Publications by authors named "Christopher S Klifto"

62 Publications

Fracture Severity Based on Neer Classification Does Not Predict Short-term Complications Following Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty.

J Surg Orthop Adv 2022 ;31(2):104-108

Duke University Medical Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Durham, North Carolina.

Proximal humerus fractures (PHF) are common in elderly and osteoporotic patients, and these fractures are often described using the Neer classification. As reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) for PHF becomes more common, it is helpful to identify the utility of Neer classification in predicting postoperative outcomes for patients undergoing RSA. The medical records of patients undergoing primary RSA for PHF at a single academic institution from 2013-2019 were identified using medical billing codes. A multivariable logistic regression analysis identified independent factors associated with all cause 90-day readmissions, reoperation, and length of stay (LOS) greater than three days. Fifty-five patients (average age of 72.3 ± 8.6 years) were included. No statistically significant differences among two-, three-, and four-part fractures with regard to LOS, discharge location, 90-day readmission, revision surgery, postoperative dislocation, or deep infection were detected. These findings suggest that Neer classification for PHF is not predictive of short-term complications after RSA. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 31(2):104-108, 2022).
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July 2022

Histologic Differences in Human Rotator Cuff Muscle Based on Tear Characteristics.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2022 07 25;104(13):1148-1156. Epub 2022 Apr 25.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Background: Fatty accumulation in the rotator cuff is associated with shoulder dysfunction and a risk of failure of rotator cuff repair. The aims of this study were to (1) describe cellular findings in rotator cuff muscles in patients presenting with varying degrees of rotator cuff tendon pathology by examining fat content and myofiber cross-sectional area of rotator cuff muscles and (2) correlate histologic features to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) grades derived with the Goutallier classification.

Methods: Rotator cuff muscle biopsies were performed in a consecutive series of patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Rotator cuffs were graded according to the Goutallier classification and labeled as either partial-thickness or full-thickness. Patients without a rotator cuff tear undergoing arthroscopic surgery served as controls. The biopsy specimens were examined using LipidTOX to visualize lipid accumulation. Laminin was used to quantify myofiber cross-sectional area.

Results: Twenty-seven patients with a rotator cuff tear and 12 without a tear (controls) were included. There were 24 males (62%). The mean age was 55 years. Patients in the control cohort were younger (mean, 46 years) than those in the treatment group (mean, 60 years, p < 0.01). Within the treatment group, 12 and 15 patients were recorded as having partial and full-thickness rotator cuff tears, respectively. Lipid accumulation visualized at the cellular level was fairly-to-moderately correlated with the Goutallier classification on MRI (R s = 0.705, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.513, 0.829). Muscle biopsy specimens with a Goutallier grade of 2+ had significantly more lipid accumulation than those with grade-0 (p < 0.01) or grade-1 (p < 0.01) fatty accumulation. Muscle biopsies at the sites of full-thickness tears showed significantly greater lipid accumulation than those associated with either partial (p < 0.01) or no (p < 0.01) tears. Partial-thickness rotator cuff tears had no difference in lipid accumulation in comparison to the control group. Muscle biopsy specimens from full-thickness tears had significantly smaller myofiber cross-sectional area when compared with partial-thickness tears (p = 0.02) and controls (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Cellular lipid accumulation correlates with the MRI Goutallier grade of fatty accumulation, thus verifying the Goutallier classification at the cellular level. Muscle biopsy specimens from partial-thickness tears are more similar to controls than to those from full-thickness tears, whereas full-thickness tears of all sizes showed significantly greater lipid content and smaller myofiber cross-sectional area compared with partial-thickness tears and controls.

Clinical Relevance: Our research confirms the utility of using the Goutallier classification to predict rotator cuff muscle quality and shows that tendon attachment, even if partially torn, protects the muscle from fatty accumulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.21.01304DOI Listing
July 2022

Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty with and without Baseplate Wedge Augmentation in the Setting of Glenoid Deformity and Rotator Cuff Deficiency - A Multicenter Investigation.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Jun 4. Epub 2022 Jun 4.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; Exactech Inc., Gainesville, FL, USA; University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; Bordeaux-Merignac Sport Clinic, Merignac, France; NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Glenoid baseplate augments have recently been introduced as a way of managing glenoid monoplanar or biplanar abnormalities in reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the difference in clinical outcomes, complications, and revision rates between augmented and standard baseplates in RSA for rotator cuff arthropathy patients with glenoid deformity.

Methods: A multicenter retrospective analysis of 171 patients with glenoid bone loss who underwent RSA with and without augmented baseplates was performed. Preoperative inclusion criteria included: minimum follow-up of 2 years and preoperative retroversion of 15 to 30 degrees and/or a beta angle 70 to 80 degrees. Version and beta angle measured on CT, when available, and plain X-rays. Shoulder range of motion (ROM) and patient-reported outcomes were obtained from preoperative and multiple postoperative timepoints.

Results: The study consisted of 84 standard baseplate patients and 87 augmented baseplate patients. The augment cohort had greater mean preoperative glenoid retroversion (17 vs. 9 degrees, p<0.001). At 5+ year follow-up, the increase in postoperative active abduction (52 vs. 31 degrees, p=0.023), forward flexion (58 vs. 35 degrees, p=0.020) and internal rotation score (2.8 vs. 1.1 degrees, p=0.001) was significantly greater in the augment cohort. Additionally, 5+ year follow-up ASES score (87.0 ± 16.6 vs. 75.9 ± 22.4, p=0.022), Constant score (78.0 ± 9.7 vs. 64.6 ± 15.1, p<0.001) and Shoulder Arthroplasty Smart score (81.2 ± 6.5 vs. 71.2 ± 13.6, p=0.003) were significantly higher in the augment cohort. Revision rate was low overall with no difference between the augment and no augment groups (0.7% vs. 3.0%, p=0.151).

Conclusion: In comparing augments to standard non-augment baseplates in the setting of RSA with glenoid deformity, our results demonstrate greater postoperative improvements in multiple planes of active range of motion in the augment cohort. Additionally, the augment cohort demonstrated greater postoperative level and improvement in scores for multiple clinical outcome metrics up to 5+ years of follow-up with no difference in complication or revision rates, supporting the use of augmented glenoid baseplates in RSA with glenoid deformity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.04.025DOI Listing
June 2022

Simple Preoperative Radiographic and CT Measurements Predict Adequate Bone Quality for Stemless Total Shoulder Arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Jun 4. Epub 2022 Jun 4.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Introduction: While there is increased utilization of stemless humeral implants in anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), there are inadequate objective metrics to evaluate bone quality sufficient for fixation. Our goals are to 1) compare patient characteristics in patients that had plans for stemless TSA but received stemmed TSA due to intraoperative assessments and 2) propose threshold values of bone density, using the deltoid tuberosity index (DTI) and proximal humerus Hounsfield units (HU), on preoperative X-ray and computed tomography (CT) to allow for preoperative determination of adequate bone stock for stemless TSA.

Methods: Observational study at an academic institution from 2019 to 2021, including consecutive primary TSAs templated to undergo stemless TSA based on 3D CT preoperative plans. Final implant selection was determined by intraoperative assessment of bone quality. Preoperative X-ray and CT images were assessed to obtain DTI and proximal humeral bone density in HU, respectively. Receiver operative curve (ROC) was used to analyze the potential of preoperative X-ray and CT to classify patients as candidates for stemless TSA.

Results: 61 planned stemless TSAs were included, with 56 (91.8%) undergoing stemless TSA and 5 (8.2%) undergoing stemmed TSA after intraoperative assessment determined the bone quality was inadequate for stemless fixation. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of gender (p=0.640), BMI (p=0.296), race (p=0.580). The stem cohort was significantly older (mean age 69 +/- 12 years vs. 59 +/- 10 years, p=0.029), had significant lower DTI (1.45 +/- 0.13 vs. 1.68 +/- 0.18, p=0.007), and significantly less proximal humeral HU (-1.4 +/- 17.7 vs. 78.8 +/- 52.4, p=0.001). ROC for DTI had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.86 and bone density in HU had an AUC of 0.98 in its ability to distinguish patients that underwent stemless TSA versus short stem TSA. A threshold cut-off of 1.41 for DTI resulted in sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 60%, and a cut-off value of 14.4 Hounsfield units resulted in a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 100%.

Conclusion: Older age, lower DTI, and less proximal humeral bone density in HU was associated with the requirement to switch from stemless to short stem humeral fixation in primary TSA. Preoperative DTI had good ability (AUC of 0.86) and preoperative HU had excellent ability (AUC of 0.98) to categorize patients as appropriate for stemless TSA. This can help surgeons adequately plan humeral fixation using standard preoperative imaging data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.05.008DOI Listing
June 2022

Comparison of Simulated Low-Dose and Conventional-Dose CT for Preoperative Planning in Shoulder Arthroplasty.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2022 06 14;104(11):1004-1014. Epub 2022 Apr 14.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

Background: Shoulder computed tomography (CT) is commonly utilized in preoperative planning for total shoulder arthroplasty. Conventional-dose shoulder CT may expose patients to more ionizing radiation than is necessary to provide high-quality images for this procedure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of simulated low-dose CT images for preoperative planning using manual measurements and common preoperative planning software.

Methods: Eighteen shoulder CT scans obtained for preoperative arthroplasty planning were used to generate CT images as if they had been acquired at reduced radiation dose (RD) levels of 75%, 50%, and 25% using a simulation technique that mimics decreased x-ray tube current. This technique was validated by quantitative comparison of simulated low-dose scans of a cadaver with actual low-dose scans. Glenoid version, glenoid inclination, and humeral head subluxation were measured using 2 commercially available software platforms and were also measured manually by 3 physicians. These measurements were then analyzed for agreement across RD levels for each patient. Tolerances of 5° of glenoid version, 5° of glenoid inclination, and 10% humeral head subluxation were used as equivalent for preoperative planning purposes.

Results: At all RD levels evaluated, the preoperative planning software successfully segmented the CT images. Semiautomated software measurement of 25% RD images was within tolerances in 99.1% of measurements; for 50% RD images, within tolerances in 96.3% of measurements; and for 75% RD images, within tolerances in 100% of measurements. Manual measurements of 25% RD images were within these tolerances in 95.1% of measurements; for 50% RD images, in 98.8% of measurements; and for 75% RD images, in 99.4% of measurements.

Conclusions: Simulated low-dose CT images were sufficient for reliable measurement of glenoid version, glenoid inclination, and humeral head subluxation by preoperative planning software as well as by physician-observers. These findings suggest the potential for substantial reduction in RD in preoperative shoulder CT scans without compromising surgical planning.

Clinical Relevance: The adoption of low-dose techniques in preoperative shoulder CT may lower radiation exposure for patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty, without compromising image quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.20.01916DOI Listing
June 2022

Platelet-Rich Plasma Versus Corticosteroid Injections for the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Markov Cost-Effectiveness Decision Analysis.

Hand (N Y) 2022 May 22:15589447221092056. Epub 2022 May 22.

University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, USA.

Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or corticosteroid injections may be used to conservatively treat mild-to-moderate carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of PRP injections versus corticosteroid injections for the treatment of mild-to-moderate CTS.

Methods: Markov modeling was used to analyze the base-case 45-year-old patient with mild-to-moderate CTS, unresponsive to conservative treatments, never previously treated with an injection or surgery, treated with a single injection of PRP, or methylprednisolone/triamcinolone 40 mg/mL. Transition probabilities were derived from level-I/II studies, utility values from the Tufts University Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry reported using visual analog scale (VAS), Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire Symptom severity (BCTQ-S), and Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire Functional status (BCTQ-F), and costs from Medicare, published studies, and industry. Analyses were performed from healthcare/societal perspectives. Outcomes were incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) and net monetary benefits (NMB). Willingness-to-pay thresholds were $50 000 and $100 000. Deterministic/probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.

Results: From a healthcare perspective, compared to PRP injections, the ICER for corticosteroid injections measured by VAS: -$13.52/quality-adjusted-life-years (QALY), BCTQ-S: -$11.88/QALY, and BCTQ-F: -$16.04/QALY. PRP versus corticosteroid injections provided a NMB measured by VAS: $428 941.12 versus $375 788.21, BCTQ-S: $417 115.09 versus $356 614.18, and BCTQ-F: $421 706.44 versus $376 908.45. From a societal perspective, compared to PRP injections, the ICER for corticosteroid injections measured by VAS: -$1024.40/QALY, BCTQ-S: -$899.95/QALY, and BCTQ-F: -$1215.51/QALY. PRP versus corticosteroid injections provided a NMB measured by VAS: $428 171.63 versus $373 944.39, BCTQ-S: $416 345.61 versus $354 770.36, and BCTQ-F: $420 936.95 versus $375 064.63.

Conclusions: PRP injections were more cost-effective than methylprednisolone/triamcinolone injections from healthcare and societal perspectives for mild-to-moderate CTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15589447221092056DOI Listing
May 2022

Outcomes associated with proton pump inhibitors and distal radius fractures: A post-hoc comparative analysis.

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2022 Apr 22. Epub 2022 Apr 22.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Hand Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, 2301 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC 27710, United States. Electronic address:

Long-term, high-dose, daily proton pump inhibitors (PPI) may impact outcomes associated with distal radius fractures (DRF). The hypothesis was that differences existed in patient demographics, but there existed no differences in injury patterns, interventions, post-operative complications, and patient-reported outcomes between patients not on a PPI and patients on a PPI with a DRF. METHODS: An IRB-approved, post-hoc analysis of patients with DRF from 2012 through 2018 was performed. Patients included were age ≥18 years, sustained a DRF, had completed medical and medication records, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores, Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores, visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores, and a minimum of 1-year follow-up. Patients were stratified into two cohorts. Cohort one patients had no prescription or over-the-counter PPI use (no PPI cohort). Cohort two patients had adherence to a long-term, high-dose, daily PPI (PPI cohort). RESULTS: Two hundred and eighty-one DRF patients were included. Of these 281 patients, 240 were in the no PPI cohort and 41 were in the PPI cohort. Patients in the PPI cohort had more median nerve injuries (12% versus 3%, p = 0.025) and radial shaft fractures (5% versus 0%, p = 0.020), less contralateral upper extremity injuries (0% versus 4%, p = 0.001), and more post-operative nonunions (7% versus 1%, p = 0.029) compared to patients in the no PPI cohort. The results obtained suggest that a CONCLUSIONS: Long-term, high-dose, daily PPI's may be associated with more median nerve injuries and radial shaft fractures, less contralateral upper extremity injuries, and more post-operative nonunions compared to DRF patients not on a PPI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2022.04.013DOI Listing
April 2022

Interscalene block with liposomal bupivacaine versus continuous interscalene catheter in primary total shoulder arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Apr 25. Epub 2022 Apr 25.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Multimodal pain regimens in total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) now include regional anesthetic techniques. Historically, regional anesthesia for extended postoperative pain control in TSA was administered using a continuous interscalene catheter (CIC). Liposomal bupivacaine (LB) is used for its potential for similar pain control and fewer complications compared with indwelling catheters. We evaluated the efficacy of interscalene LB compared with a CIC in postoperative pain control for patients undergoing TSA.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study at a tertiary-care academic medical center including consecutive patients undergoing primary anatomic or reverse TSA from 2016 to 2020 who received either single-shot LB or a CIC for perioperative pain control. Perioperative and outcome variables were collected. The primary outcome was postoperative pain control, whereas the secondary outcome was health care utilization.

Results: The study included 565 patients, with 242 in the CIC cohort and 323 in the LB cohort. Demographic characteristics including sex (P = .99) and race (P = .81) were similar between the cohorts. The LB cohort had significantly lower mean pain scores at 24 hours (3 vs. 2, P < .001) and 36 hours (3 vs. 2, P < .001) postoperatively. The CIC cohort showed a higher percentage of patients experiencing a pain score of 9 or 10 postoperatively (29% vs. 17%, P = .001), whereas the LB cohort had a significantly greater proportion of opioid-free patients (32% vs. 10%, P < .001). Additionally, a greater proportion of CIC patients required opioid escalation to patient-controlled analgesia (7% vs. 2%, P = .002). The CIC cohort experienced a greater length of stay (2.3 days vs. 2.1 days, P = .01) and more 30-day emergency department visits (5% vs. 2%, P = .038).

Conclusions: LB demonstrated lower mean pain scores at 24 and 36 hours postoperatively and lower rates of severe postoperative pain. Additionally, LB patients showed significantly higher rates of opioid-free pain regimens. These results suggest that as part of a multimodal pain regimen in primary shoulder arthroplasty, LB may provide greater reductions in pain and opioid use when compared with CICs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.03.013DOI Listing
April 2022

Influence of medical comorbidity and surgical indication on total elbow arthroplasty cost of care.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Apr 13. Epub 2022 Apr 13.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Movement toward providing value-based musculoskeletal care requires understanding the cost associated with surgical care as well as the drivers of these costs. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of common medical comorbidities and specific total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) indications on reimbursement costs throughout the 90-day TEA episode of care. The secondary aim was to identify the drivers of these costs.

Methods: Administrative health claims for patients who underwent orthopedic intervention between 2010 and 2020 were queried using specific disease classification and procedural terminology codes from a commercially available national database of 53 million patients. Patients with commercial insurance were divided into various cohorts determined by different surgical indications and medical comorbidities. The reimbursement costs of the surgical encounter, 89-day postoperative period, and total 90-day period in each cohort were evaluated. The cost drivers for the 89-day postoperative period were also determined. Analyses were performed using descriptive statistics and the Kruskal-Wallis test for comparison.

Results: A total of 378 patients who underwent TEA were identified. The mean reimbursement cost of the surgical encounter ($13,393 ± $8314) did not differ significantly based on patient factors. The mean reimbursement cost of the 89-day postoperative period ($4232 ± $2343) differed significantly when stratified by surgical indication (P < .0001) or by medical comorbidity (P < .0001). The indication of rheumatoid arthritis ($4864 ± $1136) and the comorbidity of chronic kidney disease ($5873 ± $1165) had the most expensive postoperative period. In addition, the total 90-day reimbursement cost ($16,982 ± $4132) differed significantly when stratified by surgical indication (P = .00083) or by medical comorbidity (P < .0001), with the indication of acute fracture ($18,870 ± $3971) and the comorbidity of chronic pulmonary disease ($19,194 ± $3829) showing the highest total 90-day cost. Inpatient costs related to readmissions represented 38% of the total reimbursement cost. The overall readmission rate was 5.0%, and the mean readmission cost was $16,296.

Conclusion: TEA reimbursements are significantly influenced by surgical indications and medical comorbidities during the postoperative period and the total 90-day episode of care. As the United States transitions to delivering value-based health care, the need for surgeons and policy makers to understand treatment costs associated with different patient-level factors will expand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.02.038DOI Listing
April 2022

Leadership Trends in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Fellowship Directors: A Cross-sectional Study.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev 2022 04 5;6(4). Epub 2022 Apr 5.

From the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC (Mr. Chopra); the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, (Dr. Wright, Dr. Murthi), MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD (Dr. Wright, and Dr. Murthi); and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (Dr. Klifto, Dr. Anakwenze), Duke University, Durham, NC (Dr. Klifto, and Dr. Anakwenze).

Introduction: We aimed to describe the demographic and professional backgrounds of current shoulder and elbow fellowship directors.

Methods: The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) 2021 to 2022 Fellowship Directory was reviewed to identify the 31 ASES-recognized US fellowship programs. Demographic and other data were obtained through an electronic survey and publicly available online resources from February 28, 2021, to March 5, 2021.

Results: Of the 31 fellowship directors, 97% (30) identified as male and 74% (23) as White, the mean age was 53 ± 7 years, and the mean Scopus h-index was 24.2 ± 13. Almost all (95%) held ASES committee leadership appointments in at least one committee. The mean time from completion of most recent fellowship to fellowship director appointment was 7.3 ± 6 years. About two-thirds of fellowship directors trained at one of five fellowship programs: Columbia University (n = 7), California Pacific Orthopaedics (n = 4), Washington University in St. Louis (n = 3), Mayo Clinic (n = 3), and Hospital for Special Surgery (n = 2).

Discussion: ASES fellowship directors share similar demographic and professional characteristics with high levels of research productivity and involvement in orthopaedic societies. There is a lack of diversity in shoulder and elbow fellowship directors, highlighting a need for priority consideration of this disparity by leaders in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-21-00266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8989783PMC
April 2022

Relative Value Units Underestimate Reimbursement for Revision Shoulder Arthroplasty.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2022 May 15;30(9):416-420. Epub 2022 Feb 15.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (Belay, Saltzman, Klifto, and Anakwenze), and Duke University School of Medicine (Charalambous).

Introduction: Relative value units (RVUs) have been fundamental to reimbursement calculations in payment models for arthroplasty surgeons. RVUs are based on various factors, including physician work, and have been higher for increased complexity, such as revision arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to compare RVUs and estimated reimbursement differences between primary and revision shoulder arthroplasty.

Methods: The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was used to collect primary and revision shoulder arthroplasty cases in 2017. Data variables collected included age at the time of surgery, surgical time, and RVU for each shoulder arthroplasty.

Results: A total of 4,948 shoulder arthroplasty patients (4,657 primary and 291 revision) were included in this study. The mean age was 69.1 years (9.6 SD) for primary shoulder arthroplasty and 67.8 years (10.4 SD) for revision shoulder arthroplasty, P = 0.02. RVU for primary shoulder arthroplasty was 22.1 (0 SD) compared with 26.4 (1.1 SD) for revision shoulder arthroplasty (P = 0.0001). Surgical time was significantly higher in revision versus primary cases, 131.5 minutes (89.0 SD) versus 109.3 minutes (42.5 SD) (P = 0.0001). RVUs per minute were near equivalent for primary and revision arthroplasty at 0.20 (0.1 SD) and 0.20 (01 SD), respectively. However, owing to the difference in surgical time and cases per day, this translates to an estimated reimbursement difference of $174,554.4 per year more for primary shoulder arthroplasty over revision cases.

Conclusion: The current RVU model does not adequately factor surgical time for revision shoulder arthroplasty and translates to a notable yearly reimbursement difference that favors primary shoulder arthroplasty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5435/JAAOS-D-21-00466DOI Listing
May 2022

Platelet-rich plasma vs. corticosteroid injections for the treatment of recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis: a cost-effectiveness Markov decision analysis.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 May 11;31(5):991-1004. Epub 2022 Jan 11.

Division of Hand Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Both platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and corticosteroid injections may be used to treat lateral epicondylitis. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of PRP injections vs. corticosteroid injections for the treatment of recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis.

Methods: Markov modeling was used to analyze the base-case 45-year-old patient with recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis, unresponsive to conservative measures, treated with a single injection of PRP or triamcinolone 40 mg/mL. Transition probabilities were derived from randomized controlled trials, quality-of-life (QOL) values from the Tufts University Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry reported using Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) scores, and costs from institution financial records. Analyses were performed from health care and societal perspectives. Outcomes were incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), reported as US dollars / quality-adjusted life-year (USDs/QALY) and net monetary benefit (NMB) to represent the values of an intervention in monetary terms. Willingness-to-pay thresholds were set at $50,000 and $100,000. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed over 10,000 iterations.

Results: Both PRP and triamcinolone 40-mg/mL injections were considered cost-effective interventions from a health care and societal perspective below the WTP threshold of $50,000. From a health care perspective, PRP injections were dominant compared with triamcinolone 40-mg/mL injections, with an ICER of -$5846.97/QALY. PRP injections provided an NMB of $217,863.98, whereas triamcinolone 40 mg/mL provided an NMB of $197,534.18. From a societal perspective, PRP injections were dominant compared to triamcinolone 40-mg/mL injections, with an ICER of -$9392.33/QALY. PRP injections provided an NMB of $214,820.16, whereas triamcinolone 40 mg/mL provided an NMB of $193,199.75.

Conclusions: Both PRP and triamcinolone 40-mg/mL injections provided cost-effective treatments from health care and societal perspectives. Overall, PRP injections were the dominant treatment, with the greatest NMB for recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis over the time horizon of 5 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.12.010DOI Listing
May 2022

Is Advanced Imaging to Assess Rotator Cuff Integrity Before Shoulder Arthroplasty Cost-effective? A Decision Modeling Study.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2022 06 11;480(6):1129-1139. Epub 2022 Jan 11.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Shoulder arthroplasty is increasingly performed for patients with symptoms of glenohumeral arthritis. Advanced imaging may be used to assess the integrity of the rotator cuff preoperatively because a deficient rotator cuff may be an indication for reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) rather than anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). However, the cost-effectiveness of advanced imaging in this setting has not been analyzed.

Questions/purposes: In this cost-effectiveness modeling study of TSA, all patients underwent history and physical examination, radiography, and CT, and we compared (1) no further advanced imaging, (2) selective MRI, (3) MRI for all, (4) selective ultrasound, and (5) ultrasound for all.

Methods: A simple chain decision model was constructed with a base-case 65-year-old patient with a 7% probability of a large-to-massive rotator cuff tear and a follow-up of 5 years. Strategies were compared using the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with a willingness to pay of both USD 50,000 and 100,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) used, in accordance with the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Diagnostic test sensitivity and specificity were extracted from published systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and patient utilities were obtained using the Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry from the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health. Final patient states were categorized as either inappropriate or appropriate based on the actual rotator cuff integrity and type of arthroplasty performed. Additionally, to evaluate the real-world impact of intraoperative determination of rotator cuff status, a secondary analysis was performed where all patients indicated for TSA underwent intraoperative rotator cuff examination to determine appropriate implant selection.

Results: Selective MRI (ICER of USD 40,964) and MRI for all (ICER of USD 79,182/QALY) were the most cost-effective advanced imaging strategies at a willingness to pay (WTP) of USD 50,000/QALY gained and 100,000/QALY gained, respectively. Overall, quality-adjusted life years gained by advanced soft tissue imaging were minimal: 0.04 quality-adjusted life years gained for MRI for all. Secondary analysis accounting for the ability of the surgeon to alter the treatment plan based on intraoperative rotator cuff evaluation resulted in the no further advanced imaging strategy as the dominant strategy as it was the least costly (USD 23,038 ± 2259) and achieved the greatest health utility (0.99 ± 0.05). The sensitivity analysis found the original model was the most sensitive to the probability of a rotator cuff tear in the population, with the value of advanced imaging increasing as the prevalence increased (rotator cuff tear prevalence greater than 12% makes MRI for all cost-effective at a WTP of USD 50,000/QALY).

Conclusion: In the case of diagnostic ambiguity based on physical exam, radiographs, and CT alone, having both TSA and RSA available in the operating room appears more cost-effective than obtaining advanced soft tissue imaging preoperatively. However, performing selective MRI to assess rotator cuff integrity to indicate RSA or TSA is cost-effective if surgical preparedness, patient expectations, and implant availability preclude the ability to switch implants intraoperatively.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, economic and decision analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000002110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9263501PMC
June 2022

Use of a 5-item modified Fragility Index for risk stratification in patients undergoing surgical management of distal humerus fractures.

JSES Int 2021 Nov 17;5(6):1111-1118. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Introduction: We hypothesized that the modified Fragility Index (mFI), which predicts surgical complications, would be applicable to surgical complications in patients older than 50 years with distal humerus fractures (DHF).

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Program database, including patients older than 50 years who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of a DHF. A 5-item mFI score was calculated. Postoperative complications, readmission and reoperation rates, and length of stay were recorded. Univariate as well as a multivariable statistical analysis was performed, controlling for age, sex, body mass index, length of stay, and operative time.

Results: We identified 864 patients (mean age, 68.6 years ± 10.4), and 74.1% were female. As the mFI increased from 0 to 2 or greater, 30-day readmission rate increased from 3% to 10% ( value = .01), rate of discharge to rehabilitation facility increased from 12% to 32% ( value = .0), and any complication rate increased from 4% to 19% ( value = .0). Rates of pulmonary complications increased significantly in patients with the mFI of 2 or greater ( value = .047). Patients with the mFI of 2 or greater were nearly 4 times more likely to be readmitted within 30 days (odds ratio [OR] = 3.5, value = .007) and had an increased OR of 30-day reoperation and any complication (OR = 3.7, value = .02; OR = 4.5,  value = .00, respectively) on multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: A fragility state is predictive of postoperative complications, readmission, and reoperation after surgical management of DHF. Our data suggest that a fragility evaluation can help inform surgical decision-making in patients older than 50 years with DHF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jseint.2021.07.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8569009PMC
November 2021

Early aseptic reoperation after shoulder arthroplasty increases risk of subsequent prosthetic joint infection.

JSES Int 2021 Nov 5;5(6):1067-1071. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Despite the success of anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA), the clinical course of some patients necessitates operative intervention in the acute postoperative period. In this study, we evaluate the risk of subsequent prosthetic joint infection (PJI) in patients who undergo an aseptic reoperation within 90 days of primary shoulder arthroplasty.

Method: A retrospective review of patients with primary TSA and RSA was performed using a commercially available national database (PearlDiver Inc., Fort Wayne, IN, USA). Queries were performed with use of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Tenth Revision and Current Procedural Technology codes. Patients were divided into cohorts based on undergoing aseptic reoperation, reoperation for PJI, or no reoperations within 90 days of index procedure. Primary outcome was subsequent PJI within 1 year of index procedure. Observed PJI rates were compared using chi-square analysis. Risk factors for PJI were compared using logistic regression.

Results: From 2010 to 2018, a total of 96,648 patients underwent primary shoulder arthroplasty: 46,810 underwent TSA and 49,838 underwent RSA. The rate of aseptic reoperation within 90 days was 0.72% and 1.5% in the TSA and RSA cohorts, respectively. At 1 year postoperatively, patients who underwent an aseptic reoperation within 90 days had an elevated risk of subsequent PJI compared with the overall rate of PJI in the TSA (3.54% vs. 0.75%;  < .001) and RSA (3.08% vs. 0.73%;  < .001) cohorts. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, aseptic reoperation within 90 days was identified as a significant risk factor for subsequent PJI in the TSA cohort (odds ratio, 14.19;  < .001) and RSA cohort (odds ratio, 8.38;  < .001). The most common indication for aseptic reoperation was postoperative prosthetic joint instability in both the TSA (31%) and RSA (49%) cohorts.

Conclusion: Aseptic reoperation within 90 days of primary TSA or primary RSA was associated with a notably increased risk of subsequent PJI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jseint.2021.06.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568807PMC
November 2021

Shoulder dislocations among high school-aged and college-aged athletes in the United States: an epidemiologic analysis.

JSES Int 2021 Nov 17;5(6):967-971. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Hypothesis/background: Shoulder dislocations are common orthopedic injuries due to the mobile nature of the glenohumeral joint. High school and collegiate athletes are at particularly high risk for sustaining a dislocation event. Despite the prevalence of these injuries, there is a paucity in the literature regarding incidence of sports-related shoulder dislocations and mechanism of injury within these populations. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to (1) determine the incidence rate of shoulder dislocations in high school-aged and collegiate-aged athletes presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the United States; (2) to determine the most common sports associated with shoulder dislocations; and (3) to compare the current rates and risk factors for shoulder dislocation with previous trends.

Methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System is a statistically validated injury surveillance system that collects data from ED visits as a representative probability sample of hospitals in the United States. We queried the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for the years 2015-2019 to examine the following variables for sports-related shoulder dislocations: patient age (high school = 13-17 years of age; collegiate = 18-23 years of age), sex, year of admission, and sport type. Using a weighted multiplier, annual incidence rates were estimated based on the US Census estimates and injury rates were compared by sex and age group across the study period.

Results: From 2015 to 2019, there were a total of 1329 athletic-related shoulder dislocations that presented to participating EDs. Of these, 698 (52.5%) shoulder dislocations occurred in collegiate athletes, while 631 (47.5%) occurred in high school athletes. Using weighted and adjusted estimates automatically generated by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, this translates to 89,511 total athletic-related shoulder dislocations across the United States (95% confidence interval lower bound 68,224; 95% confidence interval upper bound 110,798). Male athletes demonstrated a higher proportion of shoulder dislocations (87%) than female athletes (13%). The most common sport-specific mechanisms of traumatic shoulder dislocation were basketball (24.1%), football (21%), soccer (7.1%), baseball (7.1%), and weightlifting (3.3%).

Conclusion: Sports-related shoulder dislocations are frequent in high school-aged and college-aged athletes presenting to the ED. Interventions to reduce incidence of injury should be sport-specific and focus on those participating in contact and noncontact sports. Male athletes have disproportionately higher rates of dislocation. These findings are consistent with the previous epidemiologic trends in the literature that have examined the incidence of shoulder dislocations in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jseint.2021.06.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568840PMC
November 2021

A validated preoperative risk prediction tool for discharge to skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility following anatomic or reverse shoulder arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Apr 23;31(4):824-831. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: As bundled payment models continue to spread, understanding the primary drivers of cost excess helps providers avoid penalties and ensure equal health care access. Recent work has shown discharge to rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to be a primary cost driver in total joint arthroplasty, and an accurate preoperative risk calculator for shoulder arthroplasty would not only help counsel patients in clinic during shared decision-making conversations but also identify high-risk individuals who may benefit from preoperative optimization and discharge planning.

Methods: Anatomic and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty cohorts from 2 geographically diverse, high-volume centers were reviewed, including 1773 cases from institution 1 (56% anatomic) and 3637 from institution 2 (50% anatomic). The predictive ability of a variety of candidate variables for discharge to SNF/rehabilitation was tested, including case type, sociodemographic factors, and the 30 Elixhauser comorbidities. Variables surviving parameter selection were incorporated into a multivariable logistic regression model built from institution 1's cohort, with accuracy then validated using institution 2's cohort.

Results: A total of 485 (9%) shoulder arthroplasties overall were discharged to post-acute care (anatomic: 6%, reverse: 14%, P < .0001), and these patients had significantly higher rates of unplanned 90-day readmission (5% vs. 3%, P = .0492). Cases performed for preoperative fracture were more likely to require post-acute care (13% vs. 3%, P < .0001), whereas revision cases were not (10% vs. 10%, P = .8015). A multivariable logistic regression model derived from the institution 1 cohort demonstrated excellent preliminary accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC]: 0.87), requiring only 11 preoperative variables (in order of importance): age, marital status, fracture, neurologic disease, paralysis, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, gender, electrolyte disorder, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, and coagulation deficiency. This model performed exceptionally well during external validation using the institution 2 cohort (AUC: 0.84), and to facilitate convenient use was incorporated into a freely available, online prediction tool. A model built using the combined cohort demonstrated even higher accuracy (AUC: 0.89).

Conclusions: This validated preoperative clinical decision tool reaches excellent predictive accuracy for discharge to SNF/rehabilitation following shoulder arthroplasty, providing a vital tool for both patient counseling and preoperative discharge planning. Further, model parameters should form the basis for reimbursement legislation adjusting for patient comorbidities, ensuring no disparities in access arise for at-risk populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.10.009DOI Listing
April 2022

Heterogeneity of pain-related psychological distress in patients seeking care for shoulder pathology.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Apr 14;31(4):681-687. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Psychological distress is associated with disability and quality of life for patients with shoulder pain. However, uncertainty around heterogeneity of psychological distress has limited the adoption of shoulder care models that address psychological characteristics. In a cohort of patients with shoulder pain, our study sought to (1) describe the prevalence of various subtypes of psychological distress; (2) evaluate associations between psychological distress and self-reported shoulder pain, disability, and function; and (3) determine differences in psychological distress profiles between patients receiving nonoperative vs. operative treatment.

Methods: The sample included 277 patients who were evaluated in clinic by a shoulder surgeon and completed the Optimal Screening for Prediction of Referral and Outcome Yellow Flag Assessment Tool (OSPRO-YF) from 2019 to 2021. This tool categorizes maladaptive and adaptive psychological traits, and the number of yellow flags (YFs) ranges from 0 to 11, with higher YF counts indicating higher pain-related psychological distress. Operative and nonoperative cohorts were compared using χ test and Student t test. Linear regression was used to evaluate the association between pain, disability, and YFs, whereas Poisson regression evaluated the association between operative treatment and psychological distress. K-means cluster analysis was performed to propose potential psychological distress phenotypes.

Results: Two hundred fifty-one patients (91%) had at least 1 YF on the OSPRO-YF tool, with a mean number of 6 ± 3.5 YFs. YFs in unhelpful coping (85%) and helpful coping domains (78%) were most prevalent. The number of YFs was significantly associated with baseline shoulder pain (P < .001), Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (P < .001), and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (P < .001) scores. Comparing operative and nonoperative cohorts, the operative cohort had a significantly higher mean number of YFs (6.5 vs. 5.6, P = .035), presence of any YF (94.3% vs. 85.7%, P = .015), and presence of YFs within the unhelpful coping domain (91.8% vs. 75.6%, P < .001). Three phenotypes were described, corresponding to low, moderate, and severe psychological distress (P < .001), with females (P = .037) and smokers (P = .018) associated with higher psychological distress phenotypes.

Conclusions: YFs, particularly within the unhelpful coping and helpful coping domains, were highly prevalent in a cohort of patients presenting to a shoulder surgeon's clinic. Additionally, operative patients were found to have a significantly higher rate of YFs across multiple dimensions of psychological distress. These findings stress the importance of routine attentiveness to multiple dimensions of pain-related psychological distress in shoulder populations, which can provide an opportunity to reinforce healthy interpretation of pain while minimizing distress in appropriately identified patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.09.009DOI Listing
April 2022

Treatment of Posttraumatic Tibial Diaphyseal Bone Defects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

J Orthop Trauma 2022 Feb;36(2):55-64

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Objective: To describe evidenced-based treatment options for patients who sustained trauma and/or posttraumatic osteomyelitis of the tibia resulting in diaphyseal bone defects and to compare outcomes between patients treated with nonvascularized bone grafts (NBGs), bone transport (BT), or vascularized bone grafts (VBGs).

Data Source: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses of individual participant data and Cochrane guidelines were followed. PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, and CINAHL were searched from inception to June 2020.

Study Selection: Patients who were ≥18 years, had sustained trauma to the tibia resulting in fracture and/or osteomyelitis with measurable diaphyseal bone defects, and were treated by interventions such as NBGs, BT, or VBGs were eligible. Excluded studies were non-English, reviews, nonreviewed literature, cadavers, animals, unavailable full texts, nondiaphyseal defects, atrophic nonunions, malignancy, and replantations.

Data Extraction: A total of 108 studies were included with 826 patients. Two reviewers systematically/independently screened titles/abstracts, followed by full texts to ensure quality, accuracy, and consensus among authors for inclusion/exclusion of studies. A third reviewer addressed disagreements if investigators were unable to reach a consensus. Studies were quality assessed using "Methodological Quality and Synthesis of Case Series and Case Reports".

Data Synthesis: Analyses were performed with IBM SPSS version 25.0 (IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY) and G*Power3.1.9.2.

Conclusions: NBGs may be considered first line for trauma defect sizes ≤ 10 cm or posttraumatic osteomyelitis defect sizes <5 cm. BT may be considered first line for posttraumatic osteomyelitis defect sizes <5 cm. VBGs may be considered first line for trauma and posttraumatic osteomyelitis defect sizes ≥5 cm.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BOT.0000000000002214DOI Listing
February 2022

Appropriate patient selection for outpatient shoulder arthroplasty: a risk prediction tool.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Feb 27;31(2):235-244. Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: The transition from inpatient to outpatient shoulder arthroplasty critically depends on appropriate patient selection, both to ensure safety and to counsel patients preoperatively regarding individualized risk. Cost and patient demand for same-day discharge have encouraged this transition, and a validated predictive tool may help decrease surgeon liability for complications and help select patients appropriate for same-day discharge. We hypothesized that an accurate predictive model could be created for short inpatient length of stay (discharge at least by postoperative day 1), potentially serving as a useful proxy for identifying patients appropriate for true outpatient shoulder arthroplasty.

Methods: A multicenter cohort of 5410 shoulder arthroplasties (2805 anatomic and 2605 reverse shoulder arthroplasties) from 2 geographically diverse, high-volume health systems was reviewed. Short inpatient stay was the primary outcome, defined as discharge on either postoperative day 0 or 1, and 49 patient outcomes and factors including the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, sociodemographic factors, and intraoperative parameters were examined as candidate predictors for a short stay. Factors surviving parameter selection were incorporated into a multivariable logistic regression model, which underwent internal validation using 10,000 bootstrapped samples.

Results: In total, 2238 patients (41.4%) were discharged at least by postoperative day 1, with no difference in rates of 90-day readmission (3.5% vs. 3.3%, P = .774) between cohorts with a short length of stay and an extended length of stay (discharge after postoperative day 1). A multivariable logistic regression model demonstrated high accuracy (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve, 0.762) for discharge by postoperative day 1 and was composed of 13 variables: surgery duration, age, sex, electrolyte disorder, marital status, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, paralysis, diabetes, neurologic disease, peripheral vascular disease, pulmonary circulation disease, cardiac arrhythmia, and coagulation deficiency. The percentage cutoff maximizing sensitivity and specificity was calculated to be 47%. Internal validation showed minimal loss of accuracy after bias correction for overfitting, and the predictive model was incorporated into a freely available online tool to facilitate easy clinical use.

Conclusions: A risk prediction tool for short inpatient length of stay after shoulder arthroplasty reaches very good accuracy despite requiring only 13 variables and was derived from an underlying database with broad geographic diversity in the largest institutional shoulder arthroplasty cohort published to date. Short inpatient length of stay may serve as a proxy for identifying patients appropriate for same-day discharge, although perioperative care decisions should always be made on an individualized and holistic basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.08.023DOI Listing
February 2022

Regional anesthesia reduces inpatient and outpatient perioperative opioid demand in periarticular elbow surgery.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Feb 2;31(2):e48-e57. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Hypothesis: Regional anesthesia (RA) can be used to manage perioperative pain in the treatment of periarticular elbow fracture fixation. However, the opioid-sparing benefit is not well-characterized. The hypothesis of this study was that RA had reduced inpatient opioid consumption and outpatient opioid demand in patients who had undergone periarticular elbow fracture surgery.

Methods: This study retrospectively reviews inpatient opioid consumption and outpatient opioid demand in all patients aged ≥18 years at a single Level I trauma center undergoing fixation of periarticular elbow (distal humerus and proximal forearm) fracture surgery (n=418 patients). In addition to RA vs. no RA, additional patient and operative characteristics were recorded. Unadjusted and adjusted models were constructed to evaluate the impact of RA and other factors on inpatient opioid consumption and outpatient opioid demand.

Results: Adjusted models demonstrated decreases in inpatient opioid consumption postoperation in patients with RA (13.7 estimated oxycodone 5-mg equivalents or OEs without RA vs. 10.4 OEs with RA from 0 to 24 hours postoperation, P = .003; 12.3 vs. 9.2 OEs from 24 to 48 hours postoperation, P = .045). Estimated cumulative outpatient opioid demand differed significantly in patients with RA (166.1 vs. 132.1 OEs to 6 weeks, P = .002; and 181 vs. 138.6 OEs to 90 days, P < .001).

Discussion: In proximal forearm and distal humerus fracture surgery, RA was associated with decreased inpatient and outpatient opioid demand after adjusting for baseline patient and treatment characteristics. These results encourage utilization of perioperative RA to reduce opioid use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.08.005DOI Listing
February 2022

Characteristics and risk factors for 90-day readmission following shoulder arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Feb 25;31(2):324-332. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and reverse TSA are the standard of care for end-stage shoulder arthritis. Advancements in implant design, perioperative management, and patient selection have allowed shorter inpatient admissions. Unplanned readmissions remain a significant complication. Identification of risk factors for readmission is prudent as physicians and payers prepare for the adoption of bundled care reimbursement models. The purpose of this study was to identify characteristics and risk factors associated with readmission following shoulder arthroplasty using a large, bi-institutional cohort.

Methods: A total of 2805 anatomic TSAs and 2605 reverse TSAs drawn from 2 geographically diverse, tertiary health systems were examined for unplanned inpatient readmissions within 90 days following the index operation (primary outcome). Forty preoperative patient sociodemographic and comorbidity factors were tested for their significance using both univariable and multivariable logistic regression models, and backward stepwise elimination selected for the most important associations for 90-day readmission. Readmissions were characterized as either medical or surgical, and subgroup analysis was performed. A short length of stay (discharge by postoperative day 1) and discharge to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility were also examined as secondary outcomes. Parameters associated with increased readmission risk were included in a predictive model.

Results: Within 90 days of surgery, 175 patients (3.2%) experienced an unanticipated readmission, with no significant difference between institutions (P = .447). There were more readmissions for surgical complications than for medical complications (62.9% vs. 37.1%, P < .001). Patients discharged to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility were significantly more likely to be readmitted (13.1% vs. 8.8%, P = .049), but a short inpatient length of stay was not associated with an increased rate of 90-day readmission (42.9% vs. 41.3%, P = .684). Parameter selection based on predictive ability resulted in a multivariable logistic regression model composed of 16 preoperative patient factors, including reverse TSA, revision surgery, right-sided surgery, and various comorbidities. The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve for this multivariable logistic regression model was 0.716.

Conclusion: Risk factors for unplanned 90-day readmission following shoulder arthroplasty include reverse shoulder arthroplasty, surgery for revision and fracture, and right-sided surgery. Additionally, there are several modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors that can be used to ascertain a patient's readmission probability. A shorter inpatient stay is not associated with an increased risk of readmission, whereas discharge to post-acute care facilities does impose a greater risk of readmission. As scrutiny around health care cost increases, identifying and addressing risk factors for readmission following shoulder arthroplasty will become increasingly important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.07.017DOI Listing
February 2022

Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty for oncologic reconstruction of the proximal humerus: a systematic review.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Nov 15;30(11):e647-e658. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) for reconstruction of the proximal humerus after oncologic resection. However, the indications and outcomes of oncologic rTSA remain unclear.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review to identify studies that reported outcomes of patients who underwent rTSA for oncologic reconstruction of the proximal humerus. Extracted data included demographic characteristics, indications, operative techniques, outcomes, and complications. Weighted means were calculated according to sample size.

Results: Twelve studies were included, containing 194 patients who underwent rTSA for oncologic reconstruction of the proximal humerus. The mean patient age was 48 years, and 52% of patients were male. Primary malignancies were present in 55% of patients; metastatic disease, 30%; and benign tumors, 9%. The mean humeral resection length was 12 cm. The mean postoperative Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score was 78%; Constant score, 60; and Toronto Extremity Salvage Score, 77%. The mean complication rate was 28%, with shoulder instability accounting for 63% of complications. Revisions were performed in 16% of patients, and the mean implant survival rate was 89% at a mean follow-up across studies of 53 months.

Conclusions: Although the existing literature is of poor study quality, with a high level of heterogeneity and risk of bias, rTSA appears to be a suitable option in appropriately selected patients undergoing oncologic resection and reconstruction of the proximal humerus. The most common complication is instability. Higher-quality evidence is needed to help guide decision making on appropriate implant utilization for patients undergoing oncologic resection of the proximal humerus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.06.004DOI Listing
November 2021

Legislation Only Limiting Opioid Prescription Length Has Minimal Impact on Prescribing in Orthopaedic Trauma.

J Surg Orthop Adv 2021 ;30(2):101-107

Duke University Medical Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Durham, North Carolina.

This study evaluates the efficacy of North Carolina's Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act in reducing the volume and rate of 90-day perioperative opioid prescribing to patients ages 18 and older after orthopaedic trauma surgery. Patients undergoing fracture surgery from January 2017 to June 2017 (pre-STOP) were compared with patients undergoing fracture surgery from January 2018 to June 2018 (post-STOP). Adjusted analyses demonstrated that patients undergoing surgery after the STOP Act (n = 730) were prescribed significantly lower volume of opioids in the discharge to 2-week time frame and at the first postoperative prescription (7.3 and 5.8 fewer oxycodone, respectively). Otherwise, there were no significant differences between the two cohorts in adjusted volume or rates of 90-day opioid prescribing. The STOP act has had only a minor impact on early post-discharge opioid prescribing in patients undergoing fracture surgery. These findings question the efficacy of this type of legislation in combating opioid overprescribing in orthopaedic trauma. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 30(2):101-107, 2021).
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June 2021

Short stay after shoulder arthroplasty does not increase 90-day readmissions in Medicare patients compared with privately insured patients.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Jan 9;31(1):35-42. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: As of January 1, 2021, total shoulder arthroplasty was removed from the Medicare inpatient-only list, reflecting a growing belief in the potential merits of same-day discharge regardless of insurance type. It is yet unknown whether Medicare populations, which frequently have more severe comorbidity burdens, would experience higher complication rates relative to privately insured patients, who are often younger with fewer comorbidities. Given the limited number of true outpatient cohorts available to study, discharge at least by postoperative day 1 may serve as a useful proxy for true same-day discharge, and we hypothesized that these Medicare patients would have increased 90-day readmission rates compared with their privately insured counterparts.

Methods: Data on 4723 total shoulder arthroplasties (anatomic in 2459 and reverse in 2264) from 2 large, geographically diverse health systems in patients having either Medicare or private insurance were collected. The unplanned 90-day readmission rate was the primary outcome, and patients were stratified into those who were discharged at least by postoperative day 1 (short inpatient stay) and those who were not. Patients with private insurance (n = 1845) were directly compared with those with Medicare (n = 2878), whereas cohorts of workers' compensation (n = 198) and Medicaid (n = 58) patients were analyzed separately. Forty preoperative variables were examined to compare overall health burden, with the χ and Wilcoxon rank sum tests used to test for statistical significance.

Results: Medicare patients undergoing short-stay shoulder arthroplasty were not significantly more likely than those with private insurance to experience an unplanned 90-day readmission (3.6% vs. 2.5%, P = .14). This similarity existed despite a substantially worse comorbidity burden in the Medicare population (P < .05 for 26 of 40 factors). Furthermore, a short inpatient stay did not result in an increased 90-day readmission rate in either Medicare patients (3.6% vs. 3.4%, P = .77) or their privately insured counterparts (2.5% vs. 2.4%, P = .92). Notably, when the analysis was restricted to a single insurance type, readmission rates were significantly higher for reverse shoulder arthroplasty compared with total shoulder arthroplasty (P < .001 for both), but when the analysis was restricted to a single procedure (anatomic or reverse), readmission rates were similar between Medicare and privately insured patients, whether undergoing a short or extended length of stay.

Conclusions: Despite a substantially more severe comorbidity profile, Medicare patients undergoing short-stay shoulder arthroplasty did not experience a significantly higher rate of unplanned 90-day readmission relative to privately insured patients. A higher incidence of reverse shoulder arthroplasty in Medicare patients does increase their overall readmission rate, but a similar increase also appears in privately-insured patients undergoing a reverse indicating that Medicare populations may be similarly appropriate for accelerated-care pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.05.013DOI Listing
January 2022

Fracture location impacts opioid demand in upper extremity fracture surgery.

Injury 2021 Aug 20;52(8):2314-2321. Epub 2021 May 20.

Duke University Medical Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 200 Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710. Electronic address:

Introduction: Opioid sparing protocols should be formulated with appropriate demand. Specific fracture location has been hypothesized as an important predictor of post-operative pain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of fracture location on perioperative opioid demand after surgery with the hypothesis that this factor would be significantly associated with perioperative opioid demand in upper extremity fracture surgery.

Methods: A national database was used to identify1-month pre-operative to 1-year postdischarge opioid demand in oxycodone 5-mg equivalents in 336,493 patients undergoing fracture fixation of the clavicle through distal radius between 2010 and 2020. Three timeframes were evaluated: 1-month pre-op to 90-days post-discharge, 3 months post-discharge to 1-year post-discharge, and 1-month pre-op to 1-year postdischarge. Multivariable main effects linear and logistic regression models were constructed to evaluate the changes in opioids filled, opioid prescriptions, and odds of two or more opioid prescriptions in these timeframes based on fracture location with adjustment for age, sex, obesity, pre-operative opioid usage, and polytrauma.

Results: Compared to distal radius fracture fixation, fixation of elbow, distal humerus, humeral shaft, and proximal humerus fractures were associated with large, significant increases in 1-month pre-op to 1-year post-discharge opioid filling (33.5 - 63.4 additional oxycodone 5-mg equivalents, all p<0.05) and number of filled prescriptions (0.33 - 0.92 additional prescriptions, all p<0.05) compared to patients with other operatively treated upper extremity injuries.

Discussion: Fracture location was a significant predictor of perioperative opioid demand. Elbow, distal humerus, humeral shaft, and proximal humerus fracture fixation was associated with the largest increases in opioid demand after upper extremity fracture fixation. Patients with these injuries may be at highest risk of extensive opioid consumption.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, retrospective, observational cohort study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2021.05.026DOI Listing
August 2021

The Value of an Orthoplastic Approach to Management of Lower Extremity Trauma: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2021 Mar 22;9(3):e3494. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.

Background: Management of traumatic lower extremity injuries requires a skill set of orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery to optimize the return of form and function. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed comparing demographics, injuries, and surgical outcomes of patients sustaining lower extremity traumatic injuries receiving either orthoplastic management or nonorthoplastic management.

Methods: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, Cochrane, and GRADE certainty evidence guidelines were implemented for the structure and synthesis of the review. PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, and CINAHL databases were systematically and independently searched. Nine studies published from 2013 through 2019 compared 1663 orthoplastic managed patients to 692 nonorthoplastic managed patients with traumatic lower extremity injuries.

Results: Orthoplastic management, compared to nonorthoplastic management likely decreases time to bone fixation [standard mean differences: -0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.46 to -0.25, < 0.0001; participants = 1777; studies = 3; I = 0%; moderate certainty evidence], use of negative pressure wound therapy [risk ratios (RR): 0.03, 95% CI: 0.00-0.24, = 0.0007; participants = 189; studies = 2; I = 0%; moderate certainty evidence] with reliance on healing by secondary intention (RR: 0.02, 95% CI: 0.00-0.10, < 0.0001; participants = 189; studies = 2; I = 0%; moderate certainty evidence), and risk of wound/osteomyelitis infections (RR: 0.37, 95% CI: 0.23-0.61, < 0.0001; participants = 224; studies = 3; I = 0%; moderate certainty evidence). Orthoplastic management likely results in more free flaps compared to nonorthoplastic management (RR: 3.46, 95% CI: 1.28-9.33, = 0.01; participants = 592; studies = 5; I = 75%; moderate certainty evidence).

Conclusion: Orthoplastic management of traumatic lower extremity injuries provides a synergistic model to optimize and expedite definitive skeletal fixation and free flap-based soft-tissue coverage for return of extremity form and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000003494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099387PMC
March 2021

Malnutrition in elective shoulder arthroplasty: a multi-institutional retrospective study of preoperative albumin and adverse outcomes.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Nov 2;30(11):2491-2497. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Malnutrition is associated with poor postoperative outcomes after knee, hip, and spine surgery. However, whether albumin labs should be part of the routine preoperative workup for shoulder arthroplasty remains understudied. This study investigated the role of preoperative albumin levels in predicting common postoperative adverse outcomes in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty.

Methods: All shoulder arthroplasty cases performed at 2 tertiary referral centers between July 2013 and May 2019 (institution 1) and between June 2007 and Feb 2020 (institution 2) were reviewed. A total of 421 primary and 71 revision elective shoulder arthroplasty cases had preoperative albumin levels recorded. Common demographic variables and relevant Elixhauser comorbidities were pulled. Outcomes gathered included extended (>3 days) postoperative inpatient length of stay (eLOS), 90-day readmission, and discharge to rehab or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Results: The prevalence of malnutrition (albumin <3.5 g/dL) was higher in the revision group compared with the primary group (36.6% vs. 19.5%, P = .001). Reverse shoulder arthroplasty (P = .013) and increasing American Society of Anesthesiologists score (P = .016) were identified as independent risk factors for malnutrition in the primary group. In the revision group, liver disease was associated with malnutrition (P = .046). Malnourished primary shoulder arthroplasty patients had an increased incidence of eLOS (26.8% vs. 13.6%, P = .003) and discharge to rehab/SNF (18.3% vs. 10.3%, P = .045). On univariable analysis, low albumin had an odds ratio (OR) of 2.34 for eLOS (P = .004), which retained significance in a multivariable model including age, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, sex, and body mass index (OR 2.11, P = .03). On univariable analysis, low albumin had an OR of 1.94 for discharge to SNF/rehab (P = .048), but this did not reach significance in the multivariable model. Among revisions, malnourished patients had an increased incidence of eLOS (30.8% vs. 6.7%, P = .014) and discharge to rehab/SNF (26.9% vs. 4.4%, P = .010). In both the primary and revision groups, there was no difference in 90-day readmission rate between patients with low or normal albumin.

Conclusion: Malnutrition is more prevalent among revision shoulder arthroplasty patients compared with those undergoing a primary procedure. Primary shoulder arthroplasty patients with low preoperative albumin levels have an increased risk of eLOS and may have an increased need for postacute care. Low albumin was not associated with a risk of 90-day readmissions. Albumin level merits further investigation in large, prospective cohorts to clearly define its role in preoperative risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.03.143DOI Listing
November 2021

Isolated Scaphoid Dislocation With Radial-Axial Instability: A Treatment Strategy Utilizing Spanning Wrist Plates.

J Hand Surg Am 2022 03 20;47(3):293.e1-293.e8. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Isolated dislocation of the scaphoid is a rare injury with only a few case reports in the literature. We report on 2 complex scaphoid dislocations demonstrating concomitant axial instability with disruption of the capitohamate articulation as well as the long-ring metacarpal relationship. Both of these patients underwent reduction and fixation using a wrist spanning plate, which was removed approximately 2 months after injury. Follow-up of these patients demonstrated maintenance of reduction, axial stability, and return of painless range of motion.
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March 2022
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