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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 101-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1071 - 1080
1 Sep 2019
Abram SGF Judge A Beard DJ Carr AJ Price AJ


The aim of this study was to determine the long-term risk of undergoing knee arthroplasty in a cohort of patients with meniscal tears who had undergone arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM).

Patients and Methods

A retrospective national cohort of patients with a history of isolated APM was identified over a 20-year period. Patients with prior surgery to the same knee were excluded. The primary outcome was knee arthroplasty. Hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted by patient age, sex, year of APM, Charlson comorbidity index, regional deprivation, rurality, and ethnicity. Risk of arthroplasty in the index knee was compared with the patient’s contralateral knee (with vs without a history of APM). A total of 834 393 patients were included (mean age 50 years; 37% female).

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 101-B, Issue 1 | Pages 55 - 62
1 Jan 2019
Rombach I Merritt N Shirkey BA Rees JL Cook JA Cooper C Carr AJ Beard DJ Gray AM


The aims of this study were to compare the use of resources, costs, and quality of life outcomes associated with subacromial decompression, arthroscopy only (placebo surgery), and no treatment for subacromial pain in the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), and to estimate their cost-effectiveness.

Patients and Methods

The use of resources, costs, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were assessed in the trial at six months and one year. Results were extrapolated to two years after randomization. Differences between treatment arms, based on the intention-to-treat principle, were adjusted for covariates and missing data were handled using multiple imputation. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated, with uncertainty around the values estimated using bootstrapping.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 6, Issue 12 | Pages 656 - 664
1 Dec 2017
Morita W Dakin SG Snelling SJB Carr AJ


Emerging evidence indicates that tendon disease is an active process with inflammation that is critical to disease onset and progression. However, the key cytokines responsible for driving and sustaining inflammation have not been identified.


We performed a systematic review of the literature using MEDLINE (U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland) in March 2017. Studies reporting the expression of interleukins (ILs), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon gamma in diseased human tendon tissues, and animal models of tendon injury or exercise in comparison with healthy control tissues were included.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 6, Issue 2 | Pages 82 - 89
1 Feb 2017
Nagra NS Zargar N Smith RDJ Carr AJ


All-suture anchors are increasingly used in rotator cuff repair procedures. Potential benefits include decreased bone damage. However, there is limited published evidence for the relative strength of fixation for all-suture anchors compared with traditional anchors.

Materials and Methods

A total of four commercially available all-suture anchors, the ‘Y-Knot’ (ConMed), Q-FIX (Smith & Nephew), ICONIX (Stryker) and JuggerKnot (Zimmer Biomet) and a traditional anchor control TWINFIX Ultra PK Suture Anchor (Smith & Nephew) were tested in cadaveric human humeral head rotator cuff repair models (n = 24). This construct underwent cyclic loading applied by a mechanical testing rig (Zwick/Roell). Ultimate load to failure, gap formation at 50, 100, 150 and 200 cycles, and failure mechanism were recorded. Significance was set at p < 0.05.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 5, Issue 5 | Pages 178 - 184
1 May 2016
Dean BJF Jones LD Palmer AJR Macnair RD Brewer PE Jayadev C Wheelton AN Ball DEJ Nandra RS Aujla RS Sykes AE Carr AJ


The PROximal Fracture of the Humerus: Evaluation by Randomisation (PROFHER) trial has recently demonstrated that surgery is non-superior to non-operative treatment in the management of displaced proximal humeral fractures. The objective of this study was to assess current surgical practice in the context of the PROFHER trial in terms of patient demographics, injury characteristics and the nature of the surgical treatment.


A total of ten consecutive patients undergoing surgery for the treatment of a proximal humeral fracture from each of 11 United Kingdom hospitals were retrospectively identified over a 15 month period between January 2014 and March 2015. Data gathered for the 110 patients included patient demographics, injury characteristics, mode of surgical fixation, the grade of operating surgeon and the cost of the surgical implants.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 3, Issue 11 | Pages 321 - 327
1 Nov 2014
Palmer AJR Ayyar-Gupta V Dutton SJ Rombach I Cooper CD Pollard TC Hollinghurst D Taylor A Barker KL McNally EG Beard DJ Andrade AJ Carr AJ Glyn-Jones S


Femoroacetabular Junction Impingement (FAI) describes abnormalities in the shape of the femoral head–neck junction, or abnormalities in the orientation of the acetabulum. In the short term, FAI can give rise to pain and disability, and in the long-term it significantly increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis. The Femoroacetabular Impingement Trial (FAIT) aims to determine whether operative or non-operative intervention is more effective at improving symptoms and preventing the development and progression of osteoarthritis.


FAIT is a multicentre superiority parallel two-arm randomised controlled trial comparing physiotherapy and activity modification with arthroscopic surgery for the treatment of symptomatic FAI. Patients aged 18 to 60 with clinical and radiological evidence of FAI are eligible. Principal exclusion criteria include previous surgery to the index hip, established osteoarthritis (Kellgren–Lawrence ≥ 2), hip dysplasia (centre-edge angle < 20°), and completion of a physiotherapy programme targeting FAI within the previous 12 months. Recruitment will take place over 24 months and 120 patients will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio and followed up for three years. The two primary outcome measures are change in hip outcome score eight months post-randomisation (approximately six-months post-intervention initiation) and change in radiographic minimum joint space width 38 months post-randomisation. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01893034.

Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2014;3:321–7.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 3, Issue 8 | Pages 252 - 261
1 Aug 2014
Tilley JMR Murphy RJ Chaudhury S Czernuszka JT Carr AJ


The effects of disease progression and common tendinopathy treatments on the tissue characteristics of human rotator cuff tendons have not previously been evaluated in detail owing to a lack of suitable sampling techniques. This study evaluated the structural characteristics of torn human supraspinatus tendons across the full disease spectrum, and the short-term effects of subacromial corticosteroid injections (SCIs) and subacromial decompression (SAD) surgery on these structural characteristics.


Samples were collected inter-operatively from supraspinatus tendons containing small, medium, large and massive full thickness tears (n = 33). Using a novel minimally invasive biopsy technique, paired samples were also collected from supraspinatus tendons containing partial thickness tears either before and seven weeks after subacromial SCI (n = 11), or before and seven weeks after SAD surgery (n = 14). Macroscopically normal subscapularis tendons of older patients (n = 5, mean age = 74.6 years) and supraspinatus tendons of younger patients (n = 16, mean age = 23.3) served as controls. Ultra- and micro-structural characteristics were assessed using atomic force microscopy and polarised light microscopy respectively.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 3, Issue 5 | Pages 155 - 160
1 May 2014
Carr AJ Rees JL Ramsay CR Fitzpatrick R Gray A Moser J Dawson J Bruhn H Cooper CD Beard DJ Campbell MK

This protocol describes a pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of arthroscopic and open surgery in the management of rotator cuff tears. This trial began in 2007 and was modified in 2010, with the removal of a non-operative arm due to high rates of early crossover to surgery.

Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2014;3:155–60.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 3, Issue 1 | Pages 14 - 19
1 Jan 2014
James SJ Mirza SB Culliford DJ Taylor PA Carr AJ Arden NK


Osteoporosis and abnormal bone metabolism may prove to be significant factors influencing the outcome of arthroplasty surgery, predisposing to complications of aseptic loosening and peri-prosthetic fracture. We aimed to investigate baseline bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover in patients about to undergo arthroplasty of the hip and knee.


We prospectively measured bone mineral density of the hip and lumbar spine using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans in a cohort of 194 patients awaiting hip or knee arthroplasty. We also assessed bone turnover using urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD), a type I collagen crosslink, normalised to creatinine.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 1 | Pages 70 - 74
1 Jan 2014
Judge A Murphy RJ Maxwell R Arden NK Carr AJ

We explored the trends over time and the geographical variation in the use of subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair in 152 local health areas (Primary Care Trusts) across England. The diagnostic and procedure codes of patients undergoing certain elective shoulder operations between 2000/2001 and 2009/2010 were extracted from the Hospital Episode Statistics database. They were grouped as 1) subacromial decompression only, 2) subacromial decompression with rotator cuff repair, and 3) rotator cuff repair only.

The number of patients undergoing subacromial decompression alone rose by 746.4% from 2523 in 2000/2001 (5.2/100 000 (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.0 to 5.4) to 21 355 in 2009/2010 (40.2/100 000 (95% CI 39.7 to 40.8)). Operations for rotator cuff repair alone peaked in 2008/2009 (4.7/100 000 (95% CI 4.5 to 4.8)) and declined considerably in 2009/2010 (2.6/100 000 (95% CI 2.5 to 2.7)).

Given the lack of evidence for the effectiveness of these operations and the significant increase in the number of procedures being performed in England and elsewhere, there is an urgent need for well-designed clinical trials to determine evidence of clinical effectiveness.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:70–4.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 6 | Pages 738 - 746
1 Jun 2013
Palmer AJR Brown CP McNally EG Price AJ Tracey I Jezzard P Carr AJ Glyn-Jones S

Treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally focused on joint replacement for end-stage disease. An increasing number of surgical and pharmaceutical strategies for disease prevention have now been proposed. However, these require the ability to identify OA at a stage when it is potentially reversible, and detect small changes in cartilage structure and function to enable treatment efficacy to be evaluated within an acceptable timeframe. This has not been possible using conventional imaging techniques but recent advances in musculoskeletal imaging have been significant. In this review we discuss the role of different imaging modalities in the diagnosis of the earliest changes of OA. The increasing number of MRI sequences that are able to non-invasively detect biochemical changes in cartilage that precede structural damage may offer a great advance in the diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating condition.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:738–46.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 2, Issue 2 | Pages 33 - 40
1 Feb 2013
Palmer AJR Thomas GER Pollard TCB Rombach I Taylor A Arden N Beard DJ Andrade AJ Carr AJ Glyn-Jones S


The number of surgical procedures performed each year to treat femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) continues to rise. Although there is evidence that surgery can improve symptoms in the short-term, there is no evidence that it slows the development of osteoarthritis (OA). We performed a feasibility study to determine whether patient and surgeon opinion was permissive for a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) comparing operative with non-operative treatment for FAI.


Surgeon opinion was obtained using validated questionnaires at a Specialist Hip Meeting (n = 61, 30 of whom stated that they routinely performed FAI surgery) and patient opinion was obtained from clinical patients with a new diagnosis of FAI (n = 31).

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 1, Issue 7 | Pages 158 - 166
1 Jul 2012
Dean BJF Franklin SL Carr AJ


The pathogenesis of rotator cuff disease (RCD) is complex and not fully understood. This systematic review set out to summarise the histological and molecular changes that occur throughout the spectrum of RCD.


We conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature with specific inclusion and exclusion criteria.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1660 - 1664
1 Dec 2011
Judge A Arden NK Price A Glyn-Jones S Beard D Carr AJ Dawson J Fitzpatrick R Field RE

We obtained pre-operative and six-month post-operative Oxford hip (OHS) and knee scores (OKS) for 1523 patients who underwent total hip replacement and 1784 patients who underwent total knee replacement. They all also completed a six-month satisfaction question.

Scatter plots showed no relationship between pre-operative Oxford scores and six-month satisfaction scores. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were -0.04 (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.09 to 0.01) between OHS and satisfaction and 0.04 (95% CI -0.01 to 0.08) between OKS and satisfaction. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to identify a cut-off point for the pre-operative OHS/OKS that identifies whether or not a patient is satisfied with surgery. We obtained an area under the ROC curve of 0.51 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.56) for hip replacement and 0.56 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.60) for knee replacement, indicating that pre-operative Oxford scores have no predictive accuracy in distinguishing satisfied from dissatisfied patients.

In the NHS widespread attempts are being made to use patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) data for the purpose of prioritising patients for surgery. Oxford hip and knee scores have no predictive accuracy in relation to post-operative patient satisfaction. This evidence does not support their current use in prioritising access to care.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 7 | Pages 942 - 948
1 Jul 2011
Chaudhury S Holland C Vollrath F Carr AJ

This study reports the application of a novel method for quantitatively determining differences in the mechanical properties of healthy and torn rotator cuff tissues. In order to overcome problems of stress risers at the grip-tendon interface that can obscure mechanical measurements of small tendons, we conducted our investigation using dynamic shear analysis.

Rotator cuff tendon specimens were obtained from 100 patients during shoulder surgery. They included 82 differently sized tears and 18 matched controls. We subjected biopsy samples of 3 mm in diameter to oscillatory deformation under compression using dynamic shear analysis. The storage modulus (G’) was calculated as an indicator of mechanical integrity.

Normal tendons had a significantly higher storage modulus than torn tendons, indicating that torn tendons are mechanically weaker than normal tendons (p = 0.003). Normal tendons had a significantly higher mean shear modulus than tendons with massive tears (p < 0.01).

Dynamic shear analysis allows the determination of shear mechanical properties of small tissue specimens obtained intra-operatively that could not be studied by conventional methods of tensile testing. These methods could be employed to investigate other musculoskeletal tissues. This pilot study provides some insight into mechanisms that might contribute to the failure of repair surgery, and with future application could help direct the most appropriate treatment for specific rotator cuff tears.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 4 | Pages 498 - 502
1 Apr 2011
Gwilym SE Oag HCL Tracey I Carr AJ

Impingement syndrome in the shoulder has generally been considered to be a clinical condition of mechanical origin. However, anomalies exist between the pathology in the subacromial space and the degree of pain experienced. These may be explained by variations in the processing of nociceptive inputs between different patients. We investigated the evidence for augmented pain transmission (central sensitisation) in patients with impingement, and the relationship between pre-operative central sensitisation and the outcomes following arthroscopic subacromial decompression.

We recruited 17 patients with unilateral impingement of the shoulder and 17 age- and gender-matched controls, all of whom underwent quantitative sensory testing to detect thresholds for mechanical stimuli, distinctions between sharp and blunt punctate stimuli, and heat pain. Additionally Oxford shoulder scores to assess pain and function, and PainDETECT questionnaires to identify ‘neuropathic’ and referred symptoms were completed. Patients completed these questionnaires pre-operatively and three months post-operatively.

A significant proportion of patients awaiting subacromial decompression had referred pain radiating down the arm and had significant hyperalgesia to punctate stimulus of the skin compared with controls (unpaired t-test, p < 0.0001). These are felt to represent peripheral manifestations of augmented central pain processing (central sensitisation).

The presence of either hyperalgesia or referred pain pre-operatively resulted in a significantly worse outcome from decompression three months after surgery (unpaired t-test, p = 0.04 and p = 0.005, respectively).

These observations confirm the presence of central sensitisation in a proportion of patients with shoulder pain associated with impingement. Also, if patients had relatively high levels of central sensitisation pre-operatively, as indicated by higher levels of punctate hyperalgesia and/or referred pain, the outcome three months after subacromial decompression was significantly worse.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 3 | Pages 370 - 377
1 Mar 2011
Chaudhury S Dicko C Burgess M Vollrath F Carr AJ

We have used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to characterise the chemical and structural composition of the tendons of the rotator cuff and to identify structural differences among anatomically distinct tears. Such information may help to identify biomarkers of tears and to provide insight into the rates of healing of different sizes of tear. The infrared spectra of 81 partial, small, medium, large and massive tears were measured using FTIR and compared with 11 uninjured control tendons. All the spectra were classified using standard techniques of multivariate analysis.

FTIR readily differentiates between normal and torn tendons, and different sizes of tear. We identified the key discriminating molecules and spectra altered in torn tendons to be carbohydrates/phospholipids (1030 cm−1 to 1200 cm−1), collagen (1300 cm−1 to 1700 cm−1 and 3000 cm−1 to 3350 cm−1) and lipids (2800 cm−1 to 3000 cm−1).

Our study has shown that FTIR spectroscopy can identify tears of the rotator cuff of varying size based upon distinguishable chemical and structural features. The onset of a tear is mainly associated with altered structural arrangements of collagen, with changes in lipids and carbohydrates. The approach described is rapid and has the potential to be used peri-operatively to determine the quality of the tendon and the extent of the disease, thus guiding surgical repair.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1107 - 1111
1 Aug 2010
Rees JL Dawson J Hand GCR Cooper C Judge A Price AJ Beard DJ Carr AJ

We have compared the outcome of hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder in three distinct diagnostic groups, using survival analysis as used by the United Kingdom national joint registers, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) as recommended by Darzi in the 2008 NHS review, and transition and satisfaction questions.

A total of 72 hemiarthroplasties, 19 for primary osteoarthritis (OA) with an intact rotator cuff, 22 for OA with a torn rotator cuff, and 31 for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), were followed up for between three and eight years. All the patients survived, with no revisions or dislocations and no significant radiological evidence of loosening. The mean new Oxford shoulder score (minimum/worst 0, maximum/best 48) improved significantly for all groups (p < 0.001), in the OA group with an intact rotator cuff from 21.4 to 38.8 (effect size 2.9), in the OA group with a torn rotator cuff from 13.3 to 27.2 (effect size 2.1) and in the RA group from 13.7 to 28.0 (effect size 3.1). By this assessment, and for the survival analysis, there was no significant difference between the groups. However, when ratings using the patient satisfaction questions were analysed, eight (29.6%) of the RA group were ‘disappointed’, compared with one (9.1%) of the OA group with cuff intact and one (7.7%) of the OA group with cuff torn. All patients in the OA group with cuff torn indicated that they would undergo the operation again, compared to ten (90.9%) in the OA group with cuff intact and 20 (76.9%) in the RA group.

The use of revision rates alone does not fully represent outcome after hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder. Data from PROMs provides more information about change in pain and the ability to undertake activities and perform tasks. The additional use of satisfaction ratings shows that both the rates of revision surgery and PROMs need careful interpretation in the context of patient expectations.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 3 | Pages 448 - 453
1 Mar 2010
Benson RT McDonnell SM Knowles HJ Rees JL Carr AJ Hulley PA

The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of tissue hypoxia and apoptosis at different stages of tendinopathy and tears of the rotator cuff.

We studied tissue from 24 patients with eight graded stages of either impingement (mild, moderate and severe) or tears of the rotator cuff (partial, small, medium, large and massive) and three controls. Biopsies were analysed using three immunohistochemical techniques, namely antibodies against HIF-1α (a transcription factor produced in a hypoxic environment), BNip3 (a HIF-1α regulated pro-apoptotic protein) and TUNEL (detecting DNA fragmentation in apoptosis).

The HIF-1α expression was greatest in mild impingement and in partial, small, medium and large tears. BNip3 expression increased significantly in partial, small, medium and large tears but was reduced in massive tears. Apoptosis was increased in small, medium, large and massive tears but not in partial tears.

These findings reveal evidence of hypoxic damage throughout the spectrum of pathology of the rotator cuff which may contribute to loss of cells by apoptosis. This provides a novel insight into the causes of degeneration of the rotator cuff and highlights possible options for treatment.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 2 | Pages 209 - 216
1 Feb 2010
Pollard TCB Villar RN Norton MR Fern ED Williams MR Murray DW Carr AJ

Femoroacetabular impingement causes pain in the hip in young adults and may predispose to the development of osteoarthritis. Genetic factors are important in the aetiology of osteoarthritis of the hip and may have a role in that of femoroacetabular impingement. We compared 96 siblings of 64 patients treated for primary impingement with a spouse control group of 77 individuals. All the subjects were screened clinically and radiologically using a standardised protocol for the presence of cam and pincer deformities and osteoarthritis.

The siblings of those patients with a cam deformity had a relative risk of 2.8 of having the same deformity (66 of 160 siblings hips versus 23 of 154 control hips, p < 0.00001). The siblings of those patients with a pincer deformity had a relative risk of 2.0 of having the same deformity (43 of 116 sibling hips versus 29 of 154 control hips, p = 0.001). Bilateral deformity occurred more often in the siblings (42 of 96 siblings versus 13 of 77 control subjects, relative risk 2.6, p = 0.0002). The prevalence of clinical features in those hips with abnormal morphology was also greater in the sibling group compared with the control group (41 of 109 sibling hips versus 7 of 46 control hips, relative risk 2.5, p = 0.007). In 11 sibling hips there was grade-2 osteoarthritis according to Kellgren and Lawrence versus none in the control group (p = 0.002).

Genetic influences are important in the aetiology of primary femoroacetabular impingement. This risk appears to be manifested through not only abnormal joint morphology, but also through other factors which may modulate progression of the disease.