Publications by authors named "Alexander Ranker"

15 Publications

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[Physical therapy in the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome].

Schmerz 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Muskuloskelettales Universitätszentrum München, LMU Klinikum, München, Deutschland.

The treatment of patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) takes place in an interdisciplinary and multimodal setting. Physical therapies represent a major treatment focus along with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and analgetic treatments. This review explains their importance in current clinical practice and gives an impression of the evidence on different treatments including electrotherapy, neuromodulating procedures, manual lymphatic drainage, CO applications and paraffin wax baths. As far as ascertainable from clinical experience and the scientific literature, treatment recommendations are presented in accordance with current guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00482-021-00577-yDOI Listing
September 2021

Osseoperception in transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic systems (TOPS) after transfemoral amputation: a prospective study.

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 2021 Aug 3. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Trauma, Hannover Medical School (MHH), Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, 30625, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Endo-exo prosthetics (EEP), which belongs to the transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic systems (TOPS), provides an alternative bone-anchored rehabilitation method for transfemoral amputees. It led to the question of whether transmitted forces from prosthetic feet are perceptible by osseoperception resulting in proprioceptive feedback of ground conditions.

Objectives: The following hypotheses emerged for our trial with the null hypothesis: EEP fitting after transfemoral amputation does not influence osseoperception. Alternative hypothesis 1: EEP patients achieve better osseoperception results than transfemoral amputees fitted with socket prosthesis. Alternative hypothesis 2: EEP carriers achieve comparable results with regards to their osseoperception as non-amputees.

Methods: N = 25 patients with EEP (mean age = 50,6 ± 9,4, male/female = 15/10) N = 25 patients with socket prostheses (mean age = 52,6 ± 13,1, male/female = 19/6) and N = 25 healthy volunteers were included in the experimental case-control study. In three blinded test modules (V1, V2, V3), the participants had to identify different degrees of shore hardness (c) of different materials (rubber balls (shore = 5-25c), foam cushions (shore = 5-30c), foam mats (shore = 5-30c) with their prosthetic foot (or a personally defined foot in healthy volunteers) without footwear and had to rank them into the correct order according to their tactile sensation and the degree of hardness. A maximum of 10 points could be scored per run.

Results: This experimental observational study included N = 75 participants. The mean age for the entire cohort was 42.8 ± 16.6 years and the BMI was 26.0 ± 4.8. Our results show a significant level of differences in tactile osseoperception between all groups (p < 0.001). A correlation between the mean values of V1-3 and the PMQ2.0 as well as the mean values of K-Level and the prosthesis wearing time per day showed for PMQ (r = 0.387, p = 0.006) and K-level (r = 0.448, p = 0.001) which is a moderate effect according to Cohen.

Conclusion: Our study results suggest that the EEP treatment can lead to an improvement in tactile sensory perception via the bone-anchored implant, which can lead to an increase in quality of life and improved gait safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00402-021-04099-1DOI Listing
August 2021

[Translation, Adaptation, Reliability and Validity of the German Version of the Prosthesis Mobility Questionnaire 2.0 (PMQ) on Patients with Major Lower Limb Amputation].

Rehabilitation (Stuttg) 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Klinik für Rehabilitationsmedizin, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover.

Purpose: The aim of this prospective validation study was to translate the Prosthesis Mobility Questionnaire 2.0 (PMQ) into German based on a guideline, following by psychometric testing for its validity and reliability using classical test theory.

Methods: The PMQ was translated into German according to ISPOR guidelines using double forward and double backward translations, finalized by pilot testing (N=10). Subsequently, assessment of the validity and reliability was performed from March 2020 to August 2020 on N=61 patients with unilateral lower limb amputation. Construct validity was determined by using the German version of the Locomotor Capabilities Index-5 (LCI-5-D), the Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI), the Timed up and go Test (TUG), and K-levels. Cronbach's alpha was calculated to check internal consistency and discriminatory power was determined by item correlations. Test-retest reliability was calculated using ICC (2,1). Based on the ICC, the minimum detectable difference (MDC) was calculated.

Results: The translation process required small changes after the pilot test. The validation study was performed on N=61 patients (56.59±13.16 years, m/f=38/23). A mean PMQ of 26.23±8.89 points was achieved. Ceilings or floor effects for total score did not appear. Construct validity showed strong positive correlations to LCI-5-D (r=0.74, p<0.001), RMI (r=0.63 p<0.001) as well as k-levels (r=0.61 p<0.001) and moderate negative correlation to TUG (r=- 0.49, p<0.001). Internal consistency was excellent with Cronbach's alpha=0.95). All items showed a value greater than r=0.40 for item-to-total score correlation. Test-retest reliability was excellent with an ICC (2,1)=0.98 with a timespan between T0 and T1 of 3.2±2.83 days. Based on this results, the MDC was 3.40 points.

Conclusion: The German version of the Prosthesis Mobility Questionnaire 2.0 is a valid, reliable patient reported outcome measure (PROM) for measuring mobility and functional ability of patients with exoprosthesis due to unilateral lower limb amputation. It can be used for a German-speaking population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1506-7603DOI Listing
July 2021

Rasch validation and comparison of the German versions of the Locomotor Capabilities Index-5 and Prosthetic Mobility Questionnaire 2.0 in lower-limb prosthesis users.

Int J Rehabil Res 2021 Sep;44(3):233-240

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, Istituti Clinici Scientifci Maugeri, IRCCS, Institute of Tradate (VA), Italy.

This study aimed to compare, through Rasch analysis, the psychometric properties of the Locomotor Capabilities Index (LCI-5) and Prosthetic Mobility Questionnaire (PMQ 2.0) in German lower-limb prosthesis users. The questionnaires were concurrently administered to a convenience sample of 98 consecutively recruited individuals with lower limb amputation (LLA) (male/female = 61/37; mean age 57 ± 14 years). LCI-5 showed disordered rating scale thresholds (one response option in three items required collapsing); local dependence between two items (resolved by creating a testlet); underfit of one item ('Get up from the floor'); and presence of a second weak dimension. PMQ 2.0 showed a correctly functioning rating scale; good fit of the data to the model (apart from some overfit); local dependence between two items (absorbed by creating a testlet); and essential unidimensionality. At scale co-calibration onto a common interval-scaled metric, PMQ 2.0 was better targeted than LCI-5 (i.e. the extent of item difficulty was more appropriate for the sample) and its operational range allowed a more precise measurement of higher locomotor abilities. The correlation between LCI-5 and PMQ 2.0 scores was rho =  0.78. In conclusion, LCI-5 revealed some drawbacks, confirming a previous Rasch study; refinement of its rating scale and item selection seems therefore warranted. The PMQ 2.0 demonstrated good overall measurement quality, in line with previous Italian and Slovene studies. The operational range of the PMQ 2.0 makes it more suitable than LCI-5 for assessing people with high locomotor abilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MRR.0000000000000478DOI Listing
September 2021

The Flexor Pollicis Longus Reflex: Interrater and Intrarater Reliability in Comparison With Established Muscle Stretch Reflexes.

Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2021 06;100(6):539-545

From the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany (LMG, CS, CG, AR); and University of Applied Sciences and Art, Hildesheim, Germany (TS-K).

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the interrater reliability and intrarater reliability of the flexor pollicis longus muscle stretch reflex (FPLR) and compare it with clinically established reflexes.

Design: A total of 71 healthy volunteers participated. The FPLR, biceps reflex, brachioradialis reflex, and patellar tendon reflex of each participant were tested bilaterally and rated by eight examiners (four experienced, four inexperienced). For intrarater reliability evaluation, five examiners rated the reflexes of four volunteers at four different points in time.

Results: Analysis of the interrater reliability with Gwet's AC1 demonstrated almost perfect agreement for FPLR (Gwet's AC1 = 0.90), biceps reflex (Gwet's AC1 = 0.90), and patellar tendon reflex (Gwet's AC1 = 0.95) when using binary data (reflex present vs. absent). Only fair agreement was found for the brachioradialis reflex (Gwet's AC1 = 0.56). Experienced raters had a higher agreement than inexperienced raters did when rating the biceps reflex and the patellar tendon reflex. The intrarater reliability was almost perfect for the patellar tendon reflex (Gwet's AC1 = 0.94), followed by the FPLR (Gwet's AC1 = 0.83) with substantial agreement and the biceps reflex (Gwet's AC1 = 0.57) with moderate agreement.

Conclusion: The FPLR is a reliable diagnostic neuromuscular test and may therefore be useful in the clinical examination for C8/T1 nerve root lesions or pathologies of the interosseous anterior nerve.

To Claim Cme Credits: Complete the self-assessment activity and evaluation online at http://www.physiatry.org/JournalCME.

Cme Objectives: Upon completion of this article, the reader should be able to: (1) Elicit the flexor pollicis longus muscle stretch reflex; (2) Discuss the disadvantage of kappa statistics in assessing the interrater reliability when the prevalence of the studied trait is very high or very low; and (3) Name the spinal nerves involved in the innervation of the flexor pollicis longus muscle.

Level: Advanced.

Accreditation: The Association of Academic Physiatrists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.The Association of Academic Physiatrists designates this Journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PHM.0000000000001731DOI Listing
June 2021

Validity and Reliability of the German Version of the Locomotor Capabilities Index-5 (LCI-5).

Z Orthop Unfall 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Klinik für Rehabilitationsmedizin, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Before foreign language questionnaires, such as patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), can be scientifically used in the national language, guideline-based translation, cultural adaptation and comprehensive verification of their validity and reliability are needed. The aim of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the German version of the LCI-5 (LCI-5-D) on a sample of people with lower limb amputation (LLA).

Methods: The LCI-5 was translated into German (LCI-5-D) based on the ISPOR guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation following pilot testing. The final LCI-5-D was administered to n = 52 lower limb amputees in order to determine the validity and reliability of both the total score and the subscores ("basic items" and "advanced items"). Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha), test-retest reliability (ICC2,1), standard error of the mean (SEM), minimal detectable change (MDC), item-to-total correlation, and item-to-subscale correlation were calculated. Floor and ceiling effects were checked. For construct validity, the Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI) and timed up and go (TUG) test were correlated, and differences of defined subgroups (amputation height and prosthesis user type) were calculated.

Results: On average, the score of the LCI-5-D was 40.13 ± 16.64 points. High ceiling effects were present for the subscale "basic items" (57.7% maximum score). Internal consistency showed excellent results (Cronbach's α = 0.97). A strong correlation to the RMI (r = 0.863; p < 0.001) and to the TUG (r = - 0.714; p < 0.001) demonstrated construct validity. Test-rest reliability was measured after an averaged time span of 5.3 ± 2.47 days and resulted in very high reliability [ICC (2,1) = 0.97; p < 0.001]. MDC was 7.57 points for the total score.

Conclusion: The LCI-5-D is a valid and reliable PROM for measuring mobility with prostheses in German-speaking lower limb amputees, which is rather suitable for people with low to moderate mobility abilities. It can be used in a German-speaking population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1447-2170DOI Listing
May 2021

A Retrospective Analysis of the Initial Effect of COVID-19 on German Prehospital Care During Lockdown in Germany.

Open Access Emerg Med 2021 5;13:97-105. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School, Hanover, Germany.

Introduction: This retrospective cohort analysis examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the prehospital setting in Germany. The data of two emergency physician response units of a northern German region with 1.2 million citizens was analyzed retrospectively.

Materials And Methods: We analyzed the period March 16 to April 16 for the year 2020 when the lockdown took place in Germany and compare the results for the same period for the year 2019 and 2018. 1004 patients were included. Demographic data, the type of rescue missions, the number of missions per day, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Score (NACA-score), the frequency of respiratory emergencies (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 associated), as well as the number of deaths were documented.

Results: Mean age was 62.3±24.8 years and 576 (56.5%) were male. Number of missions were 397, 403 and 333 in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. The control room registered a 22% reduction of rescue missions for the year 2020. Even the amount of emergency calls via the emergency number 112 was reduced by 17.4% between 2018 and 2020. 150 (14.9%) missions were due to respiratory emergencies. In 2020 10 missions (28.6% of respiratory emergencies) were COVID-19 related. In 2020 the NACA score increased significantly.

Conclusion: We found a decreasing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany on the number of emergency calls as well as missions, and an increase of the severity of cases in preclinical care for a northern German region with 1.2 million citizens. The effect of these findings caused by COVID-19 on the health care system remains to be seen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S289070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943539PMC
March 2021

Management, outcome, and novel classification system of periprosthetic fractures in patients with transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic systems (TOPS)-a retrospective cohort analysis.

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 2021 Mar 6. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School (MHH), Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, 30625, Hannover, Germany.

Introduction: Transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic systems (TOPS) are anchored prosthetic systems for major limb loss. Sometimes TOPS patients suffer from periprosthetic fractures. The aim of this study was to analyze the management and outcomes of periprosthetic fractures in patients with TOPS and to introduce a novel classification system for this entity.

Material/methods: Since 2010, 140 patients were treated with TOPS after transfemoral amputation in two centers in Germany. Fifteen patients sustained periprosthetic fractures, with five intra- and ten postoperative fractures. The outcome was analyzed by Prosthesis Mobility Questionnaire (PMQ), K-level and prosthesis wear time per day. A subgroup analysis for the body mass index (BMI) was performed.

Results: All postoperative fractures were treated with implant-retaining osteosynthesis. Fourteen fractures healed without complications after a mean of 3 months. One postoperative fracture developed a clinically asymptomatic firm non-union. No Endo-Fixstem had to be removed. For the fracture and control group, a significant increase of the PMQ (p < 0.001) and K-level (p < 0.001) was observed after TOPS treatment compared to the preoperative baseline. Furthermore, the subgroup analysis showed a significant increase of the PMQ and K-level for both normal weight (p = 0.002) and overweight patients (p < 0.001). Of interest, overweight patients even showed a significantly higher increase in scores compared to normal weight patients, regardless of periprosthetic fracture.

Conclusion: Periprosthetic fractures do not necessarily worsen outcomes of TOPS treatment. Proper classification and standardized appropriate treatment strategies according to fracture morphology are paramount for reliably good outcomes. We recommend to not remove or exchange the implant (Endo-Fixstem) even if it is assembly. Higher BMI did not have an impact onto rehabilitation success after TOPS to major limb loss of the lower extremity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00402-021-03826-yDOI Listing
March 2021

Microcurrent therapy - more transparency is needed in used parameters.

Clin Rehabil 2021 Jul 28;35(7):1073-1074. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269215521991753DOI Listing
July 2021

Preoperative femoral abduction angle correlates with initial postoperative lateral hip pain after transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic system (TOPS) in transfemoral amputees.

Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 2021 Aug 20;31(6):1225-1233. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Trauma Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625, Hannover, Germany.

Purpose: To analyse whether a preoperative femoral abduction angle (FAA) correlates with postoperative initial lateral hip pain (LHP) in above-knee amputees (AKA) treated with transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic system (TOPS).

Methods: Pre- and postoperative long-leg radiographs of eighteen unilateral AKA (mean age 51.55y ± 12.16) were retrospectively measured. FAA was measured on both sides. Pain intensity of LHP was measured by numeric rating scale (NRS) preoperatively and every week for four weeks from the first day of weight loading. Pearson's r was calculated for correlation. Furthermore, odds ratio for LHP ≥ 5/10 NRS and relative FAA > 13° was calculated.

Results: FAA significantly decreased in the postoperative period (pre/post. 15.33° ± 4.22; p < 0.001). Median LHP was 0/10 NRS (min.0, max.3) preoperatively and 4/10 NRS (min.2, max. 7, p < 0.001) postoperatively after first loading. Interestingly, it decreased within four weeks to a median of 0.5/10 NRS (min.0, max. 3) without intervention. A strong correlation was seen on the amputated side between preoperative FAA and LHP after loading (r = 0.835, p < 0.001), as well as the relative FAA to LHP after loading (r = 0.732, p < 0.001) and between the gap of pre- to postoperative FAA and LHP. Odds ratio for LHP ≥ 5/10 and relative FAA > 13° was 6.4 (95%CI = 0.55; 74.89).

Conclusion: The preoperative FAA strongly correlates with postoperative LHP. Surgeons should be aware of high risk of LHP that can limit prosthetic training. High preoperative FAAs should be realised in the decision meeting of TOPS implantation and pre-rehabilitative reduction of the FAA should be taken into consideration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00590-021-02872-xDOI Listing
August 2021

[Transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic systems after major amputation of the lower extremity : A retrospective 3-year analysis].

Orthopade 2021 Jan;50(1):4-13

Klinik für Unfallchirurgie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, 30625, Hannover, Deutschland.

Introduction: Transcutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic systems (TOPS) are an established optional procedure for the prosthetic treatment of amputations. Under the term endo-exo-prosthesis (EEP), the endosteal adapted exo-prosthesis (Dr. Grundei®) is currently used as the only standard prosthesis for clinical application in Germany. The prosthetic treatment with EEP involves a two-stage surgical procedure. In a first surgical step, the endo-fixed stem is implanted into the bone; in a second operation, approx. 2-6 weeks later, the skin/soft tissue stoma is created, through which the exoprosthetic components can be coupled transcutaneously.

Aim: The aim of this manuscript was to retrospectively collect descriptive 3‑year statistics (2017-2019) from clinical follow-ups and to analyze them with regard to possible effects of TOPS on the mobility level measured by k‑levels. In addition, a brief description of the current standard of care in Germany regarding TOPS will be given.

Methods: All patients who underwent EEP after major amputation from February 2017 to December 2019 (n = 72, with 76 implants) were included in this study. The data of the EEP patients were collected in standardized follow-ups. K‑levels were compared preoperatively to 6 months postoperatively.

Results: A total of N = 72 patients (N = 76 implantations) was analyzed in the described period. The main cause of amputations was trauma (68.9%). Main complications were myofascial complaints. Implant loosening and deep infections were observed in two cases (2.7%) during this period. Stoma problems occurred with a 3-year average of 25.7%. In terms of K‑levels, there was a high significant increase from preoperative 1.8 ± 0.8 to 3.0 ± 0.4 after a 6-month period.

Conclusion: TOPS is an established optional procedure for the treatment of limb loss. In Germany, only one implant is currently regularly implanted (endo-exo prosthesis), and the restoration is currently focused on the lower limb. The restoration of patients with major amputation of the lower extremity by means of TOPS can lead to an increase in mobility and, thus, to an increase in daily activities and participation in daily living.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00132-020-04031-2DOI Listing
January 2021

[Transcutaneous Osseointegrated Prosthetic Systems (TOPS) for Transfemoral Amputees - A Six-Year Retrospective Analysis of the Latest Prosthetic Design in Germany].

Rehabilitation (Stuttg) 2020 Dec 31;59(6):357-365. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Klinik für Unfallchirurgie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover.

Purpose: A retrospective analysis of clinical outcomes and complication rates of patients treated with the latest implant design of the so-called Endo-Exo-Femoral Prosthesis (EEFP) was performed. The aim is to gain specific information on long-term complications of this treatment-method.

Methods: In January 2019, data of all transfemoral amputees who were treated with TOPS at an acute clinic in Schleswig-Holstein from 2010 to 2016 were retrospectively analysed. This was done with special consideration of postoperative complications. For this purpose, all examination findings from routine clinical follow-up examinations were used. The complications were divided into stoma problems, orthopaedic-technical (OT) problems, fractures and explantations. All EEFPs had the same implant design (3rd generation). This implant is currently the only TOPS in Germany that is clinically used. Descriptive statistics as well as ratio information about occurred complications were calculated.

Results: A total of 68 implantations were performed during this period. Average observation time was 6.32 years (±2.16 years). The mean age of the patients was 51.84 years±12.12 years. Cause of amputation was mainly trauma (82,35%). Stoma-associated problems had the highest incidence (7%) among all observed patient-related complications and posed the greatest challenges during the rehabilitation process. Looking only at surgical complications, 81% had no complications at all. In total, 15% had technical problems, 6% had peri-prosthetic fractures, 7% had stoma problems and 3% had to be explanted due to infection.

Conclusion: The analysis of collected data shows that TOPS (here the 3rd generation EEFP) can be a successful alternative treatment method to shaft prostheses after transfemoral amputation. The indication should only be given after the failure of a shaft-prosthesis and contraindications must be comprehensively excluded. The greatest challenges in the rehabilitation process are the avoidance of stoma complications, infections and OT-problems. The rehabilitation of amputees treated with TOPS therefore requires an interdisciplinary, specialized rehabilitation team and lifelong rehabilitative care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1223-3205DOI Listing
December 2020

Orthogeriatric co-management for proximal femoral fractures. Can two additions make a big difference?

BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2020 Jun 11;21(1):371. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School (MHH), Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Proximal femoral fractures are a major socioeconomic burden and they occur mainly in geriatric patients. High mortality and complication rates are reported. To reduce the mortality and morbidity of these patients, co-management with geriatricians has been recommended. Most previous studies have focused on relatively comprehensive care models. Models with only a few additions to the usual care have not been extensively evaluated.

Methods: This retrospective observational study included all patients aged ≥70 years (mean age: 84.5 ± 7.1 years, 70% women) with an isolated proximal femoral fracture treated surgically in our institution from May 2018 to October 2019. In the first 9 months, patients were treated with the usual care (control group, n = 103). In the second 9 months, patients were treated with our multidisciplinary care model (intervention group, n = 104), which included the usual care, plus: (1) one multidisciplinary ward round per week and (2) one "elective" operation slot per day reserved for proximal femoral fractures. Baseline characteristics and outcome measures of the hospital stay were extracted from electronic health records. A 3-month follow-up was conducted by phone.

Results: Baseline characteristics were comparable between groups (p > 0.05). The hospital stay was shorter in the intervention group than in the control group (7.8 ± 4.3 vs. 9.1 ± 4.5; p = 0.022). The intervention reduced the waiting time for surgery by more than 10 h (intervention: 25.4 ± 24.5 vs. control: 35.8 ± 34.1 h; p = 0.013). A structured phone interview was not performed in 30.9% of the cases. The model reduced the overall dissatisfaction rate by more than half (12.9% vs. 32.4%; p = 0.008). On the other hand, the groups had similar perioperative complication rates (25% vs. 24.3%; p > 0.9999) and mortality (4.8% vs. 3.9%; p > 0.9999) and they remained similar at the 3-month follow-up (complications: 20.3% vs. 17.6% p = 0.831, mortality: 18.2% vs. 15.0% p = 0.573).

Conclusion: We found that two additions to the usual proximal femoral fracture regimen could significantly improve the overall satisfaction rate, reduce the length of hospital stay and shorten the waiting time for surgery. In contrast to previous studies, we observed no significant improvements in complication or mortality rates. Further changes in the standard care might be needed for this purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12891-020-03392-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7291750PMC
June 2020

Microcurrent therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: could it be more than a placebo effect? A randomized controlled trial.

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2020 Aug 15;56(4):459-468. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Orthopedics, Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany.

Background: Microcurrent therapy (MCT) is a novel electrotherapy modality with very low current-levels that may reduce pain especially in joints and muscles.

Aim: The aim of this study is to explore potential effects of MCT on pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis, to explore effects of different treatment parameters and to distinguish them from placebo-effects.

Design: Randomized four arms controlled clinical trial.

Setting: Outpatient tertiary medical care center.

Population: Fifty-six patients with knee OA (Kellgren-Lawrence Score II or III, 14 male and 38 female, mean age: 71.7±7.3 years, pain intensity higher than Numeric Rating Scale [NRS] score 3 from 10).

Methods: Patients were randomized into four groups: MCT with 100 µA (group A), MCT with 25 µA (group B), sham-treatment (group C) and a control-group without intervention. Treatment groups received 10 sessions of MCT for 30 minutes each over a period of 22 days. The primary outcome was daily pain intensity throughout the treatment period measured by a NRS from 0-10. Second outcome measurements were the Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), the SF-36 Questionnaire, the Six-Minute Walking Test and the Get-Up-and-Go Test.

Results: Evening pain was reduced significantly in the verum-groups compared to sham group (Group A vs. Group C: P<0.001, Group B vs. Group C: P=0.006) and to no intervention (Group A vs. Group D: P<0.001, Group B vs. Group D: P=0.002). The difference between sham-therapy and no therapy was not significant. In the pre-post analysis of the KOOS group A improved significantly in the subscale Symptoms. Group A and B and D improved in the Activities of Daily Living subscale.

Conclusions: The results of this RCT suggest that MCT has beneficial effects on pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis that are not explained by a placebo effect. Due to the explorative, pilot character of the study, further confirmation is needed before clear recommendations can be given.

Clinical Rehabilitation Impact: More high-quality RCTs with transparent parameters should be investigated to elucidate potential effects of MCT in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. At the present time MCT is a treatment option that could be helpful, in particular for patients who are afraid of unpleasant sensations from electrotherapy with stronger currents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S1973-9087.20.05921-3DOI Listing
August 2020

[Undetected coccyx fracture in a woman with fibromyalgia].

Schmerz 2019 Dec;33(6):549-554

Interdisziplinäre Schmerzambulanz, Klinikum der Universität München - Campus Innenstadt, LMU München, Pettenkoferstr. 8a, 80336, München, Deutschland.

This article presents the case of a 46-year-old woman with fibromyalgia with an undetected fracture of the coccyx. The heterogeneity of the symptoms of patients suffering from fibromyalgia including chronic widespread pain, vegetative and functional disorders, mental and physical exhaustion as well as sleep disorders can cause accidentally undetected comorbidities, especially if these are rare and predominantly present with pain as the main symptom. In the present case the reason for symptoms was detected only after 14 months of ineffective therapies and diagnostic procedures. The coccygeal pain was eliminated through a coccygectomy as ultima ratio. It should be nevertheless emphasized that patients with fibromyalgia suffer from a central pain-processing disorder. Indications for operative treatment must be very carefully considered. Surgery should only be considered in consultation with the patient and after failed conservative therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00482-019-0392-0DOI Listing
December 2019
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