JAAOS, Volume 22, No. 3

Clinical Practice Guidelines: Their Use, Misuse, and Future Directions

Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have the potential to bring the best-quality evidence to orthopaedic surgeons and their patients. CPGs can improve quality by decreasing the variability in orthopaedic care, but they can also be misused through inappropriate development or application. The quality of a CPG is dependent on the strength of its evidence base, which is often deficient in orthopaedic publications. In addition, many surgeons express concern about legal liability associated with CPGs. Specific processes in CPG development and implementation can counter these potential problems. Other evidence tools, such as appropriate use criteria, also can help in the application of the proper treatment of patients by identifying those who are appropriate for specific procedures. Because payers, patients, and surgeons need access to the best evidence, CPGs will continue to be developed, and orthopaedic surgeons have the opportunity to ensure their proper development and implementation by understanding and participating in the process.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Clinical Practice Improvement

    Acute Traumatic Posterior Shoulder Dislocation

    Posterior shoulder dislocation occurs rarely and is challenging to manage. The mechanisms of trauma are varied, which complicates diagnosis. Missed or delayed diagnosis and treatment can have serious deleterious effects on shoulder function. All cases of suspected posterior shoulder dislocation require a high level of suspicion and appropriate imaging. Identification of associated injuries, such as fractures and rotator cuff tears, is important to guide treatment. In the acute setting, most patients are treated with closed or open reduction with additional soft-tissue or bony procedures. Patients treated in a delayed fashion for persistent instability may require additional procedures, including arthroplasty.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Trauma

        • Shoulder and Elbow

      Two-stage Revision Arthroplasty for Management of Chronic Periprosthetic Hip and Knee Infection: Techniques, Controversies, and Outcomes

      In North America, two-stage revision arthroplasty is the treatment of choice for chronic periprosthetic infection of the hip and knee. Controversy exists regarding the diagnosis of persistent infection, cement spacer design, and duration of antibiotic therapy. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein tests have no clear cutoff values for detecting infection before reimplantation of hardware, and aspiration for microbial culture can yield false-negative results. Mobile spacers are as effective as static spacers for eradicating infection, but mobile spacers provide better interim function and may help to make the second stage of surgery technically easier. Some articulating spacer designs have fewer reports of spacer dislocation and fracture than do others. Although prolonged antibiotic therapy has been the standard of care for two-stage procedures, some have suggested that a short course of antibiotics is just as effective. When infection persists despite antibiotic therapy, the second stage of revision arthroplasty should be delayed until the first stage of the procedure is repeated.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Adult Reconstruction

        Acute and Chronic Paronychia of the Hand

        Acute and chronic infections and inflammation adjacent to the fingernail, or paronychia, are common. Paronychia typically develops following a breakdown in the barrier between the nail plate and the adjacent nail fold and is often caused by bacterial or fungal pathogens; however, noninfectious etiologies, such as chemical irritants, excessive moisture, systemic conditions, and medications, can cause nail changes. Abscesses associated with acute infections may spontaneously decompress or may require drainage and local wound care along with a short course of appropriate antibiotics. Chronic infections have a multifactorial etiology and can lead to nail changes, including thickening, ridging, and discoloration. Large, prospective studies are needed to identify the best treatment regimen for acute and chronic paronychia.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Hand and Wrist

          Guidelines for Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction in Chronic Lateral Patellar Instability

          The standard surgical approach for chronic lateral patellar instability with at least two documented patellar dislocations is to stabilize the patella by using an anatomic medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction with a mini-open technique and a graft that is stronger than the native ligament to compensate for the uncorrected predisposing factors underlying patellar instability. Even though medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction has evolved notably during the past two decades, many aspects of the surgical technique need to be refined, and more information is needed toward this end. Adequate positioning of the graft on the femur, as well as inducing the appropriate degree of tension, are critical steps for the overall outcome of medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction. Moreover, it is necessary in some cases to pair medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction with other surgical procedures to address additional patellar instability risk factors, such as trochlear dysplasia, malalignment, and patella alta.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Sports Medicine

            Diabetes Mellitus: Musculoskeletal Manifestations and Perioperative Considerations for the Orthopaedic Surgeon

            Diabetes mellitus is a disease of uncontrolled hyperglycemia. Despite a more sophisticated understanding of the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus and despite pharmacologic advancements that enable better glycemic control, the prevalence of this disease and its devastating sequelae continue to rise. The adverse effects of diabetes on the nervous, vascular, and immune systems render the musculoskeletal system vulnerable to considerable damage. Foot involvement has traditionally been thought of as the most severe and frequently encountered orthopaedic consequence. However, the upper extremity, spine, and muscles are also commonly affected. Orthopaedic surgeons are more involved than ever in the care of patients with diabetes mellitus, and they play a vital role in the multidisciplinary approach used to treat these patients. As a result, surgeons must have a comprehensive understanding of the musculoskeletal manifestations and perioperative considerations of diabetes in order to most effectively care for patients with diabetes mellitus.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Foot and Ankle

              Evaluation of Malnutrition in Orthopaedic Surgery

              Malnutrition can increase the risk of surgical site infection in both elective spine surgery and total joint arthroplasty. Obesity and diabetes are common comorbid conditions in patients who are malnourished. Despite the relatively high incidence of nutritional disorders among patients undergoing elective orthopaedic surgery, the evaluation and management of malnutrition is not generally well understood by practicing orthopaedic surgeons. Serologic parameters such as total lymphocyte count, albumin level, prealbumin level, and transferrin level have all been used as markers for nutrition status. In addition, anthropometric measurements, such as calf and arm muscle circumference or triceps skinfold, and standardized scoring systems, such as the Rainey-MacDonald nutritional index, the Mini Nutritional Assessment, and institution-specific nutritional scoring tools, are useful to define malnutrition. Preoperative nutrition assessment and optimization of nutritional parameters, including tight glucose control, normalization of serum albumin, and safe weight loss, may reduce the risk of perioperative complications, including infection.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Basic Science