Today’s Top Story
Study: Computer-assisted TKA may reduce rate of revision due to aseptic loosening.
Data from a study conducted in Germany and published in the May/June supplement to the journal Orthopedics suggest that computer-assisted navigation of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may be associated with a reduced rate of revision compared to conventional procedures. The authors reviewed 10-year follow-up data on 96 TKA procedures (50 navigated and 46 conventional), and found that eight TKAs had been revised for aseptic loosening—one in the navigated cohort and seven in the conventional cohort. The authors state that after conclusion of the follow-up, 9.8 percent of the navigated TKAs and 17 percent of the conventional TKAs were found to have undergone aseptic loosening.
Read the abstract…

Other News

Study: How effective is spinal fusion for CLBP?
A study conducted in Sweden and published in the May issue of The Spine Journal examines long-term outcomes for patients who undergo spinal fusion for the treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP). The research team conducted a prospective, randomized trial of 294 patients who had at least 2 years’ duration of CLBP. At mean 12.8-year follow-up, 85 percent of patients were available. With the exception of an intention to treat model, scores obtained using the primary outcome measure (Global Assessment of back pain) were significantly better for fusion patients. However, the research team notes that Oswestry Disability Index, visual analogue scale, work status, pain medication, and pain frequency were similar across cohorts. The researchers state that the “discrepancy between primary and secondary outcome measures prevents a strong conclusion on whether to recommend fusion in non-specific low back pain.”
Read the abstract…

Survey: Student loan debt may often affect career decisions.
Student loan debt may affect many residents’ decisions regarding type and location of practice, according to a survey published in the May/June issue of Orthopedics. The researchers surveyed 3,076 trainees across a variety of specialties, of whom 167 were orthopaedic residents. They found that nonorthopaedic residents were more likely than orthopaedic residents to predict that student loan debt would influence the next step in their careers. However, more than 50 percent of all respondents agreed that student loan debt would affect their type or location of practice. The researchers argue that, as “medical education continues to become more expensive and the threat of dropping physician reimbursement looms on the horizon, student debt may become a primary driving factor for young American physicians’ career plans.”
Read the complete survey…

Increase in outpatient arthroplasty leads to tension between hospitals and ASCs.
An article in Modern Healthcare looks at the issue of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). The writer notes that total joint arthroplasty is one of the largest and most profitable service lines at many hospitals. An increase in outpatient arthroplasty has led to tension between hospitals and ASCs, although some hospitals have begun performing their own outpatient joint replacements, and others have embraced a collaborative model, working with ASC operators. However, the writer states that “institutional inertia” may make it difficult for those involved in cooperative efforts to implement innovative practices to better serve patients.
Read more…(registration may be required)

A study published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence finds that the implementation of prescription drug monitoring programs and “pill mill” laws in Florida was associated with a reduction in prescribing of opioid prescriptions among high-risk prescribers (defined as the top 5th percentile of opioid volume over four consecutive quarters). The researchers reviewed data on 38,465 opioid prescribers in Florida and 18,566 opioid prescribers in Georgia, and found that statewide implementation of new policies designed to reduce opioid prescribing were associated with large relative reductions in opioid patients and opioid prescriptions, morphine equivalent dose, and total opioid volume among high-risk prescribers. The researchers state that low-risk providers did not experience statistically significant relative reductions, nor did policy implementation affect the status of being high- vs. low-risk prescribers.
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Read the abstract…

Nominate a colleague for the AAOS Diversity, Humanitarian, or Tipton Leadership Award!
Friday, June 10, 2016 is the last day to submit nominations for the 2017 Diversity and Humanitarian Awards, and the William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Orthopaedic Leadership Award. These awards are presented annually at the AAOS Annual Meeting. The respective award recipients are recognized for their endeavors to further encourage diversity or culturally competent care, participation in humanitarian activities, or leadership activities in the orthopaedic profession.
Read more…

Call for volunteers: Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board.
Aug. 8 is the last day to submit your application for a position on the Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board. The Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board advocates for and serves as a resource on sex and gender differences in musculoskeletal health. The following positions are available:

  • Chair
  • Member—Communications Cabinet liaison
  • Member—Council on Education liaison
  • Member-at-large (two openings)
  • Resident member

Applicants for these positions must have knowledge of and an interest in advocating for women’s musculoskeletal health issues.
Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)