International Orthopaedics

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  1. Abstract

    Purpose

    To evaluate the available tibial fracture non-union prediction scores and to analyse their strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.

    Methods

    The first part consisted of a systematic method of locating the currently available clinico-radiological non-union prediction scores. The second part of the investigation consisted of comparing the validity of the non-union prediction scores in 15 patients with tibial shaft fractures randomly selected from a Level I trauma centre prospectively collected database who were treated with intramedullary nailing.

    Results

    Four scoring systems identified: The Leeds-Genoa Non-Union Index (LEG-NUI), the Non-Union Determination Score (NURD), the FRACTING score, and the Tibial Fracture Healing Score (TFHS). Patients demographics: Non-union group: five male patients, mean age 36.4 years (18–50); Union group: ten patients (8 males) with mean age 39.8 years (20–66). The following score thresholds were used to calculate positive and negative predictive values for non-union: FRACTING score ≥ 7 at the immediate post-operative period, LEG-NUI score ≥ 5 within 12 weeks, NURD score ≥ 9 at the immediate post-operative period, and TFHS < 3 at 12 weeks. For the FRACTING, LEG-NUI and NURD scores, the positive predictive values for the development of non-union were 80, 100, 40% respectively, whereas the negative predictive values were 60, 90 and 90%. The TFHS could not be retrospectively calculated for robust accuracy.

    Conclusion

    The LEG-NUI had the best combination of positive and negative predictive values for early identification of non-union. Based on this study, all currently available scores have inherent strengths and limitations. Several recommendations to improve future score designs are outlined herein to better tackle this devastating, and yet, unsolved problem.

  2. Abstract

    Purpose

    The purpose of this study was to demonstrate whether application of the so-called safe incision when performing calcaneal sliding osteotomies reduces the risk of sural nerve injury.

    Methods

    Patients who underwent either medial or lateral sliding calcaneal osteotomies between 2010 and 2018 were analysed retrospectively. A thorough neurological examination was performed, and the location of the surgical wound and the type of wound closure were recorded. The European Foot and Ankle Surgery (EFAS) score and 12-item Short Form Survey (SF-12) were also documented.

    Results

    A total of 57 patients were included, of which 20 (35.1%) had a sural nerve injury. Five patients had a neurapraxia (8.8%), while 15 patients had a permanent injury (26.3%). Respecting the “safe incision” decreased sural nerve injury (p = 0.02). The type of osteotomy and closure was not significant. No significant differences were found in the functional tests between the different techniques, or between patients who presented sural nerve injury and those who did not.

    Conclusion

    Sural nerve injury after calcaneal sliding osteotomies is higher than previously reported in the scientific literature, with an incidence of 35.1% (20/57 patients). Respecting the so-called safe zone (oblique incision that runs through the point that is > 1/3 of the distance from the tip of the lateral malleolus to the posteroinferior margin of the calcaneus) clearly decreases the incidence of sural nerve injury. Finally, the majority of patients remained asymptomatic despite the neurological injury.

  3. Abstract

    Purpose

    Early closed reduction and locked intramedullary (IM) nailing has become the standard treatment for diaphyseal long bone fractures in high income countries. The low and middle income countries (LMICs) are still lagging behind in transiting from open surgical reduction and non-operative modalities to closed reduction due to lack of requisite equipment. However, some surgeons in LMICs are beginning to achieve closed reduction even without the equipment.

    Methods

    A prospective descriptive study was done on a total of 251 fresh diaphyseal fractures of the humerus, femur and tibia fixed with a locked nail over a 5½-year period. The fractures were grouped into those that had open reduction, closed reduction or reduction with a finger.

    Results

    Closed reduction was done for 135 (53.8%) fractures belonging to 123 patients. The mean and range of the patients’ ages were 41.33 and 13–81 years, respectively. Males constituted 69.9% and mostly (48%) sustained fractures in motorcycle accident. There was a significant negative association between closed reduction and fracture-to-surgery interval (p < 0.001). Closed reduction also had positive associations with: (i) humerus and tibia fractures (p < 0.001), (ii) middle, distal and segmental fractures (p = 0.025), (iii) retrograde approach to femur fracture nailing (p < 0.001), and (iv) wedge or multifragmentary type femur fractures (p = 0.005).

    Conclusion

    With constant practice, it is possible to achieve closed reduction of many fresh diaphyseal long bone fractures in spite of the limitations imposed on surgeons in LMICs by poor health systems and grossly inadequate fracture care facilities.

  4. Abstract

    Purpose

    To compare the foot external rotation above-knee (FERAK) brace and the Denis Browne boot (DBB) brace in terms of relapse prevention and parents’ compliance after successful correction with Ponseti casting.

    Methods

    A single-centre, randomized controlled study was conducted between 2016 and 2020. A total of 60 feet in 38 patients with idiopathic clubfoot initially corrected with the Ponseti method were included. They were randomized into two equal groups: the FERAK group and the DBB group. The primary outcome was the efficacy in maintaining correction measured by the Pirani score. The secondary outcomes were parents’ compliance and complications (e.g., relapses, skin complications).

    Results

    The follow-up period was 24 months for each patient. The mean final Pirani score was 0.42 ± 0.76 in the FERAK group and 0.57 ± 0.82 in the DBB group. This difference was statistically insignificant (p-value = 0.411). Regarding parents’ compliance in the FERAK group, 86.7% of parents had good and intermediate compliance while 13.3% had bad compliance. In the DBB group, 66.7% had good and intermediate compliance while 33.3% had bad compliance. This difference was also statistically insignificant (p-value = 0.118).

    Conclusion

    Both braces achieved good comparable outcomes after Ponseti casting. However, the FERAK brace yielded slightly better parents’ compliance with a less recurrence rate.

  5. Abstract

    Purpose

    This clinical trial compares the functional and radiological outcomes of single-bone fixation to both-bone fixation of unstable paediatric both-bone forearm fractures.

    Methods

    This individually randomized two-group parallel clinical trial was performed following the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement at a single academic tertiary medical centre with an established paediatric orthopaedics unit. All children aged between nine and 15 years who presented to the emergency department at Assiut university with unstable diaphyseal, both-bone forearm fractures requiring surgical intervention between November 1, 2018, and February 28, 2020, were screened for eligibility against the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria were diaphyseal unstable fractures defined as shaft fractures between the distal and proximal metaphyses with an angulation of > 10°, and/or malrotation of > 30°, and/or displacement > 10 mm after attempted closed reduction. Exclusion criteria included open fractures, Galeazzi fractures, Monteggia fractures, radial head fractures, and associated neurovascular injuries. Patients who met the inclusion criteria were randomized to either the single-bone fixation group (intervention) or the both-bone fixation group (control). Primary outcomes were forearm range of motion and fracture union, while secondary outcomes were forearm function (price criteria), radius re-angulation, wrist and elbow range of motion, and surgical time

    Results

    A total of 50 children were included. Out of these 50 children, 25 were randomized to either arm of the study. All children in either group received the treatment assigned by randomization. Fifty (100%) children were available for final follow-up at six months post-operatively. The mean age of single-bone and both-bone fixation groups was 11.48 ± 1.93 and 13 ± 1.75 years, respectively, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.006). There were no statistically significant differences in gender, laterality, affection of the dominant hand, or mode of trauma between single-bone and both-bone fixation groups. All patients in both groups achieved fracture union. There mean radius re-angulation of the single-bone fixation groups was 5.36 ± 4.39 (0–20) degrees, while there was no radius re-angulation in the both-bone fixation group, with a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001). The time to union in the single-bone group was 6.28 ± 1.51 weeks, while the time to union in the both-bone fixation group was 6.64 ± 1.75 weeks, with no statistically significant difference (p = 0.44). There were no infections or refractures in either group. In the single-bone fixation group, 24 (96%) patients have regained their full forearm ROM (loss of ROM < 15°), while only one (4%) patient lost between 15 and 30° of ROM. In the both-bone fixation group, 23 (92%) patients have regained their full forearm ROM (loss of ROM < 15°), while only two (8%) patients lost between 15 and 30° of ROM. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in loss of forearm ROM (p = 0.55). All patients in both groups regained full ROM of their elbow and wrist joints. On price grading, 24 (96%) and 23 (92%) patients who underwent single bone fixation and both-bone fixation scored excellent, respectively. Only one (4%) patient in the single-bone fixation group and two (8%) patients in the both-bone fixation group scored good, with no statistically significant difference in price score between groups (p = 0.49). The majority of the patients from both groups had no pain on the numerical pain scale; 22 (88%) patients in the single-bone fixation group and 21 (84%) patients in the both-bone fixation groups, with no statistically significant difference between groups (p = 0.38). The single-bone fixation group had a significantly shorter mean operative time in comparison to both-bones plating (43.60 ± 6.21 vs. 88.60 ± 10.56 (min); p < 0.001).

    Conclusion

    Single-bone ulna open reduction and plate fixation and casting are safe and had a significantly shorter operative time than both-bone fixation. However, single-bone ORIF had a higher risk radius re-angulation, alas clinically acceptable. Both groups had equally excellent functional outcomes, forearm ROM, and union rates with no complications or refractures. Long-term studies are required.

  6. Abstract

    Purpose

    This study compared the clinical effectiveness and wound complications of a three-dimensional model-assisted spatial weaving screw fixation (3D-SWSF) versus open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) via an L-shaped extensile lateral approach for calcaneal fractures.

    Methods

    This single-centre retrospective cohort study was conducted with two cohort groups in which patients with Sanders II and III calcaneal fractures underwent 3D-SWSF or conventional ORIF. The clinical outcome measures included operation duration, time to operation, wound complications, blood loss volume, hospital stays, American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Ankle-Hindfoot score, and visual analog scale (VAS) score. The pre-operative, post-operative, and one-year follow-up Gissane’s angle (GA), Böhler’s angle (BA), height, and width and length of the calcaneal fractures were also compared between the two groups.

    Results

    From Oct 2015 to Oct 2019, 31 patients received 3D-SWSF and 41 received conventional ORIF. A total of 11 (26.8%) patients in ORIF group had wound complications, compared with only two (6.5%) in 3D-SWSF group (p = 0.032). Operative time, blood loss, and hospital stay in 3D-SWSF group were lesser than those in ORIF group. The patients treated with 3D-SWSF had better AOFAS and VAS scores than those treated with ORIF at the last follow-up. The post-operative and one-year follow-up radiographic indexes as well as the GA, BA, length, width, and height of the calcaneal fractures were relatively comparable between the two groups.

    Conclusion

    Our study revealed that 3D-SWSF could effectively decrease the risk of wound complications, shorten operation time, reduce length of hospitalization, and improve post-operative rehabilitation.

  7. Abstract

    Purpose

    In 2006, Ponseti modified the standard technique to treat cases of “atypical” and “complex” clubfoot. To determine the outcomes of Ponseti’s modified method to treat complex idiopathic clubfoot patients, we asked the following: (1) What is the deformity correction success rate? (2) What is the relapse rate after the correction? (3) What is the incidence of complications?

    Materials and methods

    We performed a systematic review by searching the EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases from inception to March 1, 2021. All studies on idiopathic, complex, and atypical clubfoot that assessed Ponseti’s modified technique were included. Of 699 identified articles, ten met the inclusion criteria. The mean index for non-randomized studies score for the included studies was 11.8 ± 1.7.

    Results

    Early detection of the deformity and modifying the standard protocol, as described by Ponseti, resulted in a high rate of success. Initial correction occurred in all children, with a mean ankle dorsiflexion of 15°. Relapse occurred often ranging between 10.5 and 55%. The incidence of complications associated with the modified Ponseti method ranged from 6 to 30%.

    Conclusions

    Studies using the modified Ponseti technique have shown high initial correction rates and a smaller number of relapses. However, studies with prospective designs and long-term follow-up are required to conclude whether these observations are due to properly performing the modified method or if higher rates of relapse increase with further follow-up.

  8. Abstract

    Purpose

    Stability of the dorsal pelvic ring is important for patient mobilisation and can be restored using several surgical procedures after fracture. Placement of percutaneous iliosacral screws is a reliable and minimal-invasive technique to achieve stabilisation of the dorsal pelvic ring by placement of two screws in the first sacral vertebra. Aim of this study was to evaluate 3D CT scans regarding the anatomical possibility to place two 7.3 mm iliosacral screws for fixation of the dorsal pelvic ring.

    Methods

    3D CT datasets of 500 consecutive trauma patients with 1000 hemipelves of a mid-european level I trauma centre with or without pelvic injury were evaluated and measured bilaterally in this retrospective study.

    Results

    One thousand hemipelvic datasets of 500 patients (157 females, 343 males) with a mean age of 49.7 years (18 to 95) were included in this study. Only 16 hemipelves (1.6%, 11 in females, 5 in males) in 14 patients (2.8%, 9 females = 5.73%, 5 males = 1.5%) showed too narrow corridors so that 7.3 mm screw placement would not be possible (p = 0.001). In women, too narrow corridors occurred 3.9 times as often as in men. Only two females showed this bilaterally.

    Conclusion

    The evaluation of 3D CT scans of the pelvis showed the importance of planning iliosacral screw placement, especially if two 7.3 mm screws are intended to be placed in the first sacral vertebra.

  9. Abstract

    Purpose

    This scoping review aims to systematically map and summarise the available evidence on the management of chronic Achilles ruptures, whilst identifying prognostic factors and areas of future research.

    Methods

    A scoping review was performed according to the frameworks of Arksey and O’Malley, Levac and Peters. A computer-based search was performed in PubMed, Embase, EmCare, CINAHL, ISI Web of Science and Scopus, for articles reporting treatment of chronic Achilles ruptures. Two reviewers independently performed title/abstract and full text screening according to pre-defined selection criteria.

    Results

    A total of 747 unique articles were identified, of which 73 (9.8%) met all inclusion criteria. A variety of methods are described, with flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer being the most common. The most commonly reported outcome is the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score, although 16 other measures were reported in the literatures. All studies comparing pre- and post-operative outcomes reported significant post-treatment improvement. Complications were reported in 50 studies, with an overall pooled complication rate of 168/1065 (15.8%).

    Conclusion

    Although beneficial results were reported following a variety of techniques, comparison between these is challenging due to the low-level study designs used and confounding factors such as treatment delay and tendon gap size. Further research comparing the efficacy of different techniques is required in order to facilitate the development of an evidence-based treatment protocol. Such work would allow clinicians to better understand the suitability of the large variety of reported techniques and select the optimal strategy for each individual patient.

  10. Abstract

    Purpose

    Despite the high rate of sexual limitation in female patients with hip osteoarthritis, evidence reporting sexual satisfaction after hip arthroplasty in women is limited. This study aimed to assess the impact of surgery on sexual satisfaction in women who undergo elective total hip arthroplasty (THA). As a secondary objective, we measured the effect of THA on different factors that could be related to sexual limitation and satisfaction.

    Methods

    We designed a prospective before-and-after cohort study in which all consecutive women undergoing THA were screened for inclusion. Patients answered a ten question specifically designed questionnaire before and after surgery. An independent analysis was performed for each question through a McNemar-Bowker test for paired proportions.

    Results

    Fifty-six patients completed the protocol and were available for analysis at the end of the study. Sexual satisfaction increased from 29% before surgery to 93% after the procedure (p < 0.001). All questions related to physical limitations demonstrated significant improvement after surgery. In addition, psychological aspects of limitation including fear of pain and injury, or perception of attractiveness, showed significant recovery as well.

    Conclusion

    There is a high rate of patients reporting limitations and disabilities during sexual activities among women with osteoarthritis. THA represents a positive impact on sexual functioning both in its physical and psychological aspects, thus increasing satisfaction rates in female patients. Surgeons should include these elements in the conversation with patients before and after surgery.

  11. Abstract

    Background

    Reconstruction of the pelvic ring after the resection of pelvic tumours involving the sacroiliac joint is challenging. Although pedicle screw and rod system reconstructions are commonly performed, failure at the early stage has been reported.

    Surgical procedures

    Reconstruction involving two or more strong anchor screws (iliac, ischial, and pubis screws) into the residual pelvis, connecting with at least two rods with minimal bending to the residual lumbosacral vertebra and contralateral pelvis.

    Methods

    The above reconstruction was performed for six malignant bone and soft-tissue pelvic tumours requiring Enneking type I + IV resection. A double-barreled free non-vascularized fibular graft was used in all patients, except for one. Patients were followed up for a mean period of 51 months (range, 9 to 96 months), and peri-operative complications, implant failure within the follow-up period, and the clinical results of surgery were investigated.

    Results

    The mean age of four females and two males at the initial surgery was 37.2 years. One patient developed a deep wound infection. Two patients died due to metastasis of the tumor. All patients were able to walk on their own within 12 weeks of surgery. There was no implant failure, except in two patients with contralateral lumbosacral rod fracture three and four years after surgery, for which one patient required rod replacement.

    Conclusions

    The incidence of implant failure, particularly around the resection site, was low, which may be attributed to multiple periacetabular screws and rods with minimal bending. Our rigid reconstruction method enables the rapid resumption of walking.

  12. Abstract

    Purpose

    Residency programs in the medical education field are considered the keystone in the development of aptitude and skills required for practice. With the worldwide current scenario of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shift in the paradigm especially in the teaching of the residents from face-to-face classes to more and more online sessions. The purpose of this study is to present a compendium of knowledge-providing sites, smartphone applications (apps), YouTube channels, and podcasts that can provide better online resource management for students in the field of orthopaedics.

    Methods

    Search terms were used for making a list of various online resources which can be of help during orthopaedic residency. An initial list of the selected websites, smartphone apps, podcasts, and YouTube channels was made. The corresponding author with years of teaching experience and faculty for post-graduate and fellowship training programs then selected the final list.

    Results

    A list of 16 websites with brief points on their content and online address along with the availability of free or paid content was identified as being appropriate. A total of 39 apps available for android/apple smartphones, nine podcasts, and 11 YouTube channels were also identified as being extremely useful and have been discussed elaborately in this article.

    Conclusion

    Online educational tools are of immense importance in imparting adequate knowledge to an orthopaedic resident and act as an adjunct to conventional teaching methods. This article focuses on presenting various online educational resources in a simple yet concise way, which may be beneficial for the current generation of residents especially in this current time of unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

  13. A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-021-05055-9