We read with interest the three editorials– on levels of evidence published in the December 2005 issue. Mr Horan accurately states that surgeons provide optimal care to patients based on a combination of clinical expertise and ‘best available evidence’. Herein, however
The administration of intra-articular local anaesthetic is common following arthroscopy of the knee. However, recent evidence has suggested that bupivacaine may be harmful to articular cartilage. This study aimed to establish whether infiltration of bupivacaine around the portals is as effective as intra-articular injection.
We randomised 137 patients to receive either 20 ml 0.5% bupivacaine introduced into the joint (group 1) or 20 ml 0.5% bupivacaine infiltrated only around the portals (group 2) following arthroscopy. A visual analogue scale was administered one hour post-operatively to assess pain relief. Both patients and observers were blinded to the treatment group. A power calculation was performed.
The mean visual analogue score was 3.24 (sd 2.20) in group I and 3.04 (sd 2.31) in group 2. This difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.62).
Infiltration of bupivacaine around the portals had an equivalent effect on pain scores at one hour, and we would therefore recommend this technique to avoid the possible chondrotoxic effect of intra-articular bupivacaine.
We report a prospective study of the incidence of fractures in the adult population of Edinburgh, related to age and gender. Over a two-year period, 15 293 adults, 7428 males and 7865 females, sustained a fracture, and 5208 (34.0%) required admission.
Between 15 and 49 years of age, males were 2.9 times more likely to sustain a fracture than females (95% CI 2.7 to 3.1). Over the age of 60 years, females were 2.3 times more likely to sustain a fracture than males (95% CI 2.1 to 2.4). There were three main peaks of fracture distribution: the first was in young adult males, the second was in elderly patients of both genders, mainly in metaphyseal bone such as the proximal femur, although diaphyseal fractures also showed an increase in incidence. The third increase in the incidence of fractures, especially of the wrist, was seen to start at 40 years of age in women.
Our study has also shown that ‘osteoporotic’ fractures became evident in women earlier than expected, and that they were not entirely a postmenopausal phenomenon.
We have assessed the effect of different regimes of antibiotic prophylaxis on the survival of total hip implants, comparing antibiotics administered both systemically and in the bone cement, systemically only, in the bone cement only and with no antibiotics given.
We studied 10 905 primary cemented total hip replacements, performed for osteoarthritis of the hip and reported to the Norwegian arthroplasty register between 1987 and 1995. Cox-estimated failure-rate ratios (FRR) are presented with adjustment for gender, age, the brand of cement, the prosthesis, the type of operating theatre and the operating time.
For revisions performed for infection (39 operations), the lowest rate of revision was found among patients receiving antibiotic-containing cement plus systemic antibiotics (n = 5804). The revision rate for the 4586 patients receiving systemic antibiotics only was 4.3 times greater (95% CI 1.7 to 11.0, p = 0.001); in 239 with antibiotics in the bone cement only it was 6.3 times greater (CI 1.6 to 25.0, p = 0.003); and in the 276 who did not receive antibiotics it was by 11.5 times greater (CI 2.1 to 63.0, p = 0.002). Adjustment for the total amount of systemic antibiotic administered did not change the results. We also observed an increased revision rate for aseptic loosening (109 operations) comparing the systemic-only (FRR = 1.8, CI 1.1 to 2.9, p = 0.01) and the cement-only regimes (FRR = 2.6, CI 1.2 to 5.9, p = 0.02) with the combined dosage.
Our findings show that systemic antibiotics combined with antibiotic-containing bone cement led to fewer revisions than the other methods.
Femoral impaction bone allografting has been developed as a means of restoring bone stock in revision total hip replacement. We report the results of 75 consecutive patients (75 hips) with a mean age of 68 years (35 to 87) who underwent impaction grafting using the Exeter collarless, polished, tapered femoral stem between 1992 and 1998.
The mean follow-up period was 10.5 years (6.3 to 14.1). The median pre-operative bone defect score was 3 (interquartile range (IQR) 2 to 3) using the Endo-Klinik classification.
The median subsidence at one year post-operatively was 2 mm (IQR 1 to 3). At the final review the median Harris hip score was 80.6 (IQR 67.6 to 88.9) and the median subsidence 2 mm (IQR 1 to 4). Incorporation of the allograft into trabecular bone and secondary remodelling were noted radiologically at the final follow-up in 87% (393 of 452 zones) and 40% (181 of 452 zones), respectively.
Subsidence of the Exeter stem correlated with the pre-operative Endo-Klinik bone loss score (p = 0.037). The degree of subsidence at one year had a strong association with long-term subsidence (p < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between previous revision surgery and a poor Harris Hip score (p = 0.028), and those who had undergone previous revision surgery for infection had a higher risk of complications (p = 0.048). Survivorship at 10.5 years with any further femoral operation as the end-point was 92% (95% confidence interval 82 to 97).
This prospective study describes the outcome of the first 1000 phase 3 Oxford medial unicompartmental knee replacements (UKRs) implanted using a minimally invasive surgical approach for the recommended indications by two surgeons and followed up independently. The mean follow-up was 5.6 years (1 to 11) with 547 knees having a minimum follow-up of five years. At five years their mean Oxford knee score was 41.3 (sd 7.2), the mean American Knee Society Objective Score 86.4 (sd 13.4), mean American Knee Society Functional Score 86.1 (sd 16.6), mean Tegner activity score 2.8 (sd 1.1). For the entire cohort, the mean maximum flexion was 130° at the time of final review.
The incidence of implant-related re-operations was 2.9%; of these 29 re-operations two were revisions requiring revision knee replacement components with stems and wedges, 17 were conversions to a primary total knee replacement, six were open reductions for dislocation of the bearing, three were secondary lateral UKRs and one was revision of a tibial component. The most common reason for further surgical intervention was progression of arthritis in the lateral compartment (0.9%), followed by dislocation of the bearing (0.6%) and revision for unexplained pain (0.6%). If all implant-related re-operations are considered failures, the ten-year survival rate was 96% (95% confidence interval, 92.5 to 99.5). If only revisions requiring revision components are considered failures the ten-year survival rate is 99.8% (confidence interval 99 to 100).
This is the largest published series of UKRs implanted through a minimally invasive surgical approach and with ten-year survival data. The survival rates are similar to those obtained with a standard open approach whereas the function is better. This demonstrates the effectiveness and safety of a minimally invasive surgical approach for implanting the Oxford UKR.
We prospectively reviewed 1000 consecutive patients who underwent a cementless, hydroxyapatite-coated, stemless, total knee replacement over a period of nine years. Regular post-operative clinical follow-up was performed using the Knee Society score. The mean pre-operative score was 96, improving to 182 and 180 at five and ten years, respectively. To date, there have been seven (0.5%) cases which required revision, primarily for septic loosening (four cases), with low rates of other post-operative complications. The cumulative survival at ten years with revision as the end-point, was 99.14% (95% confidence interval 92.5 to 99.8). These results support the use of hydroxyapatite in a cementless total knee replacement since it can give reliable fixation with an excellent clinical and functional outcome.
Ensuring the accuracy of the intra-operative orientation of the acetabular component during a total hip replacement can be difficult. In this paper we introduce a reproducible technique using the transverse acetabular ligament to determine the anteversion of the acetabular component. We have found that this ligament can be identified in virtually every hip undergoing primary surgery. We describe an intra-operative grading system for the appearance of the ligament. This technique has been used in 1000 consecutive cases. During a minimum follow-up of eight months the dislocation rate was 0.6%. This confirms our hypothesis that the transverse acetabular ligament can be used to determine the position of the acetabular component. The method has been used in both conventional and minimally-invasive approaches.
The exceptionally high prevalence of diastrophic dysplasia in Finland has enabled us to analyse the foot deformities of 102 patients at their first orthopaedic evaluation and classify 204 feet into five categories. The most common finding (43%) was a foot with tarsal valgus deformity and metatarsus adductus; 37% showed either equinovarus adductus (29%) or equinus (8%) deformities. At the first examination 13% showed metatarsus adductus deformity alone, and 7% were clinically normal. The expression 'club foot', generally used for the foot deformity in diastrophic dysplasia is a misnomer. There is a wide spectrum of deformities, some of them specific for the condition.
The results and complications of 104 vascularised fibular grafts in 102 patients are presented. Bony union was ultimately achieved in 97 patients, with primary union in 84 (84%). The mean time to union was 15.5 weeks (8 to 40). In 13 patients, primary union was achieved at one end of the fibula and secondary union at the other end. In these patients, the mean time to union was 31.1 weeks (24 to 40). Five patients failed to achieve union, with a resultant pseudarthrosis (3 patients) or amputation (2 patients).
There were various complications. Immediate thrombosis occurred in 14 cases. In two of 23 patients with osteomyelitis, infection recurred at two and six months after surgery, respectively. Both patients had active osteomyelitis less than one month before the operation. Bony infection occurred in a patient with a synovial sarcoma of the forearm one year after surgery. In 15 patients, 19 fractures of the fibular graft occurred after bony union, all except one within one year after union. In patients in whom an external fixator had been used, fracture occurred soon after its removal. Union was difficult to achieve in cases of congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia. Appropriate alignment of the fibular graft is an important factor in preventing stress fracture. The vascularised fibula should be protected during the first year after union.
Postoperative complications at the donor site included transient palsy of the superficial peroneal nerve in three patients, contracture of flexor hallucis longus in two and valgus deformity of the ankle in three.
Vascularised fibular grafts are useful in the reconstruction of massive bony defects. We believe that meticulous preoperative planning, including choosing which vessels to select in the recipient and the type of fixation devices to use, and care in the introduction of the vascularised fibula, can improve the results and prevent complications.
An MR scan was performed on all patients who presented to our hospital with a clinical diagnosis of a fracture of the proximal femur, but who had no abnormality on plain radiographs. This was a prospective study of 102 consecutive patients over a ten-year period. There were 98 patients who fulfilled our inclusion criteria, of whom 75 were scanned within 48 hours of admission, with an overall mean time between admission and scanning of 2.4 days (0 to 10). A total of 81 patients (83%) had abnormalities detected on MRI; 23 (23%) required operative management.
The use of MRI led to the early diagnosis and treatment of occult hip pathology. We recommend that incomplete intertrochanteric fractures are managed non-operatively with protected weight-bearing. The study illustrates the high incidence of fractures which are not apparent on plain radiographs, and shows that MRI is useful when diagnosing other pathology such as malignancy, which may not be apparent on plain films.
In order to compare the outcome from surgical repair and physiotherapy, 103 patients with symptomatic small and medium-sized tears of the rotator cuff were randomly allocated to one of the two approaches. The primary outcome measure was the Constant score, and secondary outcome measures included the self-report section of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, the Short Form 36 Health Survey and subscores for shoulder movement, pain, strength and patient satisfaction. Scores were taken at baseline and after six and 12 months by a blinded assessor. Nine patients (18%) with insufficient benefit from physiotherapy after at least 15 treatment sessions underwent secondary surgical treatment.
Analysis of between-group differences showed better results for the surgery group on the Constant scale (difference 13.0 points, p − 0.002), on the American Shoulder and Elbow surgeons scale (difference 16.1 points, p < 0.0005), for pain-free abduction (difference 28.8°, p = 0.003) and for reduction in pain (difference on a visual analogue scale −1.7 cm, p < 0.0005).
The Oxford Knee, a resurfacing prosthesis with a meniscal bearing, can be used for either bicompartmental or unicompartmental arthritis. The first 103 unicompartmental cases are presented at a mean time since operation of 36 months (range 21 to 56 months). In those cases with surviving arthroplasties, pain was relieved in 96%. The full range of pre-operative flexion was maintained and flexion deformity was improved from a mean of 6.7 to 5.4 degrees. Stability and alignment were restored to normal in nearly all the knees. Absence of the anterior cruciate ligament was associated with a significantly greater incidence of failure. Six failures occurred in 37 knees lacking a normal anterior cruciate ligament (16.2%); three occurred in 63 knees with a normal anterior cruciate ligament (4.8%) (p less than 0.02). Criteria for the future selection of patients have been deduced from our experience. The operation is recommended for knees with severe unicompartmental osteoarthritis in which all the ligaments are still intact.
More than 130 operations have been described for the treatment of hallux valgus. The plethora of techniques indicates that no single operation is perfect, and none will address all cases. Treatment which is poorly planned or executed leads to high levels of patient dissatisfaction. In recent years,
We studied 104 patients with a total of 154 hemivertebrae which had produced scoliotic curves. Of the hemivertebrae 65% were of a fully segmented (non-incarcerated) type, 22% were semi-segmented and 12% were incarcerated. We found that the degree of scoliosis produced depended on four factors: first, the type of the hemivertebra; secondly, its site; thirdly, the number of hemivertebrae and their relationship to each other; and finally, the age of the patient. Semi-segmented and incarcerated hemivertebrae usually do not require treatment. Fully segmented non-incarcerated hemivertebrae may require prophylactic treatment to prevent significant deformity.
Trigger thumbs present at birth can be safely watched for 12 mth because there is an expected spontaneous recovery rate of at least 30%. Trigger thumbs in children first noticed between the age of 6 to 30 mth can be safely watched for 6 mth because there is an expected recovery rate of about 12%. Delayed operation left no residual contracture of the interphalangeal joint provided the release was done before the age of 4 yr. Operation is recommended if the child is over the age of 3 yr when first seen.
We made a prospective arthroscopic study of 106 skeletally mature male sportsmen with an average age of 28.35 years (16.8 to 44) who presented with an acute haemarthrosis of the knee due to sporting activities. We excluded those with patellar dislocations, radiographic bone injuries, extra-articular ligamentous lesions or a previous injury to the same joint. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was intact in 35 patients, partially disrupted in 28 and completely ruptured in 43. In the patients with an ACL lesion, associated injuries included meniscal tears (17 patients), cartilaginous loose bodies (6), and minimal osteochondral fractures of the patella (2), the tibial plateau (3) or the femoral condyle (9). We found no age-related trend in the pattern of ACL injuries. Isolated injuries included one small osteochondral fracture of the patella, and one partial and one total disruption of the posterior cruciate ligament. Three patients had cartilaginous loose bodies, and no injury was detected in five. Acute traumatic haemarthrosis indicates a serious ligament injury until proved otherwise, and arthroscopy is needed to complement careful history and clinical examination. All cases with a tense effusion developing within 12 hours of injury should have an aspiration. If haemarthrosis is confirmed, urgent admission and arthroscopy are indicated.
From 1983 to 1985 we performed 114 primary hip replacements in 108 consecutive osteoarthritic patients using a non-cemented RM isoelastic femoral stem. After a mean follow-up of 8.2 years, ten patients had died, 11 hips had been revised, six patients had been lost to follow-up and two had been excluded due to severe general illnesses. Of 85 arthroplasties (in 79 patients) 14 could not be assessed because of other illness or disability. The 71 remaining were reviewed by questionnaire and radiography; an excellent or good overall functional result was found in 31, 16 were fair and 24 were poor. Radiographically, 21 of 71 stems were judged to be loose and ten showed osteolytic foci, six of these without obvious loosening. We conclude that the isoelastic RM stem shows a high rate of loosening, but that this is not always associated with a poor subjective result. Regular radiographic review is necessary. The results are worse than those reported for other uncemented stems and for cemented stems.
The Medoff sliding plate (MSP) is a new device used to treat intertrochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures. There are three options for sliding; either along the shaft or the neck of the femur, or a combination of both.
In a prospective series of 108 consecutive displaced intertrochanteric fractures we used combined dynamic compression. The patients were followed clinically and radiologically for one year. All fractures healed during the follow-up period. The only postoperative technical failure was one lag-screw penetration.
Combined compression of the MSP gives increased dynamic capacity which reduces the risk of complications. The low rate of technical failure in our series compares favourably with that of the sliding hip screw or the Gamma nail but randomised trials comparing the MSP with other hip screw systems are necessary to find the true role of the MSP with its various sliding modes.
We reviewed 1085 consecutive compound limb fractures treated in 914 patients at the University of Louisville over a nine-year period. Of these fractures, 240 (group 1) received only systemic antibiotic prophylaxis and 845 (group 2) were managed by the supplementary local use of aminoglycoside-polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) beads. There were no significant differences in age, gender, fracture type, fracture location or follow-up between the two groups. All had copious wound irrigation, meticulous debridement and skeletal stabilisation, but wound management and the use of local antibiotic depended on the surgeon's individual preference and there was no randomisation. In group 1 there was an overall infection rate of 12% as against 3.7% in group 2 (p < 0.001). Both acute infection and local osteomyelitis showed a decreased incidence in group 2, but this was statistically significant only in Gustilo type-IIIB and type-IIIC fractures for acute infection, and only in type-II and type-IIIB fractures for chronic osteomyelitis. Our review suggests that the adjuvant use of local antibiotic-laden PMMA beads may reduce the incidence of infection in severe compound fractures.
Eleven cases are reported of contracture of the triceps muscle following intramuscular injections. This occurred in one arm of each of 11 children aged from 6 to 13 years, all of whom had a definite history of repeated injections. In seven of the cases the injections were of oxytetracycline. On presentation only 30 degrees to 35 degrees of flexion was possible. Physiotherapy for 4 to 12 weeks produced improvement, but in four cases early operation for excision of fibrous tissue and lengthening of the triceps was necessary to restore adequate flexion. Four other cases required operation after late relapse. The condition is rare, and is compared with similar and more commonly reported contractures in the quadriceps and the deltoid muscles.
Using data from the Norwegian Hip Fracture Register, 8639 cemented and 2477 uncemented primary hemiarthroplasties for displaced fractures of the femoral neck in patients aged > 70 years were included in a prospective observational study. A total of 218 re-operations were performed after cemented and 128 after uncemented procedures. Survival of the hemiarthroplasties was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and hazard rate ratios (HRR) for revision were calculated using Cox regression analyses. At five years the implant survival was 97% (95% confidence interval (CI) 97 to 97) for cemented and 91% (95% CI 87 to 94) for uncemented hemiarthroplasties. Uncemented hemiarthroplasties had a 2.1 times increased risk of revision compared with cemented prostheses (95% confidence interval 1.7 to 2.6, p < 0.001). The increased risk was mainly caused by revisions for peri-prosthetic fracture (HRR = 17), aseptic loosening (HRR = 17), haematoma formation (HRR = 5.3), superficial infection (HRR = 4.6) and dislocation (HRR = 1.8). More intra-operative complications, including intra-operative death, were reported for the cemented hemiarthroplasties. However, in a time-dependent analysis, the HRR for re-operation in both groups increased as follow-up increased.
This study showed that the risk for revision was higher for uncemented than for cemented hemiarthroplasties.
Primary uncemented femoral stems reported to the Norwegian arthroplasty register between 1987 and 2005 were included in this prospective observational study. There were 11 516 hips (9679 patients) and 14 different designs of stem. Kaplan-Meier survival probabilities and Cox regression were used to analyse the data.
With aseptic loosening as the end-point, all currently used designs performed excellently with survival of 96% to 100% at ten years. With the end-point as stem revision for any cause, the long-term results of the different designs varied from poor to excellent, with survival at 15 years ranging between 29% and 97%. Follow-up for longer than seven years was needed to identify some of the poorly-performing designs. There were differences between the stems; the Corail, used in 5456 hips, was the most frequently used stem with a survival of 97% at 15 years. Male gender was associated with an increased risk of revision of × 1.3 (95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.52), but age and diagnosis had no influence on the results. Overall, modern uncemented femoral stems performed well.
Moderate differences in survival between well-performing stems should be interpreted with caution since the differences may be caused by factors other than the stem itself.
We reviewed 38 patients who had been treated for an osteochondral defect of the talus by arthroscopic curettage and drilling. The indication for surgical treatment was persistent symptoms after conservative treatment for at least six months. A total of 22 patients had received primary surgical treatment (primary group) and 16 had had failed previous surgery (revision group). The mean follow-up was 4.8 years (2 to 11). Good or excellent results, as assessed by the Ogilvie-Harris score, were found in 86% in the primary group and in 75% in the revision group. Two further procedures were required, one in each group. Radiological degenerative changes were seen in one ankle in the revision group after ten years. Arthroscopic curettage and drilling are recommended for both primary and revision treatment of an osteochondral defect of the talus.
We studied 11 patients (14 elbows) with gross rheumatoid deformity of the elbow, treated by total arthroplasty using the Kudo type-5 unlinked prosthesis, and who were evaluated between five and 11 years after operation. Massive bone defects were augmented by autogenous bone grafts. There were no major complications such as infection, subluxation or loosening. In most elbows relief from pain and stability were achieved. The results, according to the Mayo Elbow Performance Score, were excellent in eight, good in five and fair in one. In most elbows there was minimal or no resorption of the grafted bone. There were no radiolucent lines around the stems of the cementless components. This study shows that even highly unstable rheumatoid elbows can be replaced successfully using an unlinked prosthesis, with augmentation by grafting for major defects of bone.
In a prospective study over 11 years we assessed the relationship between neonatal deformities of the foot and the presence of ultrasonographic developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). Between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2006, 614 infants with deformities of the foot were referred for clinical and ultrasonographic evaluation. There were 436 cases of postural talipes equinovarus deformity (TEV), 60 of fixed congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), 93 of congenital talipes calcaneovalgus (CTCV) and 25 of metatarsus adductus.
The overall risk of ultrasonographic dysplasia or instability was 1:27 in postural TEV, 1:8.6 in CTEV, 1:5.2 in CTCV and 1:25 in metatarsus adductus.
The risk of type-IV instability of the hip or irreducible dislocation was 1:436 (0.2%) in postural TEV, 1:15.4 (6.5%) in CTCV and 1:25 (4%) in metatarsus adductus. There were no cases of hip instability (type IV) or of irreducible dislocation in the CTEV group.
Routine screening for DDH in cases of postural TEV and CTEV is no longer advocated. The former is poorly defined, leading to the over-diagnosis of a possibly spurious condition. Ultrasonographic imaging and surveillance of hips in infants with CTCV and possibly those with metatarsus adductus should continue.
Between 1990 and 1992, we implanted 71 hybrid alumina-on-alumina hip arthroplasties in 62 consecutive patients under the age of 55 years, with a mean age of 46 years at surgery. There were 56 primary and 15 secondary procedures. The prostheses involved a cemented titanium alloy stem, a 32 mm alumina head, and a press-fit metal-backed socket with an alumina insert. Three patients (four hips) died from unrelated causes. Four hips had revision surgery for either deep infection, unexplained persistent pain, fracture of the alumina head, or aseptic loosening of the socket. The nine-year survival rate was 93.7% with revision for any cause as the end-point and 98.4% with revision for aseptic loosening as the end-point. The outcome in the surviving patients (50 patients, 57 hips) with a minimum five-year follow-up (mean eight years) was excellent in 47 hips (82.5%), very good in eight (14%), good in one and fair in one. A thin, partial, lucent line, mainly in zone III was present in 38% of the sockets and one socket had a complete lucency less than 1 mm thick. One stem had isolated femoral osteolysis. There was no detectable component migration nor acetabular osteolysis. This hybrid arthroplasty gave satisfactory medium-term results in active patients. The press-fit metal-backed socket appeared to have reliable fixation in alumina-on-alumina hip arthroplasty. The excellent results using cemented fixation of the stem may be related to the low production of wear debris.
At re-examination of all osteosarcomata recorded in the Swedish Cancer Registry during the years 1958 to 1968, 11 cases of parosteal osteosarcoma were found. No case of so-called periosteal osteosarcoma was identified. The tumours constituted 1.6 per cent of all proved primary malignant bone tumours. The ages of the 11 patients (six women and five men) ranged from 17 to 62 years (average 33 years). The clinical and histopathological findings of this study and of those collected from a review of the literature suggest the occurrence of two different types of parosteal osteosarcoma: the predominant type is originally benign but has a definite malignant potential, causing metastases after long symptom-free intervals; the other type is highly malignant from the beginning. Primary amputation is recommended for the latter category of tumours, and compartmental, radical en bloc resection followed by regular review is recommended for the former.
We present the medium-term results of hybrid total hip arthroplasties using pre-coated stems with a second-generation cementing technique. The 128 hips in 111 patients (18 men and 93 women) were followed up at a mean of 11 years after surgery. The mean age at the time of surgery was 61 years. Both components of one hip were removed at ten months after surgery for infection. None of the other 127 femoral components showed possible, probable, or definite loosening at the most recent follow-up. Five acetabular components were revised for aseptic loosening, recurrent dislocation, or displacement of the polyethylene liner from the metal shell. The mean Harris hip score at follow-up was 84 points. A pre-coated femoral component with a second-generation cementing technique provides good clinical function and survival in the medium term.
We report the clinical and radiographic outcome of a consecutive series of 138 hydroxyapatite-coated total knee replacements with a mean follow-up of 11 years (10 to 13). The patients were entered into a prospective study and all living patients (76 knees) were evaluated. The Hospital for Special Surgery knee score was obtained for comparison with the pre-operative situation. No patient was lost to follow-up. Radiographic assessment revealed no loosening. Seven prostheses have been revised, giving a cumulative survival rate of 93% at 13 years. We believe this to be the longest follow-up report available for an hydroxyapatite-coated knee replacement and the first for this design of Insall-Burstein II knee.
The torsion of both femora was evaluated in 110 patients who had been treated by intramedullary nailing for unilateral femoral shaft fractures. The anteversion (AV) angle was measured by ultrasound, using a tilted-transducer technique. True torsional deformity, defined as an AV difference of 15 degrees or more between sides was found in 21 patients, but only eight had complaints related to the deformity. Three patients had reoperations for troublesome external torsional deformities. Of 26 patients with AV differences of 10 degrees to 14 degrees, defined as possible torsional deformity, three had complaints, but none had serious problems. AV differences of up to 29 degrees were observed in symptom-free patients, and no patients with AV differences below 10 degrees had complaints. Static and dynamic nailing showed almost equal tendencies to lead to torsional deformity. We conclude that torsional deformities are usually established during the operation. Many patients tolerate abnormal torsion, but efforts should be made to reduce and stabilise the femoral shaft fracture with an AV difference of less than 15 degrees.
We reviewed 110 patients with an unstable fracture of the pelvic ring who had been treated with a trapezoidal external fixator after a mean follow-up of 4.1 years. There were eight open-book (type B1, B3-1) injuries, 62 lateral compression (type B2, B3-2) and 40 rotationally and vertically unstable (type C1-C3) injuries.
The rate of complications was high with loss of reduction in 57%, malunion in 58%, nonunion in 5%, infection at the pin site in 24%, loosening of the pins in 2%, injury to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in 2%, and pressure sores in 3%. The external fixator failed to give and maintain a proper reduction in six of the eight open-book injuries, in 20 of the 62 lateral compression injuries, and in 38 of the 40 type-C injuries. Poor functional results were usually associated with failure of reduction and an unsatisfactory radiological appearance. In type-C injuries more than 10 mm of residual vertical displacement of the injury to the posterior pelvic ring was significantly related to poor outcome. In 14 patients in this unsatisfactory group poor functional results were also affected by associated nerve injuries. In lateral compression injuries the degree of displacement of fractures of the pubic rami caused by internal rotation of the hemipelvis was an important prognostic factor.
External fixation may be useful in the acute phase of resuscitation but it is of limited value in the definitive treatment of an unstable type-C injury and in type-B open-book injuries. It is usually unnecessary in minimally displaced lateral compression injuries.
We report the outcome at a minimum of five years of 110 consecutive metal-on-metal Birmingham Hip Resurfacing arthroplasties in 98 patients. The procedures were performed between October 1999 and June 2002 by one surgeon. All patients were followed up clinically and radiologically. The mean follow-up was 71 months (60 to 93). Revision of either component was defined as failure.
The mean Harris Hip score at follow-up was 96.4 (53 to 100). The mean Oxford hip score was 41.9 (16 to 57) pre-operatively and 15.4 (12 to 49) post-operatively (p < 0.001). The mean University of California Los Angeles activity score was 3.91 (1 to 10) pre-operatively and 7.5 (4 to 10) post-operatively (p < 0.001).
There were four failures giving a survival at five years of 96.3% (95% confidence interval 92.8 to 99.8). When applying a new method to estimate narrowing of the femoral neck we identified a 10% thinning of the femoral neck in 16 hips (14.5%), but the relevance of this finding to the long-term outcome remains unclear.
These good medium-term results from an independent centre confirm the original data from Birmingham.
We have previously shown that cytological diagnosis based on fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is a safe and efficient method for the discrimination between benign, primary malignant and metastatic bony lesions. We have now studied metastatic lesions to assess the diagnostic accuracy and to ascertain whether FNAB allows identification of the primary lesion.
Between 1990 and 1997, 447 patients were referred for diagnosis of skeletal lesions of unknown type. Of these 119 proved to have metastatic disease, either myeloma or lymphoma. Nine were excluded leaving 110 consecutive patients with metastatic carcinoma (80), myeloma (16) or lymphoma (14).
FNAB gave a correct diagnosis in 102 of the 110 patients (93%). In eight it was inconclusive. It correctly diagnosed 15 of 16 patients with myeloma, 12 of 14 with lymphoma, and 75 of 80 with metastatic carcinoma. Furthermore, the site and type of malignancy were correctly suggested in two-thirds of patients with metastatic carcinoma. Overall, only seven open biopsies were carried out.
We conclude that time-consuming and costly investigations can be reduced by choosing FNAB as the initial diagnostic method for skeletal lesions of unknown origin. The choice of radiological examinations, laboratory tests and surgical biopsies can be determined by using FNAB.
The Chevron osteotomy was described in 1976. There have, however, been only short- to mid-term follow-up reviews, often with small numbers of patients. We looked at 112 feet (73 patients) with a minimum follow-up of ten years following Chevron osteotomy with a distal soft-tissue procedure. Clinical evaluation was calculated using the hallux score of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). For 47 feet (30 patients), the results were compared with those from an interim follow-up of 5.6 years. The AOFAS-score improved from a pre-operative mean of 46.5 points to a mean of 88.8 points after a mean of 12.7 years. The first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) angle showed a mean pre-operative value of 27.6 degrees and was improved to 14.0 degrees. The first intermetatarsal (IM) angle improved from a pre-operative mean value of 13.8 degrees to 8.7 degrees. The mean pre-operative grade of sesamoid subluxation was 1.7 on a scale from 0 to 3 and improved to 1.2. Measured on a scale from 0 to 3, arthritis of the first MTP joint progressed from a mean of 0.8 to 1.7. Comparing the results in patients younger and older than 50 years, the Chevron osteotomy performed equally in both age groups. Analysing the subgroup of 47 feet with a post-operative follow-up of both 5.6 and 12.7 years, the AOFAS pain and the overall score showed a further improvement between both follow-up evaluations. The MTP angle, first IM angle and sesamoid position remained unchanged. The progression of arthritis of the first MTP joint between 5.6 and 12.7 years post-operatively was statistically significant. Only one patient required a revision procedure due to painful recurrence of the deformity. Excellent clinical results following Chevron osteotomy not only proved to be consistent, but showed further improvement over a longer follow-up period. The mean radiographic angles were constant without recurrence of the deformity. So far, the statistically significant progression of first MTP joint arthritis has not affected the clinical result, but this needs further observation.
The advent of computer-assisted knee replacement surgery has focused interest on the alignment of the components. However, there is confusion at times between the alignment of the limb as a whole and that of the components. The interaction between them is discussed in this article. Alignment is expressed relative to some reference axis or plane and measurements will vary depending on what is selected as the reference. The validity of different reference axes is discussed. Varying prosthetic alignment has direct implications for surrounding soft-tissue tension. In this context the interaction between alignment and soft-tissue balance is explored and the current knowledge of the relationship between alignment and outcome is summarised.
We used survival analysis to evaluate 113 consecutive semiconstrained total elbow arthroplasties (TEAs) in 95 patients at a maximum follow-up of 99 months. Our criteria for failure were mechanical malfunction, revision for any reason, and deep infection. The primary diagnosis was inflammatory arthritis in 86 elbows, post-traumatic arthritis in 6, supracondylar nonunion or fracture in 12, osteoarthritis in 2 and other causes in 3. Seven failures were due to deep infection, and five of these had a primary diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis. Eight failures were revised or had revision recommended for aseptic loosening, and six of these were in patients with post-traumatic arthritis or supracondylar nonunion. The cumulative survival for TEAs performed for post-traumatic arthritis, fractures or supracondylar nonunion was 73% at three years and 53% at five years, significantly worse than the cumulative three- and five-year survivals of 92% and 90%, respectively, for patients with inflammatory arthritis. TEA with a semiconstrained prosthesis appears to have a satisfactory survival in selected patients with arthritic disorders. The incidence of deep infection was reduced by improvements in surgical technique and postoperative management, and the routine use of antibiotic-impregnated cement. The incidence of aseptic loosening was low, except in patients with supracondylar nonunion or post-traumatic arthritis.
In a single-blind, randomised series of knee replacements in 116 patients, we used radiostereometric analysis (RSA) to measure micromotion in three types of tibial implant fixation for two years after knee replacement. We compared hydroxyapatite-augmented porous coating, porous coating, and cemented fixation of the same design of tibial component. At one to two years, porous-coated implants migrated at a statistically significantly higher rate than hydroxyapatite-augmented or cemented implants. There was no significant difference between hydroxyapatite-coated and cemented implants. We conclude that hydroxyapatite augmentation may offer a clinically relevant advantage over a simple porous coating for tibial component fixation, but is no better than cemented fixation.
We report the results of 116 consecutive displaced extension supracondylar fractures of the elbow in children treated during the first two years after the introduction of the following protocol; closed reduction under general anaesthesia with fluoroscopic control and lateral percutaneous pinning using two parallel pins or, when closed reduction failed, open reduction and internal fixation by cross-pinning. Eight patients were lost to follow-up during the first postoperative year. The mean follow-up for the remaining 108 was 27.9 months (12 to 47, median 26.5).
At the final follow-up, using Flynn’s overall modified classification, the clinical result was considered to be excellent in 99 patients (91.6%), good in five (4.6%) and poor in four (3.7%). All the poor results were due to a poor cosmetic result, but had good or excellent function. Technical error in the initial management of these four cases was thought to be the cause of the poor results. The protocol described resulted in good or excellent results in 96% of our patients, providing a safe and efficient treatment for displaced supracondylar fractures of the humerus even in less experienced hands.
We studied 1162 consecutive total hip replacements (THR) to establish the incidence of fatal pulmonary embolism (PE), clinical non-fatal PE and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in the six months after surgery. Chemical thromboprophylaxis had not been routinely used. We used a validated questionnaire supplemented by post-mortem records and a review of the clinical notes. Follow-up was 100%. The death rate from PE was 0.34% (95% CI 0.09 to 0.88), with one fatal PE after discharge 40 days after operation. The clinical PE rate confirmed by imaging was 1.20% (CI 0.65 to 2.02), with 0.7% of patients readmitted. The venographically-confirmed clinical DVT rate was 1.89% (CI 1.11 to 2.76), with 1.13% readmitted. The total thromboembolic morbidity was 3.4% (95% CI 2.5% to 4.7%); prophylaxis to reduce this would be justifiable if the complications of such prophylaxis did not produce an alternative morbidity. The fatal PE rate after THR without routine chemical prophylaxis was low; a very large randomised clinical trial would be required to demonstrate directly whether any prophylactic measure could reduce this. There is a large discrepancy between the high DVT rate reported in clinical trials using universal screening venography and the symptomatic DVT rate shown in this study. We found insufficient evidence to recommend continuing thromboprophylaxis after discharge from hospital.
Since 1981, during operations for spinal deformity, we have routinely used electrophysiological monitoring of the spinal cord by the epidural measurement of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in response to stimulation of the posterior tibial nerve. We present the results in 1168 consecutive cases. Decreases in SEP amplitude of more than 50% occurred in 119 patients, of whom 32 had clinically detectable neurological changes postoperatively. In 35 cases the SEP amplitude was rapidly restored, either spontaneously or by repositioning of the recording electrode; they had no postoperative neurological changes. One patient had delayed onset of postoperative symptoms referrable to nerve root lesions without evidence of spinal cord involvement, but there were no false negative cases of intra-operative spinal cord damage. In 52 patients persistent, significant, SEP changes were noted without clinically detectable neurological sequelae. None of the many cases which showed falls in SEP amplitude of less than 50% experienced neurological problems. Neuromuscular scoliosis, the use of sublaminar wires, the magnitude of SEP decrement, and a limited or absent intra-operative recovery of SEP amplitude were identified as factors which increased the risk of postoperative neurological deficit.
We evaluated the long-term functional outcome in 118 patients treated for osteosarcoma or Ewing’s sarcoma in the extremities a minimum of five years after treatment. We also examined if impaired function influenced their quality of life and ability to work.
The function was evaluated according to the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) score and the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score (TESS). Quality of life was assessed by using the Short Form-36 (SF-36).
The mean age at follow-up was 31 years (15 to 57) and the mean follow-up was for 13 years (6 to 22). A total of 67 patients (57%) initially had limb-sparing surgery, but four had a secondary amputation. The median MSTS score was 70% (17% to 100%) and the median TESS was 89% (43% to 100%). The amputees had a significantly lower MSTS score than those with limb-sparing surgery (p < 0.001), but there was no difference for the TESS. Tumour localisation above knee level resulted in significantly lower MSTS scores and TESS (p = 0.003 and p = 0.02, respectively).
There were no significant differences in quality of life between amputees and those with limb-sparing surgery except in physical functioning. Of the patients 11% (13) did not work or study. In multivariate analysis, amputation, tumour location above the knee and having muscular pain were associated with low physical function.
We conclude that most of the bone tumour survivors managed well after adjustment to their physical limitations. A total of 105 are able to work and have an overall good quality of life.