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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 104-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1256 - 1265
1 Nov 2022
Keene DJ Alsousou J Harrison P O’Connor HM Wagland S Dutton SJ Hulley P Lamb SE Willett K


To determine whether platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection improves outcomes two years after acute Achilles tendon rupture.


A randomized multicentre two-arm parallel-group, participant- and assessor-blinded superiority trial was undertaken. Recruitment commenced on 28 July 2015 and two-year follow-up was completed in 21 October 2019. Participants were 230 adults aged 18 years and over, with acute Achilles tendon rupture managed with non-surgical treatment from 19 UK hospitals. Exclusions were insertion or musculotendinous junction injuries, major leg injury or deformity, diabetes, platelet or haematological disorder, medication with systemic corticosteroids, anticoagulation therapy treatment, and other contraindicating conditions. Participants were randomized via a central online system 1:1 to PRP or placebo injection. The main outcome measure was Achilles Tendon Rupture Score (ATRS) at two years via postal questionnaire. Other outcomes were pain, recovery goal attainment, and quality of life. Analysis was by intention-to-treat.

Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 3, Issue 10 | Pages 841 - 849
27 Oct 2022
Knight R Keene DJ Dutton SJ Handley R Willett K


The rationale for exacting restoration of skeletal anatomy after unstable ankle fracture is to improve outcomes by reducing complications from malunion; however, current definitions of malunion lack confirmatory clinical evidence.


Radiological (absolute radiological measurements aided by computer software) and clinical (clinical interpretation of radiographs) definitions of malunion were compared within the Ankle Injury Management (AIM) trial cohort, including people aged ≥ 60 years with an unstable ankle fracture. Linear regressions were used to explore the relationship between radiological malunion (RM) at six months and changes in function at three years. Function was assessed with the Olerud-Molander Ankle Score (OMAS), with a minimal clinically important difference set as six points, as per the AIM trial. Piecewise linear models were used to investigate new radiological thresholds which better explain symptom impact on ankle function.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 101-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1472 - 1475
1 Dec 2019
Keene DJ Willett K

The Ankle Injury Management (AIM) trial was a pragmatic equivalence randomized controlled trial conducted at 24 hospitals in the United Kingdom that recruited 620 patients aged more than 60 years with an unstable ankle fracture. The trial compared the usual care pathway of early management with open reduction and internal fixation with initially attempting non-surgical management using close contact casting (CCC). CCC is a minimally padded cast applied by an orthopaedic surgeon after closed reduction in the operating theatre. The intervention groups had equivalent functional outcomes at six months and longer-term follow-up. However, potential barriers to using CCC as an initial form of treatment for these patients have been identified. In this report, the results of the AIM trial are summarized and the key issues are discussed in order to further the debate about the role of CCC. Evidence from the AIM trial supports surgeons considering conservative management by CCC as a treatment option for these patients. The longer-term follow-up emphasized that patients treated with CCC need careful monitoring in the weeks after its application to monitor maintenance of reduction.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:1472–1475.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 101-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1015 - 1023
1 Aug 2019
Metcalfe D Zogg CK Judge A Perry DC Gabbe B Willett K Costa ML


Hip fractures are associated with high morbidity, mortality, and costs. One strategy for improving outcomes is to incentivize hospitals to provide better quality of care. We aimed to determine whether a pay-for-performance initiative affected hip fracture outcomes in England by using Scotland, which did not participate in the scheme, as a control.

Materials and Methods

We undertook an interrupted time series study with data from all patients aged more than 60 years with a hip fracture in England (2000 to 2018) using the Hospital Episode Statistics Admitted Patient Care (HES APC) data set linked to national death registrations. Difference-in-differences (DID) analysis incorporating equivalent data from the Scottish Morbidity Record was used to control for secular trends. The outcomes were 30-day and 365-day mortality, 30-day re-admission, time to operation, and acute length of stay.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 100-B, Issue 4 | Pages 522 - 526
1 Apr 2018
Tutton E Achten J Lamb SE Willett K Costa ML


The aim of this study was to explore the patients’ experience of recovery from open fracture of the lower limb in acute care.

Patients and Methods

A purposeful sample of 20 participants with a mean age of 40 years (20 to 82) (16 males, four females) were interviewed a mean of 12 days (five to 35) after their first surgical intervention took place between July 2012 and July 2013 in two National Health Service (NHS) trusts in England, United Kingdom. The qualitative interviews drew on phenomenology and analysis identified codes, which were drawn together into categories and themes.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 98-B, Issue 6 | Pages 840 - 845
1 Jun 2016
Chesser TJS Fox R Harding K Halliday R Barnfield S Willett K Lamb S Yau C Javaid MK Gray AC Young J Taylor H Shah K Greenwood R


We wished to assess the feasibility of a future randomised controlled trial of parathyroid hormone (PTH) supplements to aid healing of trochanteric fractures of the hip, by an open label prospective feasibility and pilot study with a nested qualitative sub study. This aimed to inform the design of a future powered study comparing the functional recovery after trochanteric hip fracture in patients undergoing standard care, versus those who undergo administration of subcutaneous injection of PTH for six weeks.

Patients and Methods

We undertook a pilot study comparing the functional recovery after trochanteric hip fracture in patients 60 years or older, admitted with a trochanteric hip fracture, and potentially eligible to be randomised to either standard care or the administration of subcutaneous PTH for six weeks. Our desired outcomes were functional testing and measures to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the study.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1714 - 1720
1 Dec 2013
Hamilton TW Hutchings L Alsousou J Tutton E Hodson E Smith CH Wakefield J Gray B Symonds S Willett K

We investigated whether, in the management of stable paediatric fractures of the forearm, flexible casts that can be removed at home are as clinically effective, cost-effective and acceptable to both patient and parent as management using a cast conventionally removed in hospital. A single-centre randomised controlled trial was performed on 317 children with a mean age of 9.3 years (2 to 16). No significant differences were seen in the change in Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire index score (p = 0.10) or EuroQol 5-Dimensions domain scores between the two groups one week after removal of the cast or the absolute scores at six months. There was a significantly lower overall median treatment cost in the group whose casts were removed at home (£150.88 (sem 1.90) vs £251.62 (sem 2.68); p <  0.001). No difference was seen in satisfaction between the two groups (p = 0.48).

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:1714–20.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1669 - 1677
1 Dec 2010
Thakar C Alsousou J Hamilton TW Willett K

We evaluated the cost and consequences of proximal femoral fractures requiring further surgery because of complications. The data were collected prospectively in a standard manner from all patients with a proximal femoral fracture presenting to the trauma unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital over a five-year period. The total cost of treatment for each patient was calculated by separating it into its various components. The risk factors for the complications that arose, the location of their discharge and the mortality rates for these patients were compared to those of a matched control group. There were 2360 proximal femoral fractures in 2257 patients, of which 144 (6.1%) required further surgery. The mean cost of treatment in patients with complications was £18 709 (£2606.30 to £60.827.10), compared with £8610 (£918.54 to £45 601.30) for uncomplicated cases (p < 0.01), with a mean length of stay of 62.8 (44.5 to 79.3) and 32.7 (23.8 to 35.0) days, respectively. The probability of mortality after one month in these cases was significantly higher than in the control group, with a mean survival of 209 days, compared with 496 days for the controls. Patients with complications were statistically less likely to return to their own home (p < 0.01).

Greater awareness and understanding are required to minimise the complications of proximal femoral fractures and consequently their cost.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 8 | Pages 987 - 996
1 Aug 2009
Alsousou J Thompson M Hulley P Noble A Willett K

Although mechanical stabilisation has been a hallmark of orthopaedic surgical management, orthobiologics are now playing an increasing role. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a volume of plasma fraction of autologous blood having platelet concentrations above baseline. The platelet α granules are rich in growth factors that play an essential role in tissue healing, such as transforming growth factor-β, vascular endothelial growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor. PRP is used in various surgical fields to enhance bone and soft-tissue healing by placing supraphysiological concentrations of autologous platelets at the site of tissue damage. The easily obtainable PRP and its possible beneficial outcome hold promise for new regenerative treatment approaches.

The aim of this literature review was to describe the bioactivities of PRP, to elucidate the different techniques for PRP preparation, to review animal and human studies, to evaluate the evidence regarding the use of PRP in trauma and orthopaedic surgery, to clarify risks, and to provide guidance for future research.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 8 | Pages 985 - 986
1 Aug 2009
Willett K Marsh D Moran C Giannoudis P Bircher M

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1197 - 1203
1 Sep 2006
Madhu R Kotnis R Al-Mousawi A Barlow N Deo S Worlock P Willett K

This is a retrospective case review of 237 patients with displaced fractures of the acetabulum presenting over a ten-year period, with a minimum follow-up of two years, who were studied to test the hypothesis that the time to surgery was predictive of radiological and functional outcome and varied with the pattern of fracture. Patients were divided into two groups based on the fracture pattern: elementary or associated. The time to surgery was analysed as both a continuous and a categorical variable. The primary outcome measures were the quality of reduction and functional outcome. Logistic regression analysis was used to test our hypothesis, while controlling for potential confounding variables.

For elementary fractures, an increase in the time to surgery of one day reduced the odds of an excellent/good functional result by 15% (p = 0.001) and of an anatomical reduction by 18% (p = 0.0001). For associated fractures, the odds of obtaining an excellent/good result were reduced by 19% (p = 0.0001) and an anatomical reduction by 18% (p = 0.0001) per day.

When time was measured as a categorical variable, an anatomical reduction was more likely if surgery was performed within 15 days (elementary) and five days (associated). An excellent/good functional outcome was more likely when surgery was performed within 15 days (elementary) and ten days (associated).

The time to surgery is a significant predictor of radiological and functional outcome for both elementary and associated displaced fractures of the acetabulum. The organisation of regional trauma services must be capable of satisfying these time-dependent requirements to achieve optimal patient outcomes.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 87-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1253 - 1255
1 Sep 2005
Alam A Willett K Ostlere S

Incomplete intertrochanteric fractures do not extend across to the medial femoral cortex and are stable, without rotational deformity or shortening of the lower limb. The aim of our study was to establish whether they can be successfully managed conservatively. A total of 68 patients over a five-year period presented with a suspected fracture of the femoral neck and underwent an MRI scan for further assessment. From these, we retrospectively reviewed eight patients with normal plain radiographs but with an incomplete, intertrochanteric fracture on MRI scan. Five were managed conservatively and three operatively.

The mean length of hospital stay was 16 days for the conservatively-treated group and 15 days for those who underwent surgery; this was not statistically significant (p > 0.5) and all patients were mobilised on discharge. Although five patients were readmitted at a mean of 3.2 years after discharge, none had progressed to a complete fracture. We believe that patients with incomplete intertrochanteric fractures should be considered for conservative treatment.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 73-B, Issue 1 | Pages 113 - 115
1 Jan 1991
Willett K

In the light of EEC proposals on the avoidance of damage to hearing caused by noise, a study was undertaken to determine the risk posed by powered orthopaedic instruments. The noise levels from a number of air-powered and electric tools were measured and analysed and found to exceed the recommended levels. The predicted daily personal noise exposure was calculated and the potential for hearing damage confirmed. Twenty-seven senior orthopaedic staff were then assessed by audiometry; evidence of noise-induced hearing loss was found in half the subjects. The increasing use of powered instruments in elective orthopaedics and fracture fixation may present a significant cumulative risk to the hearing of orthopaedic surgeons and theatre personnel. The use of ear defenders should be promoted, and manufacturers should be encouraged to develop instruments with lower noise emission levels.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 70-B, Issue 4 | Pages 607 - 610
1 Aug 1988
Willett K Simmons C Bentley G

A prospective study of 120 consecutive total hip replacements showed that deep suction drains produced maximal drainage volumes in the first 24 hours. Their continued presence resulted in minimal further drainage, did not reduce the likelihood of haematoma formation and led in some cases to the spread of skin organisms into the wound.