Publications by authors named "Allan C Beebe"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Evolving Surgical Management for Early-Onset Scoliosis in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 Given Improvements in Survival.

JBJS Case Connect 2021 03 23;11(1). Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.

Case: We present a case of an 18-month-old child with early-onset scoliosis in the setting of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1 whose rapidly progressive scoliosis is successfully managed with magnetic growing rods, the youngest age of implantation in a patient with SMA we are currently aware of. Technical challenges, complications, and outcome are described in this case presentation.

Conclusion: Patients with SMA type 1 and early-onset scoliosis can be managed with growing-rod constructs given dramatic improvements in medical care that have expanded life expectancy.
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March 2021

Defining the volume of consultations for musculoskeletal infection encountered by pediatric orthopaedic services in the United States.

PLoS One 2020 4;15(6):e0234055. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH, United States of America,

Objective: Adequate resources are required to rapidly diagnose and treat pediatric musculoskeletal infection (MSKI). The workload MSKI consults contribute to pediatric orthopaedic services is unknown as prior epidemiologic studies are variable and negative work-ups are not included in national discharge databases. The hypothesis was tested that MSKI consults constitute a substantial volume of total consultations for pediatric orthopaedic services across the United States.

Study Design: Eighteen institutions from the Children's ORthopaedic Trauma and Infection Consortium for Evidence-based Study (CORTICES) group retrospectively reviewed a minimum of 1 year of hospital data, reporting the total number of surgeons, total consultations, and MSKI-related consultations. Consultations were classified by the location of consultation (emergency department or inpatient). Culture positivity rate and pathogens were also reported.

Results: 87,449 total orthopaedic consultations and 7,814 MSKI-related consultations performed by 229 pediatric orthopaedic surgeons were reviewed. There was an average of 13 orthopaedic surgeons per site each performing an average of 154 consultations per year. On average, 9% of consultations were MSKI related and 37% of these consults yielded positive cultures. Finally, a weak inverse monotonic relationship was noted between percent culture positivity and percent of total orthopedic consults for MSKI.

Conclusion: At large, academic pediatric tertiary care centers, pediatric orthopaedic services consult on an average of ~3,000 'rule-out' MSKI cases annually. These patients account for nearly 1 in 10 orthopaedic consultations, of which 1 in 3 are culture positive. Considering that 2 in 3 consultations were culture negative, estimating resources required for pediatric orthopaedic consult services to work up and treat children based on culture positive administrative discharge data underestimates clinical need. Finally, ascertainment bias must be considered when comparing differences in culture rates from different institution's pediatric orthopaedics services, given the variability in when orthopaedic physicians become involved in a MSKI workup.
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August 2020

Changes in cerebral oxygenation based on intraoperative ventilation strategy.

Med Devices (Auckl) 2018 25;11:253-258. Epub 2018 Jul 25.

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA,

Introduction: Cerebral oxygenation can be monitored clinically by cerebral oximetry (regional oxygen saturation, rSO) using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Changes in rSO have been shown to precede changes in pulse oximetry, providing an early detection of clinical deterioration. Cerebral oximetry values may be affected by various factors, including changes in ventilation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in rSO during intraoperative changes in mechanical ventilation.

Patients And Methods: Following the approval of the institutional review board (IRB), tissue and cerebral oxygenation were monitored intraoperatively using NIRS. Prior to anesthetic induction, the NIRS monitor was placed on the forehead and over the deltoid muscle to obtain baseline values. NIRS measurements were recorded each minute over a 5-min period during general anesthesia at four phases of ventilation: 1) normocarbia (35-40 mmHg) with a low fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO) of 0.3; 2) hypocarbia (25-30 mmHg) and low FiO of 0.3; 3) hypocarbia and a high FiO of 0.6; and 4) normocarbia and a high FiO. NIRS measurements during each phase were compared with sequential phases using paired -tests.

Results: The study cohort included 30 adolescents. Baseline cerebral and tissue oxygenation were 81% ± 9% and 87% ± 5%, respectively. During phase 1, cerebral rSO was 83% ± 8%, which decreased to 79% ± 8% in phase 2 (hypocarbia and low FiO). Cerebral oxygenation partially recovered during phase 3 (81% ± 9%) with the increase in FiO and then returned to baseline during phase 4 (83% ± 8%). Each sequential change (e.g., phase 1 to phase 2) in cerebral oxygenation was statistically significant ( < 0.01). Tissue oxygenation remained at 87%-88% throughout the study.

Conclusion: Cerebral oxygenation declined slightly during general anesthesia with the transition from normocarbia to hypocarbic conditions. The rSO decrease related to hypocarbia was easily reversed with a return to baseline values by the administration of supplemental oxygen (60% vs. 30%).
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July 2018

Analgesic effects of methadone and magnesium following posterior spinal fusion for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents: a randomized controlled trial.

J Anesth 2018 10 4;32(5):702-708. Epub 2018 Aug 4.

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH, 43205, USA.

Purpose: To provide optimal conditions for neurophysiological monitoring and rapid awakening, remifentanil is commonly used during pediatric spinal surgery. However, remifentanil may induce hyperalgesia and increase postoperative opioid requirements. We evaluated the potential of methadone or magnesium to prevent remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia.

Methods: Using a prospective, randomized, blinded design, adolescents presenting for posterior spinal fusion to treat idiopathic scoliosis were assigned to receive desflurane with remifentanil alone (REMI), remifentanil + methadone (MET) (0.1 mg/kg IV over 15 min), or remifentanil + magnesium (MAG) (50 mg/kg bolus over 30 min followed by 10 mg/kg/h). Primary outcomes were opioid requirements and postoperative pain scores. Secondary outcomes included intraoperative anesthetic requirements, neurophysiological monitoring conditions, and emergence times.

Results: Data analysis included 60 patients. Total opioid requirement (hydromorphone) in the REMI group (received perioperatively and on the inpatient ward) was 0.34 ± 0.11 mg/kg compared to 0.26 ± 0.10 mg/kg in the MET group (95% confidence interval (CI) of difference: - 0.14, - 0.01; p = 0.035). The difference in opioid requirements between the REMI and MET group was related to intraoperative dosing (0.04 ± 0.02 mg/kg vs. 0.02 ± 0.01 mg/kg; 95% CI of difference: - 0.01, - 0.02; p = 0.003). No difference was noted in pain scores, and no differences were noted when comparing the REMI and MAG groups.

Conclusion: With the dosing regimens in the current study, the only benefit noted with methadone was a decrease in perioperative opioid requirements. However, given the potential for hyperalgesia with the intraoperative use of remifentanil, adjunctive use of methadone appears warranted.
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October 2018

Spinal anesthesia instead of general anesthesia for infants undergoing tendon Achilles lengthening.

Local Reg Anesth 2018 3;11:25-29. Epub 2018 May 3.

Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA.

Spinal anesthesia (SA) has been used relatively sparingly in the pediatric population, as it is typically reserved for patients in whom the perceived risk of general anesthesia is high due to comorbid conditions. Recently, concern has been expressed regarding the potential long-term neurocognitive effects of general anesthesia during the early stages of life. In view of this, our center has developed a program in which SA may be used as the sole agent for applicable surgical procedures. While this approach in children is commonly used for urologic or abdominal surgical procedures, there have been a limited number of reports of its use for orthopedic procedures in this population. We present the use of SA for 6 infants undergoing tendon Achilles lengthening, review the use of SA in orthopedic surgery, describe our protocols and dosing regimens, and discuss the potential adverse effects related to this technique.
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May 2018

Changes in Cerebral Oxygenation during Transfusion Therapy.

J Extra Corpor Technol 2016 12;48(4):173-178

Departments of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.; Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

This study assesses the effects of transfusion of autologous or allogeneic blood on cerebral and tissue oxygenation during spinal surgery. Packed red blood cell transfusions are indicated to improve oxygen delivery to tissues. There are limited data demonstrating changes in tissue oxygenation with blood administration. Tissue (deltoid) and cerebral oxygenation were monitored using near-infrared spectroscopy during spinal surgery in patients. As indicated, cell saver or allogeneic blood was administered. Tissue and cerebral oxygenation were recorded before and after transfusion. The study enrolled 50 patients, 33 of whom (17 males and 16 females) received allogeneic blood ( = 8) or autologous blood ( = 25). Patients ranged in age from 9 to 19 years (14.0 ± 2.3 years) and in weight from 16.8 to 122.7 kg (54.6 ± 25.7 kg). Tissue oxygenation increased from 83 ± 9 (pretransfusion) to 86 ± 7 at the end of transfusion ( = .002) and remained at the same level (86 ± 7) in the post-transfusion period. Cerebral oxygenation increased from 76 ± 8 (pretransfusion) to 84 ± 8 at the end of transfusion ( < .001) and remained at 84 ± 8 in the post-transfusion period. Changes in tissue and cerebral oxygenation were similar between cell saver and allogeneic blood and between starting hemoglobin value <8 gm/dL and starting hemoglobin ≥8 gm/dL. In conclusion, although both cerebral and tissue oxygenation increased during the administration of either allogeneic or autologous blood, the clinical impact was likely limited given the high initial tissue and cerebral oxygenation values. No differences were noted between autologous (cell saver) and allogeneic blood or based on the starting hemoglobin value.
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December 2016

Pediatric Diaphyseal Femur Fractures: Submuscular Plating Compared With Intramedullary Nailing.

Orthopedics 2016 Nov 27;39(6):353-358. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

This study compared the radiographic and clinical outcomes of pediatric diaphyseal femur fractures treated by submuscular plating, flexible retrograde intramedullary nailing, or rigid antegrade intramedullary nailing with a trochanteric entry point in skeletally immature patients who were 8 years and older. A retrospective review was conducted of skeletally immature patients 8 years and older who were treated for femur fracture with submuscular plating, flexible intramedullary nailing, or rigid intramedullary nailing from 2001 to 2014 with a minimum 12-week follow-up. Treatment outcomes were compared for statistical significance, including time to union, malunion, nonunion, heterotopic ossification, avascular necrosis, time to full weight bearing, limb length discrepancy, residual limp, painful hardware, and infection. The study identified 198 femur fractures in 196 patients (mean age, 11.9 years). Each femur fracture was treated with submuscular plating (35), flexible intramedullary nailing (61), or rigid intramedullary nailing (102). Mean follow-up across the cohort was 48 weeks, ranging from 12 to 225 weeks. Flexible nailing was associated with an increased incidence of malunion (P<.0001) and hardware irritation (P=.0204) and longer time to full weight bearing (P=.0018). Rigid nailing was associated with an increased incidence of limp at 12-week followup (P=.0412). Additionally, 23.5% of patients who were treated with rigid nailing had heterotopic ossification. Of all surgical methods, submuscular plating allowed for the most rapid return to full weight bearing (mean, 7 weeks) and offered the fastest healing rate (mean, 6 weeks). Submuscular plating resulted in faster times to union and full weight bearing, with minimal complication rates. Rigid intramedullary nailing with trochanteric entry resulted in a lower incidence of malunion and hardware-related complications; however, these patients had an increased incidence of heterotopic ossification and residual limp postoperatively. Flexible retrograde intramedullary nailing resulted in the highest rates of malunion and hardware irritation and the longest time to full weight bearing. [Orthopedics. 2016; 39(6):353-358.].
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November 2016

Bridge Plating Length-Unstable Pediatric Femoral Shaft Fractures.

J Pediatr Orthop 2016 Jun;36 Suppl 1:S29-34

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH.

The treatment of pediatric diaphyseal femur fractures, particularly length-unstable fractures, continues to be an area of controversy in patients from age 6 to skeletal maturity. Submuscular bridge plating is an alternative that allows for stable internal fixation while minimizing soft tissue disruption. We describe a surgical technique that has simplified both implantation and removal. This technique provides a stable construct in comminuted and unstable fracture patterns allowing for early mobilization with minimal complications.
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June 2016

Utilization of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgical Time: An Evaluation of Three Different Models at a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center.

Orthop Surg 2015 Nov;7(4):333-7

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Objective: Over the past decade, our institution has instituted three different scheduling models in an attempt to care for pediatric trauma at our Level I Trauma Center. This has been in response to a number of factors, including a limited number of physicians covering the call schedule, increasing competition for operating room (OR) time after hours (pediatric surgery, urology, neurosurgery), an attempt to fully utilize OR time during the daytime, fully staffed hours, and optimizing patients' timeliness to surgery. We examined the three on-call systems in place at our institution to determine whether a more flexible approach to pediatric trauma call resulted in delays in treatment.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patient records for three distinct 1-year periods with three different surgical call schedules: (i) a traditional call schedule in which the call physician was responsible for patients who presented to our emergency room; (ii) a half-day trauma block OR reserved the morning following call; and (iii) a full-day trauma block. Variables included date of injury, time of admission, admission diagnosis, cause of injury, and OR procedure and start time.

Results: We reviewed 951 cases over the entire study, 268 during the traditional call schedule, 282 during the half-call block and 401 over the time period of the full-day block. Mechanisms of injury were similar among the three groups, with falls and motor vehicle accidents being the leading causes. The average delay time was 17:40 for the traditional call group, 15:10 for the half-block call group, and 15:09 for the full-day block group. Our findings suggest that there was a high incidence of cases performed on weekdays after peak staffing hours with a traditional call model (59%). In contrast, half-day and full-day block models saw only 4% and 1% of the cases performed after peak staffing hours, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of patients admitted to the OR among the three groups (χ(2) = 488.8449, P < 0.0001). The number of patients seen during Monday through Friday was also statistically significant among the three groups (χ(2) = 382.0576, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: The institution of more flexible and physician-directed half-call and full-day blocks did result in delays in treatment. However, it also has demonstrated benefits to patients in reducing the number of operative cases performed after weekday peak staffing hours; helped our institution better manage its staffing and financial resources; and provided the treating surgeon flexibility in determining the timing of operative care.
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November 2015

Percutaneous Doxycycline Treatment of Juxtaphyseal Aneurysmal Bone Cysts.

J Pediatr Orthop 2016 Mar;36(2):205-12

Departments of *Radiology †Orthopedic Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH.

Background: A recurrence rate of 19% to 23% has been reported in juxtaphyseal aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) without en bloc resection or amputation. No percutaneous surgical techniques or drug treatments have demonstrated consistent bone healing with normal physeal growth and a recurrence rate of <19%. Doxycycline has properties that may make it an appropriate agent for percutaneous treatment of juxtaphyseal ABC in skeletally immature patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 16 patients who underwent percutaneous treatment of ABCs with doxycycline from 2006 to 2011. The mean age was 7.1 years (range, 2 to 15 y). There were 16 treatment locations: humerus (9), tibia (3), fibula (2), femur (1), and ulna (1). Sixteen patients completed treatment involving 102 treatment sessions (2 to 14 sessions per patient). Treatment response was evaluated radiographically by measuring the lytic component, thickness of involved cortex, and signs of bony remodeling, and evidence of physeal growth arrest. Recurrence was indicated by new areas of lytic destruction after completion of treatment. The minimum follow-up was 18 months (mean, 39 mo).

Results: All 16 patients demonstrated reduction in lytic destruction, bony healing, and bony remodeling. One patient demonstrated recurrent minimal lytic destruction after 20 months of observation. Seven patients (7/16, 44%) demonstrated physeal ABC involvement; 5 of 7 patients healed with a physeal bone bridge, all ≤15% of the physeal surface area, 1 with mild central physeal deformity. All patients with focal transphyseal ABC involvement (4/4, 100%) demonstrated focal bone bridge after treatment. No patient had diffuse physeal growth arrest; only patients with intraphyseal or transphyseal ABC involvement had focal physeal growth arrest.

Conclusions: In this series, patients undergoing percutaneous doxycycline treatment of juxtaphyseal ABCs demonstrated ABC healing and a recurrence rate of 6% at >18 months. Patients without physeal ABC involvement demonstrated no evidence of physeal growth arrest.
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March 2016

Traumatic, Posterior Pediatric Hip Dislocations With Associated Posterior Labrum Osteochondral Avulsion: Recognizing the Acetabular "Fleck" Sign.

J Pediatr Orthop 2016 Sep;36(6):602-7

*Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital †Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Background: Traumatic dislocation of the hip is uncommon in the pediatric population. Concentric reduction is usually achieved by closed means. Open reduction may be needed if there is femoral head fracture, incarcerated fragment, or incomplete reduction due to soft tissue entrapment. We present a series of 10 patients who sustained a posterior hip dislocation or subluxation with associated osteochondral avulsion of the posterior labrum. During surgery they were noted to have a labral injury pattern not previously recognized. Such treatment was dictated by postreduction advanced imaging, which revealed a consistent acetabular "fleck" sign indicative of this labral injury, which has not been previously described in literature.

Methods: We performed a retrospective case review of patients with traumatic posterior hip dislocation/subluxation, treated operatively for a suspected associated labral tear and fractures.

Results: Ten patients (2 girls and 8 boys) were identified. Average age was 12.7 years. Eight patients had postreduction computed tomography scans, which revealed a posterior acetabular wall "fleck" sign, suggestive of osteochondral injury. The small bony fragment was consistently displaced at least 2 to 3 mm in all patients with majority of the posterior wall remaining intact. Closed reduction was felt to be congruent in 7 of the 10 patients. All patients were treated operatively for exploration and stabilization of the suspected posterior labrum pathology and associated injuries using a surgical hip dislocation. A consistent pattern of labral pathology was seen in all patients, with disruption of the posterior labrum from the superior 12 o'clock attachment to detachment at the inferior 6 o'clock location. Reattachment of the osteochondral labral avulsion was performed with suture anchors along the posterior rim, and the associated femoral head fractures were also addressed with internal fixation. Two patients had inadequate follow-up and were excluded, the average follow-up for the remaining 8 patients was 9.8 months (range, 6 to 26 mo). There were no findings of avascular necrosis in any of the 8 patients.

Conclusions: Posterior hip dislocation in children may produce an acetabular "fleck" sign on advanced imaging, which in a stable, concentrically reduced hip has been treated without surgery in the past. Acetabular fleck sign may represent a near-complete avulsion of the posterior labrum as seen in our series. We recommend a high suspicion for this type of labral pathology and surgical repair when acetabular "fleck" sign is identified with hip subluxation or dislocation. Traumatic, posterior hip dislocations in young patients may be associated with significant labral pathology. Acetabular "fleck" sign on advanced imaging may predict such pathology.

Level Of Evidence: IV, retrospective study.
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September 2016

Is there still a place for cast wedging in pediatric forearm fractures?

J Pediatr Orthop 2014 Apr-May;34(3):246-52

*Nationwide Children's Hospital †Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Background: Forearm fractures are common skeletal injuries in childhood and can usually be treated nonoperatively with closed reduction and casting. Trends toward increasing operative treatment of these fractures have emerged. We aim to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of cast wedging for treatment of pediatric forearm fractures.

Methods: We performed a prospective chart review of patients with forearm fractures, including distal radius (DR) fractures, treated with cast wedging at a single large pediatric hospital from June 2011 to September 2012. Inclusion criteria specified open distal radial physis, closed injury, loss of acceptable reduction, and availability of clinical and radiographic data from injury to cast removal. Exclusion criteria included pathologic fractures, neurovascular injury, fracture dislocations, open fractures, and closed DR physis. Reductions were performed and patients followed according to standard protocol at our institution, including placement into long-arm casts, initial follow-up visit within 5 to 10 days postinjury, and weekly visits for 2 weeks thereafter. If alignment were deemed unacceptable within 3 weeks of injury, cast wedging was utilized. Radiographic measurements of alignment included both radius and ulna on the injury film, postreduction, prewedge, postwedge, and final films. Radiographic technique was standardized, with repeatability testing demonstrating a precision of ±2 degrees.

Results: Over 15 months, our hospital treated 2124 forearm or DR fractures with closed reduction and casting. There were 60 fractures treated either with percutaneous fixation (36) or open treatment (24). A total of 79 forearm or DR fractures were treated with cast wedging secondary to loss of reduction, of which 70 patients had complete clinical and radiographic data. Average age was 8.4 years (range, 3 to 14 y), with 25 females and 45 males. Significant improvement in angulation for both-bone forearm fracture from prewedge to final films was seen in 69 children, with no major complications. One patient failed wedging and required surgical reduction and fixation.

Conclusions: Cast wedging is a simple, safe, noninvasive, and effective method for treatment of excessive angulation in pediatric forearm fractures.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV.
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May 2015

A retrospective quality improvement study of ketorolac use following spinal fusion in pediatric patients.

Orthop Nurs 2010 Sep-Oct;29(5):342-3

Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA.

Background: There are studies and literature that support the claim that ketorolac use after spinal fusion in the adult population can increase the risk of pseudarthrosis, instrumentation failure, and/or nonunion. There is limited research when using ketorolac in the pediatric population, especially short-term use.

Methods: Chart review of 46 pediatric patients who had prior spinal fusions for scoliosis between July 2003 and August 2005. Twenty-five of the patients received ketorolac and 21 did not. The lengths of stay, incidence of curve progression, and/or incidence of nonunion or instrumentation failure were compared in the 2 groups.

Results: At the 1-year follow-up, 95% of the patients returned and at the 3-year follow-up, 52% of the patients returned and there was no clinical or radiographic evidence of curve progression, nonunion, or instrumentation failure.

Level Of Evidence: This is a retrospective study looking at results of 2 patient groups. This is a level III study.
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January 2011

Lawn mower injuries in pediatric patients.

J Trauma Nurs 2009 Jul-Sep;16(3):136-41

Department of Orthopedics, Clinical Services/Care Coordination, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA.

Lawn mower injuries are painful, devastating, and life-altering. Pediatric patients who sustain these injuries suffer various forms of physical trauma. Some are minor, but many others are disfiguring or even fatal. The psychological and social impact is far-reaching as well. These injuries have high rates of morbidity, include many days lost from school, and can cause financial loss for the parents due to the hospitalization and missed work. The primary objective with regards to lawn mower injuries is prevention that is accomplished by education. However, once the patient has been injured and admitted to the hospital, then immediate treatment with timely discharge is the main objective. Excellent wound care, acceptable cosmetic appearance, and infection prevention are the ultimate goals. Use of the Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) device has helped facilitate the end results. Psychological adjustment with regards to this traumatic event is also addressed immediately for both the patient and the caregivers. Inpatient and outpatient counseling and follow-up all play a role in this stressful time.
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January 2010

Treatment of clubfoot with the Ponseti method: a comparison of casting materials.

J Pediatr Orthop 2008 Mar;28(2):250-3

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Background: Popular initial treatment for congenital clubfoot includes the use of serial manipulations and casting as described by Ponseti et al. Plaster of Paris and semirigid fiberglass are 2 materials commonly used for casting. To our knowledge, no study to date has compared the clinical results of these 2 materials. The objective of this randomized prospective study was to compare the effectiveness of these materials in the initial management of clubfoot.

Methods: All clubfeet presenting to the 2 senior authors' outpatient clinics over a 15-month period were offered enrollment. Patients were randomly assigned for treatment with either plaster or semirigid fiberglass casts. The severity of the clubfoot deformity was documented using the scoring system devised by Diméglio et al. Serial casts were applied according to the technique described by Ponseti et al. At the completion of nonsurgical treatment, the final clubfoot severity was documented.

Results: A total of 42 clubfeet in 34 patients were enrolled in the study. After exclusion of 3 patients, 13 patients (16 feet) received fiberglass, and 18 patients (23 feet) received plaster casts. The mean baseline severity scores of the 2 groups were not significantly different. The mean final severity score was significantly higher in the feet treated with fiberglass than those treated with plaster (6.4 vs 4.1; P = 0.037). There was a trend toward higher scores for cast tolerance, durability, and parent satisfaction in the fiberglass group, but this did not reach significance.

Conclusions: This study supports the use of plaster casting with the Ponseti technique. The use of plaster casts resulted in a statistically lower Diméglio-Bensahel score at the completion of serial casting. There was a trend toward higher patient satisfaction in the fiberglass-treated group. Whether this difference has an effect on long-term outcomes and recurrence remains to be studied.

Level Of Evidence: Level II. Nonblinded randomized controlled prospective study.
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March 2008