Publications by authors named "W M Novicoff"

96 Publications

Predicting ACL Reinjury from Return to Activity Assessments at 6-months Post-Surgery: A Prospective Cohort Study.

J Athl Train 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Kinesiology. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Context: Return to activity(RTA) assessments are commonly administered following ACL-Reconstruction(ACLR) to manage post-operative progressions back to activity. To date, there is little knowledge on the clinical utility of these assessments to predict patient outcomes such as secondary ACL injury once returned to activity.

Objective: To identify what measures of patient function at 6-months post-ACLR best predict return to activity and second ACL injury at a minimum of 2-years following ACLR.

Design: Prospective-cohort Setting: Laboratory Patients: A total of 234 patients with primary, unilateral ACLR completed functional assessments at approximately 6-months post-ACLR. A total of 192(82%) completed follow-up ≥ 2-years post ACLR.

Main Outcome Measures: Six-month functional assessments consisted of patient reported outcomes, isokinetic knee flexor and extensor strength, and single-leg hopping. The ability to return to activity and secondary ACL injury were collected at a minimum of two-years following ACLR.

Results: In patients who did RTA(n=155), a total of 44(28%) individuals had a subsequent ACL injury; graft n=24(15.5%), contralateral ACL n=20(13%). A greater proportion of females had a secondary injury to the contralateral ACL(15/24, 63%) whereas a greater proportion of males reinjured the ipsilateral ACL graft(15/20, 75%, P=.017) Greater knee extension symmetry at 6-months increased the probability of reinjury(B=.016, P=.048). In patients who RTA before 8-months, every 1% increase in quadriceps strength symmetry at 6-months increased the risk of reinjury by 2.1%(B=.021, P=.05). In patients who RTA after 8-months, every month that RTA was delayed reduced the risk of reinjury by 28.4%(B=-284, P=.042).

Conclusions: Patients with more symmetric quadriceps strength at 6-months post ACLR were more likely to experience another ACL rupture, especially in those who returned to sport earlier than 8-months after the index surgery. Clinicians should be cognizant that returning high functioning patients to activity earlier than 8-months post-ACLR may place them at an increased risk for reinjury.
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June 2021

Fluoroscopically Guided Facet Cyst Rupture: Rate of Conversion to Surgery and Risk Factor Analysis.

Clin Spine Surg 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery Radiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Study Design: Retrospective case series at a single academic medical center.

Objective: The aim was to determine if specific clinical, radiologic, and procedural factors are associated with conversion to surgery after fluoroscopically guided cyst rupture.

Summary Of Background Data: Percutaneous fluoroscopic rupture of facet cysts can often be the definitive treatment; however, it is unknown before the procedure who will ultimately proceed to formal surgical decompression. Differences in clinical, radiographic, and procedural factors of facet cysts may relate to the difference in efficacy of fluoroscopically guided cyst rupture.

Methods: A continuous cohort of 45 patients who underwent fluoroscopically guided cyst rupture was evaluated. The primary outcome measured rate of conversion to surgery and of those that underwent surgery, the rate of decompression and fusion compared with fusion alone was noted. Secondary outcomes included analysis of clinical, radiologic, and procedural variables to determine if there were risk factors associated with conversion to surgery.

Results: Twenty-nine percent of patients eventually underwent a surgical procedure with an average interval to surgery of 95 days after attempted rupture. Thirty-eight percent of patients that underwent surgery had a decompression and fusion. Failure of percutaneous cyst rupture trended toward significance for a future surgical decompression (P=0.08).

Conclusions: Percutaneous facet cyst rupture is potentially a definitive treatment for this condition; however, it is unknown ahead of time who will proceed to definitive surgical decompression. On the basis of the data in this study, less than one-third of patients who had a fluoroscopically guided facet cyst rupture went on to surgery. There were no clinical, radiographic, or procedural details which could be used to robustly predict failure of percutaneous treatment. At this time, it is recommended to continue to attempt this nonoperative treatment intervention when there is a clinical indication after discussion of the risks and benefits with the patient.
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February 2021

Visuomotor therapy modulates corticospinal excitability in patients following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: A randomized crossover trial.

Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 2021 01 20;81:105238. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Kinesiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Background: Corticospinal adaptations have been observed following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction around the time of returning to activity. These measures have been related to quadriceps strength deficits. Visuomotor therapy, combining motor control tasks with visual biofeedback, has been shown to increase corticospinal excitability. The purpose of this study was to assess the immediate changes of corticospinal excitability following a single session of visuomotor therapy in patients following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Methods: This was a single blinded, sham-controlled crossover study. Ten patients following ACLR (8 Female, 26.1(6.2) years) completed assessments of quadriceps strength at approximately 4- and 6-months following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. At 6-months, quadriceps motor evoked potentials were assessed at 80%, 90%, 100%, 110%, 120%, 130%, 140%, and 150% of the patient's active motor threshold. Patients were randomized to receive a single session of visuomotor therapy(active) or passive motion(sham). Quadriceps motor evoked potentials were reassessed for treatment effect. Following a one-week washout period, all patients received the crossover intervention.

Findings: Moderate to large increases in motor response following visuomotor therapy 90%(P = .008, r = 0.60), 110%(P = .038, r = 0.46), 120%(P = .021, r = 0.52), 130%(P = .021, r = 0.52), 140%(P = .008, r = 0.60) and 150%(P = .021, r = 0.52) of the active motor threshold were found. Moderate increases in motor response was observed following the passive motion at 80% of the active motor threshold(P = .028, r = 0.49).

Interpretation: A single session of visuomotor therapy was found to increase quadriceps corticospinal motor response greater than the response to sham therapy. Visuomotor therapy is a potential supplement to quadriceps rehabilitation programs when upregulation of corticospinal excitability is indicated.
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January 2021

Patient function in serial assessments throughout the post-ACL reconstruction progression.

Phys Ther Sport 2021 Jan 11;47:85-90. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Kinesiology. University of Virginia, Memorial Gymnasium Rm 206 210 Emmet St So, Charlottesville, VA, 22903, USA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. University of Virginia, 400 Ray C. Hunt Drive, Suite 330 PO Box 800159, 22908, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Objective: To assess the changes in patient strength and function from 4- to 6-month assessments following ACLR, determine relationships between changes in strength to changes in subjective function, and identify factors that predict patients that fail to increase in strength.

Design: Prospective, Cohort Study.

Setting: Controlled Laboratory.

Participants: Forty-seven patients(27 female, 24.3 ± 11.1 years) completed a battery of performance assessments at approximately 4- and 6-months following primary ACLR (4.03 ±0 .49 and 6.46 ±0 .68 months).

Main Outcome Measures: Subjective scores and isokinetic knee flexor and extensor strength were compared across visits. Patients were categorized per their ability to increase in strength beyond a previously defined threshold(0.22 Nm/kg). Binary logistic regression models were used to determine predictors of patients that failed to meet strength changes.

Results: Patients demonstrated improvements in patient-reported outcomes and strength measures between visits(P's < 0.05). Higher age (B = -0.073, P = .039), lower pre-injury activity levels (B = 0.61, P = .022), and higher limb symmetry indexes (B = -0.044, P = .05) at 4-months were predictors of patients that did not achieve improvements in quadriceps strength between assessments.

Conclusions: From 4- to 6-months post-ACLR, increases in subjective function, strength and symmetry were observed. High quadriceps symmetry at interim assessments without consideration of the magnitude of strength values could overestimate recovery of quadriceps function.
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January 2021

Are Patients More Susceptible to Viral Illness Immediately Following Hip and Knee Arthroplasty? An Analysis of Influenza Diagnoses Using Multiple Administrative Databases.

J Arthroplasty 2021 04 28;36(4):1251-1256.e5. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Background: Elective surgery elicits a systemic immune response and may result in transient immunosuppression in certain patients. It is currently unknown whether patients are at increased risk for viral infection and associated illness in the immediate postoperative period following total joint arthroplasty (TJA).

Methods: Four large administrative datasets (Medicare 5% and 100% standard analytic files, Humana claims, and Mariner Database) were analyzed to identify patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) from 2005 to 2017. The influenza vaccination status of each patient was defined using the presence or absence of a code for vaccination. The incidence of an influenza diagnosis was recorded in both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients during peak influenza season following the date of surgery and compared to a cohort of vaccinated patients who did not undergo surgery.

Results: The incidence of postoperative influenza diagnoses in TKA and THA patients was similar to that of vaccinated patients who did not undergo TJA at all time points. The results were largely consistent across all datasets.

Conclusion: Large administrative databases fail to show an increased incidence of influenza in patients who have recently undergone TJA. While the lack of signal in the data is reassuring, these findings are limited by the nature of large administrative datasets and the accuracy of coding for influenza. Further studies will be necessary to fully understand an individual patient's postoperative risk for contracting a viral illness.

Level Of Evidence: Level III.
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April 2021