Publications by authors named "Richard N Puzzitiello"

64 Publications

Outcomes After Anatomic and Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty for the Treatment of Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2022 Aug 19;104(15):1362-1369. Epub 2022 Apr 19.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) is increasingly being utilized for the treatment of primary osteoarthritis. However, limited data are available regarding the outcomes of RSA as compared with anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) in the setting of osteoarthritis.

Methods: We performed a retrospective matched-cohort study of patients who had undergone TSA and RSA for the treatment of primary osteoarthritis and who had a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. Patients were propensity score-matched by age, sex, body mass index (BMI), preoperative American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, preoperative active forward elevation, and Walch glenoid morphology. Baseline patient demographics and clinical outcomes, including active range of motion, ASES score, Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation (SANE), and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, were collected. Clinical and radiographic complications were evaluated.

Results: One hundred and thirty-four patients (67 patients per group) were included; the mean duration of follow-up (and standard deviation) was 30 ± 10.7 months. No significant differences were found between the TSA and RSA groups in terms of the baseline or final VAS pain score (p = 0.99 and p = 0.99, respectively), ASES scores (p = 0.99 and p = 0.49, respectively), or SANE scores (p = 0.22 and p = 0.73, respectively). TSA was associated with significantly better postoperative active forward elevation (149° ± 13° versus 142° ± 15°; p = 0.003), external rotation (63° ± 14° versus 57° ± 18°; p = 0.02), and internal rotation (≥L3) (68.7% versus 37.3%; p < 0.001); however, there were only significant baseline-to-postoperative improvements in internal rotation (gain of ≥4 levels in 53.7% versus 31.3%; p = 0.009). The overall complication rate was 4.5% (6 of 134), with no significant difference between TSA and RSA (p = 0.99). Radiolucent lines were observed in association with 14.9% of TSAs, with no gross glenoid loosening. One TSA (1.5%) was revised to RSA for the treatment of a rotator cuff tear. No loosening or revision was encountered in the RSA group.

Conclusions: When performed for the treatment of osteoarthritis, TSA and RSA resulted in similar short-term patient-reported outcomes, with better postoperative range of motion after TSA. Longer follow-up is needed to determine the ultimate value of RSA in the setting of osteoarthritis.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III . See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.21.00982DOI Listing
August 2022

Current Status Regarding the Safety of Inpatient Versus Outpatient Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review.

HSS J 2022 Aug 5;18(3):428-438. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Surgeons have begun to transition total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) to the outpatient setting in order to contain costs and reallocate resources.

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the safety and cost of outpatient TSA by assessing associated complication rates, clinical outcomes, and total treatment charges.

Methods: The MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library online databases were queried in March 2020 for studies on outpatient shoulder arthroplasty. Inclusion criteria were (1) a study population undergoing TSA, (2) discharge on the day of surgery, and (3) inclusion of at least 1 reported outcome.

Results: Of 20 studies identified that met inclusion criteria, 14 were comparative studies involving an inpatient control group, 2 of which were matched by age and comorbidities. The remaining studies used control groups consisting of inpatient TSAs who were older or more medically infirm according to American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) or Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scores. The combined average age of the outpatient and inpatient groups was 66.5 and 70.1 years, respectively. Patients who underwent outpatient TSA had similar rates of readmissions, emergency department visits, and perioperative complications in comparison to inpatients. Patients also reported comparably high levels of satisfaction with outpatient procedures. Four economic analyses demonstrated substantial cost savings with outpatient TSA in comparison to inpatient surgery.

Conclusion: In carefully selected patients, outpatient TSA appears to be equally safe but less resource intensive than inpatient arthroplasty. Nonetheless, there remains a need for larger prospective studies to decisively characterize the relative safety of outpatient TSA among patients with similar baseline health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15563316211019398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9247601PMC
August 2022

Online Crowdsourcing Survey of United States Population Preferences and Perceptions Regarding Outpatient Hip and Knee Arthroplasty.

J Arthroplasty 2022 Jun 20. Epub 2022 Jun 20.

Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Outpatient total joint arthroplasty (TJA) has been shown to be both safe and cost-effective in appropriately selected patients and continues to expand substantially across the United States. Using online crowdsourcing, we aimed to assess population perceptions regarding outpatient TJA and to determine factors associated with preference for outpatient versus inpatient arthroplasty.

Methods: A closed-ended survey consisting of 39 questions was administered to members of a public platform. Study participants responded to questions regarding demographic factors and outpatient TJA. Validated assessments to capture health literacy and engagement were also used. To determine factors associated with preference for outpatient TJA, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed.

Results: In total, 900 participants completed the survey. After exclusion of surveys with incomplete data, 725 responses remained for analysis (80.6%). Over half (59.9%) of the survey participants would feel comfortable going home the same day of surgery following TJA. However, two-thirds (64.6%) would prefer to stay in the hospital following TJA. The majority (68.0%) of respondents perceive a hospital setting as the safest location for TJA. The 3 major concerns regarding outpatient TJA were cost, post-operative pain control, and post-operative complication. Among the 111 respondents (15.3%) who would prefer outpatient TJA, 45% would pay more out-of-pocket, 63.1% travel further, and 55.9% would be willing to wait longer to have their surgery performed as an outpatient. On multivariable regressions, those living in a suburban setting (adjusted odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals: 4.2 [1.3-2.7], P = .02) and >60 year old adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals: 8 [2-33.1], P = .004) were more likely to prefer outpatient TJA.

Conclusion: Despite the rise in outpatient TJA, the majority of the public appears to prefer inpatient TJA and the minority would expect to be discharged home the same day. Our data can be used to address specific patient concerns regarding outpatient TJA and set realistic expectations for hospital systems and ambulatory facilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.06.011DOI Listing
June 2022

Patients with limited health literacy have worse preoperative function and pain control and experience prolonged hospitalizations following shoulder arthroplasty.

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

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Boston Sports and Shoulder Center, Waltham, MA, USA.

Background: Patients with limited health literacy (LHL) may have difficulty understanding and acting on medical information, placing them at risk for potential misuse of health services and adverse outcomes. The purposes of our study were to determine (1) the prevalence of LHL in patients undergoing inpatient shoulder arthroplasty, (2) the association of LHL with the degree of preoperative symptom intensity and magnitude of limitations, (3) and the effects of LHL on perioperative outcomes including postoperative length of stay (LOS), total inpatient costs, and inpatient opioid consumption.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 230 patients who underwent elective inpatient reverse or anatomic shoulder arthroplasty between January 2018 and May 2021 from a prospectively maintained single-surgeon registry. The health literacy of each patient was assessed preoperatively using the validated 4-item Brief Health Literacy Screening Tool. Patients with a Brief Health Literacy Screening Tool score ≤ 17 were categorized as having LHL. The outcomes of interest were preoperative patient-reported outcome scores and range of motion, LOS, total postoperative inpatient opioid consumption, and total inpatient costs as calculated using time-driven activity-based costing methodology. Univariate analysis was performed to determine associations between LHL and patient characteristics, as well as the outcomes of interest. Multivariable linear regression modeling was used to determine the association between LHL and LOS while controlling for potentially confounding variables.

Results: Overall, 58 patients (25.2%) were classified as having LHL. Prior to surgery, these patients had significantly higher rates of opioid use (P = .002), more self-reported allergies (P = .007), and worse American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons scores (P = .001), visual analog scale pain scores (P = .020), forward elevation (P < .001), and external rotation (P = .022) but did not significantly differ in terms of any additional demographic or clinical characteristics (P > .05). Patients with LHL had a significantly longer LOS (1.84 ± 0.92 days vs. 1.57 ± 0.58 days, P = .012) but did not differ in terms of total hospitalization costs (P = .65) or total inpatient opioid consumption (P = .721). On multivariable analysis, LHL was independently predictive of a significantly longer LOS (β, 0.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.02-0.42; P = .035).

Conclusion: LHL is commonplace among patients undergoing elective shoulder arthroplasty and is associated with greater preoperative symptom severity and activity intolerance. Its association with longer hospitalizations suggests that health literacy is an important factor to consider for postoperative disposition planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.05.001DOI Listing
June 2022

Neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage does not predict outcomes or cost after elective shoulder arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Jun 6. Epub 2022 Jun 6.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Rush University, Chicago, IL, USA; Oregon Shoulder Institute at Southern Oregon Orthopedics, Medford, OR, USA.

Background: There is growing evidence that the variation in value of shoulder arthroplasty may be mediated by factors external to surgery. We sought to determine if neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation is associated with postoperative outcomes and cost among patients undergoing elective shoulder arthroplasty.

Methods: We identified 380 patients undergoing elective total shoulder arthroplasty (anatomic or reverse) between 2015 and 2018 in our institutional registry with minimum 2-year follow-up. Each patient's home address was mapped to the area deprivation index in order to determine the level of socioeconomic disadvantage. The area deprivation index is a validated composite measure of 17 census variables encompassing income, education, employment, and housing conditions. Patients were categorized into 3 groups based on socioeconomic disadvantage (least disadvantaged [deciles 1-3], middle group [4-6], and most disadvantaged [7-10]). Bivariate analysis was performed to determine associations between the level of socioeconomic deprivation with hospitalization time-driven activity-based costs and 2-year postoperative American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE), and pain intensity scores.

Results: Overall 19% of patients were categorized as most disadvantaged. These patients were found to have equivalent preoperative pain intensity (P = .51), SANE (P = .50), and ASES (P = .72) scores compared to the middle and least disadvantaged groups, as well as similar outcome improvement at 2 years postoperatively (ASES): least disadvantaged group [35.7-84.3], middle group [35.1-82.4], and most disadvantaged group [37.1-84.0] [P = .56]; SANE: least disadvantaged group [31.8-87.1], middle group [30.8-84.8], and most disadvantaged group [34.2-85.1] [P = .42]; and pain: least disadvantaged group [6.0-0.97], middle group [6-0.97], and most disadvantaged group [5.6-0.80] [P = .88]. No differences in hospitalization costs were noted between groups (P = .77).

Conclusions: Patients undergoing elective shoulder arthroplasty residing in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods demonstrate equivalent preoperative and postoperative outcomes as others, without incurring higher costs. These findings support continued efforts to provide equitable access to orthopedic care across the socioeconomic spectrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.04.023DOI Listing
June 2022

Fracture Dislocations of the Proximal Humerus Treated with Open Reduction and Internal Fixation: A Systematic Review.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 May 20. Epub 2022 May 20.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The treatment of proximal humerus fracture-dislocations can be challenging given the extensive injury to the proximal humeral anatomy and increased risk of devascularization of the humeral head often seen in these injuries. The purpose of this study is to undertake a systematic review of the literature on the functional outcomes, rate of revision, and short- and long-term complications for proximal humerus fracture-dislocations treated with open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF).

Methods: The PubMed and OVID Embase databases were queried for literature reporting on proximal humerus fracture dislocations treated with ORIF. Data including study design, patient demographics, functional outcomes, and complications were recorded.

Results: Twelve studies including 294 patients with Neer type 2-, 3-, or 4-part proximal humerus fracture-dislocations met the criteria for inclusion. The mean patient age was 53.4 years (19-89 years) with an average follow-up of 2.9 years (1.15-4.9 years). At final follow-up, the mean Constant Score was 73.2 (52 - 87.3) and the mean Disabilities of the Arm Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score was 26.6 (17.5- 32). Avascular necrosis (AVN) was observed in 20.0% (0%-82.3%) and non-union was observed in 3.0% (0% - 7.7%) of patients. Conversion to arthroplasty was observed in 10.7% (5% - 20%) and a total reoperation was observed in 35.6% (11.8%-89.1%) of patients in studies explicitly reporting these outcomes. In addition to conversion to arthroplasty, common causes of reoperation were revision ORIF (5.2%) and hardware removal (22.2%).

Conclusion: Patients undergoing ORIF for proximal humerus fracture-dislocations have reasonable functional outcomes but relatively high AVN and reoperation rates. This information can be used to counsel patients and set expectations about the potential for further surgeries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.04.018DOI Listing
May 2022

Corticosteroid Injections After Rotator Cuff Repair Improve Function, Reduce Pain, and Are Safe: A Systematic Review.

Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil 2022 Apr 20;4(2):e763-e774. Epub 2021 Dec 20.

Department of Orthopaedics, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Purpose: To review the literature on postoperative corticosteroid injections (CSIs) following primary rotator cuff repair (RCR) to evaluate efficacy and adverse effects.

Methods: A systematic review of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were performed to identify all studies published within the last 15 years, which reported on outcomes of postoperative CSIs following RCR. Studies including patients who received only preoperative CSIs and revision RCRs were excluded. Included studies were evaluated for study methodology, patient demographics, outcome measures, physical examination parameters, results of imaging studies, and adverse effects or clinical complications.

Results: Seven studies comprising 5,528 patients satisfied inclusion criteria. Among included patients, 54.8% were female and mean age range from 52.3 ± 13.0 to 62.7 ± 6.6 years. Only 1 included investigation was a Level I study. Overall, 4 of 5 studies reported significant improvements in pain and outcome scores (Constant score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score) compared with controls. Across all studies, the majority of these effects were statistically significant at 3 months postoperatively but not beyond this time point. Five of the 6 included investigations reported no increased rate of retears after postoperative CSIs. One study did find an increase in retear in patients receiving postoperative CSIs but was unable to determine whether these retears were present before the patient received the CSI. Another investigation reported an increased rate of infection only if the CSI was administered in the first postoperative month.

Conclusions: Postoperative CSIs may improve pain and function for up to 3 months following primary RCR but not at later follow-up time points. CSIs should be administered only after the first postoperative month to minimize the potential risk for adverse events.

Level Of Evidence: Systematic review of level I-IV studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asmr.2021.10.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9042756PMC
April 2022

The Cost-Effectiveness of Extended Oral Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Infection Prevention After Total Joint Arthroplasty in High-Risk Patients.

J Arthroplasty 2022 Apr 25. Epub 2022 Apr 25.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis may decrease rates of prosthetic joint infection (PJI) after total joint arthroplasty (TJA) in patients at high risk for infection. However, the cost-effectiveness of this practice is not clear. In this study, we used a break-even economic model to determine the cost-effectiveness of routine extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis for PJI prevention in high-risk TJA patients.

Methods: Baseline PJI rates in high-risk patients, the cost of revision arthroplasty for PJI, and the costs of extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis regimens were obtained from the literature and institutional purchasing records. These variables were incorporated in a break-even economic model to calculate the absolute risk reduction (ARR) in infection rate necessary for extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis to be cost-effective. ARR was used to determine the number needed to treat (NNT).

Results: Extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis with Cefadroxil in patients at high risk for PJI was cost-effective at an ARR in baseline infection rate of 0.187% (NNT = 535) and 0.151% (NNT = 662) for TKA and THA, respectively. Cost-effectiveness was preserved with varying costs of antibiotic regimens, PJI treatment costs, and infection rates.

Conclusion: The use of extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis may reduce PJI rates in patients at high risk for infection following TJA and appears to be cost-effective. However, the current evidence supporting this practice is limited in quality. The use of extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis should be weighed against the possible development of future antimicrobial resistance, which may change the value proposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.04.025DOI Listing
April 2022

The association between anterior shoulder joint capsule thickening and glenoid deformity in primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Mar 22. Epub 2022 Mar 22.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Rush University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Background: Anterior shoulder joint capsule thickening is typically present in osteoarthritic shoulders, but its association with specific patterns of glenoid wear is incompletely understood. We sought to determine the relationship between anterior capsular thickening and glenoid deformity in primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 134 consecutive osteoarthritic shoulders with magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans performed. Axial fat-suppressed magnetic resonance imaging slices were used to quantify the anterior capsular thickness in millimeters, measured at its thickest point below the subscapularis muscle. Computed tomography scans were used to classify glenoid deformity according to the Walch classification, and an automated 3-dimensional software program provided values for glenoid retroversion and humeral head subluxation. Multinomial and linear regression models were used to characterize the association of anterior capsular thickening with Walch glenoid type, glenoid retroversion, and posterior humeral head subluxation while controlling for patient age and sex.

Results: The anterior capsule was thickest in glenoid types B2 (5.5 mm, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.0-6.0) and B3 (6.1 mm, 95% CI: 5.6-6.6) and thinnest in A1 (3.7 mm, 95% CI: 3.3-4.2; P < .001). Adjusted for age and sex, glenoid types B2 (odds ratio: 4.4, 95% CI: 2.3-8.4, P < .001) and B3 (odds ratio: 5.4, 95% CI: 2.8-10.4, P < .001) showed the strongest association with increased anterior capsule thickness, compared to glenoid type A1. Increased capsular thickness correlated with greater glenoid retroversion (r = 0.57; P < .001) and posterior humeral head subluxation (r = 0.50; P < .001). In multivariable analysis, for every 1-mm increase in anterior capsular thickening, there was an adjusted mean increase of 3.2° (95% CI: 2.4-4.1) in glenoid retroversion and a 3.8% (95% CI: 2.7-5.0) increase in posterior humeral head subluxation.

Conclusions: Increased thickening of the anterior shoulder capsule is associated with greater posterior glenoid wear and humeral head subluxation. Additional research should determine whether anterior capsular disease plays a causative role in the etiology or progression of eccentric glenohumeral osteoarthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2022.02.011DOI Listing
March 2022

Adverse Events Associated With Robotic-Assisted Joint Arthroplasty: An Analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration MAUDE Database.

J Arthroplasty 2022 08 21;37(8):1526-1533. Epub 2022 Mar 21.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Background: The use of robotic assistance in arthroplasty is increasing; however, the spectrum of adverse events potentially associated with this technology is unclear. Improved understanding of the causes of adverse events in robotic-assisted arthroplasty can prevent future incidents and enhance patient outcomes.

Methods: Adverse event reports to the US Food and Drug Administration Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience database involving robotic-assisted total hip arthroplasty (THA), total knee arthroplasty (TKA), and partial knee arthroplasty were reviewed to determine causes of malfunction and related patient impact.

Results: Overall, 263 adverse event reports were included. The most frequently reported adverse events were unexpected robotic arm movement for TKA (59/204, 28.9%) and retained registration checkpoint for THA (19/44, 43.2%). There were 99 reports of surgical delay with an average delay of 20 minutes (range 1-120). Thirty-one cases reported conversion to manual surgery. In total, 68 patient injuries were reported, 7 of which required surgical reintervention. Femoral notching (12/36, 33.3%) was the most common for TKA and retained registration checkpoint (19/28, 67.9%) was the most common for THA. Although rare, additional reported injuries included femoral, tibial, and acetabular fractures, MCL laceration, additional retained foreign bodies, and an electrical burn.

Conclusion: Despite the increasing utilization of robotic-assisted arthroplasty in the United States, numerous adverse events are possible and technical difficulties experienced intraoperatively can result in prolonged surgical delays. The events reported herein seem to indicate that robotic-assisted arthroplasty is generally safe with only a few reported instances of serious complications, the nature of which seems more related to suboptimal surgical technique than technology. Based on our data, the practice of adding registration checkpoints and bone pins to the instrument count of all robotic-assisted TJA cases should be widely implemented to avoid unintended retained foreign objects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.03.060DOI Listing
August 2022

Performance Outcomes and Return to Sport Following Metacarpal Fractures in Major League Baseball Players.

Hand (N Y) 2022 Mar 21:15589447221081565. Epub 2022 Mar 21.

Newton-Wellesley Hospital, MA, USA.

Background: Major League Baseball (MLB) players are at risk for metacarpal fractures; however, little is known regarding the impact of these injuries on future performance. The purpose of this study was to determine whether MLB players who sustain metacarpal fractures demonstrate decreased performance on return to competition in comparison to the performance of control-matched peers.

Methods: Data for MLB position players with metacarpal fractures incurred over 17 seasons were obtained from injury reports, press releases, and player profiles. Age, position, career experience, body mass index (BMI), injury mechanism, handedness, and treatment were recorded. Individual season statistics for the 2 seasons immediately before injury and the 2 seasons after injury were obtained. Controls matched by player position, age, BMI, career experience, and performance statistics were identified. A performance comparison of the cohorts was performed.

Results: Overall, 24 players met inclusion criteria. Eleven players with metacarpal fractures were treated with surgery (46%) and 13 (54%) were treated nonoperatively. Players treated nonoperatively missed significantly fewer games following injury compared with those treated operatively (35.5 vs 52.6 games, = .04). There was no significant difference in postinjury performance when compared with preinjury performance among the fracture cohorts. Players with metacarpal fractures treated nonoperatively had a significant decline in their Wins Above Replacement (WAR) 2 seasons postinjury (1.37 point decline) in comparison to matched controls (0.84 point increase) ( = .02). There was no significant difference in WAR 1 or 2 seasons postinjury for players with metacarpal fractures treated operatively in comparison to the control cohort.

Conclusions: Major League Baseball players sustaining metacarpal fractures can expect to return to their preinjury performance levels following both nonoperative and operative treatment. However, players treated nonoperatively may witness a decline in their performance compared with peers over the long term. Orthopedic surgeons treating professional athletes with metacarpal fractures should consider these outcomes when counseling their patients and making treatment recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15589447221081565DOI Listing
March 2022

Substantial Inconsistency and Variability Exists Among Minimum Clinically Important Differences for Shoulder Arthroplasty Outcomes: A Systematic Review.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2022 07 17;480(7):1371-1383. Epub 2022 Mar 17.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: As the value of patient-reported outcomes becomes increasingly recognized, minimum clinically important difference (MCID) thresholds have seen greater use in shoulder arthroplasty. However, MCIDs are unique to certain populations, and variation in the modes of calculation in this field may be of concern. With the growing utilization of MCIDs within the field and value-based care models, a detailed appraisal of the appropriateness of MCID use in the literature is necessary and has not been systematically reviewed.

Questions/purposes: We performed a systematic review of MCID quantification in existing studies on shoulder arthroplasty to answer the following questions: (1) What is the range of values reported for the MCID in commonly used shoulder arthroplasty patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs)? (2) What percentage of studies use previously existing MCIDs versus calculating a new MCID? (3) What techniques for calculating the MCID were used in studies where a new MCID was calculated?

Methods: The Embase, PubMed, and Ovid/MEDLINE databases were queried from December 2008 through December 2020 for total shoulder arthroplasty and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty articles reporting an MCID value for various PROMs. Two reviewers (DAK, MAM) independently screened articles for eligibility, specifically identifying articles that reported MCID values for PROMs after shoulder arthroplasty, and extracted data for analysis. Each study was classified into two categories: those referencing a previously defined MCID and those using a newly calculated MCID. Methods for determining the MCID for each study and the variability of reported MCIDs for each PROM were recorded. The number of patients, age, gender, BMI, length of follow-up, surgical indications, and surgical type were extracted for each article. Forty-three articles (16,408 patients) with a mean (range) follow-up of 20 months (0.75 to 68) met the inclusion criteria. The median (range) BMI of patients was 29.3 kg/m2 (28.0 to 32.2 kg/m2), and the median (range) age was 68 years (53 to 84). There were 17 unique PROMs with MCID values. Of the 112 MCIDs reported, the most common PROMs with MCIDs were the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) (23% [26 of 112]), the Simple Shoulder Test (SST) (17% [19 of 112]), and the Constant (15% [17 of 112]).

Results: The ranges of MCID values for each PROM varied widely (ASES: 6.3 to 29.5; SST: 1.4 to 4.0; Constant: -0.3 to 12.8). Fifty-six percent (24 of 43) of studies used previously established MCIDs, with 46% (11 of 24) citing one study. Forty-four percent (19 of 43) of studies established new MCIDs, and the most common technique was anchor-based (37% [7 of 19]), followed by distribution (21% [4 of 19]).

Conclusion: There is substantial inconsistency and variability in the quantification and reporting of MCID values in shoulder arthroplasty studies. Many shoulder arthroplasty studies apply previously published MCID values with variable ranges of follow-up rather than calculating population-specific thresholds. The use of previously calculated MCIDs may be acceptable in specific situations; however, investigators should select an anchor-based MCID calculated from a patient population as similar as possible to their own. This practice is preferable to the use of distribution-approach MCID methods. Alternatively, authors may consider using substantial clinical benefit or patient-acceptable symptom state to assess outcomes after shoulder arthroplasty.

Clinical Relevance: Although MCIDs may provide a useful effect-size based alternative to the traditional p value, care must be taken to use an MCID that is appropriate for the particular patient population being studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000002164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9191322PMC
July 2022

Clinical Outcomes After Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty in Patients With Primary Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis Compared With Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy: Does Preoperative Diagnosis Make a Difference?

J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2022 Feb;30(3):e415-e422

From the New England Baptist Hospital Department of Sports Medicine, Boston, MA (Saini, Pettit, Puzzitiello, Shah, Jawa, and Kirsch), Boston Sports and Shoulder Center, MA (Hart, Jawa, and Kirsch), and New England Shoulder and Elbow Center, MA (Shah).

Introduction: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent reverse total shoulder arthroplasty performed for primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA) with an intact rotator cuff compared with rotator cuff tear arthropathy (CTA).

Methods: This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data including consecutive patients who underwent primary reverse total shoulder arthroplasty for GHOA or CTA with a minimum of 2-year follow-up. Baseline patient demographics and clinical outcomes including active range of motion, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation, and visual analog scale for pain were collected. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to evaluate the effect of preoperative diagnosis on clinical outcomes.

Results: Patients with a preoperative diagnosis of GHOA demonstrated significantly better postoperative active forward elevation (138.6° versus 127.3°; P < 0.01), external rotation (54.2° versus 43.8°; P < 0.01), and change in internal rotation (Δ 2.1 points versus Δ 1.2 points; P < 0.01). Patients with GHOA demonstrated significantly better postoperative ASES (86.8 versus 76.6; P < 0.01), Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation (89.7 versus 78.5; P < 0.01), and visual analog scale scores (0.63 versus 1.2; P < 0.01). Minimal clinically important difference for ASES score was achieved by 97.5% of patients with GHOA compared with 86.7% of patients with CTA (P < 0.01), whereas substantial clinical benefit was achieved by 90.4% of patients with GHOA and 71.7% of patients with CTA (P < 0.01). After a multivariate linear regression analysis, postoperative ASES scores were independently associated with previous ipsilateral shoulder surgery (P = 0.042), preoperative ASES score (P = 0.01), and primary diagnosis of GHOA (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: RTSA performed in patients with GHOA and an intact rotator cuff is associated with improved functional and clinical outcomes compared with those patients treated for CTA.

Level Of Evidence: Level III Therapeutic Study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5435/JAAOS-D-21-00797DOI Listing
February 2022

Primary reverse total shoulder arthroplasty performed for glenohumeral arthritis: does glenoid morphology matter?

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 May 17;31(5):923-931. Epub 2021 Nov 17.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Boston Sports and Shoulder Center, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Indications for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) have expanded to include primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA) with an intact rotator cuff. Limited evidence exists on RTSA in patients with primary GHOA and no posterior glenoid wear (Walch A1, A2, and B1 morphologies). The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to determine if glenoid morphology is associated with clinical outcomes in patients undergoing RTSA for primary GHOA.

Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively collected data was performed in patients undergoing primary RTSA for GHOA with a minimum of 2-year clinical follow-up. Preoperative computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were used to categorize glenoid morphology as described by the modified Walch classification. Pre- and postoperative American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES), Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE), visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores, and range of motion (ROM) measurements were compared across Walch glenoid subtypes. The percentage of patients that reached previously established clinically significant thresholds for minimal clinically important difference (MCID) and substantial clinical benefit (SCB) was also comparatively assessed. Multivariable analysis was used to evaluate the association between glenoid morphology and postoperative ASES score while controlling for potentially confounding variables.

Results: Of the 247 consecutive patients, 197 were available at a minimum 2-year follow-up (80%). Significant improvements were seen in ASES, VAS pain, SANE, and ROM from baseline to final postoperative follow-up in the combined patient cohort (all P < .001). Most (98.0%) patients reached MCID, and 90.9% of patients reached SCB for ASES threshold. No significant differences were found among Walch subtypes in terms of preoperative to postoperative improvement in ASES (P = .39), SANE (P = .4), VAS pain (P = .49), forward elevation (P = .77), external rotation (P = .45), or internal rotation (P= 0.1). The only significant difference in postoperative outcomes between Walch glenoid subtypes was higher postoperative ASES scores among type B3 glenoids compared with type A1 glenoids (P = .03) on univariate analysis. However, no individual Walch glenoid subtype was associated with lower postoperative ASES scores on multivariable analysis (P > .05).

Conclusion: Primary RTSA provides excellent short-term outcomes in patients with glenohumeral arthritis with intact rotator cuff, regardless of the degree of preoperative glenoid deformity. Surgeons can use these data to support the use of RTSA for glenohumeral arthritis in a more standardized way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.10.022DOI Listing
May 2022

Patient Perceptions of Telehealth Orthopedic Services in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.

Orthopedics 2021 Sep-Oct;44(5):e668-e674. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic necessitated an unprecedented increase in the use of telehealth services in orthopedics. Patient attitudes toward and satisfaction with virtual orthopedic services remain largely unexplored. A prospective study of all orthopedic patients at a tertiary academic medical center who had a telehealth appointment between April 1, 2020, and May 5, 2020, was performed to assess patients' experience with a validated 21-item telehealth satisfaction questionnaire. The survey contained statements designed to assess patients' level of agreement with numerous aspects of telehealth, including convenience, the surgeon's ability to engage in care, ease of use, and future use of telehealth. Most respondents (86.7%) were satisfied with the telehealth system. The majority of patients expressed that the system is easy to use (90.0%), is convenient (86.7%), and saves them time (83.3%). Nearly all (95%) patients agreed that their surgeon could answer their questions with the use of this technology, although nearly half (46.6%) identified the lack of physical contact during the examination as problematic. Only 46.7% of patients agreed that telehealth should be a standard form of health care delivery in the future; these patients were found to have significantly longer commute times compared with those who did not (52.1±58.2 vs 28.3±19.2, =.03). Patient perspectives on the widespread adoption of telehealth, such as ease of use, privacy protection, and convenience, showed that these anticipated barriers may be some of the greatest advantages of telehealth. The COVID-19 pandemic may have provided the momentum for telehealth to become a mainstay of orthopedic health care delivery in the future. [. 2021;44(5):e668-e674.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/01477447-20210817-07DOI Listing
October 2021

Predictors of poor and excellent outcomes after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Feb 16;31(2):294-301. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Boston Sports and Shoulder Center, Waltham, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Favorable clinical and functional outcomes can be achieved with reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). Given the expanding utilization of RSA in the United States, understanding the factors that influence both excellent and poor outcomes is increasingly important.

Methods: A single-surgeon prospective registry was used to identify patients who underwent RSA from 2015 to 2018 with a minimum of 2 years' follow-up. An excellent postoperative clinical outcome was defined as a final American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score in the top quartile of ASES scores. A poor outcome was defined as an ASES score in the bottom quartile. Logistic regression was used to determine preoperative characteristics associated with both excellent and poor outcomes.

Results: A total of 338 patients with a mean age of 71.5 years (standard deviation [SD], 6.4 years) met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The average preoperative ASES score for the entire cohort was 35.3 (SD, 16.4), which improved to 82.4 (SD, 16.1) postoperatively (P < .001). Univariate analysis demonstrated that a diagnosis of primary osteoarthritis (OA), private insurance, and higher preoperative ASES scores were significantly associated with achieving excellent outcomes (P < .01 for all). Variables predictive of poor outcomes were workers' compensation status (P = .03), depression (P = .02), a preoperative diagnosis of rotator cuff tear arthropathy (P < .01), preoperative opioid use (P < .01), a higher number of allergies (P < .01), and prior ipsilateral shoulder surgery (P < .01). Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated that OA (odds ratio [OR], 5.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-26.5; P = .03) and private insurance (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.12-6.5; P = .02) correlated with excellent outcomes whereas a higher number of reported allergies (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71-0.97; P = .02), self-reported depression (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.16-0.99; P =.04), a history of ipsilateral shoulder surgery (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.15-0.87; P =.02), and preoperative opioid use (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.09-0.76; P = .01) were predictive of poor outcomes.

Conclusions: A preoperative diagnosis of primary OA is the strongest predictor of excellent clinical outcomes following RSA. Patients with an increasing number of reported allergies, self-reported depression, a history of ipsilateral shoulder surgery, and preoperative opioid use are significantly more likely to achieve poor outcomes after RSA. Given the increasing utilization of RSA, this information is important to appropriately counsel patients regarding postoperative expectations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.07.009DOI Listing
February 2022

Rotator cuff fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy: relation to glenoid deformity in primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Feb 12;31(2):286-293. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; Boston Sports and Shoulder Center, Waltham, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Muscle atrophy (MA) and fatty infiltration (FI) are degenerative processes of the rotator cuff musculature that have incompletely understood relationships with the development of eccentric glenoid wear in the setting of primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA).

Methods: All patients with GHOA and an intact rotator cuff who underwent both magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans of the affected shoulder prior to total shoulder arthroplasty between 2015 and 2020 were identified from a prospectively maintained registry. Rotator cuff MA was measured quantitatively on sequential sagittal magnetic resonance images, whereas FI was assessed on sagittal magnetic resonance imaging slices using the Goutallier classification. Preoperative computed tomography scans were reconstructed using automated 3-dimensional software to determine glenoid retroversion, glenoid inclination, and humeral head subluxation. Glenoid deformity was classified according to the Walch classification. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were performed to characterize associations between age, sex, muscle area, FI, and glenoid morphology.

Results: Among the 127 included patients, significant associations were found between male sex and larger overall rotator cuff musculature (P < .01), increased ratio of the posterior rotator cuff (PRC) to the subscapularis area (P = .01), and glenoid retroversion (19° vs. 14°, P < .01). Larger supraspinatus and PRC muscle size was correlated with increased retroversion (r = 0.23 [P = .006] for supraspinatus and r = 0.25 [P = .004] for PRC) and humeral head subluxation (r = 0.25 [P = .004] for supraspinatus and r = 0.28 [P = .001] for PRC). The ratio of PRC muscle size to anterior rotator cuff muscle size was not associated with evidence of eccentric glenoid wear (P > .05). After we controlled for confounding factors, increasing glenoid retroversion was associated with high-grade infraspinatus FI (β, 6.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.9-10.7; P < .01) whereas larger PRC musculature was predictive of a Walch type B (vs. type A) glenoid (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-1.5; P = .04).

Conclusion: Patients with eccentric glenoid wear in the setting of primary GHOA and an intact rotator cuff appear to have both larger PRC musculature and higher rates of infraspinatus FI. Although the temporal and causal relationships of these associations remain ambiguous, MA and FI should be considered 2 discrete processes in the natural history of GHOA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.07.007DOI Listing
February 2022

A break-even analysis of tranexamic acid for prevention of periprosthetic joint infection following total hip and knee arthroplasty.

J Orthop 2021 Jul-Aug;26:54-57. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Purpose: Despite the commonplace use of tranexamic acid in total joint arthroplasty, much of the current data regarding its cost-effectiveness examines savings directly related to its hemostatic properties, without considering its protective effect against periprosthetic joint infections. Using break-even economic modeling, we calculated the cost-effectiveness of routine tranexamic acid administration for infection prevention in total joint arthroplasty.

Materials And Methods: The cost of intraoperative intravenous tranexamic acid, the cost of revision arthroplasty for periprosthetic joint infections, and the baseline rates of periprosthetic joint infections in patients who did not receive intraoperative tranexamic acid were obtained from the literature and institutional purchasing records. Break-even economic modeling incorporating these variables was performed to determine the absolute risk reduction in infection rate to make routine intraoperative tranexamic acid use economically justified. The number needed to treat was calculated from the absolute risk reduction.

Results: Routine use of intraoperative tranexamic acid is economically justified if it prevents at least 1 infection out of 3125 total joint arthroplasties (absolute risk reduction = 0.032%). Cost-effectiveness was maintained with varying costs of tranexamic acid, infection rates, and periprosthetic joint infection costs.

Conclusion: The routine use of intraoperative tranexamic acid is a highly cost-effective practice for infection prevention in primary and revision total joint arthroplasty. The use of tranexamic acid is warranted across a wide range of costs of tranexamic acid, initial infection rates, and costs of periprosthetic joint infection treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jor.2021.07.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283265PMC
July 2021

Early sports specialisation and the incidence of lower extremity injuries in youth athletes: current concepts.

J ISAKOS 2021 11 6;6(6):339-343. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Orthopedics, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Year-round intensive, single-sport training beginning at an young age is an increasingly common trend in the youth athlete population. Early sport specialisation may be ineffective for long-term athletic success and contribute to an increased risk of physical injury and burn-out. The medical community has noted that repetitive movement patterns may occur in non-diversified activity and this may contribute to overuse injury in young athletes. Studies have begun to identify an association between early sport specialisation and lower extremity injuries in the youth athlete population that is independent of training volume. Recent literature has suggested that sport diversification, not specialisation, is a better path for athletic success and minimised lower extremity injury risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jisakos-2019-000288DOI Listing
November 2021

Public Opinion and Expectations of Stem Cell Therapies in Orthopaedics.

Arthroscopy 2021 12 12;37(12):3510-3517.e2. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.. Electronic address:

Purpose: To explore public opinion, understanding, and preferences regarding the use of stem cell therapies for the treatment of joint and tendon pathologies using online crowdsourcing.

Methods: A 30-question survey was completed by 931 members of the public using Amazon Mechanical Turk, a validated crowdsourcing method. Outcomes included perceptions and preferences regarding the use of stem cells therapies for the nonsurgical treatment of orthopaedic conditions. Sociodemographic factors and a validated assessment of health literacy were collected. Inclusion criteria were adult participants 18 years or older, residence within the United States, and a valid Social Security number. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to determine population characteristics associated with the belief that stem cells represent the most effective treatment for long-standing joint or tendon disorders.

Results: Most respondents reported that stem cell therapies have convincing evidence to support their use for orthopaedic conditions (84.5%) and are approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (65%). About three-quarters of respondents reported that stem cells can stop the progression of and alleviate pain from arthritis or damaged tendons, and over half (53.5%) reported that stem cells can cure arthritis. Factors with the greatest influence on respondents' decision to receive stem cell therapies are research supporting their safety and effectiveness and doctor recommendation. However, 63.3% of respondents stated that they would consider stem cells if their doctor recommended it, regardless of evidence supporting their effectiveness, and over half would seek another doctor if their orthopaedic surgeon did not offer this treatment option.

Conclusions: The public's limited understanding regarding the current evidence associated with stem cell therapies for osteoarthritis and tendinous pathologies may contribute to unrealistic expectations and misinformed decisions. This study highlights the importance of patient education and expectation setting, as well as evidence transparency, as stem cell therapies become increasingly accessible.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV, case series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2021.05.058DOI Listing
December 2021

Functional somatic syndromes are associated with suboptimal outcomes and high cost after shoulder arthroplasty.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022 Jan 9;31(1):48-55. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The presence of functional somatic syndromes (chronic physical symptoms with no identifiable organic cause) in patients undergoing elective joint arthroplasty may affect the recovery experience. We explored the prevalence of functional somatic syndromes among shoulder arthroplasty patients, as well as their association with postoperative outcomes and costs.

Methods: We identified 480 patients undergoing elective total shoulder arthroplasty (anatomic or reverse) between 2015 and 2018 in our institutional registry with minimum 2-year follow-up. Medical records were queried for the presence of 4 well-recognized functional somatic syndromes: fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, and chronic low-back pain. Multivariable linear regression modeling was used to determine the independent association of these diagnoses with hospitalization time-driven activity-based costs and 2-year postoperative American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE), and pain scores.

Results: Nearly 1 in 5 patients (17%) reported at least 1 functional somatic syndrome. These patients were more likely to be women, to be chronic opioid users, to report more allergies, to have a diagnosis of anxiety, and to have shoulder pathology other than degenerative joint disease (all P ≤ .001). After multivariable adjustment, the presence of at least 1 functional somatic syndrome was independently predictive of lower 2-year ASES (-9.75 points) and SANE (-7.63 points) scores and greater residual pain (+1.13 points) (all P ≤ .001). When considered cumulatively, each additional functional disorder was linked to a stepwise decrease in ASES and SANE scores and an increase in residual pain (P < .001). These patients also incurred higher hospitalization costs, with a stepwise rise in costs with an increasing number of disorders (P < .001).

Conclusions: Functional somatic syndromes are common in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty and correlate with suboptimal outcomes and greater resource utilization. Efforts to address the biopsychosocial determinants of health that affect the value proposition of shoulder arthroplasty should be prioritized in the redesign of care pathways and bundling initiatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.05.015DOI Listing
January 2022

All Inside Intraepiphyseal ACL Reconstruction Using Flexible Curved Instrumentation and Intraoperative Fluoroscopy in a Skeletally Immature Patient.

Case Rep Orthop 2021 21;2021:3956524. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

Case: A 13-year-old skeletally immature female presenting with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture after a noncontact injury was treated with an intraepiphyseal ACL reconstruction. Flexible instrumentation was utilized to drill a femoral tunnel with an anatomic starting point, with a trajectory that curved inferolaterally away from the physis. At three years postoperatively, she had returned to her preinjury functioning and did not display any lower limb length growth abnormalities.

Conclusions: The novel application of curved guides and flexible instruments, with intraoperative fluoroscopy, facilitated growth plate avoidance and a successful outcome of ACL reconstruction in a skeletally immature patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/3956524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081639PMC
April 2021

Vancomycin Presoaking of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tendon Grafts Is Highly Cost-Effective for Preventing Infection.

Arthroscopy 2021 10 19;37(10):3152-3156. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.. Electronic address:

Purpose: This study aimed to (1) determine whether intraoperative graft soaking with vancomycin is a cost-effective measure for preventing infection after arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and (2) provide an adaptable model for providers and institutions to determine the cost effectiveness of this strategy over a range of initial infection rates, infection-related care costs, and vancomycin costs.

Methods: Baseline postoperative infection rates and the costs of antibiotics and infection-related care were gathered from the literature. The cost of treating infection was determined for 2 alternative protocols-irrigation and debridement with revision ACL reconstruction or ACL graft retention. Using a break-even economic analysis, we developed an equation to determine the absolute risk reduction (ARR) in infection rate required for the use of vancomycin graft soaking to be deemed cost-effective. To provide a widely applicable robust model, multiple simulations were performed at varying unit costs, infection rates, and ACL reconstruction postoperative infection related care costs. The number needed to treat was calculated from the ARR.

Results: Intraoperative vancomycin was determined to be cost-effective if it prevents 1 infection in 550 cases (ARR = 0.182%), given costs of $24,178 and $44/1,000 mg for revision ACL reconstruction and vancomycin, respectively. If the ACL graft is retained following infection, intraoperative vancomycin was considered cost-effective if it prevents 1 infection in 146 cases (ARR = 0.685%), given costs of $6,424 and $44/1,000 mg for arthroscopic debridement and vancomycin prophylaxis, respectively. For any specific cost of treating infection and cost of vancomycin, variation in baseline infection rates did not influence the economic viability of vancomycin graft soaking. This intervention remained economically viable over a wide range of unit costs of vancomycin.

Conclusions: Through break-even economic analysis, this study demonstrates that the use of intraoperative graft preparation with vancomycin is a highly cost-effective prophylactic measure for infection prevention in arthroscopic ACL reconstruction.

Level Of Evidence: IV, economic analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2021.04.005DOI Listing
October 2021

Public perceptions and disparities in access to telehealth orthopaedic services in the COVID-19 era.

J Natl Med Assoc 2021 Aug 2;113(4):405-413. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, 800 Washington St, Boston, MA, USA; New England Baptist Hospital, 125 Parker Hill Ave, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: We used online crowdsourcing to explore public perceptions and attitudes towards virtual orthopaedic care, and to identify factors associated with perceived difficulty navigating telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A modified version of the validated Telemedicine Satisfaction and Usefulness Questionnaire was completed by 816 individuals using crowd-sourcing methods. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to determine population characteristics associated with perceived difficulty using telehealth technology.

Results: Most respondents (85%) believed that telehealth visits would be a convenient form of healthcare delivery, and 64% would prefer them over in-person office visits. The majority (92%) agreed that telehealth would save them time, but 81% had concerns regarding the lack of physical contact during a musculoskeletal examination. More respondents would feel comfortable using telehealth for routine follow-up care (81%) compared to initial assessment visits (59%) and first postoperative appointments (60%). Roughly 1 in 15 (7%) expressed difficulty with using telehealth; these respondents were more often unmarried, lower-income, and more medically infirm, and reported greater symptoms of depression. After multivariable adjustment, lower income and poor health were retained as predictors of difficulty with navigating telehealth technology (p = 0.027,p = 0.036, respectively).

Conclusion: The majority of the public appears receptive to telehealth for orthopaedic care for both new patient visits and follow-up appointments. The finding that people with multiple chronic conditions and psychosocial needs struggle to engage with telehealth suggests that those who arguably stand to benefit the most from continued care are the ones being unintentionally left out of this digitization boom.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnma.2021.02.007DOI Listing
August 2021

Perioperative Medical Optimization of Symptomatic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Is an Economically Justified Infection Prevention Strategy in Total Joint Arthroplasty.

J Arthroplasty 2021 07 27;36(7):2551-2557. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.

Background: Abnormal voiding dynamics may be a modifiable risk factor for prosthetic joint infection (PJI) after total joint arthroplasty (TJA), but the cost-effectiveness of their optimization in the perioperative setting is unknown. Using a break-even analysis, we calculated the economic viability of perioperative voiding optimization for infection prevention after TJA in patients with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Methods: A perioperative voiding optimization algorithm was created to represent a common approach to treating symptomatic BPH before TJA. Treatment is initiated with a 6-week trial of tamsulosin (pathway 1), followed by 6 months of combination tamsulosin/finasteride therapy (pathway 2) if symptoms persist. Patients with unremitting symptoms after medical management undergo surgical correction with transurethral resection of the prostate (pathway 3). Costs associated with each pathway were derived from the literature and institutional purchasing records. A break-even economic model was constructed to calculate the absolute risk reduction (ARR) in the infection rate and number needed to treat necessary for cost-effectiveness.

Results: Pathway 1 was cost-effective if it prevented 1 infection of 113 (ARR = 0.883%) TKAs or 140 (ARR = 0.714%) THAs. Pathway 2 was cost-effective if it obviated infection in 1 of 69 TKAs (ARR = 1.445%) or 86 THAs (ARR = 1.169%). Pathway 3 was only deemed cost-effective assuming a cost of $400,000 to treat a PJI (number needed to treat = 71, ARR = 1.406%). Cost-effectiveness for pathways 1 and 2 was maintained with varying voiding optimization costs, infection rates, and PJI costs.

Conclusion: Perioperative medical management of symptomatic BPH is an economically justified PJI prevention strategy, whereas surgical interventions appear to be financially substantiated only when considering the long-term societal costs of a PJI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2021.02.059DOI Listing
July 2021

Rotator cuff fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy do not impact clinical outcomes after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty for glenohumeral osteoarthritis with intact rotator cuff.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Nov 26;30(11):2506-2513. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Boston Sports and Shoulder Center, Waltham, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The clinical significance of rotator cuff muscle quality following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of rotator cuff fatty infiltration (FI) and muscle atrophy (MA) on clinical outcomes following RTSA for glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA).

Methods: One hundred eight shoulders with primary GHOA that underwent RTSA with a lateralized glenosphere for GHOA with a minimum of 2-year follow-up were identified from a prospectively maintained registry. Each rotator cuff muscle was assessed on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging for FI and quantitative amount of MA. Pre- and postoperative outcomes included American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form score, Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation (SANE) score, visual analog scale pain score, and range of motion (ROM) measurements.

Results: Eighty-one patients with a mean age of 70.7 ± 5.4 years (range: 57-85) were included who underwent RTSA with a mean follow-up of 2.1 years (range: 2-3.9 years). There was a significant improvement in all outcome measures postoperatively (P < .01). Twenty-two patients (27.1%) had moderate to severe combined infraspinatus and teres minor FI. There was no significant difference in the postoperative external rotation or clinical outcomes compared with those patients with only mild FI (P > .05). Forty-three patients (53.1%) had moderate to severe global rotator cuff FI. There was no significant difference in postoperative outcomes compared with those patients with only mild FI (P < .01). Univariate analysis did not reveal any significant association between the degree of FI or MA of any individual rotator cuff muscle and postoperative clinical outcomes or ROM. The size ratio of the posterior rotator cuff to the subscapularis muscle was positively correlated with preoperative SANE scores but negatively correlated with absolute postoperative and change in preoperative to postoperative SANE scores. However, there were no significant correlations between this size ratio and the other outcome measures.

Conclusion: Rotator cuff muscle quality as assessed by MA and FI does not impact clinical outcomes following RTSA with a lateralized glenosphere in patients with GHOA and an intact rotator cuff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.03.135DOI Listing
November 2021

Online Crowdsourcing to Explore Public Perceptions of Robotic-Assisted Orthopedic Surgery.

J Arthroplasty 2021 06 15;36(6):1887-1894.e3. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Background: The clinical benefits of robotic-assisted technology in total joint arthroplasty are unclear, but its use is increasing. This study employed online crowdsourcing to explore public perceptions and beliefs regarding robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery.

Methods: A 30-question survey was completed by 588 members of the public using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participants answered questions regarding robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery, sociodemographic factors, and validated assessments of health literacy and patient engagement. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to determine population characteristics associated with preference for robotic technology.

Results: Most respondents believe robotic-assisted surgery leads to better results (69%), fewer complications (69%), less pain (59%), and faster recovery (62%) than conventional manual methods. About half (49%) would prefer a low-volume surgeon using robotic technology to a high-volume surgeon using conventional manual methods. The 3 main concerns regarding robotic technology included lack of surgeon experience with robotic surgery, robot malfunction causing harm, and increased cost. Only half of respondents accurately understand the actual role of the robot in the operating room. Overall, 34% of participants have a clear preference for robotic-assisted surgery over a conventional manual approach. After multivariable regression analysis, Asian race, working in healthcare, early technology adoption, and prior knowledge of robotic surgery were independent predictors of preferring robotic-assisted surgery.

Conclusion: The public's unawareness of the dubious outcome superiority associated with robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery may contribute to misinformed decisions in some patients. Robotic-assisted technology appears to be a powerful marketing tool for surgeons and hospitals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2021.02.027DOI Listing
June 2021

The Cost-Effectiveness of Closed Incisional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy for Infection Prevention after Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty.

J Knee Surg 2021 Jan 28. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Recent investigations have shown that closed incisional negative pressure wound therapy (ciNPWT) decreases the rate of postoperative wound complications following revision total knee arthroplasty (TKA). In this study, we used a break-even analysis to determine whether ciNPWT is a cost-effective measure for reducing prosthetic joint infection (PJI) after revision TKA. The cost of ciNPWT, cost of treatment for PJI, and baseline infection rates following revision TKA were collected from institutional data and the literature. The absolute risk reduction (ARR) in infection rate necessary for cost-effectiveness was calculated using break-even analysis. Using our institutional cost of ciNPWT ($600), this intervention would be cost-effective if the initial infection rate of revision TKA (9.0%) has an ARR of 0.92%. The ARR needed for cost-effectiveness remained constant across a wide range of initial infection rates and declined as treatment costs increased. The use of ciNPWT for infection prevention following revision TKA is cost-effective at both high and low initial infection rates, across a broad range of treatment costs, and at inflated product expenses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1724137DOI Listing
January 2021

Maximal Medical Improvement Following Shoulder Stabilization Surgery May Require up to 1 Year: A Systematic Review.

HSS J 2020 Dec 10;16(Suppl 2):534-543. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL USA.

Background: There is increased emphasis on properly allocating healthcare resources to optimize value within orthopedic surgery. Establishing time to maximal medical improvement (MMI) can inform clinical decision-making and practice guidelines.

Purpose: We sought (1) to evaluate the time to MMI as predicted by commonly used patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for evaluation of shoulder stabilization and (2) to evaluate typical time to return to sports and employment following surgery.

Methods: A systematic review of the Medline database was conducted to identify outcome studies reporting sequential follow-up at multiple time points, up to a minimum of 2 years after shoulder stabilization surgery. The included studies examined the outcomes of arthroscopic or open surgical techniques on anterior instability. Clinically significant improvements were evaluated utilizing the minimal clinically important difference specific to each PROM. Secondary outcomes included range of motion, return to sport/work, and recurrent instability.

Results: Ten studies comprising 590 surgically managed cases of anterior shoulder instability were included (78% arthroscopic, 22% open). Clinically significant improvements in PROMs were achieved up to 1 year post-operatively for Rowe, Western Ontario Instability Index (WOSI), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), and Simple Shoulder Test (SST) scores. For the three most utilized tools (Rowe, WOSI, ASES), the majority of improvement occurred in the first 6 post-operative months. Clinically significant improvements in Constant Score and Oxford Shoulder Instability Score (OSIS) were achieved up to 6 months and 2 years after surgery, respectively. No clinically significant improvements were achieved on the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) tool.

Conclusion: Maximal medical improvement as determined by commonly utilized PROMs occurs by 1 year after operative management of anterior shoulder instability. The DASH tool does not appear to demonstrate a reliable time frame for clinically significant outcome improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11420-020-09773-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749924PMC
December 2020
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