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Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 6 | Pages 499 - 513
20 Jun 2024
Keene DJ Achten J Forde C Png ME Grant R Draper K Appelbe D Tutton E Peckham N Dutton SJ Lamb SE Costa ML

Aims

Ankle fractures are common, mainly affecting adults aged 50 years and over. To aid recovery, some patients are referred to physiotherapy, but referral patterns vary, likely due to uncertainty about the effectiveness of this supervised rehabilitation approach. To inform clinical practice, this study will evaluate the effectiveness of supervised versus self-directed rehabilitation in improving ankle function for older adults with ankle fractures.

Methods

This will be a multicentre, parallel-group, individually randomized controlled superiority trial. We aim to recruit 344 participants aged 50 years and older with an ankle fracture treated surgically or non-surgically from at least 20 NHS hospitals. Participants will be randomized 1:1 using a web-based service to supervised rehabilitation (four to six one-to-one physiotherapy sessions of tailored advice and prescribed home exercise over three months), or self-directed rehabilitation (provision of advice and exercise materials that participants will use to manage their recovery independently). The primary outcome is participant-reported ankle-related symptoms and function six months after randomization, measured by the Olerud and Molander Ankle Score. Secondary outcomes at two, four, and six months measure health-related quality of life, pain, physical function, self-efficacy, exercise adherence, complications, and resource use. Due to the nature of the interventions, participants and intervention providers will be unblinded to treatment allocation.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 106-B, Issue 6 | Pages 631 - 631
1 Jun 2024
Perry DC Dritsaki M Achten J Appelbe D Knight R Widnall J Roland D Messahel S Costa ML Mason J


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 106-B, Issue 6 | Pages 623 - 630
1 Jun 2024
Perry DC Dritsaki M Achten J Appelbe D Knight R Widnall J Roland D Messahel S Costa ML Mason J

Aims

The aim of this trial was to assess the cost-effectiveness of a soft bandage and immediate discharge, compared with rigid immobilization, in children aged four to 15 years with a torus fracture of the distal radius.

Methods

A within-trial economic evaluation was conducted from the UK NHS and personal social services (PSS) perspective, as well as a broader societal point of view. Health resources and quality of life (the youth version of the EuroQol five-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D-Y)) data were collected, as part of the Forearm Recovery in Children Evaluation (FORCE) multicentre randomized controlled trial over a six-week period, using trial case report forms and patient-completed questionnaires. Costs and health gains (quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)) were estimated for the two trial treatment groups. Regression was used to estimate the probability of the new treatment being cost-effective at a range of ‘willingness-to-pay’ thresholds, which reflect a range of costs per QALY at which governments are typically prepared to reimburse for treatment.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 5 | Pages 426 - 434
21 May 2024
Phelps EE Tutton E Costa ML Achten J Gibson P Moscrop A Perry DC

Aims

The aim of this study was to explore parents’ experience of their child’s recovery, and their thoughts about their decision to enrol their child in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of surgery versus non-surgical casting for a displaced distal radius fracture.

Methods

A total of 20 parents of children from 13 hospitals participating in the RCT took part in an interview five to 11 months after injury. Interviews were informed by phenomenology and analyzed using thematic analysis.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 4 | Pages 343 - 349
22 Apr 2024
Franssen M Achten J Appelbe D Costa ML Dutton S Mason J Gould J Gray A Rangan A Sheehan W Singh H Gwilym SE

Aims

Fractures of the humeral shaft represent 3% to 5% of all fractures. The most common treatment for isolated humeral diaphysis fractures in the UK is non-operative using functional bracing, which carries a low risk of complications, but is associated with a longer healing time and a greater risk of nonunion than surgery. There is an increasing trend to surgical treatment, which may lead to quicker functional recovery and lower rates of fracture nonunion than functional bracing. However, surgery carries inherent risk, including infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. The aim of this trial is to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of functional bracing compared to surgical fixation for the treatment of humeral shaft fractures.

Methods

The HUmeral SHaft (HUSH) fracture study is a multicentre, prospective randomized superiority trial of surgical versus non-surgical interventions for humeral shaft fractures in adult patients. Participants will be randomized to receive either functional bracing or surgery. With 334 participants, the trial will have 90% power to detect a clinically important difference for the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire score, assuming 20% loss to follow-up. Secondary outcomes will include function, pain, quality of life, complications, cost-effectiveness, time off work, and ability to drive.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 4 | Pages 324 - 334
19 Apr 2024
Phelps EE Tutton E Costa ML Achten J Gibson P Perry DC

Aims

The aim of this study was to explore clinicians’ experience of a paediatric randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing surgical reduction with non-surgical casting for displaced distal radius fractures.

Methods

Overall, 22 staff from 15 hospitals who participated in the RCT took part in an interview. Interviews were informed by phenomenology and analyzed using thematic analysis.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 3 | Pages 184 - 201
7 Mar 2024
Achten J Marques EMR Pinedo-Villanueva R Whitehouse MR Eardley WGP Costa ML Kearney RS Keene DJ Griffin XL

Aims

Ankle fracture is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries sustained in the UK. Many patients experience pain and physical impairment, with the consequences of the fracture and its management lasting for several months or even years. The broad aim of ankle fracture treatment is to maintain the alignment of the joint while the fracture heals, and to reduce the risks of problems, such as stiffness. More severe injuries to the ankle are routinely treated surgically. However, even with advances in surgery, there remains a risk of complications; for patients experiencing these, the associated loss of function and quality of life (Qol) is considerable. Non-surgical treatment is an alternative to surgery and involves applying a cast carefully shaped to the patient’s ankle to correct and maintain alignment of the joint with the key benefit being a reduction in the frequency of common complications of surgery. The main potential risk of non-surgical treatment is a loss of alignment with a consequent reduction in ankle function. This study aims to determine whether ankle function, four months after treatment, in patients with unstable ankle fractures treated with close contact casting is not worse than in those treated with surgical intervention, which is the current standard of care.

Methods

This trial is a pragmatic, multicentre, randomized non-inferiority clinical trial with an embedded pilot, and with 12 months clinical follow-up and parallel economic analysis. A surveillance study using routinely collected data will be performed annually to five years post-treatment. Adult patients, aged 60 years and younger, with unstable ankle fractures will be identified in daily trauma meetings and fracture clinics and approached for recruitment prior to their treatment. Treatments will be performed in trauma units across the UK by a wide range of surgeons. Details of the surgical treatment, including how the operation is done, implant choice, and the recovery programme afterwards, will be at the discretion of the treating surgeon. The non-surgical treatment will be close-contact casting performed under anaesthetic, a technique which has gained in popularity since the publication of the Ankle Injury Management (AIM) trial. In all, 890 participants (445 per group) will be randomly allocated to surgical or non-surgical treatment. Data regarding ankle function, QoL, complications, and healthcare-related costs will be collected at eight weeks, four and 12 months, and then annually for five years following treatment. The primary outcome measure is patient-reported ankle function at four months from treatment.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 1 | Pages 69 - 77
25 Jan 2024
Achten J Appelbe D Spoors L Peckham N Kandiyali R Mason J Ferguson D Wright J Wilson N Preston J Moscrop A Costa M Perry DC

Aims

The management of fractures of the medial epicondyle is one of the greatest controversies in paediatric fracture care, with uncertainty concerning the need for surgery. The British Society of Children’s Orthopaedic Surgery prioritized this as their most important research question in paediatric trauma. This is the protocol for a randomized controlled, multicentre, prospective superiority trial of operative fixation versus nonoperative treatment for displaced medial epicondyle fractures: the Surgery or Cast of the EpicoNdyle in Children’s Elbows (SCIENCE) trial.

Methods

Children aged seven to 15 years old inclusive, who have sustained a displaced fracture of the medial epicondyle, are eligible to take part. Baseline function using the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) upper limb score, pain measured using the Wong Baker FACES pain scale, and quality of life (QoL) assessed with the EuroQol five-dimension questionnaire for younger patients (EQ-5D-Y) will be collected. Each patient will be randomly allocated (1:1, stratified using a minimization algorithm by centre and initial elbow dislocation status (i.e. dislocated or not-dislocated at presentation to the emergency department)) to either a regimen of the operative fixation or non-surgical treatment.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 105-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1070 - 1077
1 Oct 2023
Png ME Costa M Nickil A Achten J Peckham N Reed MR

Aims

To compare the cost-effectiveness of high-dose, dual-antibiotic cement versus single-antibiotic cement for the treatment of displaced intracapsular hip fractures in older adults.

Methods

Using data from a multicentre randomized controlled trial (World Hip Trauma Evaluation 8 (WHiTE-8)) in the UK, a within-trial economic evaluation was conducted. Resource usage was measured over 120 days post randomization, and cost-effectiveness was reported in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY), gained from the UK NHS and personal social services (PSS) perspective in the base-case analysis. Methodological uncertainty was addressed using sensitivity analysis, while decision uncertainty was handled using confidence ellipses and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 105-B, Issue 7 | Pages 795 - 800
1 Jul 2023
Parsons N Achten J Costa ML

Aims

To report the outcomes of patients with a fracture of the distal tibia who were treated with intramedullary nail versus locking plate in the five years after participating in the Fixation of Distal Tibia fracture (FixDT) trial.

Methods

The FixDT trial reported the results for 321 patients randomized to nail or locking plate fixation in the first 12 months after their injury. In this follow-up study, we report the results of 170 of the original participants who agreed to be followed up until five years. Participants reported their Disability Rating Index (DRI) and health-related quality of life (EuroQol five-dimension three-level questionnaire) annually by self-reported questionnaire. Further surgical interventions related to the fracture were also recorded.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 104-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1225 - 1233
1 Nov 2022
Png ME Petrou S Achten J Ooms A Lamb SE Hedley H Dias J Costa ML

Aims

The aim of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of surgical fixation with Kirschner (K-)wire ersus moulded casting after manipulation of a fracture of the distal radius in an operating theatre setting.

Methods

An economic evaluation was conducted based on data collected from the Distal Radius Acute Fracture Fixation Trial 2 (DRAFFT2) multicentre randomized controlled trial in the UK. Resource use was collected at three, six, and 12 months post-randomization using trial case report forms and participant-completed questionnaires. Cost-effectiveness was reported in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained from an NHS and personal social services perspective. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to examine the robustness of cost-effectiveness estimates, and decision uncertainty was handled using confidence ellipses and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 104-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1190 - 1190
1 Oct 2022
Png ME Petrou S Fernandez MA Achten J Parsons N McGibbon A Gould J Griffin XL Costa ML


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 104-B, Issue 8 | Pages 922 - 928
1 Aug 2022
Png ME Petrou S Fernandez MA Achten J Parsons N McGibbon A Gould J Griffin XL Costa ML

Aims

The aim of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of cemented hemiarthroplasty (HA) versus hydroxyapatite-coated uncemented HA for the treatment of displaced intracapsular hip fractures in older adults.

Methods

A within-trial economic evaluation was conducted based on data collected from the World Hip Trauma Evaluation 5 (WHiTE 5) multicentre randomized controlled trial in the UK. Resource use was measured over 12 months post-randomization using trial case report forms and participant-completed questionnaires. Cost-effectiveness was reported in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained from the NHS and personal social service perspective. Methodological uncertainty was addressed using sensitivity analysis, while decision uncertainty was represented graphically using confidence ellipses and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 3, Issue 5 | Pages 398 - 403
9 May 2022
Png ME Petrou S Knight R Masters J Achten J Costa ML

Aims

This study aims to estimate economic outcomes associated with 30-day deep surgical site infection (SSI) from closed surgical wounds in patients with lower limb fractures following major trauma.

Methods

Data from the Wound Healing in Surgery for Trauma (WHiST) trial, which collected outcomes from 1,547 adult participants using self-completed questionnaires over a six-month period following major trauma, was used as the basis of this empirical investigation. Associations between deep SSI and NHS and personal social services (PSS) costs (£, 2017 to 2018 prices), and between deep SSI and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), were estimated using descriptive and multivariable analyses. Sensitivity analyses assessed the impact of uncertainty surrounding components of the economic analyses.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 104-B, Issue 5 | Pages 633 - 639
2 May 2022
Costa ML Achten J Parsons NR

Aims

The aim of this study was to report the outcomes of patients with severe open fractures of the lower limb in the five years after they took part in the Wound management for Open Lower Limb Fracture (WOLLF) trial.

Methods

The WOLLF trial compared standard dressings to negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) applied at the end of the first surgical wound debridement, and patients were followed-up for 12 months. At 12 months, 170 of the original 460 participants agreed to take part in this medium-term follow-up study. Patients reported their Disability Rating Index (DRI) (0 to 100, where 100 is total disability) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using the EuroQol five-dimension three-level health questionnaire (EQ-5D-3L) annually by self-reported questionnaire. Further surgical interventions related to the open fracture were also recorded.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 103-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1802 - 1808
1 Dec 2021
Bruce J Knight R Parsons N Betteridge R Verdon A Brown J Campolier M Achten J Costa ML

Aims

Deep surgical site infection (SSI) is common after lower limb fracture. We compared the diagnosis of deep SSI using alternative methods of data collection and examined the agreement of clinical photography and in-person clinical assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria after lower limb fracture surgery.

Methods

Data from two large, UK-based multicentre randomized controlled major trauma trials investigating SSI and wound healing after surgical repair of open lower limb fractures that could not be primarily closed (UK WOLLF), and surgical incisions for fractures that were primarily closed (UK WHiST), were examined. Trial interventions were standard wound care management and negative pressure wound therapy after initial surgical debridement. Wound outcomes were collected from 30 days to six weeks. We compared the level of agreement between wound photography and clinical assessment of CDC-defined SSI. We are also assessed the level of agreement between blinded independent assessors of the photographs.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 103-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1742 - 1742
1 Nov 2021
Masters J Cook J Achten J Costa ML


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 103-B, Issue 6 | Pages 1047 - 1054
1 Jun 2021
Keene DJ Knight R Bruce J Dutton SJ Tutton E Achten J Costa ML

Aims

To identify the prevalence of neuropathic pain after lower limb fracture surgery, assess associations with pain severity, quality of life and disability, and determine baseline predictors of chronic neuropathic pain at three and at six months post-injury.

Methods

Secondary analysis of a UK multicentre randomized controlled trial (Wound Healing in Surgery for Trauma; WHiST) dataset including adults aged 16 years or over following surgery for lower limb major trauma. The trial recruited 1,547 participants from 24 trauma centres. Neuropathic pain was measured at three and six months using the Doleur Neuropathique Questionnaire (DN4); 701 participants provided a DN4 score at three months and 781 at six months. Overall, 933 participants provided DN4 for at least one time point. Physical disability (Disability Rating Index (DRI) 0 to 100) and health-related quality-of-life (EuroQol five-dimension five-level; EQ-5D-5L) were measured. Candidate predictors of neuropathic pain included sex, age, BMI, injury mechanism, concurrent injury, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, analgaesia use pre-injury, index surgery location, fixation type, Injury Severity Score, open injury, and wound care.


Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 2, Issue 6 | Pages 359 - 364
1 Jun 2021
Papiez K Tutton E Phelps EE Baird J Costa ML Achten J Gibson P Perry DC

Aims

The aim of this study was to explore parents and young people’s experience of having a medial epicondyle fracture, and their thoughts about the uncertainty regarding the optimal treatment.

Methods

Families were identified after being invited to participate in a randomized controlled trial of surgery or no surgery for displaced medial epicondyle fractures of the humerus in children. A purposeful sample of 25 parents (22 females) and five young people (three females, mean age 11 years (7 to 14)) from 15 UK hospitals were interviewed a mean of 39 days (14 to 78) from injury. Qualitative interviews were informed by phenomenology and themes identified to convey participants’ experience.


The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 103-B, Issue 5 | Pages 881 - 887
1 May 2021
Griffin XL Achten J Parsons N Costa ML

Aims

The aim of this study was to determine whether national standards of best practice are associated with improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes in hip fracture patients.

Methods

This was a multicentre cohort study conducted in 20 acute UK NHS hospitals treating hip fracture patients. Patients aged ≥ 60 years treated operatively for a hip fracture were eligible for inclusion. Regression models were fitted to each of the “Best Practice Tariff” indicators and overall attainment. The impact of attainment on HRQoL was assessed by quantifying improvement in EuroQol five-dimension five-level questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) from estimated regression model coefficients.