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Journal: Acta orthopaedica


Background and purpose Humeral lengthening and deformity correction are now being done increasingly for various etiologies. Monolateral external fixators have advantages over traditional Ilizarov circular fixators; they are easy to apply, they are less bulky, and they are therefore more convenient for the patient. We assessed the effectiveness of hybrid monolateral lateral fixators in humeral lengthening and deformity correction. Methods We retrospectively reviewed 23 patients (40 humeri) with various pathologies who underwent lengthening-with or without deformity correction using monolateral external fixator-between 2003 and 2008. Mean age at the time of the surgery was 14 (10-22) years. The mean follow-up time was 3.4 (1-7) years. Results The average duration of external fixator use was 8.3 (6-19) months. The mean lengthening achieved was 8.8 (4-11) cm and percentage lengthening was 49% (19-73). The healing index was 28 (13-60) days/cm. The major complications were refracture in 3 humeri and varus angulation of 2 humeri. The minor complications were superficial pin tract infection (6 segments), transient radial nerve palsy (1 segment), and elbow flexion contracture (5 segments). All complications resolved. Interpretation Hybrid monolateral fixators can be used for humeral lengthening and deformity correction. The advantage over circular fixators is that they are less bulky and patients can perform their day-to-day activities with the fixator in situ.

Concepts: Patient, Varus deformity, Arithmetic mean, Extension, Ulnar nerve, Brachioradialis, External fixation, Radial neuropathy


Background and purpose - Surgical correction of foot deformities as part of single-event multilevel surgery (SEMLS) to optimize postoperative training is sometimes indicated in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. We have, however, experienced excessive postoperative pain and rehabilitation problems in a number of these patients. We therefore investigated children who underwent such procedures regarding postoperative rehabilitation and pain, gait parameters 1 year after surgery, and mobility 5 years after surgery. Patients and methods - 9 children with diplegic cerebral palsy who had also undergone bony foot surgery were identified from a cohort of 70 children treated with SEMLS according to a standardized protocol. 2 children were excluded due to mental retardation and atypical surgery, and 7 patients (4 of them boys) were included. The children and their parents underwent a semi-structured interview on average 5 (3-7) years after the surgery. Gait parameters preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively were compared. Results - 5 children had experienced regional pain syndrome and considerable sociopsychological problems during the first postoperative year. 5 years after surgery, 4 of the 5 children still had hypersensitive and painful feet, 2 had lost their ability to walk, 1 child was no longer self-reliant in daily care, and 3 were wheelchair bound. There were, however, no clinically significant differences in functional mobility scale (FMS) or gait parameters preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively. Interpretation - We found troublesome postoperative rehabilitation and poor outcomes in this series of children who had undergone simultaneous multilevel surgeries and bony foot corrections. Caution is warranted when treating marginally ambulatory children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy and foot deformities.

Concepts: Surgery, Foot, Pain, Cerebral palsy, Mental retardation, Spastic diplegia, Wheelchair, Podiatry


Background and purpose - There are no international guidelines to define adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD). Muscle fatty atrophy has been reported to be common in patients with failing metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacements. We assessed whether gluteal muscle fatty atrophy is associated with elevated blood metal ion levels and pseudotumors. Patients and methods - 263 consecutive patients with unilateral ASR XL total hip replacement using a posterior approach and with an unoperated contralateral hip were included in the study. All patients had undergone a standard screening program at our institution, including MRI and blood metal ion measurement. Muscle fatty atrophy was graded as being absent, mild, moderate, or severe in each of the gluteal muscles. Results - The prevalance of moderate-to-severe gluteal muscle atrophy was low (12% for gluteus minimus, 10% for gluteus medius, and 2% for gluteus maximus). Muscle atrophy was neither associated with elevated blood metal ion levels (> 5 ppb) nor with the presence of a clear (solid- or mixed-type) pseudotumor seen in MRI. A combination of moderate-to-severe atrophy in MRI, elevated blood metal ion levels, and MRI-confirmed mixed or solid pseudotumor was rare. Multivariable regression revealed that “preoperative diagnosis other than osteoarthrosis” was the strongest predictor of the presence of fatty atrophy. Interpretation - Gluteal muscle atrophy may be a clinically significant finding with influence on hip muscle strength in patients with MoM hip replacement. However, our results suggest that gluteal muscle atrophy seen in MRI is not associated with either the presence or severity of ARMD, at least not in patients who have been operated on using the posterior approach.

Concepts: Muscle, Solid, Hip replacement, Gluteus maximus muscle, Gluteal muscles, Gluteus medius muscle, Squat, Gluteus minimus muscle


Background and purpose - Femoral neck preserving hip replacement has been suggested to improve clinical results and facilitate late revision. We compared the 2-year outcome and radiostereometric pattern of femoral head migration between the Collum Femoris Preserving (CFP) stem and the Corail stem. Patients and methods - 83 patients were randomized to either a CFP stem or a Corail stem. All patients received the same cup. At 2 years clinical outcomes were assessed using validated scoring systems and plain radiographs. 2-year migration was determined using radiostereometric analysis. Results - At 2 years the clinical outcomes (Oxford Hip Score, Harris Hip Score, SF-36, EQ5D-VAS, satisfaction VAS, and pain VAS) were similar between the 2 groups. The radiographic measurements showed that the femoral neck was resected around 1 cm more proximally with use of CFP stems (p < 0.001). The proximal-distal and medial-lateral migration of the femoral head center was similar. The Corail stem showed increased posterior displacement after 1 year, but no difference was found between the absolute translations in the anterior-posterior direction (p = 0.2). 2 CFP stems were revised due to loosening within the first 2 years. None of the Corail stems was revised. Interpretation - In the 2-year perspective clinical outcomes suggested no obvious advantages with use of the CFP stem. The magnitude of the early stem migration was similar, but the pattern of migration differed. The early revisions in the CFP are a cause of concern.


Background and purpose - Recent advances in artificial intelligence (deep learning) have shown remarkable performance in classifying non-medical images, and the technology is believed to be the next technological revolution. So far it has never been applied in an orthopedic setting, and in this study we sought to determine the feasibility of using deep learning for skeletal radiographs. Methods - We extracted 256,000 wrist, hand, and ankle radiographs from Danderyd’s Hospital and identified 4 classes: fracture, laterality, body part, and exam view. We then selected 5 openly available deep learning networks that were adapted for these images. The most accurate network was benchmarked against a gold standard for fractures. We furthermore compared the network’s performance with 2 senior orthopedic surgeons who reviewed images at the same resolution as the network. Results - All networks exhibited an accuracy of at least 90% when identifying laterality, body part, and exam view. The final accuracy for fractures was estimated at 83% for the best performing network. The network performed similarly to senior orthopedic surgeons when presented with images at the same resolution as the network. The 2 reviewer Cohen’s kappa under these conditions was 0.76. Interpretation - This study supports the use for orthopedic radiographs of artificial intelligence, which can perform at a human level. While current implementation lacks important features that surgeons require, e.g. risk of dislocation, classifications, measurements, and combining multiple exam views, these problems have technical solutions that are waiting to be implemented for orthopedics.

Concepts: Bone, Bone fracture, Orthopedic surgery, Performance, Machine learning, Human anatomy, Logic, Performing arts


- Meniscal root tears (MRTs) are defined as radial tears within 1 cm of the meniscal root insertion, or an avulsion of the insertion of the meniscus. These injuries change joint loading due to failure of the meniscus to convert axial loads into hoop stresses, resulting in joint overloading and degenerative changes in the knee. Meniscal root repair is recommended in patients without advanced osteoarthritis (Outerbridge 3-4), in order to restore joint congruence and loading and therefore to avoid the long-term effect of joint overloading. Several techniques have been described. Improved knee function has been reported after meniscal root repair, but there are still conflicting reports on whether surgical treatment can prevent osteoarthritis.

Concepts: Osteoarthritis, Report, Knee, Joint, Surface tension, Change, Meniscus, Capillary action


Background and purpose - Spasticity is often regarded as a major cause of functional limitation in children with cerebral palsy (CP). We analyzed the spasticity development with age in the gastrosoleus muscle in children with CP. Children and methods - This is a longitudinal cohort study of 4,162 children (57% boys) with CP born in 1990-2015, monitored using standardized follow-up examinations in the Swedish surveillance program for CP. The study is based on 57,953 measurements of spasticity of the gastrosoleus muscle assessed using the Ashworth scale (AS) in participants between 0 and 15 years of age. The spasticity was analyzed in relation to age, sex, and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels using a linear mixed model. Development of spasticity with age was modeled as a linear spline. Results - The degree of spasticity increased in most children over the first 5 years of life. At 5 years of age, 38% had an AS level of ≥ 2. The spasticity then decreased for 65% of the children during the remaining study period. At 15 years of age only 22% had AS ≥ 2. The level of spasticity and the rate of increase and decrease before and after 5.5 years of age were higher in children at GMFCS IV-V. Interpretation - The degree of spasticity of the gastrosoleus muscle often decreases after 5 years of age, which is important for long-term treatment planning and should be considered in spasticity management.


Background and purpose - The discrepancy between symptoms and radiographic severity of knee osteoarthritis (OA) is well described. However, little is known about whether radiographic severity is predictive of the clinical result of nonoperative treatment. We investigated whether radiographic severity and treatment type were associated with improvements in pain after nonoperative treatment of patients with knee OA. Patients and methods - A 5-year consecutive series of patients deemed not eligible for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) by an experienced orthopedic surgeon was contacted 1-5 years later. Radiographic severity, age, sex, and BMI were registered at the consultation. At follow-up, patients were asked to answer a questionnaire on type of treatment and improvements in pain after treatment. Results - Of 1,848 patients who were not eligible for TKA, 1,414 (77%) completed the follow-up questionnaire (mean age 66 (24-96) years; 55% women). Radiographic severity was not associated with improvements in pain even after adjusting for treatment type, age, sex, and BMI (p > 0.1). The odds ratio of improvement was higher by a factor of 2 in patients who received physiotherapy or multimodal treatment than in patients who did not. Interpretation - Radiographic severity was not associated with improvements in pain after nonoperative treatment. Patients who are not eligible for TKA can confidently be referred to nonoperative treatment even if they have severe radiographic OA. The treatment should preferably be multimodal, including physiotherapy, as recommended in Danish and international clinical guidelines.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Orthopedic surgery, Joint replacement, Arthritis, Knee replacement


Background and purpose - There is increasing evidence that several commonly performed surgical procedures provide little advantage over nonoperative treatment, suggesting that doctors may sometimes be inappropriately optimistic about surgical benefit when suggesting treatment for individual patients. We investigated whether attitudes to risk influenced the choice of operative treatment and nonoperative treatment. Methods - 946 Swedish orthopedic surgeons were invited to participate in an online survey. A radiograph of a 4-fragment proximal humeral fracture was presented together with 5 different patient characteristics, and the surgeons could choose between 3 different operative treatments and 1 nonoperative treatment. This was followed by an economic risk-preference test, and then by an instrument designed to measure 6 attitudes to surgery that are thought to be hazardous. We then investigated if choice of non-operative treatment was associated with risk aversion, and thereafter with the other variables, by regression analysis. Results - 388 surgeons responded. Nonoperative treatment for all cases was suggested by 64 of them. There was no significant association between risk aversion and tendency to avoid surgery. However, there was a statistically significant association between suggesting to operate at least 1 of the cases and a “macho” attitude to surgery or resignation regarding the chances of influencing the outcome of surgery. Choosing nonoperative treatment for all cases was associated with long experience as a surgeon. Interpretation - The discrepancy between available evidence for surgery and clinical practice does not appear to be related to risk preference, but relates to hazardous attitudes. It appears that choosing nonoperative treatment requires experience and a feeling that one can make a difference (i.e. a low score for resignation). There is a need for better awareness of available evidence for surgical indications.

Concepts: Hospital, Risk, Surgery, Physician, Decision theory, Surgeon, Choice, Preference


Background and purpose - We have previously shown that specific exercises reduced the need for surgery in subacromial pain patients at 1-year follow-up. We have now investigated whether this result was maintained after 5 years and compared the outcomes of surgery and non-surgical treatment. Patients and methods - 97 patients were included in the previously reported randomized study of patients on a waiting list for surgery. These patients were randomized to specific or unspecific exercises. After 3 months of exercises the patients were asked if they still wanted surgery and this was also assessed at the present 5-year follow-up. The 1-year assessment included Constant-Murley score, DASH, VAS at night, rest and activity, EQ-5D, and EQ-VAS. All these outcome assessments were repeated after 5 years in 91 of the patients. Results - At the 5-year follow-up more patients in the specific exercise group had declined surgery, 33 of 47 as compared with 16 of 44 (p = 0.001) in the unspecific exercise group. The mean Constant-Murley score continued to improve between the 1- and 5-year follow-ups in both surgically and non-surgically treated groups. On a group level there was no clinically relevant change between 1 and 5 years in any of the other outcome measures regardless of treatment. Interpretation - This 5-year follow-up of a previously published randomized controlled trial found that specific exercises reduced the need for surgery in patients with subacromial pain. Patients not responding to specific exercises may achieve similar good results with surgery. These findings emphasize that a specific exercise program may serve as a selection tool for surgery.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Assessment, Weight loss