Publications by authors named "Tally E Lassiter"

7 Publications

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

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Jun 9. 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
June 2021

Malpractice trends in shoulder and elbow surgery.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Feb 3. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

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

Background: Medical malpractice is a very common occurrence that many medical providers will have to face; approximately 17,000 medical malpractice cases are filed in the United States each year, and more than 99% of all surgeons are faced with at least 1 instance of malpractice litigation throughout their careers. Malpractice litigation also carries a major economic weight, with medical malpractice spending resulting in an aggregate expenditure of nearly $60 billion annually in the United States. Orthopedic surgery is one of the most common subspecialties involved in malpractice claims. Currently, there are no comprehensive studies examining malpractice lawsuits within shoulder and elbow surgery. Therefore, the purpose of this work is to examine trends in malpractice claims in shoulder and elbow surgery.

Methods: The Westlaw online legal database was queried in order to identify state and federal jury verdicts and settlements pertaining to shoulder and elbow surgery from 2010-2020. Only cases involving medical malpractice in which an orthopedic shoulder and elbow surgeon was a named defendant were included for analysis. All available details pertaining to the cases were collected. This included plaintiff demographic and geographic data. Details regarding the cases were also collected, such as anatomic location, pathology, complications, and case outcomes.

Results: Twenty-five malpractice lawsuits pertaining to orthopedic shoulder and elbow surgery were identified. Most plaintiffs in these cases were adult men, and the majority of cases were filed in the Southwest (28%) and Midwest (28%) regions of the United States. The most common anatomic region involved in claims was the rotator cuff (32%), followed by the glenohumeral joint (20%). The majority of these claims involved surgery (56%). Pain of mechanical nature was the most common complication seen in claims (56%). The jury ruled in favor of the defendant surgeon in most cases (80%).

Discussion: This is the first study that comprehensively examines the full scope of orthopedic shoulder and elbow malpractice claims across the United States. The most common complaint that plaintiffs reported at the time of litigation was residual pain after treatment due to a mechanical etiology, followed by complaints of nerve damage. A large portion of claims resulted after nonoperative treatment. A better understanding of the trends within malpractice claims is crucial to developing strategies for prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2020.12.018DOI Listing
February 2021

Distribution of Bone Contusion Patterns in Acute Noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Torn Knees.

Am J Sports Med 2021 02 7;49(2):404-409. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Background: Bone contusions are commonly observed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in individuals who have sustained a noncontact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Time from injury to image acquisition affects the ability to visualize these bone contusions, as contusions resolve with time.

Purpose: To quantify the number of bone contusions and their locations (lateral tibial plateau [LTP], lateral femoral condyle [LFC], medial tibial plateau [MTP], and medial femoral condyle [MFC]) observed on MRI scans of noncontact ACL-injured knees acquired within 6 weeks of injury.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed clinic notes, operative notes, and imaging of 136 patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. The following exclusion criteria were applied: MRI scans acquired beyond 6 weeks after injury, contact ACL injury, and previous knee trauma. Fat-suppressed fast spin-echo T2-weighted MRI scans were reviewed by a blinded musculoskeletal radiologist. The number of contusions and their locations (LTP, LFC, MTP, and MFC) were recorded.

Results: Contusions were observed in 135 of 136 patients. Eight patients (6%) had 1 contusion, 39 (29%) had 2, 41 (30%) had 3, and 47 (35%) had 4. The most common contusion patterns within each of these groups were 6 (75%) with LTP for 1 contusion, 29 (74%) with LTP/LFC for 2 contusions, 33 (80%) with LTP/LFC/MTP for 3 contusions, and 47 (100%) with LTP/LFC/MTP/MFC for 4 contusions. No sex differences were detected in contusion frequency in the 4 locations ( > .05). Among the participants, 50 (37%) had medial meniscal tears and 52 (38%) had lateral meniscal tears.

Conclusion: The most common contusion patterns observed were 4 locations (LTP/LFC/MTP/MFC) and 3 locations (LTP/LFC/MTP).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0363546520981569DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214466PMC
February 2021

Rotator cuff to deltoid and pectoralis tendon to anatomic neck distances: methods for anatomic restoration of humeral height and tuberosity position in proximal humerus fractures for operative fixation and arthroplasty.

JSES Int 2020 Dec 26;4(4):869-874. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

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

Introduction: Proper anatomic tuberosity reduction and restoration of humeral height during surgical treatment of proximal humerus fractures leads to fewer complications and better outcomes. In the presence of significant displacement and comminution in proximal humerus fractures, the assessment of the correct tuberosity position and humeral height can be challenging. The goal of this cadaveric study was to provide new and useful measurements for intraoperative guidance of proper tuberosity position and humeral height when treating proximal humerus fractures with open reduction internal fixation, anatomic hemiarthroplasty, or reverse total shoulder arthroplasty.

Methods: A total of 28 cadaveric shoulders were dissected with a deltopectoral approach. The distance between the insertion of the supraspinatus tendon and the superior aspect of the deltoid tendon was measured (cuff to deltoid distance [CDD]). Secondly, the distance between the superior aspects of the pectoralis major tendon to the medial aspect of the anatomic neck (PND) was measured. Further, we sought to determine if these measurements would correlate to patient height and differ between gender.

Results: The average age of the donors was 65.3 years (64% male). The CDD and PND were 87.6 ± 10.6 and 16.6 ± 6.9 mm, respectively (mean ± standard deviation). There were no differences between females and males for the CDD (86.9 ± 9.4 vs. 87.2 ± 15.2 mm,  = .96) and PND (16.3 ± 9.1 vs. 17.1 ± 5.9 mm,  = .76). There was no correlation between the cadaver height and CDD (R2 = 0.1) and PND (R2 = 0.3).

Discussion: In this study, we describe 2 new measurement tools that can readily be applied intraoperatively during surgical treatment of proximal humerus fractures to aid in tuberosity reduction and humeral height assessment. These measurements were found to be independent of patient height and gender and can be used as a reference tool for most patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jseint.2020.07.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738573PMC
December 2020

Risk of suprascapular nerve injury during glenoid baseplate fixation for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty: a cadaveric study.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Mar 21;30(3):532-537. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

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

Background: Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) is an effective treatment for patients with advanced rotator cuff arthropathy. During implantation of the glenoid baseplate, screws are inserted through the glenoid face into the scapular body to achieve adequate fixation. Placement of peripheral baseplate screws in the superior and posterior glenoid may increase the risk of injury to the suprascapular nerve (SSN). The purpose of this cadaveric study was to evaluate the risk of SSN injury with placement of baseplate screws in the superior and posterior direction.

Methods: Twelve cadaveric shoulders were implanted with glenoid baseplates. A bicortical 44-mm screw was placed in both the superior and posterior glenoid baseplate screw holes. Following implantation, the SSN was dissected and visualized through a posterior shoulder approach. The distance from the tip of the screws to the SSN and the distance from the screw's scapular exiting hole to the SSN was recorded. Average distances were calculated for each measurement.

Results: The superior screw contacted the SSN in 8 of the 12 specimens (66%). For the superior screw, the average distance from the exiting point in the scapula to the SSN was 9.2 ± 6.3 mm, with the shortest distance being 3.9 mm. The posterior screw contacted the SSN in 6 of 12 specimens (50%). For the posterior screw, the average distance from the exiting point to the SSN was 8.9 ± 3.8 mm, with the shortest distance to the nerve being 2.2 mm.

Conclusion: Placement of the superior and posterior screws in the glenoid baseplate during rTSA risks injury to the SSN. The safe zone for superior- and posterior-directed baseplate screw is <2 mm from its exiting point on the scapula. Therefore, precise measurements of screw lengths in this area is important in avoiding injury to the SSN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2020.07.008DOI Listing
March 2021

Biceps tenotomy has earlier pain relief compared to biceps tenodesis: a randomized prospective study.

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2019 Dec 5;27(12):4032-4037. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3000, Durham, NC, 27710, UK.

Purpose:  Surgical management for long head of the biceps (LHB) tendinopathy with either biceps tenotomy or tenodesis is a reliable, but debated treatment option. The aim of this prospective, randomized, single-blinded study is to evaluate differences in pain relief and subjective outcomes between biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis for LHB tendinopathy.

Methods:  Subjects were randomized and blinded to biceps tenotomy versus arthroscopic tenodesis intra-operatively. Outcomes evaluated included subjective patient outcome scores, pain, and cosmetic deformity. Subjective outcomes scores and pain were analyzed using a two-way ANOVA, controlling for concomitant rotator cuff repair. Binary outcomes were compared using Chi-square tests.

Results:  Thirty-four subjects (31 male, 3 female) with a median age of 56 (range 30-77) were enrolled. Twenty subjects were randomized to tenotomy and 14 to tenodesis. Fifty-six percent had concomitant rotator cuff repairs. The mean VAS pain score at 3 months was lower with tenotomy versus tenodesis. 2-year follow-up demonstrated no statistically significant differences for VAS, ASES, or SANE. 15/20 (75%) subjects with biceps tenotomy reported no pain medication use at the 2-week postoperative visit versus 5/14 (33%) for biceps tenodesis. Popeye deformity was found in 5/20 (25%) of tenotomy subjects versus 1/14 (7%) in tenodesis subjects.

Conclusion: Outcomes appear similar between biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis; however, the tenotomy group demonstrated greater incidence of cosmetic deformity but an earlier improvement in postoperative pain.

Level Of Evidence: Treatment Studies, Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00167-019-05682-1DOI Listing
December 2019
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