Publications by authors named "K Neal"

226 Publications

Inter- and intra-rater reliability and accuracy of Sanders Skeletal Maturity Staging System when used by surgeons performing vertebral body tethering.

Spine Deform 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Purpose: Pediatric orthopedic surgeons must accurately assess the skeletal stage of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients for selection and timing of optimal treatment. Successful treatment using vertebral growth modulation is highly dependent on skeletal growth remaining. We sought to evaluate the current-state use of the Sanders Skeletal Maturity System (SSMS) in regard to precision and accuracy. We hypothesized that pediatric orthopedic surgeons currently use SSMS with moderate precision and accuracy.

Methods: Eight practicing pediatric orthopedic surgeons who perform vertebral body tethering surgery without specific training in SSMS were asked to assign the SSMS stage for 34 de-identified hand radiographs from AIS patients. Precision was evaluated as inter-rater reliability, using both Krippendorff's α and Weighted Cohen's kappa statistics, and as intra-rater reliability, using only Weighted Cohen's kappa statistics. Surgeon accuracy was evaluated using Weighted Cohen's kappa statistics with comparison of surveyed surgeons' responses to the gold standard rating.

Results: Inter-rater reliability across the surveyed surgeons indicated moderate to substantial agreement using both statistical methods (α = 0.766, κ = 0.627) with the majority of discord occurring when assigning SSMS stages 2 through 4. The surveyed surgeons displayed substantial accuracy when compared to the gold standard (κ = 0.627) with the majority of inaccuracy involving the identification of stage 3B. When re-surveyed, the surgeons showed substantial intra-rater reliability (κ = 0.71) with increased inconsistencies when deciding between SSMS stage 3A and stage 3B.

Conclusion: The current-state use of SSMS across pediatric orthopedic surgeons for evaluation of AIS patients displays adequate but imperfect precision and accuracy with difficulties delineating SSMS stages 2 through 4, which correlate with adolescent growth periods germane to scoliosis growth modulation surgery. Centralized assessment of hand-bone age may help ensure standardized reporting for non-fusion scoliosis research.
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July 2021

Orthopaedic Manifestations of Transverse Myelitis in Children.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 May 13. Epub 2021 May 13.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE Seton Hall Orthopaedics, St. Joseph's University Medical Center, Paterson, NJ Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville, FL.

Background: Transverse myelitis (TM) is a rare inflammatory disorder of the spinal cord. It can have a heterogeneous presentation with sensory, motor, and autonomic dysfunction. Neurological sequelae of TM include autonomic dysfunction, motor weakness, and/or spasticity. Studies describing orthopaedic deformities and treatments associated with TM are nonexistent. This purpose of this study was to describe the orthopaedic manifestations of TM in children.

Methods: A multicenter retrospective review was conducted of patients, 0 to 21 years of age, with TM presenting over a 15-year period at 4 academic children's hospitals. Those with confirmed diagnosis of TM and referred to an orthopaedic surgeon were included. Demographics, orthopaedic manifestations, operative/nonoperative treatments, and complications were recorded. Descriptive statistics were used for data reporting.

Results: Of 119 patients identified with TM, 37 saw an orthopaedic surgeon. By etiology, 23 were idiopathic (62%), 10 infectious (27%), 3 (8%) inflammatory/autoimmune, and 1 (3%) vascular. The mean age at diagnosis was 6.7 (SD: 5.5) years and at orthopaedic presentation was 8.4 (SD: 5.2) years. Orthopaedic manifestations included scoliosis in 13 (35%), gait abnormalities in 7 (19%), foot deformities in 7 (19%), upper extremity issues in 7 (19%), symptomatic spasticity in 6 (16%), lower extremity muscle contractures in 6 (16%), fractures in 6 (16%), hip displacement in 3 (8%), pain in 2 (5%), and limb length discrepancy in 2 (5%) patients. Seven children (19%) were seen for establishment of care. In all, 14 (38%) underwent operative intervention, mainly for soft-tissue and scoliosis management. Four patients had baclofen pump placement for spasticity management. Postoperative complications occurred in 36% of cases, most commonly because of infection. Neither topographic pattern nor location of lesion had a significant relationship with need for hip or spine surgery.

Conclusions: This report describes the orthopaedic manifestations associated with TM in children, nearly 40% of whom required operative intervention(s). Understanding the breadth of musculoskeletal burden incurred in TM can help develop surveillance programs to identify and treat these deformities in a timely manner.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV.
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May 2021

Knee cartilage T relaxation times 3 months after ACL reconstruction are associated with knee gait variables linked to knee osteoarthritis.

J Orthop Res 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.

Osteoarthritis development after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is not well understood. Investigators have examined associations between knee biomechanical alterations and quantitative MRI (qMRI) variables, reflective of cartilage health, 12-60 months following ACLR; however, none have done so early after surgery. As part of an exploratory study, 45 individuals (age, 23 ± 7 years) underwent motion analysis during walking and qMRI 3 months after ACLR. For each limb, peak knee adduction moment (pKAM) and peak knee flexion moment (pKFM) were determined using inverse dynamics and peak medial compartment force was calculated using a neuromusculoskeletal model. T relaxation times in the medial compartment and linear regressions were used to determine the associations between gait variables and deep and superficial cartilage T relaxation times in six regions. pKAM was positively associated with deep layer T relaxation times within the femoral central and posterior regions when examined in the involved limb and from an interlimb difference perspective (involved limb - uninvolved limb). After adjusting for age, the association between interlimb difference of pKAM and interlimb difference of deep layer T relaxation times in the tibial central region became significant (p = .043). Interlimb difference of pKFM was negatively associated with interlimb difference of deep layer T relaxation times within the femoral central and posterior regions. These associations suggest that degenerative pathways leading to osteoarthritis may be detectable as early as 3 months after reconstruction. Preventative therapeutic techniques may need to be employed early in the rehabilitation process to prevent cartilage degradation.
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March 2021

Can a Checklist Improve the Informed Consent Process?

Cureus 2021 Feb 5;13(2):e13148. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Pediatrics, Nemours Children's Health System, Jacksonville, USA.

Informed consent often fails to provide patients and families with a full understanding of the proposed procedure. We developed an informed consent checklist for identifying specific aspects of the surgical consent that were not fully understood by families. The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of using this checklist on families' knowledge, satisfaction, experience, and decisional conflict during the consent process. The families of pediatric patients scheduled for an orthopaedic preoperative visit were prospectively randomized into one of two groups: checklist or traditional appointment. Families in the checklist group completed the informed consent checklist which was then used by the surgeon to further discuss aspects of the surgery that needed clarification. Those in the traditional group had similar discussions about surgery without the aid of a checklist. Sixty-one families participated in the study; 27 in the checklist group and 34 in the traditional group without a checklist. The checklist group reported no difference in mean scores for all satisfaction (P = 0.37), decisional conflict (P = 0.51), and knowledge items (P = 0.31). For patient experience, the traditional group reported the visits were significantly more relaxed (mean 4.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.8-5.0) than the checklist group (mean 4.5, 95% CI 4.3-4.7). Our results suggest that having a family member complete the informed consent checklist prior to meeting with the surgeon did not improve, and may worsen, the consent experience for some families. Other methods need to be evaluated to determine the optimal consent process from the family's perspective.
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February 2021