COVID-19 Updates

CMS Issues Second Round of Healthcare System Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a second round of regulatory waivers and rule changes, including making COVID-19 testing easier for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as increasing their access to telehealth services. CMS is striving to give states and localities enough flexibilities to increase diagnostic testing and access to medical care to work toward a slow reopening of America.

Read the CMS press release…

In Other News

Study: What Is the Current Status of Prophylaxis for Pediatric VTE?

A study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the AAOS ® assessed the current pediatric venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis practice. Active and candidate Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America members received a 35-question survey via email that included questions on personal and practice demographics; knowledge and implementation of various VTE prophylaxis protocols, mechanical and chemical VTE prophylaxis agents, and risk factors; and utilization of VTE prophylaxis agents for various clinical scenarios. Final analysis included 239 survey responses (18 percent response rate). A third of respondents said they were familiar with their institution’s VTE prophylaxis protocol; 20 percent knew of their institution’s chosen age at which all patients receive VTE prophylaxis. Oral contraceptive use, positive family history, and obesity were the most recognized risk factors to guide VTE prophylaxis. VTE prophylaxis agents were used at similar rates for spinal fusion, hip reconstruction, and trauma (60 percent to 65 percent) but were less common in neuromuscular surgery (34 percent).

Read the study…

Study: Five- to 10-Year Outcomes for Primary Open Abductor Reconstruction

A study published in the April issue of The Journal of Arthroplasty examined outcomes of primary open abductor tendon construction with five to 10 years of follow-up. A total of 165 consecutive hips with tears confirmed by MRI preoperatively were included. The Oxford Hip Score (OHS) was measured at baseline and again at five to 10 years. The average preoperative OHS was 22; postoperatively, it increased to 40. The researchers concluded that open transosseous reconstruction yielded good pain relief outcomes at five to 10 years postoperatively.

Read the abstract…

Study Evaluates Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Shoulder Arthroplasty

A study published in the May issue of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery assessed the impact of race and ethnicity on outcomes in primary shoulder arthroplasty. The researchers stratified total and reverse elective primary shoulder arthroplasty patients treated between 2005 and 2016 into four groups: white (84 percent), Hispanic (9 percent), black (5 percent), and Asian (2 percent). Outcomes included 90-day unplanned readmissions and emergency department (ED) visits. A total of 8,360 procedures were performed. Hispanic patients, compared to white patients, had a 44 percent lower revision risk. Black patients were 45 percent more likely than white patients to have a 90-day ED visit.

Read the abstract…

Study Assesses Safety of Trabecular-metal Total Ankle Arthroplasty with Transfibular Approach

A study published in the April issue of Foot and Ankle International evaluated the results of total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) with a trabecular metal implant using the transfibular approach. A total of 104 consecutive TAA patients were treated and followed for a mean 43.6 months. Most patients (n = 88, 89 percent) reported improved functioning and were very satisfied with the surgery (n = 65, 66 percent). Half of patients (n = 51) reported no pain at final follow-up. The average Kofoed score improved from 37.6 at baseline to 74.8 at final follow-up. A total of 37 additional procedures were performed; the complication rate was close to 20 percent.

Read the abstract…


A Resident Sets Aside Disappointment to Embrace New Norm

Jennifer R. Sharp, DO, chief resident at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Ore., was set to give a podium presentation at the AAOS 2020 Annual Meeting. After devoting much time to what she considered her first “big orthopaedic” presentation, the COVID-19 pandemic changed her plans. In this article, Dr. Sharp shares how she coped with her disappointment in the cancellation of the Annual Meeting and how she followed the same advice she shares with her patients: no one anticipates a devastating injury; now it is all about taking a deep breath and moving forward, one day at a time.

Read more…


AAOS Recognizes 13 Health Stories with a 2020 MORE Award

For 14 years, the Academy’s Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards have recognized excellence in orthopaedic-related journalism and honored journalists who have helped to further the public’s understanding of musculoskeletal health issues. The program not only continues to enhance media relationships, but it fosters regular dialogue and contact between orthopaedic surgeons and journalists. What’s more, the awards celebrate the role AAOS members play in supporting local and national stories by offering data, patient education, and real-world testimonials about orthopaedic care.

Read more about this year’s winning stories…