (62 with osteoporosis) with a total of 103 fractured vertebral bodies were treated with the VBS system. 49 were females with a mean age of 73.2 years; males were 66.7 years old. The mean preoperative anterior-middle-posterior heights were 20.3-17.6-28.0 mm, respectively. The mean local kyphotic angle was 13.1°. The mean preoperative Beck Index (anterior edge height/posterior edge height) was 0.73, the mean alternative Beck Index (middle height/posterior edge height) was 0.63. The mean postoperative heights were restored to 24.5-24.6-30.4 mm, respectively. The mean local kyphotic angle was reduced to 8.9°. The mean postoperative Beck Index was 0.81, the mean alternative one was 0.82. The overall extrusion rate was 29.1%, the symptomatic one was 1%. In the osteoporosis subgroup there were 23.8% extrusions. Within the three months followup interval there were 9% of adjacent and 4% of remote new fractures, all in the osteoporotic group.
Conclusions
VBS showed its strengths especially in realignment of crush and biconcave fractures. Given that fracture mobility is present, the realignment potential is sound and increases with the severity of preoperative vertebral body deformation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-233
PMCID: PMC3751159  PMID: 23927056
Vertebral fracture; Vertebral augmentation; Vertebral body stenting; Stentoplasty; Osteoporosis
2.  The course of radiographic loosening, pain and functional outcome around the first revision of a total hip arthroplasty 
Background
The published data on pain and physical function before and after revision of total hip arthroplasty (THA) is scarce. The study reports the course and interrelationships of radiographic loosening, pain and physical function 5 year before and after a first revision THA.
Methods
The study was based on the IDES-THA database. All patients with their first THA revision for aseptic loosening and a documented index surgery on the same side and at least one pre-revision and one post-revision follow-up were selected. Only patients with an intact contralateral hip joint (Charnley class-A) were included. Follow-ups within ±5.5 years around the revision time point were analyzed. Annual prevalences of radiographic component loosening and the non-desired outcomes (moderate/severe/intolerable pain, walking <30 minutes, hip flexion range <90°) were calculated.
Results
Signs of radiographic component loosening started to increase about 4 years before revision surgery. Two years later, a sharp increase of painful hips from 15% to 80% in the revision year was observed. In the year after revision surgery, this rate dropped back to below 10%. Walking capacity started to noticeably deteriorate 3 years before revision and in the revision year about 65% of patients could not walk longer than 30 minutes. As opposed to pain, walking capacity did not recover to pre-revision levels and the best outcome was only reached two years post-revision. Hip flexion range had the slowest and least extent of deterioration (≈45% flexed <70° in the revision year) but with the best outcomes at only three years after revision surgery it took the longest to recover.
Conclusion
Prevalence of radiological loosening signs and/or pain intensity follow an almost parallel course around the first revision of a THA for aseptic component loosening. This process begins about 4 years (radiographic loosening) before the actual revision surgery and intensifies about 2 years later (pain). It also involves walking capacity and hip range of motion. While pain levels go back to levels similar to those after primary surgery, range of motion and even more walking capacity remain moderately compromised.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-167
PMCID: PMC3658875  PMID: 23672339
Total hip arthroplasty; Revision THA; IDES; Radiographic loosening; Functional outcome
3.  Total hip arthroplasty: leg length inequality impairs functional outcomes and patient satisfaction 
Background
Leg length inequality (LLI) was identified as a problem of total hip arthroplasty soon after its introduction. Leg lengthening is the most common form of LLI. Possible consequences are limping, neuronal dysfunction and aseptic component loosening. LLI can result in an increased strain both on the contralateral hip joint and on the abductor muscles. We assessed the influence of leg lengthening and shortening on walking capacity, hip pain, limping and patient satisfaction at 2-year follow-up.
Methods
478 cases with postoperative lengthening and 275 with shortening were identified, and matched with three controls each. Rigorous adjustment for potential differences in baseline patient characteristics was performed by propensity-score matching of covariates. The arbitrarily defined desired outcomes were a walking capacity >60 minutes, no hip pain, no limping, and excellent patient satisfaction. Differences in not achieving the desired outcomes between the groups were expressed as odds ratios.
Results
In the lengthened case group, the odds ratio for not being able to walk for an hour was 1.70 (95% CI 1.28-2.26) for cases compared to controls, and the odds ratio for having hip pain at follow-up was 1.13 (95% CI 0.78-1.64). The odds ratio for limping was 2.08 (95% CI 1.55-2.80). The odds ratio for not achieving excellent patient satisfaction was 1.67 (95% CI 1.23-2.28). In the shortening case group, the odds ratio for not being able to walk for an hour was 1.23 (95% CI 0.84-1.81), and the odds ratio for having hip pain at follow-up was 1.60 (95% CI 1.05-2.44). The odds ratio for limping for cases was 2.61 (95% CI 1.78-3.21). The odds ratio for not achieving excellent patient satisfaction was 2.15 (95% CI 1.44-3.21).
Conclusions
Walking capacity, limping and patient satisfaction were all significantly associated with leg lengthening, whereas pain alleviation was not. In contrast, hip pain, limping and patient satisfaction were all significantly associated with leg shortening, whereas walking capacity was not.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-95
PMCID: PMC3495212  PMID: 22686325
4.  Influence of preoperative nucleus pulposus status and radiculopathy on outcomes in mono-segmental lumbar total disc replacement: results from a nationwide registry 
Background
Currently, herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) with radiculopathy and other preconditions are regarded as relative or absolute contraindications for lumbar total disc replacement (TDR). In Switzerland it is left to the surgeon's discretion when to operate. The present study is based on the dataset of SWISSspine, a governmentally mandated health technology assessment registry. We hypothesized that preoperative nucleus pulposus status and presence or absence of radiculopathy has an influence on clinical outcomes in patients treated with mono-segmental lumbar TDR.
Methods
Between March 2005 and April 2009, 416 patients underwent mono-segmental lumbar TDR, which was documented in a prospective observational multicenter mode. The data collection consisted of perioperative and follow-up data (physician based) and clinical outcomes (NASS, EQ-5D).
Patients were divided into four groups according to their preoperative status: 1) group degenerative disc disease ("DDD"): 160 patients without HNP and no radiculopathy, classic precondition for TDR; 2) group "HNP-No radiculopathy": 68 patients with HNP but without radiculopathy; 3) group "Stenosis": 73 patients without HNP but with radiculopathy, and 4) group "HNP-Radiculopathy": 132 patients with HNP and radiculopathy. The groups were compared regarding preoperative patient characteristics and pre- and postoperative VAS and EQ-5D scores using general linear modeling.
Results
Demographics in all four groups were comparable. Regarding the improvement of quality of life (EQ-5D) there were no differences across the four groups. For the two main groups DDD and HNP-Radiculopathy no differences were found in the adjusted postoperative back- and leg pain alleviation levels, in the stenosis group back- and leg pain relief were lower.
Conclusions
Despite higher preoperative leg pain levels, outcomes in lumbar TDR patients with HNP and radiculopathy were similar to outcomes in patients with the classic indication; this because patients with higher preoperative leg pain levels benefit from a relatively greater leg pain alleviation. The group with absence of HNP but presence of radiculopathy showed considerably less benefits from the operation, which is probably related to ongoing degenerative processes of the posterior segmental structures. This observational multicenter study suggests that the diagnoses HNP and radiculopathy, combined or alone, may not have to be considered as absolute or relative contraindications for mono-segmental lumbar TDR anymore, whereas patients without HNP but with radiculopathy seem to be suboptimal candidates for the procedure.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-275
PMCID: PMC3250959  PMID: 22136141
5.  Development and validation of a paediatric long-bone fracture classification. A prospective multicentre study in 13 European paediatric trauma centres 
Background
The aim of this study was to develop a child-specific classification system for long bone fractures and to examine its reliability and validity on the basis of a prospective multicentre study.
Methods
Using the sequentially developed classification system, three samples of between 30 and 185 paediatric limb fractures from a pool of 2308 fractures documented in two multicenter studies were analysed in a blinded fashion by eight orthopaedic surgeons, on a total of 5 occasions. Intra- and interobserver reliability and accuracy were calculated.
Results
The reliability improved with successive simplification of the classification. The final version resulted in an overall interobserver agreement of κ = 0.71 with no significant difference between experienced and less experienced raters.
Conclusions
In conclusion, the evaluation of the newly proposed classification system resulted in a reliable and routinely applicable system, for which training in its proper use may further improve the reliability. It can be recommended as a useful tool for clinical practice and offers the option for developing treatment recommendations and outcome predictions in the future.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-89
PMCID: PMC3096600  PMID: 21548939
6.  Simultaneous bilateral hip replacement reveals superior outcome and fewer complications than two-stage procedures: a prospective study including 1819 patients and 5801 follow-ups from a total joint replacement registry 
Background
Total joint replacements represent a considerable part of day-to-day orthopaedic routine and a substantial proportion of patients undergoing unilateral total hip arthroplasty require a contralateral treatment after the first operation. This report compares complications and functional outcome of simultaneous versus early and delayed two-stage bilateral THA over a five-year follow-up period.
Methods
The study is a post hoc analysis of prospectively collected data in the framework of the European IDES hip registry. The database query resulted in 1819 patients with 5801 follow-ups treated with bilateral THA between 1965 and 2002. According to the timing of the two operations the sample was divided into three groups: I) 247 patients with simultaneous bilateral THA, II) 737 patients with two-stage bilateral THA within six months, III) 835 patients with two-stage bilateral THA between six months and five years.
Results
Whereas postoperative hip pain and flexion did not differ between the groups, the best walking capacity was observed in group I and the worst in group III. The rate of intraoperative complications in the first group was comparable to that of the second. The frequency of postoperative local and systemic complication in group I was the lowest of the three groups. The highest rate of complications was observed in group III.
Conclusions
From the point of view of possible intra- and postoperative complications, one-stage bilateral THA is equally safe or safer than two-stage interventions. Additionally, from an outcome perspective the one-stage procedure can be considered to be advantageous.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-245
PMCID: PMC2987971  PMID: 20973941
7.  Sleep quality, the neglected outcome variable in clinical studies focusing on locomotor system; a construct validation study 
Background
In addition to general health and pain, sleep is highly relevant to judging the well-being of an individual. Of these three important outcome variables, however, sleep is neglected in most outcome studies.
Sleep is a very important resource for recovery from daily stresses and strains, and any alteration of sleep will likely affect mental and physical health, especially during disease. Sleep assessment therefore should be standard in all population-based or clinical studies focusing on the locomotor system. Yet current sleep assessment tools are either too long or too specific for general use.
Methods
Based on a literature review and subsequent patient-based rating of items, an expert panel designed a four-item questionnaire about sleep. Construct validation of the questionnaire in a random sample of the German-speaking Swiss population was performed in 2003. Reliability, correlation, and tests for internal consistency and validity were analyzed.
Results
Overall, 16,634 (70%) out of 23,763 eligible individuals participated in the study. Test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from 0.72 to 0.87, and a Cronbach's alpha of 0.83 indicates good internal consistency. Results show a moderate to good correlation between sleep disturbances and health perception, and between sleep disturbances and overall pain.
Conclusions
The Sleep Standard Evaluation Questionnaire (SEQ-Sleep) is a reliable and short tool with confirmed construct validity for sleep assessment in population-based observational studies. It is easy to administer and therefore suitable for postal surveys of the general population. Criterion validity remains to be determined.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-224
PMCID: PMC3161400  PMID: 20920152
8.  Development of a screening tool predicting the transition from acute to chronic low back pain for patients in a GP setting: Protocol of a multinational prospective cohort study 
Background
Low back pain (LBP) is by far the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal problem in our society today. Following the recommendations of the Multinational Musculoskeletal Inception Cohort Study (MMICS) Statement, our study aims to define outcome assessment tools for patients with acute LBP and the time point at which chronic LBP becomes manifest and to identify patient characteristics which increase the risk of chronicity.
Methods
Patients with acute LBP will be recruited from clinics of general practitioners (GPs) in New Zealand (NZ) and Switzerland (CH). They will be assessed by postal survey at baseline and at 3, 6, 12 weeks and 6 months follow-up. Primary outcome will be disability as measured by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI); key secondary endpoints will be general health as measured by the acute SF-12 and pain as measured on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). A subgroup analysis of different assessment instruments and baseline characteristics will be performed using multiple linear regression models.
This study aims to examine
1. Which biomedical, psychological, social, and occupational outcome assessment tools are identifiers for the transition from acute to chronic LBP and at which time point this transition becomes manifest
2. Which psychosocial and occupational baseline characteristics like work status and period of work absenteeism influence the course from acute to chronic LBP
3. Differences in outcome assessment tools and baseline characteristics of patients in NZ compared with CH.
Discussion
This study will develop a screening tool for patients with acute LBP to be used in GP clinics to access the risk of developing chronic LBP. In addition, biomedical, psychological, social, and occupational patient characteristics which influence the course from acute to chronic LBP will be identified. Furthermore, an appropriate time point for follow-ups will be given to detect this transition. The generalizability of our findings will be enhanced by the international perspective of this study.
Trial registration
[Clinical Trial Registration Number, ACTRN12608000520336]
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-167
PMCID: PMC2630319  PMID: 19099569
9.  Differences across health care systems in outcome and cost-utility of surgical and conservative treatment of chronic low back pain: a study protocol 
Background
There is little evidence on differences across health care systems in choice and outcome of the treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP) with spinal surgery and conservative treatment as the main options. At least six randomised controlled trials comparing these two options have been performed; they show conflicting results without clear-cut evidence for superior effectiveness of any of the evaluated interventions and could not address whether treatment effect varied across patient subgroups. Cost-utility analyses display inconsistent results when comparing surgical and conservative treatment of CLBP. Due to its higher feasibility, we chose to conduct a prospective observational cohort study.
Methods
This study aims to examine if
1. Differences across health care systems result in different treatment outcomes of surgical and conservative treatment of CLBP
2. Patient characteristics (work-related, psychological factors, etc.) and co-interventions (physiotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, return-to-work programs, etc.) modify the outcome of treatment for CLBP
3. Cost-utility in terms of quality-adjusted life years differs between surgical and conservative treatment of CLBP.
This study will recruit 1000 patients from orthopaedic spine units, rehabilitation centres, and pain clinics in Switzerland and New Zealand. Effectiveness will be measured by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) at baseline and after six months. The change in ODI will be the primary endpoint of this study.
Multiple linear regression models will be used, with the change in ODI from baseline to six months as the dependent variable and the type of health care system, type of treatment, patient characteristics, and co-interventions as independent variables. Interactions will be incorporated between type of treatment and different co-interventions and patient characteristics. Cost-utility will be measured with an index based on EQol-5D in combination with cost data.
Conclusion
This study will provide evidence if differences across health care systems in the outcome of treatment of CLBP exist. It will classify patients with CLBP into different clinical subgroups and help to identify specific target groups who might benefit from specific surgical or conservative interventions. Furthermore, cost-utility differences will be identified for different groups of patients with CLBP. Main results of this study should be replicated in future studies on CLBP.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-81
PMCID: PMC2438357  PMID: 18534034

Results 1-9 (9)