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Volume 90-B, Issue SUPP_I March 2008

SK Gupta TDA Cosker KJJ Tayton

A study of 50 consecutive osteoporotic pelvic rami fractures has been carried out to investigate the full extent of injury following low energy falls.

50 consecutive elderly patients with fresh fractures of the pelvis were each investigated with an MRI scan of the pelvis in order to assess the competency of the pelvic ring. The 50 patients consisted of 45 female and 5 males with a mean age of 77.7 years. 44 patients had unilateral pubic rami fractures. The mechanism of injury in all cases was a simple fall in the home environment. On admission 96% of the patients complained of sacral pain and were tender in the sacral or posterior pelvic region. On MRI, 90% of patients had a sacral fracture associated with the pubic rami fractures and in all but 4 of these the posterior pelvic pain was directly related to the sacral fracture site. At 6 month follow-up, 82% still complained of posterior pelvic tenderness. Areas of tenderness corresponded to the sites of the fractures. Before the injury, 38 of the final 44 reviewed were reasonably independently mobile, whilst at review 39 were significantly disabled.

Conclusion: The study shows that the apparently benign traumatic pelvic rami fracture in the elderly has a high association with sacral fractures. After discharge from hospital, attention should be paid to treatment of the on-going anterior and posterior pelvic pain.


A Upadhayay L Maini P Jain S Kapoor

Twenty one cases of ipsilateral hip and femoral shaft fractures, between January 1998 and December 2001, managed by reconstruction nail were reviewed. All patients underwent simultaneous surgery for both fractures and operative treatment was executed as early as general condition of the patient permitted. Delay in treatment was generally because of associated injuries [head, chest or abdominal]. There were 20 males and 1female patients with an average age of 34.5 years. There was delayed diagnosis of neck fracture in 2 cases and these cases were not included in the study.

Our average follow-up is 30.9 months. There was one case of nonunion of a femoral neck fracture, one case of avascular necrosis and one neck fracture that united in varus. There were 4 nonunions and 6 cases of delayed union of femoral shaft fractures. Mean time for union of femoral neck fracture was 15 weeks and for shaft fracture was 22 weeks. In our results, shaft fracture determined the total union period. Though complications involving the femoral shaft fracture were greater than the femoral neck fractures, the shaft complications were more manageable compared to neck complications. This stresses the need to realize the significance and seriousness of both components of this complex injury, in evaluation, management and postoperative care.

Conclusion: Though technically demanding the reconstruction nail is an optimal alternative for management of concomitant fracture of femoral neck and shaft with low rates of complications and good results.


AA Syed M Agarwal PV Giannoudis SJE Matthews RM Smith

We prospectively studied 29 patients with distal femoral fractures stabilised using the less invasive stabilisation system [LISS]. Four patients were excluded from the final follow up [3 deaths and 1 case of quadriplegia]. The mean age of the remaining 25 patients [9 males] was 60.9 years and the mean follow up 18 months [12–24]. Eleven patients were tertiary referrals from other hospitals [7 cases were referred due to failure of primary fixation]. Overall, there were 12 cases of high-energy trauma [7 open fractures]. According to the AO classification there were 5 Type 33A, 2 Type 33B and 12 Type 33C fractures and 4 Type 32A, 1 Type 32B, 1 Type 32C fractures. Functional assessment was performed using the Modified HSS and the Schatzker and Lambert scores. The average time to union in 22 cases was 3.5 months [range, 2–5]. None of the acute cases required bone grafting with a 100% union rate. There were 3/7 cases of non-union in the salvage group still undergoing treatment. The overall results in the acute cases were good and in the salvage cases fair. While this is a small series of patients, our preliminary data indicate favourable results using the LISS in stabilizing acute distal femoral fractures. However, when the LISS is used as a revision tool despite the concept of preserving the bone biology, the results seem to be less satisfactory. The system appears to be user friendly and no technical difficulties were encountered.


R Raman SJE Matthews PV Giannoudis

We have reviewed the patients with vertical shear fractures of the Pelvis and report on our treatment protocol and long-term functional outcome.

Methods: Between January 1993 and January 2002, out of 581 pelvic ring injuries treated in our unit, we identified 31 vertical shear fractures in 29 (4.9%) patients (4 female). Data such as age, sex, aetiology, associated injuries, ISS, resuscitation and transfusion requirements were recorded. ICU/HDU stay, surgical stabilization, urological injuries, systemic complications, neurological injury and mortality were recorded and analysed. Functional outcome was assessed using the following generic tools: EuroQol EQ-5D, SF36v2, SMFA, Majeed score and VAS.

Results: The mean age was 43.5 (16–71). The median ISS was 22 (12–32). Motorcycle accidents were responsible for 27%. Associated injuries included the chest (12 patients), abdomen (8 patients) and extremities (14 patients). Urethral injury was present in 9 and ruptured viscus was identified in 3 patients. Neurologic deficit was present in 9 cases. Posterior ring was stabilized in 3 (0 – 13) days. 6 patients developed systemic complications – ARDS in 4 (12%) patients, sepsis in 2 (6%). The mean follow up was 39 (12–101) months. Functional outcome using the Majeed score revealed that one-third of the patients were fair. SF-36 (physical and mental scores) and EQ 5-score revealed that one-third of the patients were fair. SF-36 (physical and mental scores) and EQ 5-score revealed that one-third of the patients were fair. SF-36 (physical and mental scores) and EQ 5- D revealed a moderate functional outcome. The SMFA and the visual analogue score also revealed similar outcomes.

Conclusion: Prompt resuscitation and early temporarily stabilization of the pelvic ring is essential. Sound reconstruction of the pelvic ring is not always associated with good results, probably due to the extensive pelvic floor trauma seen in this series of patients. Younger individuals seem to have a relatively better outcome when compared to the older age group.


A Kumar NA Shah SA Kershaw AD Clayson

Delays in the surgical treatment of acetabular fractures often results in extensile or combined approaches being required. This study reports the outcome from a regional centre aiming to treat these fractures via a single surgical approach where possible.

Seventy-two patients (73 displaced acetabular fractures) with an average age of 39.5 years (range 15–76 years) were studied with an average follow up period of 45.5 months (range 24–96). All radiographs were reviewed together with a full clinical assessment of each patient including the Harris Hip Score.

Thirty-four fractures were simple and 39 were complex including 27 both column fractures. Eight were noted to have an associated injury to the femoral head. The average time from injury to surgery was 11.7 days (range 1–35 days) with 80 percent of cases being operated on within two weeks after injury.

In 67 fractures (92%), including 24 both column fractures, a single approach alone was used (Anterior Ilioin-guinal 26 cases; Posterior Kocher-Langenbeck 41 cases). Five fractures needed an extensile triradiate approach and only one case required a combined anterior and posterior approach. A congruent reduction (gap or step of 2mm or less) was achieved in 65 cases (89%). Functional outcome was good with an average Harris Hip Score of 85 (range 20–100). There were 2 cases of deep infection (2.7%) and 4 patients (5.5%) required later hip replacement. There were no cases of venous thrombosis. Twenty cases exhibited heterotopic ossification of varying degree but none of these were grade IV.

Conclusion: In most cases, internal fixation of a displaced acetabular fractures is possible via a single surgical approach. Morbidity and complications are much reduced but single approach surgery requires that patients are assessed and treated early and prompt referral to a specialist unit is recommended.


K Sehat R Baker R Price G Pattison W Harries TJS Chesser

We report the results of the use of the Long Gamma Nail in the treatment of complex proximal femoral fractures in our hospital.

All patients at one hospital treated with the Long Gamma Nail were reviewed. Information collected included the age, sex, type of injury, fracture classification, intra-operative complications, post-operative complications, and survival of the implant and patient.

One hundred nails were reviewed which were inserted in 97 patients. 70 patients were followed up for 1 month or more and their mean follow up was 8 months (range 3 months to 6 years). The mean age was 74 (range 16–98). Twenty were inserted into femurs with metastatic malignancy and four patients were victims of poly-trauma. The average length of the operation was 2 hours 22 minutes. Blood transfusion was required in 74% and on average was 2.5 units. There were 7 significant complications. Five patients underwent revision, 2 to Total Hip Arthroplasty after proximal screw migration and 2 patients required exchange nailing. There was one broken nail and two peri-prosthetic fractures at the tip of the nail.

Success was defined as achievement of stability of fracture until union or death; this was achieved in 15% of cases. The mortality was 7% at 30 days and 17% at one year. One death was directly related to the nail and the rest due to medical co-morbidities. Complication rate fell with increasing experience in the unit. The training of surgeons had no detrimental effect on outcome.

Complex proximal femoral fractures including pathological lesions, subtrochanteric fractures and pertrochanteric fractures with subtrochanteric extensions are difficult to treat, with all implants having high failure rates. The long gamma nail allows early weight bearing and seems effective in treating these difficult fractures. Furthermore the majority of these unstable fractures tend to occur in the very elderly with osteoporosis and other medical co-morbidity. Care should be taken to avoid malpositioning of the implant, as this was the major cause of failure and revision. The length of time surgery may take and the anticipated blood loss should not be underestimated especially when dealing with challenging fractures in frail and elderly patients or those with medical co-morbidity.


SP Trikha S Singh AJ Edge

We describe the clinical and radiological results of thirty eight consecutive total hip replacements, using the JRI Furlong Hydroxyapatite ceramic coated femoral component (JRI Instrumentation Ltd, London, UK) in patients under the age of 50 at the time of surgery. The mean age at the time of operation was 42 years (range 22 to 49 years). The average length of follow up was 10 years (range 63 to 170 months). All patients receiving a Furlong HAC THR were included regardless of their primary aetiology. These included patients on whom previous hip joint surgery had taken place.

The mean Harris hip score improved from 44 pre-operatively to 92 at the latest post-operative review. The mean WOMAC and Oxford scores at the latest review for this study were 29 and 16 respectively. Using the Charnley modification of the Merle d’Aubign_ and Postel hip score, at the latest follow up the mean scores were as follows: Pain 5.37, Function 5.47, and Range of Motion 5.71.

The mean pain visual analogue score was 1.1 and 94% of patients returned to outdoor activities or sports. There were no reports of thigh pain at any review. There was no loss to follow-up. There were no revisions of any femoral component. Radiological review of the femoral components revealed no continuous or progressive radiolucent lines around the stem. No osteolysis was noted. Using revision or impending revision as the end point at 12 years the cumulative survival for the stem was 100% (95% CI 89 to 100).

We present excellent clinical, radiological and survivrship results with the use of HAC components in young, active patients with varying primary pathology, after ten years use.


MM Mullins W Norbury JK Dowell M Heywood-Waddington

We present the results of 228 consecutive Charnley low friction arthroplasties, inserted in 193 patients between July 1972 and December 1976. All hips were inserted by the posterior approach without trochanteric osteotomy. All patients were enrolled into a prospective study and pre-and post-operative findings recorded. This series was reviewed in 1985 and once again in 2002.

The pre-and peri-operative findings are similar to contemporary series. Due to our stable population only two patients were lost to follow-up. Our survivorship results show a 10-year survival of 93%, 20-year survivorship of 84% deteriorating to a 30-year survival of 73%.

Of the 26 hips revised 6 were for recurrent dislocations and these were satisfactorily stabilised using acetabular augments. There were 8 revisions for fracture of the femoral component (all flatbacks), 8 revisions for aseptic loosening of the femoral component and 6 revisions for aseptic loosening of the acetabulum. There was one revision for deep infection and the remaining 3 were for periprosthetic fractures.

The survivors were scored clinically using the Merle d’Aubign-Postel score with a mean value of 12. None of the survivors were on the waiting list for revision arthroplasty or felt that it was indicated.

Overall our results are comparable to other studies and vindicate the choice of approach, which at the time was a source of some controversy


PC Birch A Wafai PW Howard

We reviewed 158 hip replacements performed using the Exeter® stem between 1992 and 1996. The operations were performed using third generation cementation and the majority using medium viscosity Simplex cement via a posterior approach. Per-operative complications [shaft fracture etc] were not seen.

Using stem revision as an endpoint, only one stem has been revised [0.6%] for aseptic loosening, and one for sepsis. Aseptic asymptomatic loosening was observed in a further 4 patients [2.5%]. Stem subsidence was seen in the majority [81%], but none greater than 3mm [mean 1.4mm]. Other complications were rare.

This medium term review confirms that the Exeter® stem is a prosthesis with excellent results. This is one of the first series published outside Exeter to confirm their reported results.


NJ Talbot A Rosewarne IT Sharpe PJ Schranz

To evaluate if adequate restoration of the medial cortical buttress reduces the high reported incidence of mechanical complications when using the AO unreamed femoral nail with spiral blade (UFN-SB) in the management of subtrochanteric femoral fractures. The clinical notes and radiographs of sixty-five patients treated with the UFN-SB between November 1996 and February 1999 were retrospectively reviewed. Twenty-eight of these fractures were subtrochanteric. Mean patient age was seventy-five and thirteen patients had metastatic disease. At the time of review the patients or their doctor were contacted by telephone to establish accurately the associated morbidity and mortality. Follow up information was obtained for every patient. Post-operative radiographs were assessed for accuracy of fracture reduction.

The medial cortical buttress was adequately restored in every case. This required open fracture reduction in eleven patients and cerclage wires augmented the reduction in eight of these cases. Open reduction did not significantly increase time to fracture union or transfusion requirement. Every surviving patient was fully weight bearing within three months. One patient required a second operation for spiral blade migration but there were no implant breakages or other mechanical complications after a mean follow-up of thirty-seven months.

Conclusion: Adequate restoration of the medial cortical buttress allows the UFN-SB to function as a load-sharing device and achieves reliable skeletal stability in these potentially unstable fractures that typically occur in osteoporotic or pathological bone.


R G Dias S A Jain PB Pynsent G J Benke

To determine the ten-year survivorship of the Original M E Muller Straight Stem Total Hip Replacement System with emphasis on the longevity of the femoral component in accordance with guidelines published by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, 266 consecutive hip arthroplasties using the above prosthesis were performed by the senior author between 1983 and 1992. 24 patients were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 242 patients 80 were male and 162 female. The mean age was 67.49 years. The diagnosis for the majority of patients was osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Pre-operative planning was carried out and the patients were scored using Charnley’s modification of the d’ Aubigne and Postel numerical grading system A mono-bloc stem with a 32-millimeter head used via the trans gluteal approach recommended by Muller. Following discharge serial follow-up consisted of both clinical and radiological evaluation. The data was prospectively stored on a Microsoft access database. The survival of the prosthesis using revision for aseptic loosening as an end-point was calculated by actuarial analysis.

135 patients attended their ten-year follow-up. 97% of patients had good to excellent pain relief and improvement in movement of the joint following surgery. 38% had good to excellent mobility with the remaining having restricted mobility due to associated co-morbid factors. Only in 3% of patients was mobility restricted as a result of the arthroplasty. 7 revisions were carried out for aseptic loosening, all as a result of failure of the acetabular component. The cumulative survival for this hip replacement system was 95.9% and that for the femoral component was 100% at 10 years.

The Muller Straight Stem femoral component is based on a press-fit concept and gives predictable long-term results when recommended surgical technique is followed. This series confirms the reliability of the stem design and satisfies the NICE guidelines.


N Ashwood G Bain N Wardle

Symptomatic isolated scaphotrapeziotrapezoid joint arthritis affects approximately 10% of the population. Involvement of the scaphotrapeziotrapezoid (STT) joint occurs in 15–30% of all degenerate wrists. Investigation of the technique of arthroscopic debridement of this joint was undertaken to assess the symptom relief achieved and record any resulting postoperative morbidity which limits the success of other techniques used for this condition.

Ten consecutive patients with persistent symptoms were assessed prospectively by a research nurse. Measurements of range of motion and grip strength were obtained before and after surgery. Visual analogue scores for pain and satisfaction levels were also recorded and any limitation to activities of daily living was noted. Assessment included clinical examination for local tenderness over the STT joint.

Good or excellent subjective results were achieved in nine patients at final review at an average of 36 (12–65) months after arthroscopic debridement. One patient graded the result as fair due to failure to achieve normal range of motion. All patients described significant reduction in visual analogue pain scores from an average of 86.5 to 14.1 points. The Green and O’Brien wrist scores improved from a mean of 63.2 to 91.2 during the same time frame. Eight of the patients were in employment and returned to work at 3 months post-surgery without the use of any external splints. The wrist scores were maintained in the five patients reviewed at least three years post-operation.

Conclusion: Arthroscopic debridement is simple, safe and effective when compared with other treatment modalities, achieving excellent pain relief and restoration in function in the short term in patients with isolated idiopathic STT arthritis. Longer term follow-up is no doubt required.


PTH Lee MT Clarke A Arora RN Villar

Metal-on-metal (MOM) bearings after total hip arthroplasty are known to elevate the serum concentrations of metal ions, raising concerns about the long-term effects. One potential modifier of ion release is the bearing diameter used. Resurfacing MOM bearings have a large surface area available for corrosion compared to the typical bearing size of 28 mm in total hip replacement (THR) but may benefit from improved lubrication and reduced production of corrodible wear debris. The net effect of these two variables on metal ion release is unknown. In this study, we compared the level of ion release in patients after large bearing MOM hip resurfacing arthroplasty with patient after small bearing MOM THR.

We measured the serum cobalt and chromium levels from 22 patients with large bearing diameter MOM hip resurfacing arthroplasty (Cormet 2000 and Birmingham Hip Resurfacing) and compared them to the serum cobalt and chromium levels of 22 patients with small bearing diameter (28 mm) MOM THR (Ultima). Patients were prospectively matched for activity level, body mass and date after surgery at blood sampling. All were at least 6 months after surgery.

We found the median cobalt and chromium levels after hip resurfacing arthroplasty to be 7.6 times normal (median 38 nmol/L, range 14 to 144 nmol/L) and 10.5 times normal (median 53 nmol/L, range 25 to 165 nmol/ L) respectively. This is compared to 4.4 times normal (median 22 nmol/L, range 15 to 87 nmol/L) for cobalt and 3.8 times normal (median 19 nmol/L, range 2 to 58 nmol/L) for chromium after 28 mm MOM THR (p=0.0021 and p< 0.0001).

Conclusion: Large diameter MOM bearings result in greater release of cobalt and chromium ions than do small diameter MOM bearings. This may be of relevance when the potential effects of long-term exposure to elevated these metal ions is considered.


AP Davies HG Willert PA Campbell CP Case ID Learmonth

Metal-on-metal bearing surfaces have been reintroduced for use in total hip replacement, despite concerns regarding the potential risks posed by metallic by-products. We have compared periprosthetic tissues from metal-on-metal and metal-on-polyethylene hip replacements at revision surgery with control tissues at primary arthroplasty.

Tissues were obtained from 9 control, 25 contemporary metal-on-metal, 9 CoCr-on-polyethylene and 10 titanium-on-polyethylene hip replacement arthroplasties. Each was processed for routine histology with Haematoxylin and Eosin. Quantitative stereological analysis was performed at the light microscopic level.

Metal-on-metal sections showed more surface ulceration and this was correlated with the density of inflammation in the deeper tissues layers. Metal-on-metal tissues displayed a pattern of well-demarcated tissue layers, which were rarely seen in metal-on-polyethylene cases. In metal-on-polyethylene cases, the inflammation was predominantly histiocytic. Metal-on-metal cases by contrast showed a lymphocytic infiltrate with abundant plasma cells. Metal-on-metal tissues showed a striking pattern of peri-vascular inflammation with prominent lymphocytic cuffs especially deep to areas of surface ulceration. Levels of inflammation were higher in cases revised for failure than in those retrieved at autopsy or exploratory surgery. Total replacement and surface replacement designs of metal-on-metal arthroplasty showed similar histological changes. Plasma cells were not seen in any of the metal-on-polyethylene cases. The differences between the patterns of inflammation and cellular infiltration seen in metal-on-metal and metal-on-polyethylene tissues were highly statistically significant.

The pattern and type of inflammation in periprosthetic tissues from metal-on-metal and metal-on-poly-ethylene arthroplasties is very different. Our findings support the conclusion that metal-on-metal articulations are capable of generating a form of immunological response to metallic wear debris that has not been described previously. The incidence and clinical implications of these immunological responses in failed metal-on-metal joints are unknown.


PTH Lee MT Clarke A Arora RN Villar

Elevated serum cobalt and chromium ion levels associated with carcinogenesis and chromosomal damage in animals have raised concerns that metal-on-metal (MOM) total hip replacement (THR) in humans may produce the same effects over time. Considering that the risks may be related to the level of these ions in the body, this study compared the serum cobalt and chromium ion levels in patients with unilateral versus bilateral 28 mm diameter MOM THR.

All patients having THR at our institution were prospectively registered on a computerised database. From our database, we identified 108 patients with Ultima (Johnson and Johnson, Leeds) MOM THR with 28 mm bearing made of cobalt-chromium alloy. After patient review in clinic and before blood results were known, patient matching was performed by date after surgery at blood sampling, activity level and body mass. Using these stringent criteria, 11 unilateral THR could be adequately matched with 11 bilateral THR. Blood serum was taken with full anti-contamination protocols and serum analysed via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

The serum cobalt ion level after unilateral MOM THR was 4.4 times normal (median 22 nmol/L, range 15 to 37 nmol/L) compared to 8.4 times normal (median 42 nmol/L, range 19 to 221 nmol/L) for bilateral MOM THR (p=0.001). The serum chromium ion level after unilateral MOM THR was 3.8 times normal (median 19 nmol/L, range 2 to 35 nmol/L) compared to 10.4 times normal (median 52 nmol/L, range 19 to 287 nmol/ L) for bilateral MOM THR (p=0.04).

This study has shown that the serum cobalt and chromium ion levels in patients with bilateral MOM THR are significantly higher than those in patients with unilateral MOM THR. With levels of up to 50 times the upper limit of normal, this finding may be of relevance for the potential development of long-term side effects.


K Ho K Gianniakis A Khan JG Andrews DH Sochart

This is a prospective study to determine if we could identify patients who may benefit from preoperative catheterisation in lower limb arthroplasty.

211 consecutive patients undergoing total hip and knee arthroplasty were recruited. There were 131 female (62%) and 80 male (32%), the mean age (+−1 S.D.) was 68+−12 years old. Patients’ demographic details and pre-operative urinary symptoms were recorded. Previous urological surgery and past history of urinary catherisation were also documented. The anaesthetist who was blinded from the study selected the type of anaesthesia and the post-operative analgesia regime. All patients were required to produce mid-stream urine sample before surgery and at post-operation. Urine tract infection was confirmed on a positive microbiological culture. Regression analysis was used to assess various co-variables to identify the high-risk groups.

35 female (56%) and 27 male (44%) were catheterised, the mean age (+−1 S.D.) was 72+/−14 years old. The frequency of catheterisation was unrelated to the surgical procedure, the type of anaesthesia or the postoperative pain control regime. Age over 65 years old and nocturia were significant indicators for urinary catheterisation (p< 0.05). Patients with urinary incontinence and nocturia were strong determinant for urinary catheterisation (p< 0.03). Males over the age 65 years with a past history of urinary catheterisation (p=0.037) were more likely to be catheterised than females of the same group (p=0.947). This has become more evidential if patients have coexisting urinary incontinence and nocturia (p=0.005). Females over the age of 65 years with urinary incontinence were also significant (p=0.013).

The sensitivity for urinary catheterisation in patients over the age of 65 years with previous history of catheterisation, urinary incontinence or nocturia was 89.7%. This group of patients would benefit from pre-operative urinary catheterisation.


N Keong D Ricketts N Alakeson P Rust

To compare the actual with the reported incidence of pressure sores to determine the accuracy of data (classification errors) and completeness of data (differences between manual and computer generated figures), retrospective data was collected regarding pressure sore rates following primary elective total hip arthroplasty operations carried out in 2001. Pressure sores rates were noted by nursing staff and entered into a computer database.

Four consultant orthopaedic surgeons were involved, across 2 sites – 1 NHS (PRH) and 1 local private hospital.

Preliminary audit reports indicated an alarmingly high pressure sore rate across the two units – 17/172 (9.9%) PRH and 23/71 (32.4%) private hospital.

Two major errors were revealed. In terms of accuracy of data, grade 1 areas (erythema without active ulceration) were included at both sites. These are only potential sites of pressure sores and should not have been used to calculate actual pressure sore rate. In terms of completeness of data, manual verification of the number of operations performed revealed a discrepancy between the theatres’ logbook entries and private unit computer figures. 97 rather than 71 operations were performed. There was no such discrepancy at the NHS site.

The data was reanalysed to obtain the actual pressure sore rate. For the NHS unit, grade 1areas were subtracted, causing the rate to fall from 32.4% to 1.0%. The two errors caused a dramatic and significant difference between reported and actual pressure sore rate.

Poor data collection leads to inaccurate audit, leading to inappropriate management. The concern is that similar errors, accumulated across key complication targets and specialities, will have a profound impact on NHS star ratings.


N Ashwood G Bain B Beaumond P Hallam N Wardle

To investigate whether radioscapholunate arthrodesis [RSLA] can provide functional wrist movement with satisfactory pain relief. 19 patients with radio-carpal arthritis underwent RSLA. There were 3 diagnostic groups [post-traumatic osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and Kienbock’s disease].

The total flexion-extension range decreased. There was a decrease in pain post-operatively. Grip strength increased in Kienbock’s but fell-in patients with osteoarthritis. 95% of patients were satisfied with their result.

The normal ‘functional’ arc is 35 degrees. Pain was reduced in all of our patients, whilst maintaining the functional arc. With only one failure and no complications, we feel the procedure is safe and reliable.


M Waseem JK Stanley J Martin

Distal radioulnar joint surgery has been dominated by different types of partial or complete ulnar head excision. This remains a reasonable option in rheumatoid surgery. However, in the long run, this can create a number of problems. We have used Herbert modular prosthesis to tackle these very difficult situations. This prosthesis comprises of a press fit stem in three sizes and a ceramic head, also available in three sizes.

In Wrightington hospital upper limb unit 61 patients underwent Herbert ulnar head replacement. Fifty-eight were clinically and radiologically reviewed.

Between December 1998 and December 2002 21 male and 27 female patients were operated. The mean age was 49.8 years with a range of 28–72 years. Twenty two left, eighteen right and two bilateral replacements were performed. The mean follow-up was 20.02 months with a range of 3–60 months.

All patients were reviewed by an independent observer using range of motion, grip strength and satisfaction as outcome.

Primary diagnoses included failed Darrach, Bower, Sauve Kapandji and traumatic ulnar head excision. Forty-five patients were satisfied with the outcome. Pain score showed a mean improvement of 4 with a range of 0–10. The grip strength compared to normal side was decreased in 50% of the patients. The range of motion compared to normal side improved by a mean of 10 degrees (range 3–20) in supination and 13 (range 4–23) in pronation.

Radiological review showed new bone (8) and notch formation (9). Stress shielding of 0–19mm was observed in distal ulna with revision or emergency stem.

Complication occurred in eight patients instability (4), RSD (1), implant failure (1) and two others. Twelve patients required further surgery. No loosening was observed at revision.

Conclusion: This is a suitable revision and primary replacement but no long term following is required.


D Kumar S Haidar RS Bassi AK Sinha SC Deshmukh

Displaced comminuted intra-and extra-articular fractures of distal radius require anatomical reduction for optimum results.

To assess clinical, functional and radiological results of volar-ulnar tension band plating of dorsally displaced comminuted fractures of distal radius, we used volar-ulnar tension band plating technique (without bone grafting) and early mobilisation to treat dorsally displaced and comminuted fractures of distal radius in 47 patients with an average age of 48 years (range, 19–76 years).

Volar tilt, radial height, ulnar inclination and volar cortical angles were measured on the unaffected side. AO volar plate was pre-contoured to match the volar cortical angle of the unaffected side. The horizontal arm of the plate was fixed to the distal fragment first. When the longitudinal arm of the plate was brought onto the radial shaft, the displaced distal fragment was levered out anteriorly to restore the normal volar tilt. Adjustment in ulnar inclination and radial height can be made by medio-lateral and cephalo-caudal movement of the longitudinal arm of the plate.

The average follow-up was 26 months (range 12–41 months). According to Gartland and Werley’s system 25 patients had excellent, 15 had good, 7 had fair functional results. The median Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score was 10 (range 0–60). Average grip strength as percentage of the unaffected side was 80 %. Average Palmarflexion was 61 degrees, Dorsiflexion 66 degrees, Ulnar deviation 34 degrees, Radial deviation 19 degrees, Supination 74 degrees and Pronation 80 degrees. According to Lidstrom and Frykman’s radiological scoring system 39 patients had excellent and 8 had good anatomical results.

Conclusion: This relatively new technique has given good results in majority of patients. We recommend its use in displaced and comminuted fractures of distal radius in physiologically young patients with high need and demand.


B Singh RG Wetherell J Bland

We identified patients with a poor outcome by examining cases where nerve conduction studies had been repeated after surgery. 168 patients were identified in whom two sets of tests had been performed. 28 were excluded as either they had no pre-operative studies or had insufficient clinical information. Our study group was 140 patients (174 hands) in whom NCS had been performed before and after surgery, with adequate clinical information. Information on the clinical outcome was obtained from postal questionnaires and from hospital records. A proportion of the hands in which two tests had been performed turned out to have been retested because of presentation with symptoms in the other hand, after a satisfactory outcome from surgery on the first side. This accounted for 44 of the 174 hands, and these were used as control group. 130 hands in 92 patients were identified as having a poor outcome from surgery. Of these, 39 underwent a further operation; two went on to a third procedure. Logistic Regression Analysis was used to analyze the data (Stastica).

There was a trend for the poor results to be more common in the elderly, but age was not a statistically significant factor, (p< 0.36). The good results were found mainly in grades 2 to 5 and this was statistically significant, (p< 0.01). A poorer outcome was seen grouped in grades 0, 1, 2 and 6 and this was statistically significant. (p< 0.01). The NCS have been validated, are reproducible and cost about £15 per study. In the group with good outcome, the grade of severity of NCS improved or remained unchanged in the majority. Of the 39 re-explorations, 17 were found to have incomplete division of the ligament. Of these, 10 showed clinical improvement after re-operation. Of the 22 with no evidence of incomplete division, 7 were improved, 10 had persistent symptoms and 5 were worse after revision surgery.

We believe that pre-operative NCS are helpful for two reasons: Firstly, they provide as a baseline for comparison if the patient has unsatisfactory result following decompression. Secondly, we have shown that they are of prognostic value.


RG Turner H Stawick GEB Giddins

Osteoporosis is an increasing problem due to increasing age and inactivity. Distal radial fractures are often the first symptom of this disease. Medical treatment can reduce the risk of further fractures (including hip fractures with the associated mortality and morbidity).

To develop a method for accurate assessment of bone density from routine wrist radiographs:

Various bone substitutes were tested until one was found that gave reasonable density matches with fresh bone over a limited X-ray kV range;

Twenty patients with distal radius fractures had the bone substitute placed beside the wrist being X-rayed.

Wrist and radius thickness were measured from the radiograph. This was combined with the optical density of the distal radius (relative to the bone substitute) to calculate a value for the bone density. The patients subsequently underwent a DEXA scan of the contralateral (uninjured) wrist. [The X-ray calculated bone density and the DEXA density compare well. (R> 0.5]

Conclusion: This technique gives reasonably accurate results. It is not yet ready for clinical practice. A larger study is required to improve the accuracy of this technique, perhaps comparing results with lumbar spine DEXA.


SR Mitchell M Anwar LGH Jacobs CF Elsworth

Day case surgery is commonplace in the field of orthopaedic surgery, being suitable for a wide range of both trauma & elective procedures. It became apparent within our unit that an unacceptably high number of cases were being cancelled for a variety of reasons. We set out to identify these reasons and thereby develop a simple screening process to reduce the number of cancellations.

Initial audit over a 1 year period showed 25% of the 907 day case patients were being cancelled. We subdivided the reasons for these cancellations at both pre-operative assessment and on the day of surgery into avoidable [e.g. no carer / telephone, uncontrolled BP, high BMI and ischaemic heart disease] and unavoidable [e.g. surgery no longer required, patient unwell, list cancelled for emergencies, patient DNA].

The majority of our cancellations fell into the “avoidable” category, predominantly at pre-operative assessment. Accordingly, we devised a simple screening questionnaire to be used by clinicians in out-patients at the time of listing for surgery, based on the RCS guidelines (1985). If any of the questions were answered “Yes”, the patient was not suitable for day case surgery. The patient information letter was also changed, informing patients that non-attendance would result in their removal from the waiting list.

Re-audit of 727 patients over the next 12 months showed a fall in cancellations to only 11%, with the majority of these being for unavoidable reasons.

Cancellations are a source of inconvenience, distress and frustration to both clinician and patient, are a waste of hospital time and resources, and lead to an increase in waiting lists. Our study demonstrates the value of closing the loop in audit, leading to a dramatic reduction in cancellations. Audit is a useful tool to improve patient care, and is not merely a “number-crunching” exercise.


B Theruvil RK Choudhary V Kapoor DG Hargreaves DJ Warwick

Efficient utilisation of the trauma list is an important aspect of trauma care in the NHS. An audit of the trauma theatre time utilisation was done from April 1999 to March 2000. Ideally the first case should start at 8:30 am. However, we found that the first patient was on the operating table only by 9:40 am (mean). The main reasons for the delay were the time required for the anaesthetist to see the patient and the other staff to set up the necessary equipments. We decided to identify the first case of the trauma list the day before, so that the anaesthetist can review the patient the previous day. We felt that this would also give adequate time for the theatre staff to set up their instruments. However, this did not improve the theatre timings.

We introduced the novel idea of performing a carpal tunnel decompression at the beginning of each trauma list to make use of the redundant time without an extra financial burden to the hospital. Carpal tunnel decompression can be performed under local anaesthetic by a basic grade surgeon. This would also give time for the anaesthetist and the consultant surgeon to review the patients on the trauma list.

The theatre time utilisation was re-audited a year following the introduction of carpal tunnel release. The patient for carpal tunnel decompression was on table at 8:44 am (mean). The first trauma case was on operating table at 9:46 am (mean). Therefore, in spite of performing an additional surgery on the list, there was a delay of only 6 minutes. This simple idea has helped us to do an additional case every day with only a 6 minute delay to the trauma list.


MR Utting B Squires I Learmonth

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was set up to provide patients, health professionals and the public with authoritative, robust and reliable guidance on current “best practice”.

To determine how useful for NICE guidelines for Selection of Prostheses for Primary Total Hip Replacement were to patients who were undergoing total hip replacement (THR) and the health professionals who were looking after them. We surveyed 100 patients, 50 Orthopaedic Surgeons, 40 Orthopaedic nurses and posted a questionnaire to GPs, to which 79 replied (56% response rate).

19% of patients had heard of NICE but only 2% were aware of the existence of NICE guidelines on THR and 1% found them useful. Almost all orthopaedic surgeons had heard of NICE and their guidelines for THR, with 74% knowing what the guidelines actually stated but only 14% finding them useful. 78% of surgeons believed that their preferred hip replacement conformed to NICE guidelines, 2% knew that they did not conform and 20% did not know. 27% of general practitioners knew of the guidelines, but only 5% knew what they actually stated and 1% found them useful in their practice. Most nursing staff working in orthopaedic areas had heard of NICE (83%). 43% knew of the NICE guidelines but only 13% knew the actual guidelines and % found them useful.

NICE has failed to communicate its guidelines to both patients and the public. None of the groups found the guidelines useful. NICE has failed to fulfil its mission statement and may instead have other motives, such as empowering centralised regulation of healthcare in the NHS.


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N Ellahee B Levack

All multidisciplinary audit projects from January 1998 to March 2002 involving an Orthopaedic department were assessed to measure their impact on improving clinical practice. Data were derived from reports formulated by the Trust’s Audit department, which listed findings, conclusions and proposals for each project.

Among 41 studies performed, 37 listed a formal proposal of actions. 4 projects had a completed outcome of which 2 closed the loop with re-audit. 9 other projects recommended re-audit but none had been initiated. Although Trusts actively partake in regular audit, it seems more as a service or training commitment, rather than contributing towards improving the quality of healthcare.


R Vhadra K Maclaren

Musculoskeletal conditions are the commonest cause of severe long term pain and account for half of all chronic conditions in the over 65s. The BOA published guidelines on the musculoskeletal undergraduate curriculum in 2001. It suggested that a minimum of 8 weeks be allocated for the musculoskeletal course. However, a survey of medical schools showed that only 3 to 5 weeks are allocated. Our results suggest that the musculoskeletal course in Manchester is not long enough to gain sufficient knowledge. Therefore we feel that these deficiencies need addressing with a change in the taught undergraduate curriculum


CNA Esler WM Harper

The Trent Arthroplasty Audit Group has been prospectively collecting data on primary hip and knee arthroplasties since 1990. Details of 61,000 primary and 4,00 revision arthroplasties have been registered. The Royal College of Surgeons of England. Capital Hip Report (July 2001) concluded that a national joint register could have detected failures of an implant at an earlier stage. We examined data on the register to ascertain why we had been unable highlight a problem with this implant.

The Trent Arthroplasty Register was unable to detect the poor results with Capital hips at an earlier stage than surgeons. A scientific presentation had raised concern before our register could detect a problem. The hips had been listed for revision but were still on a waiting list. Additionally some of the failed hips were not revised as patients were insufficiently fit for surgery.

The stated reason for revision on revision forms was vague and not sufficient to draw conclusions as to the mechanism of failure. Radiological studies have identified a higher radiological failure rate than expected (Charnley & Elite +) but we have shown that outcome scores (Oxford Scores) were not successful at identifying these failures. Since the implementation of the Data Protection Act (1998) consent must be obtained before details are registered, which may lead to further inaccuracy in the creation of survivorship curves.

Joint registers can contain the problem once it is detected but are not a substitute for regular follow-up. Surgical vigilance and a scientific approach is required to ascertain the reason for failure. Revision should not be the only endpoint for registration. Joint registers may be part of the solution but need to be backed up with adequate resources, financial and intellectual, to analyse clinical information, if valid conclusions are to be drawn.


AS Bajwa SA Bajwa S Wilson J Nellis P Finn S Williamson A Port

To evaluate blood transfusion practice in hip and knee arthroplasty, the development of evidence based guidelines, their implementation and prospective analysis of change. An audit was carried out in 4 stages to complete the loop. Stage 1: Retrospective analysis of blood transfusion practice in primary and revision hip and knee arthroplasty. Review of case notes, nursing record, anaesthetic sheet and pathology results from a computer database was carried out. Rates of transfusion, patients’ body weight and height, peri-and post-operative blood loss, use of anticoagulants, drains, surgical approach, type of implant and cement, grade of surgeon and anaesthetist and haemodynamic complications were recorded. Stage 2: Literature search to develop evidence based guidelines for blood transfusion.

The data in stage 1 was evaluated in the light of those guidelines to determine appropriateness of blood transfusion. Stage 3: Dissemination and implementation of guidelines. Anaesthetic, Orthopaedic and audit departments were involved. Guidelines were presented, discussed, finalised and circulated.

Stage 4: Prospective re-evaluation of blood transfusion practice was undertaken. Parameters as in stage 1 plus documentation of reason for blood transfusion by the prescriber were recorded.

For stage 1, 97 Hip arthroplasty (86 primary and 11 revisions) and 119 Total knee arthroplasty procedures (109 primary and 10 revisions) over a period of 26 weeks were studied. Blood transfusion rate was 50.5% (49/97) in hip arthroplasty and 28.5% (34/119) in knee arthroplasty. Evidence based guidelines were developed. 55% transfusions were thought to be inappropriate in the light of guidelines. Following completion of stage 2 and 3, prospective audit of blood transfusion practice was initiated. It was compulsory for the person prescribing blood to document the indication. Data was collected on a daily basis for 15 weeks. In that period 150 joint replacements were undertaken. 77 hip arthroplasty (71 primary and 6 revisions) and 73 knee arthroplasty procedures (66 primary and 7 revisions) were undertaken. Blood transfusion rates for hip arthroplasty decreased to 18% (14/77) and for knee arthroplasty to 5.4% (4/73).

Overall transfusion rates decreased from 83/216 (38.5%) to 18/150 (12%) after implementation of guidelines. This represents an overall reduction of 68%.

Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach and putting evidence based practice in place has resulted in reduced blood transfusion rates in hip and knee arthroplasty in our institution. We feel this change is an example of implementation of evidence-based practice.


L Campton R Tabbakh A Gregori

Inaccurate positioning of components results in suboptimal knee function, implant wear and early loosening of the prosthesis. Small differences in varus/valgus angulation have been shown not to affect outcome, but, when the prosthesis is more than 3 degrees malaligned from neutral, premature failure rates rise.

Accurate alignment requires proper orientation in the placement of the cutting guides and computer-aided navigation systems have now been developed with the aim of improving this.

We compared the post-operative leg alignment following computer assisted (Orthopilot) versus conventional (IB2 with extramedullary tibial and intramedullary femoral jigs) methods of TKJR using weight-bearing long leg radiographs.

This was a study of 91 consecutive TKJRs (51 IB2s and 40 Orthopilot Search Evolution knees) performed in 70 patients.

A single experienced knee surgeon carried out all these procedures. All these patients had weight-bearing long leg alignment films taken by a single experienced radiographer.

The anatomical centres of ankle, knee and hip were then marked on each film and the tibia femoral angles drawn. Two separate blinded observers then measured the angles of malalignment.

Observer A’s results show that 95% of the Orthopilot knees were within 3 degrees of varus or valgus from neutral. Only 74.47% of the IB2 group were within this range (p=0.011).

For Observer B 87.5% of Orthopilot knees and 70.21% of IB2s were within the range (p=0.052). When we group these finding we see that an average of 91.25% of the Orthopilot and 72.34% of the IB2 knees are within the range (p=0.025).

When the interobserver figures for each group were compared no significant difference was found.

Conclusion: Our results show a significant improvement in postoperative alignment of TKJRs by using the computer-aided navigation system and it should follow that the long-term survival of the prosthesis would be extended.


LA David S Mahroof J Pringle M Bayliss TWR Briggs

This prospective study analyses the histological results of autologous chondrocyte transplantation in patients with articular cartilage defects of the knee joint. Chondrocytes from a non-weight bearing area of the knee were harvested and then cultured in vitro.

Re-implantation involved injection of the chondrocytes into the defect, which was then sealed with a collagen membrane. One year post-op, patients were evaluated by clinical, arthroscopic and histological assessment. A biopsy of the transplanted region was examined by staining with Erlich’s H& E and Safranin 0, polarised light microscopy and by analysis with S100 and immunohistochemistry. Hyaline cartilage content was further assessed by examination of Type IIa & lIb collagen mRNA expression using in-situ hybridisation.

The median age was 31 years. 63 knees were treated. Solitary lesions were treated in 61 knees with two defects being treated in three knees (66 defects in total). The defects were located on the medial femoral condyle in 39 cases, lateral femoral condyle in 14, trochlea in 2 and patella in 11. The defect size ranged from 1–7 cm2 (mean area 3cm2 ). 40 patients had at least one-year follow-up. Using the Brittberg Rating, 11 had excellent results, with 15 good, 10 fair and 4 poor. The mean Lysholm and Gillquist scores improved from 44 pre-op to 77 one-year post-op. Biopsy at one year conftrmed the presence of hyaline cartilage in 22 out of 32 cases (69%). In-situ hybridisation confirmed the presence of Collagen type II in the deep zones of the biopsy with a fibrocartilaginous appearance superficially.

Conclusion: This technique can provide an effective treatment for cartilage defects. The histological results are encouraging and chondrocyte transplantation may be the only procedure to allow regeneration of hyaline like articular cartilage.


A Bonshahi S J Parsons A T Helm D S Johnson R B Smith

The study was established to assess the long-term results and differences between autogenous and synthetic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

We randomised 50 patients into 2 groups: 26 (52%) underwent reconstruction with middle third patellar tendon graft (PTG) harvested using the ‘Graftologer’ (Neoligaments) and 24 (48%) underwent reconstruction with the Leeds-Keio ligament (LK).

Subjective knee function was assessed using the Lysholm score, Tegner activity score, IKDC grading, and clinical assessment of anterior knee pain. Laxity was tested clinically, including anterior draw at 20° (Lachman), pivot shift, and arthrometric measurements using the Stryker laxometer.

At five years we have noted no significant difference in Lysholm scoring and Pivot shift between the LK group and patellar tendon group. But there was a significant difference in Tegner activity level and IKDC activity scores with PTG faring better at five years. There is no significance difference in anterior knee symptoms between the groups.

Conclusion: Due to the success of PTG/Hamstring in routine primary ACL reconstruction there does not seem to be a role for artificial ligaments. However, if we just look at functional outcome and patient satisfaction, LK patients seem to be doing as well as PTG at five years. So, there may be a place for the Leeds Keio graft where autologous tissue is unavailable.


AS Bajwa A Lakhdawala P Finn CME Lennox

To investigate whether the harvesting of Hamstring graft in ACL reconstruction results in compromised knee flexion strength and proprioception, and hence knee function?, a prospective study, approved by the local Ethics Committee, to assess the function and strength of the knee joint in patients who had ACL reconstruction done using a four-strand Hamstring graft. The control group was the contra lateral knees. 28 knee joints were studied with mean follow-up of 70.1 weeks (52–156). All operated knees received an extensive set regime of pre-and post-operative physiotherapy. Assessment tools were clinical examination, Laxometer arthrometry for measured anterior draw, Biodex dynamometry and Stabilometry for Hamstring and quadriceps strength and proprioception. The knee function was assessed using a questionnaire incorporating IKDC (International knee documentation committee) performa, Lysholm 2 score, Tegner’s activity scale and Oxford knee score.

Following reconstruction (mean 70.1 weeks postop), objective assessment using Biodex dynamometer showed that mean peak flexion torque around the knee joint was 69.8 N-m and 76.2 N-m in the operated and non-operated knee respectively. There was no difference in flexion torque in both groups. Mean Flexion: Extension ratio around the knee joint was 53.9% in the operated and 53.2% in non-operated sides. Mean stability index, measured using open eye stabilometry, was 3.5 (SD 2.4) in the operated side and 3.1 (SD1.8) in the non-operated side, with no significant difference demonstrable (p< 0.05).

The mean age of patients was 28.3 years (18–44). Mean IKDC score following reconstruction was 74.8 (49–100), SD18.5. Mean Tegner’s activity scale improved from 2.5(3–7) pre-operative to post-operative 5.4(3–7), p< 0.01. Mean Lysholm 2 score improved from 53.4(41–76) pre-operatively to 85(64–100) post-operatively, p< 0.01. Subjective function of the knee on a scale of 0–10 improved from pre-operative 3.1 to post-operative 7.7 (p< 0.01). Arthrometry at 25-degree flexion and 130 N force using Laxometer showed mean anterior laxity 5.3mm on the operated side and 3.1 on the healthy side (side to side difference 2.2mm).

Conclusion: The function of the knee improved significantly following ACL reconstruction both objectively and subjectively. The harvesting of Hamstring as a graft neither compromises the flexion torque nor the proprioception around the knee joint.


N Pradhan AK Gambhir ML Porter

3610 primary and revision total knee replacements were performed at our hospital between 1969 and 1995. We conducted a survivorship analysis of 3234 primary total knee replacements to construct life tables and calculate survival curves. Each knee replacement was entered once only. Revision was defined as the end point. Data was collected both from patient records and by postal questionnaire. Eight types of knee prostheses were evaluated with best-case and worst-case scenarios compared over a 5, 10 and 15 year period.

The evidence suggests that certain types of prosthesis are more liable than others to fail or to fail early. The “Condylar type devices” which include the Total Condylar, Press Fit Condylar (PFC), Kinematic, Kinemax and Anatomic Modular Knee (AMK) have very similar survivorship curves and in the main have performed well up to a 10 year period. The LCS mobile bearing knee performed extremely well at 5 years. The Attenborough knee had an inferior result while the Load Angle Inlay (LAI) which was a very early resurfacing arthroplasty had the poorest results in terms of survivorship.


SK Gupta KJJ Tayton C Dent S Chatterji

To study the survival analysis of the Accord TKR and to analise the causes for its failure. 111 Accord knees were implanted in 106 patients between 1986 and 1996. All components were cemented. Eighty-seven patients were followed up and assessed according to the Knee Society Clinical Rating System.

Life table analysis of this implant using revision as the end point shows a survival of 25% at 11–12 years.

Of the 87 knees, only 31 were still in situ and of these 7 showed radiographic signs of severe loosening. However, the average knee score for these 31 was only 65/100 and average functional score was down to 42/100.

56 implants have been revised, 21 due to aseptic loosening, 11 due to gross valgus/varus instability, 9 due to deep infection, 8 due to loosening of the patella liner and 7 due to mobile bearing complications.

All 21 (24%) cases of aseptic loosening were found to have a loose femoral component; however, 56% of the total showed significant radiographic osteolysis around the stem of the tibial implants.

Retrieved implants in 5 patients showed significant delamination of the UHMWP at its margins and also revealed a track through the tibial baseplate into the medullary cavity of the tibia.

Conclusion: Early failure of this implant is due to increased debris formation from the UHMWP due to edge loading and early delamination probably as a consequence of the shape of its articulating surface. This situation was significantly aggravated by a design fault in the tibial baseplate, which encouraged unrestricted access of debris into the medullary cavity of the tibia and hence early and severe osteolysis.


SK Chauhan RG Scott W Breidahl RA Beaver

To compare the new technique of computer assisted knee arthroplasty (CAK) against the current gold standard conventional jig based technique (JBK), 75 consecutive patients underwent knee replacement and were randomly allocated to either the CAK or JBK group. The CAK surgery was performed using a freehand technique that avoids violation of the medullary canal. Pre-and post-operative Knee society scores were collected. Post-operative CT scans were performed according to the Perth CT Knee Arthroplasty protocol and pre-and post-operative Maquet views of the limb performed. Intra-operative soft tissue release together with postoperative pain scores and blood loss were also assessed.

CT scans performed show a statistically significant improvement in component alignment when using computer assisted surgery for femoral varus/valgus (p=0.032), femoral rotation (p=0.001), tibial varus/ valgus (p=0.047) tibial posterior slope (p=0.0001), tibial rotation (p=0.011) and femoral-tibial mismatch (p=0.037). Standing Maquet limb alignment was also improved (p=0.004) as was blood loss (p=0.0001). CAK surgery took longer, a mean increase of 13 minutes (p=0.0001).

This is the first controlled study to assess all seven-alignment characteristics of knee arthroplasty in these two groups of patients.

The improvement in alignment resulted in this trial being stopped prematurely as 6 out of 7 of the initial variables had reached significance. It shows a clear improvement in component alignment with computer navigation. The reduction in blood loss in this surgery through not violating the medullary canal will also be beneficial.


AK Gambhir S Morgan N Pradham A Gregori ML Porter

Restoration of the mechanical axis is thought to be a critical factor in determining the Outcome of knee replacement surgery. There is strong theoretical evidence that reproduction of this axis improves mechanical loading and hence longevity of the implant. Clinical studies are small in number.

Per-operative use of intra-and-extra-medullary alignment jigs help to determine the distal femoral and proximal tibial cuts. Studies have shown large margins of error using the standard jigs provided with most total knee replacement systems. On this basis computer assisted guidance systems are being introduced such as Orthopilot and BrainLab. These systems allow more accurate placement of the bony cuts and hence improve overall lower limb alignment.

No study has shown conclusively that accurately reproducing the mechanical axis of the lower limb improves survivorship of the implant. Prior to investing in these systems we felt it would be prudent to investigate how critical reproduction of the mechanical axis was in the primary total knee replacement.

We assessed 100 primary kinematic total knee replacements performed in 1990. All case notes were reviewed looking for basic demographics, pathology and clinical outcome.

All cases had a long leg film weight-bearing alignment film taken post-operatively. These were digitised and then analysed using Design CAD 97 software and from this the mechanical axis calculated.

Using these data the patients were divided into two groups. The first were within 3 degrees varus/valgus of the mechanical axis. The second were outside this range. These two groups were then correlated to clinical outcome.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that accurate reproduction of the lower limb alignment and the mechanical axis improves clinical outcome and survivorship of the implant using revision as an endpoint. Our data would support the introduction and use of intra operative computer aided guidance systems.


S.K. Chauhan G.W. Clark R.G. Scott S. Lloyd J.M. Sikorski

Plain radiographs are a poor indication of the overall coronal, sagittal and axial alignment of a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We describe a new CT method that allows the mechanical axis in both planes to be defined and seven alignment characteristics to be defined.

A GE Light Speed multislice CT scanner performed a high-speed helical scan from the acetabular roof to the talus in 100 patients following TKA. The knees were scanned in a supine position with the legs in a neutral position. The images were reformatted in coronal, sagittal and axial planes and the mechanical and anatomical axes identified. The femoral component (varus/ valgus, flexion/extension, rotation) as well as the tibial – (varus/valgus, posterior slope and rotation) are measured. Coupled femoro-tibial rotational alignment was assessed by superimposition of the femoral and tibial axial images. The accuracy of this technique has been checked by using a mechanical FARO-arm.

The technique has a low intraobserver error rate of 9% (in each case less than 1 degree) and an accuracy of 3mm in a three-dimensional plane, as determined against an independent FARO arm technique. The CT analysis of 100 patients shows normal tibial baseplate rotation to be 8–12 degrees from the tibial tuberosity.

Conclusion: The CT protocol is the first single radiographic investigation that characterizes all the alignment parameters of a TKA. It sets an excellent standard in planning revision knee surgery and provides a valuable tool in assessing alignment of painful knee replacements as well as in outcome measures of TKA.


SK Chauhan RG Scott GW Clark RA Beaver

This study was to assess the accuracy of fixed posterior condylar referencing cutting blocks to the accuracy of combined epicondylar/AP axis referencing in femoral component rotation using a computer navigation system.

Seventy-five consecutive patients undergoing TKRs were randomized into two groups. The first received femoral component rotation by a computerized method that combined the epicondylar axis and Whitesides AP axis measurements to determine rotation. The second group had a zero or three-degree posterior referencing external rotation block, depending on which was closest to the epicondylar axis. All patients underwent axial CT scans of the distal femur to determine component rotation around the surgical epicondylar axis.

Femoral component alignment with the combined method as compared to fixed posterior alignment guides is statistically improved (p=0.001). In the posterior referencing group 43% were correctly rotated to the epicondylar axis but another 43% were malrotated by 3 degrees or more. The mean malrotation was 1.72 degrees (range 0–5) In the combined group 82% were correctly rotated and 11% were malrotated by 3 degrees or more. The mean malrotation was 0.51 degrees (range 0–4).

Conclusion: A combined computerized method of using the surgical epicondylar axis and Whitesides AP axis produces superior results when aiming for neutral femoral component rotation. Fixed posterior referencing blocks will produce errors in malrotation in over 50% of cases.


K Srinivasan P Giannoudis M Agarwal V Patil SJE Matthews

To assess the functional outcome of operative and non-operative treatment of distal humeral fractures in the elderly, patients above 75 years of age were studied. Demographic data including associated injuries and co-morbid conditions were recorded. The minimum follow-up was 16 months (range 16–92 months). Elbow function was analysed according to the OTA rating system. Radiographs were monitored for possible predictors of final functional outcome

Out of 125 patients with distal humeral fractures, 29 were above the age of 75 years. The mean age at the time of admission was 84.6 years (range 75–100). One patient was lost to follow-up. In total there were 28 patients with 29 fractures. 5 of these were open fractures. As per the AO classification, there were 8 type A, 8 type B, and 13 type C fractures. 8 patients were treated non-operatively (3 type A, 2 type B, 3 type C) and 21 (5 type A, 6 type B, 10 type C) operatively. An olecranon osteotomy was performed in 12 cases, 2 underwent triceps tongue reflection, and 7 had triceps splitting. Local complications included 4 cases (1 deep and 3 superficial) of infection and 3 non-unions (including one at the olecranon osteotomy). In the non-operative group the mean loss of extension and mean flexion achieved were 34.0 and 70.0 degrees respectively, whereas in the operative group the corresponding values were 23.0 and 107 degrees.

OTA grading revealed 3 excellent, 9 good, 7 fair and 2 poor results in the operated group whereas in the non-operated group there were 0 excellent, 2 good, 3 fair, and 3 poor results. There was direct correlation between loss of anterior tilt of the distal humerus and adverse outcome.

Conclusion: Our study showed that improved functional outcome can be achieved following surgical treatment in these difficult fracture This study supports the view that we need to re-examine the conventional view of ‘bag of bones’ method as blanket treatment and signifies the need for further studies on similar cohorts of patients.


AR Evans G Gillespie H Dabke M Lewis P Roberts R Kulkarni

Proximal humeral fractures are common and often occur in osteoporotic bone. Suture fixation utilises the rotator cuff tendons as well as bone providing adequate stability and avoids complications associated with metalwork insertion.

Surgical exposure was via a delto-pectoral approach with minimal dissection of the fracture site. Initially a 2 suture technique was utilized with heavy ethibond sutures passed through drill holes either side of the bicipital groove; however, because of concerns about varus instability the technique now uses a third suture placed laterally acting as a tension band to prevent varus collapse. Patients with Neer 2 and 3 part fractures treated with suture fixation were assessed clinically (using the Constant score) and radiologically at a mean of 27 months post fracture.

To date 24 patients have been studied. The average age of the patients in our series was 70.2. All fractures progressed to union with no cases of radiological avascular necrosis. We had 2 cases of mal-union (-one varus and one valgus-), both with a 2-suture technique. One patient had early loss of fixation; re-exploration was performed with stability conferred by a third lateral suture. Active abduction > 120o was achieved in 9 patients with a mean Constant score of 72 compared to 89 on the un-injured contra-lateral side. We have demonstrated that suture fixation of displaced proximal humeral fractures is an effective alternative to fixation using metalwork. The advantages are that minimal soft tissue stripping of the fracture site is required and the potential problems associated with metalwork insertion into osteoporotic bone are avoided. Following one case of varus mal-union with a 2-suture technique we now routinely use a third suture to act as a lateral tension band.


A Rehm W Gaine B Alman

The purpose of this study was to investigate if there is a relationship between the timing of reduction of displaced supracondylar humerus fractures in children and post-operative complications and open reduction rate and to evaluate the usefulness of the definition of early (eight hours or less following injury) and delayed (more than eight hours following injury) treatment used in the literature.

The case notes of children who were treated at our institution for a Gartland grade 2b and 3 supracondylar humerus fracture between July 1995 and June 2002 were reviewed.

We identified 431 patients with a Gartland grade 3 and 141 patients with a Gartland grade 2b fracture. The time from injury to surgery ranged from 2 hours to 13 days. The average time to reduction was 12 hours for grade 3 injuries and 21 hours for grade 2b injuries. None of the patients had an initial closed reduction in the emergency department. 229 patients were treated early with two compartment syndromes, five ulnar nerve, one lateral cutaneous nerve of the forearm, one median nerve - and one radial nerve palsy, one septic arthritis, one pin site infection, six open reductions; one re-manipulation was required for loss of reduction. The delayed group consisted of 343 patients with six ulnar nerve, three median nerve, one radial nerve and one lateral cutaneous nerve of the forearm palsy, three pin site infections, five open reductions; re-manipulation was required in one patient. All nerve palsies recovered post-operatively. The open reduction rate was two percent. The majority of displaced supracondylar humerus fractures in children do not need to be operated on as an emergency. Operation of fractures not associated with a neurovascular compromise within eight hours of the injury does not seem to reduce the rate of significant complications and open reduction rate. In contrary the most severe complication, the development of a compartment syndrome was only seen in the early group. We did not identify an association between complication rateS and a time threshold. Therefore the differentiation between early and delayed treatment used in the literature seems to be arbitrary and not useful.


A Gadgil C Hayhurst N Maffulli JSM Dwyer

Reduction and K-wiring is the most popular form of treating displaced supracondylar fractures of the humerus. Complications including redisplacement of the fracture, cubitus varus, iatrogenic nerve injuries and pin tract infection have been reported following surgery. For successful outcome with K-wiring of supracondylar fractures, strict adherence to protocols and surgical expertise are necessary. We have treated these fractures in straight arm traction since 1995, and the purpose of this study was to audit our practice.

Between January 1995 and December 2000, 112 children with a closed displaced supracondylar fracture of the humerus, without neurovascular deficit, were managed by straight arm traction for a mean duration of 22 days. Final outcome was assessed using clinical (flex-ion-extension arc, carrying angle and residual rotational deformity) and radiographical (metaphyseal-diaphyseal angle and Humero-Capitellar angle) criteria. Our outcomes were compared with those of the recent large studies reporting results of surgical treatment.

71 (63%) patients had excellent, 33 (29%) patients good, 5 (4.4%) patients fair, and 3 (2.6%) patients poor outcome. All patients with fair or poor outcomes were older than 10 years.

Elevated straight-arm traction is safe and effective in children younger than 10 years. It can be effectively used in an environment that has provision of paediatric medical care and general orthopaedic expertise with outcomes comparable to those fractures treated surgically in specialist centres.


RR Brown MC Dixon D Parsch RD Scott

There are only a limited number of long term studies of total knee arthroplasty and few with a minimum fifteen year survivorship of a modular fixed bearing posterior cruciate-retaining prosthesis. This consecutive series of 139 total knee arthroplasties (109 patients), using the non-conforming posterior cruciate-retaining Press Fit Condylar (PFC®) system was followed for a minimum of 15 years (range 15.0 to 16.9 years). The patella were resurfaced with an all-polyethylene component in 83% of knees. The tibial component was always cemented, while a porous-coated femoral component was used in 84% of knees. Fifty-nine knees (45 patients) were followed up for a minimum of 15 years. Fifty-seven patients (70 knees) had died and five (8 knees) were too ill to assess. Survivorship of the prosthesis was confirmed for 98.6% of the prosthesis, as only two patients (2 knees) were lost to follow-up.

The mean Knee Society Score and Function Score were 96 and 78 respectively. The total incidence of radiolucent lines was 13%, with 2% around the femur, 11% around the tibia, and 0% around the patella. None of these lines were of any clinical relevance. There was no evidence of progressive radiolucent lines or component loosening, and one case of zone 4 femoral osteolysis.

There were five re-operations for any indication, of which four were for polyethylene insert wear. There was also one loose cemented femoral component after more than 15 years. The survival without need for revision for any reason was 99% at 10 years and 95.6% (worst-case scenario of 94.2%) at 15 years.

This single-surgeon series with a minimum 15 year follow-up shows that the modular fixed bearing posterior cruciate retaining total knee arthroplasty of the PFC system can provide excellent and predictable long term results in tri-compartmental arthritis of the knee.


V Khanduja L Ng Z Dannawi L Heras

This study investigates the efficacy of the AO Pi-plate in the treatment of complex, unstable, intra-articular fractures of the distal radius.

A retrospective study of 17 patients was carried out who underwent open reduction and internal fixation for dorsally displaced, intra-articular fractures of the distal radius using the AO Pi-plate. All patients were assessed clinically and radiologically post-operatively. The final functional outcome was assessed using the Gartland & Werley scoring system.

The average follow-up period was 34.3 months. 94% (16 patients) of the fractures were classified as AO type C fractures. The wrist movement was restored to a near normal range in all cases. The mean grip strength was 67% of the uninjured hand. The functional outcome as measured by the Gartland & Werley scoring system showed excellent and good results in 88% of the patients. Radiographic assessment revealed an average articular step-off of 0mm post-operatively. The implant removal rate was 29% (5 patients) and the main reason for that was extensor tenosynovitis.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that although the functional outcome after using the Pi-plate for complex distal radius fractures is good, there is a significant incidence of extensor tenosynovitis. We recommend that the implant is best used for Type C fractures and be removed electively after fracture union.


S Malek D Atkinson R Gillies M Nicole

To determine the effect of experience of the operator and the effect of type of anaesthesia used on re-manipulation rates of fracture distal radius manipulated in A& E, a retrospective review of distal radius fractures manipulated in A& E between January 2000 and January 2001. Operators were divided into two categories: junior (SHO grade) and senior (higher grade) doctor.

54 patients with fracture distal radius had manipulation in A& E. 15 male and 39 female patients with mean age of 61 years (52 for males and 63 for females) were included.

42 (78%) fractures were manipulated under haematoma block (18 by junior, 23 by senior doctor) and 12 (22%) fractures were manipulated under Bier block (1 by junior, 11 by senior doctor). Operator’s grade was not clearly mentioned in one case. 13 out of 54 patients (24%) needed fracture re-manipulation under general anaesthesia. 12 out of 42 fractures manipulated under haematoma block (30%) needed re-manipulation compared to only one out of 12 fractures (8%) manipulated under Bier block (p=0.25). 9 out of 19 fractures manipulated by junior doctors needed re-manipulation compared to only 4 out of 34 fractures manipulated by senior doctors (p=0.007). Haematoma block was used for 18 out of 19 cases by junior doctors and for 23 out of 34 cases by senior doctors (p=0.038). Average number of fracture clinic follow-ups was 4 (range 2 to 8).

Junior doctors had significantly higher preference for haematoma block and significantly higher re-manipulation rate. Re-manipulation rates were higher with fractures manipulated under haematoma block compared to Bier block.

Adequate training and supervision should be provided for SHOs while performing such procedures in A& E. Use of Bier block as a regional anaesthesia for manipulation of distal radius fractures in A& E should be encouraged.


AR Norrish J Rao MJ Parker

We report the results of a consecutive series of 500 patients treated with a follow-up range from 5–12 years.

Ten patients were lost to follow-up and 398 patients [81%] died. The mean age was 82 years, with 85% being women. Forty-six patients [9.2%] required a second operation of any type, with revision performed in 23 [4.6%]. Of the long-term survivors 66 [81%] had none or minimal pain, whilst 5 [6%] had reported constant pain in the hip.

This is the largest consecutive series, with the following follow-up, reported and for the frail elderly patient this prosthesis can still be recommended.


AO Odumala MI Iqbal RG Middleton

The aim of our study was to determine if the canal flare index of the proximal femur is a dependent factor in prosthetic failure after Austin Moore hemiarthroplasty.

We measured the canal flare index on A-P hip X-rays of 100 and 100 patients with failed and successful Austin Moore hemiarthroplasty respectively. We also measured the canal flare index of a control group of 100 patients without hip fractures. The canal flare index (CFI) is defined as the ratio of the width of the femoral canal at two levels: 20mm proximal to the centre of the lesser trochanter and the canal isthmus. Overall we reviewed 300 radiographs. The study group consisted of 68 males and 232 females. In the failed Austin Moore group there were 62 patients (62%) with loosening, 28 patients (28%) with dislocations and 10 patients (10%) with periprosthetic fractures. The canal flare index of the proximal femur was significantly higher in patients who had persistent thigh pain with radiological loosening in comparison the successful and control groups. (3.3 vs 2.6; 3.2 vs 2.7 respectively: p< 0.001). On the other hand patients with periprosthetic fractures had a lower canal flare index in comparison with the successful and control groups (2.1 vs 2.6; 2.1 vs 2.7 respectively: p< 0.001). However there was no differences in the CFI of patients with dislocations compared with successful (2.4 vs 2.6;p=0.1) and control groups (2.4 vs 2.7;p=0.2). This remained the same when controlled for age and sex in a logistic regression analysis.

Conclusion: The CFI can identify patients prone to persistent thigh pain who present as radiological loosening and to periprosthetic fractures and an alternative cemented prosthesis should be considered in this group of patients


A Upadhayay L Maini P Jain SK Kapoor VK Gautam

Displaced intra-capsular fractures of femoral neck are treated by osteosynthesis in young adults. Using a standard protocol, we have compared the results of internal fixation after closed (CRIF) and open reduction (ORIF) in these patients. We have also studied the risk factors that influence non-union and avascular necrosis (AVN).

Patients in the age group of 15–50 years, who were scheduled for internal fixation within 1 week of injury, were randomized into two groups, one for closed reduction and the other for open reduction. The two groups were compared for factors such as age, gender, time of surgery and posterior comminution as well as union and complications. Using univariate and multivariate methods the factors influencing non-union and AVN were analyzed.

The average duration of surgery in patients undergoing CRIF was less than half of that in the ORIF group. The rates of union (p=0.93) and avascular necrosis at 2 years (p=0.85) were comparable. Rates of complications like deep vein thrombosis and infection were also found to be comparable. Guide wire breakage was found in 2 patients undergoing CRIF. Posterior comminution, poor reduction and improper screw placement were the major factors influencing non-union. An accurate reduction in both the planes and placement of screws parallel or slightly divergent to each other had a positive influence on union. An overall AVN rate of 16.3% (15/92) was encountered and it was not influenced by any of the factors. A delay of more than 48 hrs in surgery did not influence the rates of union or AVN.

Conclusion: Both CRIF and ORIF are credible methods of treatment. Although the duration of surgery in CRIF is less than ORIF, the added time taken in achieving the reduction on the fracture table may actually make the whole procedure longer than ORIF. Posterior comminution, early loss of reduction and convergent screw placement are leading reasons for non-union.


J Kendrew J Varley M Parker

One of the most common early complications after hemiarthroplasty is dislocation, with an incidence of 2 to 4%. After dislocation the mortality and morbidity are significantly increased to in excess of 50%.

It has been claimed that a bipolar hemiarthroplasty has a lower risk of dislocation than a unipolar implant. In addition it has been suggested that patients with either Parkinson’s disease or a previous stroke are at increased risk of dislocation. We investigated these claims by performing a comprehensive literature search of articles published in the last 40 years and data obtained from our own hip fracture database.

From the literature review, 133 reports involving 21,872 patients were retrieved. A further 1235 hip fractures treated by hemiarthroplasty were recorded from our database. 791 (3.4%) dislocations were recorded. Dislocation rate for unipolar prosthesis was higher than bipolar prosthesis (3.9% versus 2.5%). Dislocation rate for posterior surgical approach was higher than for anterior approach (5.1% versus 2.4%). Dislocation rate for cemented prosthesis was 3.6% versus 2.3% in un-cemented prosthesis. However, the effect of the type of implant becomes non-significant on adjusting for the use of cement and surgical approach. The incidence of open reduction after dislocation was increased with bipolar implants. Patients with Parkinson’s disease showed a highly statistically significant increase in dislocation rate (8.7% to 3.4%). The dislocation rate with respect to ipsilateral hemiplegia was 1.6%.

This study indicates there is no difference in the dislocation rate between a unipolar and bipolar prosthesis but if a bipolar prosthesis dislocates, there is an increased risk of failure to reduce the prosthesis by closed means. Patients with Parkinson’s disease are at an increased risk of dislocation but this is not the case for those with a hemiplegia. To minimise the risk of dislocation of a hemiarthroplasty, particularly in those patients with Parkinson’s disease, a unipolar hemiarthroplasty inserted via an antero-lateral approach is recommended.


A Chougle JP Hodgkinson

To determine socket survivorship in DDH based on the severity of hip dysplasia, we carried out a retrospective study of 283 cemented total hip replacements carried out at Wrightington. The hips were classified according to the Crowe and Hartofilakidis classifications. Revision was used as the end point for prosthetic survivorship. The results were analysed statistically using SPSS for Windows

The mean age at time of surgery was 42.6 years with a mean follow-up of 15.7 years. The acetabulum was grafted in 46 cases. The commonest cause for revision was aseptic loosening of the acetabular component (88.3%). 254 procedures were carried out through a transtrochanteric approach with a direct lateral approach used for the remaining mildly dysplastic hips. At 10 years 5.3% of dysplastic, 14.8% of low dislocation and 51.1 % of high dislocation hips were revised.. At 10years 6% of Crowe Type1, 8.5% of Type2, 25.5% of Type3 and 39.2% of Type4 hips were revised. At 20 years 24% of dysplastic, 45% of low dislocation and 88% of high dislocation hips were revised. At 20years 27.3% of Crowe Type1, 29.3% of Type2, 63.3% of Type3 and 84.4% of Type4 hips were revised. The 20 year survival of patients less than 50 years of age at the time of surgery was 61% as compared to 92% survival in patients more than 50 years of age. The mean age of patients in the revised group was 35 years as compared to 45 years in the non-revised group.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates satisfactory results in dysplastic hips following cemented total hip replacements. With increasing severity of hip dysplasia there is a higher rate of premature failure of the acetabular component. There is adverse correlation between age and survival of the acetabular component. There is a dramatic increase in cup failure between 10 and 20 years.


N Pradhan J Hodgkinson P Wood R Vhadra P Wykes

Patients undergoing total hip replacement (THR) often require further orthopaedic surgery including other primary lower limb joint replacements and revision surgery in their lifetime. We analysed the 10-year data of 552 patients who underwent primary total hip replacement between April 1991 and March 1992 at our institute. Data were available for all patients before the index operation. 77% of patients attended their 5-year review and 67% attended their 10-year review. 233 (42%) had had or subsequently had the opposite hip replaced. 30 patients (5%) had a knee replaced and 19 (3%) had both knees replaced. 4.4% underwent revision surgery.

Conclusion: nearly half the total number of these patients will in due course require the opposite hip replaced. 13% will need another major joint surgery (ie revision or TKR). At £6138 for a primary THR and £8500 for revision THR, and the cost of radiographs (£60) and follow-up appointment (£60), the approximate cost implications on a conservative estimate are £13,000.000. These factors including cost implications and human resource requirements will have significant influence on future planning of health care trusts.


S Cutts A Datta A Khalid T Lawrence R Habib

Between January 1996 and July 2002, 60 patients (65 hips) were treated in our unit by 5 consultant surgeons using the Corin Cobalt-Chrome metal-on-metal hip resurfacing. 41 procedures were performed on male patients and 24 female.

All 65 cases used the Cormet Hip resurfacing (Corin, UK). Of these, 12 cases (18.5%) have required revision for mechanical failure. 5 of these patients were male and 7 female. The time to failure was defined as the interval between the date of primary and the date of revision surgery. The mean time to failure was 10.2 months (range 48 hours to 53 months). 8 out of 12 patients required revision within 6 months of the primary procedure. The mean age at the time of revision was 56 years (range 22–71 years).

The commonest mechanism of failure in our series is fractured neck of femur and 4 out of the 6 fractured neck of femur occurred in females over the age of 60. Only 12 of our primary hip resurfacings were women over 60 with the result that 33% of this group were complicated by fractured neck of femur.

In 4 cases, the indication for revision was acetabular loosening. One patient underwent revision surgery for chronic pain of unknown aetiology and one developed progressive avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

Our early results suggest that the procedure is operator-dependent and associated with a steep learning curve. The procedure would appear to be contraindicated in women over 60 and others at risk of osteoporosis.


Y Ahmad M Bishay G Andrew D Pring S Krikler

We present an independent multi-centre follow-up of metal-metal resurfacing from district regional hospitals (DGHs) in a series of ‘young’ patients with implants from a single manufacturer.

Between November 1995 and November 2002, two hundred and thirteen primary total hip resurfacings were performed in six centres. Two hundred and ten patients were followed up with none lost to follow-up. The average age of the patient group was 52.9 years range (21.9–71.3 years). Of these 210 patients 119 were male and 91 were female. There were three bilaterals and five revisions recorded with a revision rate of 2.3% at seven years. The maximum duration of follow-up was 84 months, the minimum was 3 months and the mean follow-up was 43.5 months.

The average Harris Hip score at the latest follow-up review was 78.15 (range 23–100). The Kaplan-Meier Survivorship of Cormet was 95% at 7 years and a survivorship of 97.38% at three years. These results indicate that metal-metal resurfacing meets the NICE guidelines for suvivorship at the three year benchmark in DGHs with local patients and is on course to meet the 10 year benchmark despite the extremely demanding patient group.


MR Acharya WM Harper G Eastwood D Evans

Cerebral micro emboli have been noted to occur during both total hip and knee arthroplasty. These micro emboli have been implicated in the causation of postoperative cognitive impairment. The aim of this study was to determine whether cerebral micro emboli occur during hip fracture surgery.

28 patients undergoing hip fracture surgery had transcranial doppler assessment of the middle cerebral artery to detect cerebral micro emboli. Micro embolic signals (MESs) were recorded during the operative procedure.

Successful monitoring was carried out in 26 patients. MES were recorded in 16 out of 26 patients. 12 out of 16 patients who had MESs had undergone a cemented hemiarthroplasty; the remainder had a sliding hip screw for an extracapsular hip fracture. 75% (9/12) of patients who had a cemented hemiarthroplasty had the majority of MESs after reaming and cementing. MESs in the patients who had a sliding hip screw occurred throughout the operative procedure.

Conclusion: Cerebral micro emboli do occur during hip fracture surgery. These emboli may be responsible for the cognitive dysfunction that occurs in this susceptible group of patients.


RU Ashford A Frasquet-Garcia P De Boer P Campbell

Hip resurfacing is a procedure designed to conserve bone stock in the younger patient and facilitate revision to a total hip arthroplasty if the need arises. The Wagner Hip Resurfacing (WHR) was a metal-on- poly implant introduced in 1978.

The notes and radiographs of 16 patients who underwent 19 WHR procedures performed by a single surgeon between 1980 and 1984 were reviewed.

The mean age at primary surgery was 54 (range 41–68). 16 of the WHRs required revision at a mean time of 45 months (range 1–144 months). 3 WHR had not been revised: one is functioning at 22 years, one functioning well 20 years after implantation when the patient died and 1 non-functional 9 years after implantation due to femoral head reabsorption.

The reason for revision was femoral neck fracture (3), femoral head collapse / avascular necrosis or loosening (8), acetabular loosening (5).

Subsequent problems with the revision were noted in 6 patients (2 dislocations, 2 infections, 1 acetabular loosening and 1 femoral loosening). 3 patients ended with a Girdlestone excision arthroplasty and 2 required re-revision.

Hip resurfacing is designed as a conservative option for the young arthritic hip. This prosthesis not only failed catastrophically at an early stage but had a major subsequent impact on revision surgery and complications associated with it.


VI Shevtsov SI Shved AV Kaminsky KA Giannikas

We report a prospective study of 106 consecutive patients younger than 60 years old who suffered an intertrochanteric fracture of the proximal femur and were treated with an “Ilizarov” external fixator. All surviving patients were assessed with the assistance of the “CITO” evaluation system for fracture outcomes at three months post-injury and 73 patients were either clinically reviewed or contacted by a letter to establish the long-term results.

Complications included one intraoperative death, one case of post-traumatic ankylosis of the hip, two cases that were discharged in varus and one case in valgus of the femoral neck. Other complications included pin-track infections and stiffness at the level of the knee that required a year to resolve. Overall long-term satisfaction was high (76% in reviewed patients and 91% in patients contacted by letter).

The advantages of the “Ilizarov” external fixator include minimal disruption of the tissues and blood loss, capability of closed reduction of the fractures as well as post-operative manipulation of the fracture by gradual adjustments of the frame. This method, however, is time consuming, requires expertise and intense follow-up during the immediate post-operative period.


SKZ Hassan JR Lewis CG Moran R Wenn

To assess the relationship between preoperative urea concentration and mortality in patients with hip fractures requiring surgery, we carried out a prospective observational study of 1230 consecutive patients admitted to a single trauma unit with a hip fracture, required surgery.

Results: The mean age was 80 years (range 17–101) and 931 (77%) were female. 669 patients (54%) had intracapsular fractures, 547 patients (45%) had extra-capsular fractures and 14 patients (1%) had periprosthetic fractures. 760 (62%) patients were admitted from their own homes, 178 (15%) from residential homes, 150 (12%) from nursing homes and 123 (10%) from warden-aided homes. 644 (53%) were independently mobile before injury, 311 (26%) used walking aids, 241 (20%) were mobile with the use of a frame and 24 (2%) were unable to walk. 371 (32%) patients had a mini mental test score of less than 7. 49 (4%) were known to have renal disease and 106 (9%) had diabetes.

The 30-day mortality was 9.8% and the 90-day mortality was 19.9%. The mortality at 1 year was 29.0% and at 2 years was 30.2%. There is a clear relationship between a raised admission urea concentration and mortality at 90 days, 1 year and 2 years. Abnormalities of serum sodium and potassium concentration did not influence mortality.

Conclusion: Mortality is high following hip fracture. Patients admitted with a raised serum urea and treated with operative methods are at increased risk of death at all the time intervals analysed, up to and including 2 years. This group of patients may require a separate care pathway that provides more intensive management of fluid and electrolyte balance.


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A Hussain K Siva RK Prasad

To evaluate one-year mortality rate of hip fractures treated surgically and assess the influence of medical status and ASA grade on this parameter. 212 patients above 65 years (range 65–100, mean 82.7): There were 104 (49.1%) intertrochanteric and 108 (51.9%) femoral neck fractures. A number of surgical procedures, (sliding/compression screw 104 (49.1%), hemiarthroplasty 81 (38.2%), cannulated screws 18 (8.5%) and total hip replacement (4.2%) were used. The one - year mortality rate was obtained from computerised records, case notes and General Practitioners.

One-year mortality rate for the whole group was 28.8% with an exponential increase corresponding to ASA grade. The relationship between ASA grade and mortality for the whole group (P< 0.001), younger age group of 65 – 84 years (P< 0.001), older age group of 85– 100 years (P=0.002), early operation group < 2 days (P=0.001), females (P=0.000), intertrochanteric fractures (P=0.007), femoral neck fractures (P=0.022) and sliding/compression screw (P=0.007) was highly significant. The type of operation per se and time of operation had no predictive value.

Conclusion: Statistically significant mortality is neither dependent on age, nor type of fracture, time of surgery and type of surgery per se, but is essentially a reflection of ASA status.

The extensive dominant influence of ASA grade is a highly significant predictive determinant and final arbiter of surgical risk and mortality in hip fracture.


E. Tsiridis AA Narvani FS Haddad J Timperley GA Gie

To assess the outcome of periprosthetic femoral fractures (Vancouver B3 type) around loose stems treated by impaction grafting revision, 106 B3 fractures were reviewed. To assess the association between those who healed and those who did not for the factors of interest such as stem length, impaction grafting and the combination of the above, odd ratios along with their 95% CI and their p-values were reported. Logistic regression in STATA version 7.0 employed.

75 out of 89 fractures treated with long stem revision and 10 out of 17 with sort stem healed. 74 out of 89 fractures treated with impaction grafting and 11 out of 17 treated without impaction grafting healed.

66 out of 75 fractures treated with long stem and impaction grafting and 9 out of 14 treated with with long stem but no impaction grafting healed. 8 out of 14 fractures treated with short stem and impaction healed. Average healing 8.5 months.

Those treated with long stem are almost four times more likely to heal than those treated with short stem (odds ratio = 3.75 95%CI: 1.21–11.6 p=0.022) and those with impaction grafting are also more likely, but not statistically significant, to heal than those without impaction grafting (odds ratio = 2.69, 95%CI: 0.86– 8.45 p=0.090). Furthermore, those with long stem and impaction are significantly more likely to heal than those without impaction grafting and those with short stem and impaction grafting (odds ratios = 4.07, 95%CI: 1.10 – 15.0 p=0.035 and 5.5, 95%CI: 1.54 – 19.6 p=0.009 respectively).

Impaction grafting is an increasingly popular technique for the restoration of femoral bone stock. It can successfully be applied to periprosthetic femoral fractures but a long stem should be used to bypass the distal fracture line.


KL Barker SE Barrington AG Clarkson-Webb S Squires A Racey

The DTC approach to patient management aims to decrease waiting list times and length of stay (LOS). To implement a reduction in the LOS it is imperative that suitable patients are selected. Factors such as co-morbidity and social support are important but other factors may also influence LOS.

To investigate if pre-operative measures of function were predictive of length of stay for patients treated in a Diagnostic & Treatment Centre for elective hip arthroplasty. The first 75 patients treated by the DTC were assessed pre-operatively recording timed measures of function for sit-to-stand, and stair climbing as well as ratings of pain and the WOMAC questionnaire. These measures were compared with the LOS for patients and their functional outcome at 6 weeks after discharge.

Linear regression was used to examine the influence of the measures on LOS. T-tests were used to compare the outcome at 6 weeks for pain and function between patients discharged within 5 days versus > 5 days.

The mean age was 65 years (39 – 80 years SD 8.4); 33 male and 42 female. Mean LOS was 6 days (4–14 SD 1.8), 52 % reached the DTC target of discharge on the 5th day. Regression analysis showed sit-to- stand was the best predictor of LOS (R2 = 46.7%) followed by WOMAC pain and climbing stairs. There were no significant differences in the pain or function scores at 6 weeks for patients discharged at 5 days or later.

Conclusion: There was a linear relationship between pre-operative sit-to-stand and LOS. The timed measures were simple to perform and patients could be tested in their own homes. Early discharge did not result in poorer self-reported outcome at 6 weeks. The routine measurement of sit-to-stand may be useful to clinicians as a prognostic indicator for treatment allocation and planning.


G Mundy CNA Esler WM Harper

Approximately 10% of primary hip replacements performed each year for osteoarthritis are in patients aged 55 or less. These patients have a longer life expectancy and a higher activity level than an elder cohort, which may translate to higher revision rates.

We utilized a regional hip register (Trent and Welsh Arthroplasty Audit Group (TWAAG)) to review current surgical practice in this age group. The TWAAG group comprises 118 surgeons working in 31 different hospitals covering a population of 8 million (14.2% of the population).

1 January 2000 to 31 December 2002, we were notified of 7,678 primary THRs for osteoarthritis. 911 (11.7%) were performed on patients aged 55 or less. Age, gender, grade of lead operating surgeon, type of femoral and acetabular prosthesis implanted, fixation method, femoral head size and bearing surfaces were recorded. There were 434 males, 477 females, with an age range of 16–55. Thirty-five femoral and thirty-three acetabular components were identified. 61.7% of femoral prostheses were cemented. 67.4 % of acetabular prostheses were uncemented. 30% of THRs implanted in the group over the study period were hybrid. 50% of implants had a metal/UHMWPE bearing. Other bearing surfaces comprised ceramic/UHMWPE 28.7%, metal/ metal resurfacing 13.8% and ceramic/ceramic 7.5%. Consultants performed 84.5% of procedures.

Femoral prostheses with little or no published data are used and, unless closely monitored, such practices will not be compliant with NICE recommendations. 40% of THRs performed had components implanted that were produced by different manufacturers. At the present time there does not appear to be a clear picture as to what is the ‘gold’ standard for young patients. Continued monitoring of these implants is essential to provide feedback and drive choice.


SS Prasad M O’Connor N Pradhan JP Hodgkinson

Recently, there has been a reluctance to perform hip arthrodesis. The number of patients requiring the conversion from hip arthrodesis to arthroplasty has also decreased. We present the functional results following conversion of hip arthrodesis to total hip arthroplasty at a specialist hip centre.

76 patients who underwent conversion of hip arthrodesis to total hip arthroplasty between 1963 and 2000 at the Centre for Hip Surgery, Wrightington Hospital, were included in this retrospective study. 9 patients died of unrelated causes and 7 patients were lost to follow up. The functional scoring was performed using the Merle d’Aubigné and Postel score.

The mean age at the time of surgical hip arthrodesis was 16.7 years and at the time of conversion was 48.7 years. Back pain is the most common indication for the conversion. All the patients were pleased with the clinical outcome following conversion to Arthroplasty. 6 patients had postoperative complications. The mean Merle d’Aubigné and Postel score increased from 8.97 to 13.46 at the latest follow-up. The mean wear rate was 0.06 mm/year. Survival of hip arthroplasty was 92.78 % at 18 years.

Conclusion: Our series demonstrates good outcome and patient satisfaction and high survival of the arthroplasty following the conversion from arthrodesis. Hip arthrodesis could be considered as a holding procedure in selected group of young patients with a later successful conversion to arthroplasty.


T D Lamberton JA Charity PJ Kenny A J Timperley GA Gie

Impaction bone grafting with a cemented polished double-taper stem as a technique for revision of the femoral component was introduced in 1987 at our institution.

As at January 2000, 540 cases in 487 patients had been performed. All procedures have been studied prospectively and there are no patients lost to follow-up. We present the survivorship and outcome data for these patients.

Survivorship at 15 years is 90.6 percent [95 percent confidence interval: 88–93 percent]. Clinical scores show marked and sustained improvement.

There have been 45 failures [8.3 percent]. Technical error contributed to 13 of the 24 non-infective complications, but with improved technique plus the addition of long stemmed impaction grafting, there have been no technical errors since 1996.

Our results show that revision of the femoral component with impaction bone grafting is a reliable and durable technique with an acceptably low complication rate and with excellent survivorship at 15 years.


J Ciampolini MJW Hubble

In the years 1990–1993, in an effort to reduce waiting list time, a small number of patients were sent from Exeter to hospitals in London to undergo elective total hip replacement. No medium- or long-term follow-up was arranged. Our aim was to audit the outcome of these hip replacements.

Review of the records of the referring medical practices, Regional Health Authority, local Orthopaedic Hospital and the distant centres at which the surgery was performed has identified 31 cases. A total of 27 hip replacements in 24 patients were available for clinical and radiological review.

12 (44%) hips have so far required revision surgery, at a mean of 6.5 years. Of these, three (11%) have been for deep infection. A further three hips (11%) are radiologically loose and are being closely monitored. Two patients (7%) suffered permanent sciatic nerve palsy.

Patients whose surgery was performed locally over a similar time period have a published failure rate of only 4.6%. The causes for such a difference in outcome were analysed and include surgical technique, implant selection and absence of follow-up. In the light of this evidence, we would like to urge the government to address waiting list problems by investing in the local infrastructure. Expanding those facilities where properly audited and fully accountable surgeons operate must be the way forward.


G Senthil Kumar M O’Malley N P Geary

To describe a discrete fascial canal containing the medial plantar cutaneous nerve of the great toe in operations of the great toe. Clinical Relevance: The medial plantar cutaneous nerve of the great toe is one of the terminal branches of the medial plantar nerve which itself is the anterior division of Posterior tibial nerve. This branch provides sensation to the dorsomedial aspect of the distal phalanx of the great toe.

Motor branches of the medial branch are given off proximal to the first metatarsophalangeal joint. A medial incision centred over the first metatarsophalangeal and creation of distally based capsular flap is employed in number of operations of the Hallux, e.g. Modified Silver’s McBride, Chevron Osteotomy, Replacement of the MTP Joint. The medial plantar cutaneous nerve is prone to injury if it is not identified and protected, leaving the patient with loss of sensation to the medial surface of the great toe. After dissection of the skin and superficial fascia over the medial side of the 1st MTP joint, a discrete layer of dense connective tissue is seen passing from the medial sesamoid to the medial plantar aspect of the first metatarsal. The closed blades of dissecting scissors can be inserted under this layer proximally to distally and the medial plantar cutaneous nerve can be seen to enter the canal at its proximal end. This fascial layer can then be opened and the underlying nerve thus identified and protected. Opening the tunnel proximally and identifying the nerve ensures nerve is not divided with plantar arm of distally based capsular flap. Identification and protection of this nerve prevents the complication of loss of sensation and the development of a painful neuroma, giving the patients a better outcome following surgery.


PTH Lee MT Clarke PWP Beacroft AHN Robinson

Distal tibial fractures may be satisfactorily held in reduction by fine-wire external fixation techniques, avoiding the need for open reduction and internal fixation. However, as the use of external fixation is associated with pin-site infection, extra-articular placement of the wires is recommended. This study assesses the proximal extension of the capsule of the ankle joint in order to provide information on the safety of wire placement for distal tibia fractures.

We recruited 7 patients who were electively scheduled for an MRI ankle investigation with the suspicion of osteochondral defect and/or meniscoid lesion. Patients with a history of ankle fracture or ankle surgery were excluded from the study. Just prior to MRI, the ankle joint was injected with 5 to 15 ml of contrast solution (1 mM dimeglumine gadopentetate). Selected fat-saturated T1-weighted MRI scans with sagittal, coronal and axial views were obtained. The site and proximal extent of the capsular reflection with reference to the anterior joint line were measured.

All contrast-enhanced MRIs of the ankle joint space were well defined and unambiguous. Proximal capsular extensions above the plane of the anterior joint line were noted at the antero-medial and antero-lateral aspect of the joint (mean 8.9 mm, range 4.9 to 13.4 mm) and at the tibia-fibular recess (mean 18.7 mm, range 13.3 to 23.6 mm), areas that are frequently traversed by wire insertion.

Conclusion: This in vivo contrast-enhanced MRI ankle study demonstrates an appreciable capsular extension above the joint line of the ankle. The proximal capsular extensions at the antero-medial and antero-lateral aspect of the joint and at the tibio-fibular recess run the risk of being traversed during fine-wire placement for distal tibia fractures. Surgeons using these techniques should be aware of this anatomy.


A Ghandour DJ Fagan RH Thomas DP O’Doherty

In a prospective study to evaluate the benefits of radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in patients with longstanding chronic Achilles tendonitis. 34 cases of non-insertional Achilles tendonitis were treated in 32 patients, using radial shockwave treatment. Symptoms had been present for at least ten months and were resistant to conservative treatments. Patients received three shockwave sessions at weekly intervals. Evaluation was performed prior to treatment, at six weeks and three months after the final session. Patients completed a visual analogue score (VAS) for maximal pain (0–100), the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot Scale and the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Achilles questionnaire (VISA-A).

At short-term review all patients reported an improvement in symptoms. The VAS fell from a pre-treatment value of 74 (+/−15) to 22 (+/−17). An improvement in the AOFAS from of 64 (+/−10) to a post-treatment value of 90(+/−7) was seen, and an average from 30 to 70 in the VISA-A score. No complications from the treatment were reported. Four patients previously listed for surgery have improved sufficiently to be removed from the waiting list.

Conclusion: Short-term results using ESWT for the treatment of longstanding non-insertional Achilles tendonitis are encouraging. Longer-term follow-up subsequent to this prospective pilot study is underway to assess if results are reproducible over a greater time period.


J E Owen K Baker S Palmer P Cooke

The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional outcome of a group of patients following completely neglected tendo-achilles ruptures.

Between July 2001 and July 2002 we identified 6 patients who presented to the Foot and Ankle Service in Oxford with 7 chronic untreated complete ruptures of the tendo-achilles. There were 4 males and 2 females and the average age was 65 years (range 52 to 79). The average time since injury was 12.2 months (range 7 to 24). None of them had undergone any modality of treatment for this condition. From the history, a definite acute injury was confirmed in each patient. All patients had a palpable defect in the tendo-achilles between 4 and 8 cm from the insertion and the defects measured from 10 to 32 mm. In all case the Thompson test confirmed ongoing discontinuity and single leg heel raise was not possible on the affected side. Each patient was assessed using the scoring system of Leppilahti and concentric and eccentric power were assessed using the Kin-Com Dynamometer. The results indicate an average Leppilahti score of 65/100 with 1 excellent, 0 good, 3 fair and 2 poor. The isokinetic strength measurements demonstrated that plantar flexor power was on average 36% weaker than the normal side. These differences were most marked at the higher test speeds, which were on average 16% weaker than at the lowest test speed in the affected leg. Five out of 6 patients were pain free, with only one reporting mild pain. Objective testing demonstrated no differences in the range of movement between the injured and the normal side. All patients were satisfied with the outcome; however, most had some reservations, which related to ongoing weakness that prevented recreational activity.

Conclusion: At one year after injury the completely neglected tendo-achilles rupture in the older population is likely to be pain-free, to have full active ankle movement and to recover two-thirds of the power of plantar flexion compared to the unaffected limb. Ongoing weakness will prevent recreational activity but has minimal affect on activities of daily living including stair-climbing ability. We have established a benchmark of the natural history of this condition in the older patient against which the results of surgical treatment can be compared.


S Kadambande K Hariharan

To compare the intrinsic foot function and pliability of the foot in shoe and non shoe wearing population, measurement on the right foot of 100 randomly selected non-shoe wearing (Indians) and 100 shoe-wearing (British) population was carried out. They had normal body-mass index, age between 25 to 35 years and no previous injury or disability to the lower extremities.

Using a force gauge, force of extension and flexion at 1st metatarsophalyngeal joint, abduction at 5th meta-tarsophalyngeal joint and adduction between 1st and 2nd toe was measured. Pliability Ratio was calculated as follows:

Maximum weight bearing foot length X maximum weight bearing foot length

Maximum non-weight bearing foot length X maximum non-weight bearing foot length.

Using the student test at 95% confidence interval, there was no statistically significant difference in the intrinsic foot function. Multivariate regression analysis showed that after adjustment for other variables like gender and ethnicity, the shoe condition is significant on the pliability ratio. This study shows that although shoe-wearing does not affect the intrinsic foot function it definitely results in stiffer feet. This difference is more marked in women (p=0.0171).

Shoe-wearing can affect the transmission of forces during locomotion especially if the muscles acting across the foot are normal but the joints across which they act are stiff. Shoes have an inbuilt medial arch support and narrow toe boxes. This result in incomplete movement of the transverse and longitudinal arches of the foot leading to stiffer feet and can affect the biomechanics of shod feet.


N Elomrani M Saleh

We report a series of sixty corrections in fifty-five adult patients performed from 1989 to 2001 for complex deformities of the foot and ankle, using circular external fixation, with a mean follow up of 4.4 years. We studied the aetiology, pathophysiology of injury, clinical and radiological evaluation, and the method and outcome of treatment. The patients mean age was 37 years (range 16–65). 37 male. 18 females. 44 deformities were sequel of severe lower limb trauma; the others were due to neurological, congenital and iatrogenic causes. 38 patients had associated proximal pathology including non-union, malunion, shortening and deformities. This required simultaneous correction. In most patients, conventional surgery had failed to achieve correction and many of them were considered for amputation. The aim of surgery was correction of deformity in forty-two occasions and correction of deformity with ankle fusion in eighteen occasions.

For each patient, specific treatment goals were delineated that were realistically achievable. Initial complete correction was achieved in fifty-two patients; there was recurrence of the deformity in fourteen. Forty patients needed corrective osteotomies (16 ankles, 24 tibia and fibula). The results were classified as excellent in six patients, good in thirty-five patients, fair in eight patients, poor in six patients, five of whom had a below-knee amputation. Complications were minor and all resolved with appropriate therapy.

Conclusion: Circular external fixation offer a versatile and effective method of treatment of a variety of complex foot and ankle deformities; however, the surgeon should be familiar with both, their application and subsequent management. If foot and leg deformities coexist consider simultaneous correction. Corrective osteotomies may lead to less recurrence than soft tissue correction alone. Fusion should be considered where muscular imbalance or severe degenerative changes exists. In some cases with severe pathology; the only other option may be amputation.


L Di Silvio Z Ali A. Narvani A Goodship G Bentley E Tsiridis

Current bone grafts include allograft and autografts, both of which have limitations. Tissue engineering biotechnology has shown considerable promise in improving grafts. A competent graft material should ideally have osteoconductive and osteoinductive properties and comprise of bone forming cells and osteoinductive growth factors. In this study, we have evaluated the in vitro formation of bone and have used human demineralised bone matrix [DBM] and human insoluble collagenous matric [ICM] as scaffolds for mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] and osteogenic protein [OP-1]. The objective was to determine whether combined addition of OP-1 and MSCs resulted in a superior bone graft substitute by improving the inherent osteoinductive property.

DBM and ICM were prepared and combined with rhOP [1.4 mg/0.25 mg of bone] and MSCs [1 x 105/ ml]. Statistically significant differences in MSC proliferation were seen between materials with and without OP-1 [P< 0.05}, n=8] in DBM on day 1, and both DBM and ICM on day 7 and 14. Enhanced osteogenic differentiation was observed in the presence of OP-1 when compared to DBM alone and on DBM and ICM with OP-1. In conclusion MSCs and OP-1 can be seeded together on DBM and ICM and Von Kossa staining and X-ray analysis confirmed in vitro de novo bone formation, with DBM + MSCs + OP-1 being more successful in this regard.

Conclusion: To date, no other study, to the author’s knowledge, has used MSCs and OP-1 together on a graft material; this funding, therefore, has very important clinical implications.


G S Kumar M Ramakrishnan AEJ Froude NPJ Geary

The aim of the study was to assess the clinical, radiological and paedobarographic outcome following modified Silver’s McBride’s procedure, in the treatment of Hallux Valgus. Between 1997 and 1999, Modified Silver’s McBrides procedure for Hallux Valgus was performed on 38 foot in 28 patients (18 unilateral and 10 bilateral). The median age was 60 years. The median follow up was 26 weeks. Clinical outcome measures consisted of pain, deformity, mobility, walking ability and shoe wear. Radiological outcome measures were Hallux Valgus angle, Intermetatarsal angle, 1st to 5th Metatarsal distance, 1st to 2nd metatarsal distance, and the DMAA (Distal Metatarsal Articular Angle). Paedobarographic (Musgrave) outcome of peak pressure, total force, time from heel strike to toe lift off post operatively were analysed. Preoperative visual analogue pain score was 5–8 and 0–4 postoperatively (p< 0.001). 34 feet had pain on walking preoperatively and only 11 had pain post-operatively. 12 were wearing special shoes pre- operatively and 5 post-operatively. Hallux Valgus angle was 34 pre-operatively and 19 post-operatively (p< 0.001). IMT angle was 14.53 pre-op and 10.88 postop (p< 0.001). 1st-5th MT distance was 67mm pre- op and 63mm post-op (p=0.001). 1st-2nd MT distance was 15 pre-op and 10 post-op (p=0.004). DMAA was 24.7 degrees. 21 foot an obliquity of the 1st tarsometatarsal joint was seen indicating an anatomical cause of metatarsus varus. Foot pressure studies showed a peak pressure of 1.37kg/cm2 , heel to toe off- time was 936.9ms and maximum load was 65.2 kg. There were 3 cases of superficial wound problems. One patient developed Hallux varus deformity, with no functional disability.

Conclusion: Modified Silver’s McBride procedure for the treatment of Hallux Valgus is a soft tissue procedure and is a safe alternative to the commonly practiced osteotomies for correction of this disorder.


AS Aster MC Forster RA Rajan KJ Patel R Asirvatham

To assess the reliability of the pre-operative measurement methods used in the management of the hallux valgus deformity, five observers assessed 50 pre-operative standing foot radiographs on two occasions in order to assess the reliability of radiological hallux valgus assessment using the inter-metatarsal angle (IMA), hallux valgus angle (HVA) and joint congruency. Five published methods of angle measurements described by Hawkins, Venning and Hardy, Mitchell, Miller and Nestor were used.

Kappa statistics were used to assess the reliability of the diagnosis of congruency. Regarding IMA and HVA, mean values between the methods were assessed by one-way ANOVA. The differences between the methods and observers were assessed by two-way ANOVA.

Results: Diagnosis of congruency showed good agreement (k=0.608) over two occasions, although this did vary by observer.

The mean IMA and HVA measurements varied significantly between methods on both occasions (p< 0.0001). Mitchell’s method had the lowest and Miller’s the highest mean values.

Analysis of variance showed both method and observer variations were significant for IMA. But HVA measurements differed significantly only by observers.

Conclusion: The reliability of IMA and HVA measurements is poor whichever measuring method is used and these methods are not interchangeable. Study papers should state the measurement method used. For the pre- and post-operative assessment the same method should be used.


SS Prasad T Lake MS Hennessy

Scarf osteotomy is a z-osteotomy of the 1st metatarsal and is proposed to correct anatomical and functional deformities of hallux valgus. This procedure allows early ambulation and early return of function. This study was conducted to evaluate clinical and paedobarographic results following this procedure in a district general hospital.

From August 2000, we prospectively collected the data on 43 feet (32 consecutive patients) followed up for 12 months. We collected the data pre-operatively, 3,6 and 12 months post-operatively using AOFAS score, weight-bearing radiographs and paedobarographs. From the paedobarographs (Musgrave), the forefoot function was evaluated using peak pressure, force time integral and pressure time integrals.

Mean total AOFAS score increased from 45.13 pre-operatively to 94.5 post-operatively (p< 0.001). Postoperatively, the hallux valgus angle decreased from 29.83° to 11.79° and 1–2 intermetatarsal angle decreased from 12.48° to 6.37° (p< 0.001). Post-operatively, peak pressure has increased under the 1st metatarsal head and decreased under the 2nd metatarsal head. Force time integral and pressure time integrals also showed similar changes. We have not noticed significant alteration of forefoot pressures under the lateral part of forefoot.

Using scarf osteotomy, we achieved good correction of the hallux valgus deformity and significant improvement of AOFAS scores. We also noted alteration of the forefoot function with increased pressure under the 1st metatarsal and reduced pressure under the 2nd metatarsal head.

Conclusion: We believe that scarf osteotomy is a versatile and reliable procedure in the management of hallux valgus.


MG McMullan JV Glenn SO O’Hagan G Mclorinan S Valanne DR Marsh S Patrick

The first aim of the study was to investigate if bacteria were implicated in non-union of fractures of the tibia and femur, which had been treated with intramedullary nailing. The second aim was to evaluate the antimicrobial susceptibility of bacteria isolated from the retrieved intramedullary nails.

Forty intramedullary nails removed from tibial and femoral fractures were retrieved for the purpose of the study. Twenty of these nails were from fractures, which had successfully united and 20 were removed from fractures which had failed to unite prior to further operative intervention. There was no evidence of clinical infection in either of the two groups. The nails were subjected to ultrasound in the research laboratory to dislodge adherent bacteria formed as biofilm from the surface of the nail. Using both standard culture techniques and non-culture techniques (Immunofluorescence microscopy and PCR analysis) any dislodged bacteria were isolated and identified.

Isolated bacteria were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility to commonly used antibiotics in orthopaedic practice according to NCCLS guidelines.

Bacteria were detected in 15 out of 20 [75%] of the nails removed from fractures, which had developed a non-union, and in 5 out of 20 [25%] of fractures that had united, using both standard culture techniques and non-culture techniques. The bacterial isolates identified were mainly Staphylococcus epidermidis and the Gram-positive anaerobe Proprionibacterium acnes.

Vancomycin was the most effective antibiotic, with 2 out of 34 [6%] isolates being resistant. Erythromycin was the least effective, with 21 out of 34 [62%] isolates being resistant. Based on overall Minimum Bactericidal Concentrations at which 90% of all strains were killed, Vancomycin was the most active bactericidal agent tested followed in decreasing order by fucidic acid, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, cefamandole and erythromycin.

Bacteria were detected more commonly in the fracture non-union group than in the union group [p< 0.01]. Of the antibiotic agents tested Vancomycin was the most effective and Erythromycin was the least effective.


AR Norrish M Hanif P Johnston R Sheikh M Gadir

Daycase lumbar microdiscectomy surgery is not widely practised in the UK. We studied the outcome of microdiscectomy as daycase or inpatient surgery.

Data collection was by retrospective case-note review of consecutive patients in each group. Inpatients not suitable for daycase surgery were excluded.

There was no significant difference between patient groups in the rate of recurrent prolapse, wound infection, permanent sensory loss, or persistent postoperative pain. Symptoms resolved and patients returned to normal activities equally in both groups.


E Tsiridis A Bhalla A Narvani A Goodship G Bentley L Di Silvio

Limitations of allografts and autografts for bone repair have increased the demand for a synthetic bone graft substitute for load-bearing and non-load bearing osseous defects. Tissue engineering of bone has thus been implicated to circumvent and eliminate the limitations of existing therapies, with living cell-scaffold constructs ultimately “integrating” with the patients own tissue. Bone engineering requires cells, growth inducing factors and a scaffold for delivery of cells to the anatomic site, creation of 3-D space for tissue formation and mechanical support. In this study, we investigated whether addition of osteogenic Protein-1 (OP-1) enhanced the osseoinductive properties of hydroxyapatite (HA) loaded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The study was conducted over a fourteen day period and the two groups HA/MSC and HA/MSC loaded with OP-1 were analysed qualitatively by SEM and quantitatively by assessment of proliferation (Alamar blue assay and total cellular DNA) and differentiation marker alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP). HA/MS/OP-1 showed a statistically significant (p< 0.05) increase in cell proliferation (286.52 ± 58.2) compared to the unloaded samples (175.62 ± 23.51). ALP activity (release) was also significantly enhanced (p < 0.05) in the loaded samples at day 14 (12.63 ± 1.58) compared to the control (2.73 ± 1.07).

Conclusion: the osseoinductive potential of HA was markedly improved by the incorporation of MSC’s and OP-1. This type of graft could provide improved mechanical stability at an earlier time point, and may influence future clinical application of HA for load bearing sites.


PA Rust P Kalsi SR Cannon TW Briggs GW Blunn

Bone grafts are frequently used to augment bone healing. Autologous bone graft is the gold standard for osteogenesis but is limited by availability and donor site morbidity. The processing required to lower the immunogenicity of allograft also reduces the osteogeneic properties. Bone marrow contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which differentiate into osteoblasts, forming bone. Our study examined the use of bone marrow to enhance the osteogenic properties of allograft.

Bioactive proteins within allogenic bone graft stimulate marrow-derived MSCs to differentiate into osteoblasts, thereby increasing the osteogenic nature of the graft.

After informed consent, bone marrow aspirates were taken from five patients during orthopaedic operations. Freeze-dried ethylene oxide treated allograft, from a number of donors, was obtained from the bone bank. MSCs isolated from each marrow aspirate were grown on eight samples of test allograft. Further allograft was heated to 70°C to denature the osteogenic proteins and MSCs from each aspirate were grown on 8 samples, as a negative control. Osteoblastic differentiation of MSCs cultured on the types of allograft was compared.

Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that MSCs covered the allograft after 14 days. Transmission electron microscopy showed that cells on the test allograft were characteristic of osteoblasts and produced collagen extracellular matrix. The levels of osteoblastic proteins, ALP, osteopontin and Type I pro-collagen, produced by cells on test allograft were significantly greater compared with heat-treated control (P< 0.005), after days 7 and 14.

Our study showed that marrow-isolated MSCs could be successfully cultured on allograft. As the levels of osteoblastic proteins increased significantly when MSCs were grown on allograft, osteogenic proteins within allograft caused MSCs to change into osteoblasts. This confirms that autologous marrow MSCs could be grown on allograft to increase its osteogenic prior to grafting, resulting in increased rate of bony healing.


KA Giannikas MT Karski AM Khan J Buckley RA Wilkes CE Hutchinson A Freemont

While the early period of distraction osteogenesis has been extensively investigated, there are very few data describing the long-term morphology of the regenerate. We performed magnetic resonance scans in ten adults (men age 35+− 11 yr), seven of whom had bone transport for an iatrogenic osseous defect while further three had tibial lengthening for limb length discrepancy. Follow-up ranged between 14 and 43 months (mean : 28 + − 10 months) following the removal of the external fixator. The perimeter, cross- sectional area, volume and the mean signal intensity was calculated from the obtained T1 weighted axial images. Values were compared with the contralateral tibia that acted as control. All cases that had bone transport increased the volume of the tibia from 15.3% up to 50.8%. The regenerated segment was noted to have expanded significantly (p< 0.0001) in all cases. Mean signal intensity in the regenerate decreased in seven cases significantly (p< 0.0001) suggesting increase content of unhydrated tissue such as bone and collagen. The cross-sectional surface of the transported segment was increased in all cases (p< 0.008). Finally in cases that underwent bone transport, the docking site was noted to be obstructed by unhydrated tissue. Contrary to previous claims, the post-distraction osteogenesis tibia is far from normal, consisting of areas with potentially different biomechanical properties. Recognition of these changes is essential not only for appropriate pre-operative counselling but also for considering treatment modalities in case of a fracture.


M A El Masry W I El Assuity Y K El Hawary C R Weatherley

Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis is one of the common causes of mechanical low back pain in adults. Conservative treatment of such cases, particularly for the low grade slips, remains the mainstay of management. When patients’ symptoms are marked and not responsive to conservative therapy, the surgical option can be considered. Up to the time of writing this abstract [January 2003], arthrodesis of the affected motion segment with or without instrumentation is the standard surgical option for treating mechanical low back pain. Results of different types of arthrodesis for treating such condition had been reported in literature, including posterior fusion, posterolateral fusion, and posterior and anterior interbody fusion.

Between 1993 and 1998, seventy- five adult patients with grade I or II lytic spondylolisthesis were treated by in situ posterolateral fusion and segmental instrumentation using the Oswestry Pedicle Screw System, with or without extended Gill’s procedure. The indications for surgical intervention in these cases were significant reduction in the quality of life with persistent low back pain and/or leg pain after a minimum of six months conservative therapy. Confirmatory imaging studies consistent with the clinical data should also be obtained before deciding the surgical option. The average operative time was 2.5 hours [range 2–4 hours). The average blood loss was 850 mls (range 300–2300 mls)

After an average follow-up of 60.7 months (range 24–95 months) clinical results were excellent and good in 92%, and radiological union was achieved in 94% of patients. Complications included 2 cases with superficial wound infection, one case with deep wound infection, and four of the patients went to non-union.

In conclusion, with a careful patient selection, patients with instrumental insitu posterolateral fusion gained a satisfactory clinical and radiological outcome and the results were maintained for an adequate postoperative period.


B J C Freeman R D Fraser C M J Cain D J Hall

Intra-Discal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) has been proposed as a treatment for chronic discogenic low back pain. Reports from prospective outcome studies demonstrate statistically significant improvements, but to date there are no published randomized controlled trials assessing efficacy when compared to a placebo group.

Ethical Committee approval was obtained prior to the study. Patients with chronic low back pain who failed to improve with conservative therapy were considered for the study. Subjects had one or two level symptomatic disc degeneration as determined by provocative CT/discography. Patients were excluded if there was > 50% loss of disc height or previous back surgery. Fifty-seven patients were randomized with a 2:1 (IDET: Placebo) ratio, 38 to the active IDET arm and 19 to the sham procedure (placebo). In all cases the IDET catheter was positioned under sedation to cover at least 70% of the annular tear defined by the CT/discogram. An independent technician connected the catheter to the generator and either delivered electrothermal energy (active group) or did not (sham group). Both surgeon and patient were blinded to the treatment. Patients followed a standard rehabilitation programme.

Low Back outcome score (LBOS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), SF-36 questionnaire, Zung Depression Index (ZDI) and Modified Somatic Perceptions Questionnaire (MSPQ) were measured at baseline and 6 months. Successful outcome was defined as: no neurological deficit resulting from the procedure, improvement in LBOS of > 7 points, improvements in SF-36 subsets (pain/disability, physical functioning and bodily pain).

Two subjects withdrew (both IDET). Baseline demographic data, employment and worker’s compensation status, sitting tolerance, initial LBOS, ODI, SF-36, ZDI and MSPQ were similar for both groups. No neurological deficits occurred as a result of either procedure. No subject in either treatment arm showed improvement of > 7 points in LBOS or specified domains of the SF-36. Mean ODI was 41.4 at baseline and 39.7 at 6 months for the IDET group compared to 40.7 at baseline and 41.5 at six months for the Placebo group. There was no significant change in ZDI or MSPQ for either group. No subject in either treatment arm met criteria for successful outcome. Further analysis showed no significant change in outcome measures in either group at six months.

In conclusion, this study demonstrates no significant benefit from IDET over placebo.


A Marsh G Edge J Lehovsky

This study assessed whether spinal fusion surgery could be performed safely in patients with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) and a low (less than 30%) predicted forced vital capacity (PFVC).

Patients were identified with a diagnosis of scoliosis secondary to DMD who underwent spinal fusion procedures at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore between January 1990 and December 1999. Their notes and radiographs were reviewed and a standardised data collection form was completed.

Thirty patients with a mean age of 14 years 8 months at surgery underwent posterior spinal fusions. All were discharged from hospital alive and self-ventilating on average 22 days post-operatively (range 13–62 days). Thirteen patients had a PFVC less than 30%. The mean pre-operative curve was 61 degrees (range 30 to 90) and the mean number of levels fused was 15 (i.e. T3 to sacrum). The mean correction was 36 degrees (range 16 to 61). Two patients required temporary tracheotomies, one with a PFVC of 34% and one with a PFVC of 20%. Both were removed successfully after 39 days and 27 days respectively. There was no association between PFVC and operative time, blood loss, length of time on ventilatory support, time intubated, incidence of complications or length of admission.

Historically, only curves of greater than 20–35 degrees have been considered suitable for surgery, as the progression of the curve is associated with a marked decline in respiratory function. Considering the currently used criteria for surgery, the group of 13 with low PFVCs normally would have been denied surgery.

We conclude that spinal fusion surgery can be safely performed in DMD patients with a low PFVC.


L Ng P Sell

To evaluate prognostic factors that influence outcome particularly those related to duration of symptoms in surgery for lumbar radiculopathy, #2

In primary care 75% of patients are pain free after the onset of sciatica within 28 days. The optimum timing of surgery for unresolved leg pain secondary to herniated lumbar disc is unclear.

#2 We prospectively recruited 113 patients in this study and at one year, the follow up was available on 103 (91%). We investigated the prognostic value of a number of variables. These included the duration of sciatic symptoms, age at operation, Modified Zung Depression Score (MZD) and Modified Somatic Perception Score (MSP) using multiple regression analysis. The outcome was measured by the change of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Low Back Outcome Score (LBOS) and of the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Patients with contained and non-contained herniated disc were compared.

The change in ODI is statistically significantly associated with the duration of sciatica symptoms (p=0.05) with a one-month increase in the duration of symptoms being associated with a decrease in the change of ODI of 0.6% (95% CI, −1.014 to −0.187). The duration of sciatica and the MZD are associated with significant reduction in LBOS (p=0.034 and 0.028 respectively). VAS was not significantly associated with all the prognostic factors investigated.

A shorter duration of sciatic symptoms was associated with a greater degree of patients’ outcome satisfaction. Non-contained herniated disc had a shorter duration of symptoms and a better functional outcome compared to contained herniated disc. Unemployment and smoking were not risk factors for poor surgical outcome.

Conclusion: Our study indicates that the duration of radicular pain of more than 12 months has a less favourable outcome. Patient’s satisfaction is greatest if surgery occurs within one year.


ML Costa L Shepstone ST Donell TL Thomas

The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of shock-wave therapy for chronic Achilles pain. Forty-nine patients with Achilles tendon pain for a minimum of 4 months were included in the study. Patients were randomised to either shockwave therapy (n=27) or placebo control (n=22). The treatment group were given 2000 shocks at up to 1500 mJ/mm2 per shock. The control (sham) treatment was applied using the same parametres but the shockwaves were dispersed before they reached the patient. Each patient was treated once a month over 3 months. The primary outcome measure was pain on walking indicated on a 100mm visual analogue score (VAS) at 3 months. The walking pain scores were very similar at baseline between the two groups. In the treatment group the mean (standard deviation) was 55.5 mm (30.6) and in the control group 55.6mm (26.5). By 3 months, the pain scores had reduced in both groups to a mean (standard deviation) of 34.5 mm (34.2) and 50.3 mm (36.3). Although lower in the treatment group this difference was not statistically significant at the 5% level (t-test, p=0.127, 95% CI : −4.7 to 36.2). Two elderly patients in the treatment group sustained spontaneous rupture of the tendon after falls during the course of the trial. The results of this trial provided no evidence for the use of shockwave therapy in the treatment of patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy. However, a treatment effect cannot be ruled out since the 95% confidence interval included a potential clinically relevant difference. The two cases of rupture suggest extreme caution in treating the elderly.


J Wilson-MacDonald G Burt D Griffin C Glynn

To assess whether epidural steroid injection [ESI] is effective in the treatment of nerve root pathology caused by compression in the lumbar spine secondary to either spinal stenosis or disc prolapse, we carried out a prospective randomised controlled trial; patients were randomised either to ESI or Intramuscular steroid injection, with minimum two year follow-up.

Ninety two patients with symptoms, signs and radiological findings consistent with lumbar nerve root compression suitable for surgical decompression.

The main outcome measures were the Oxford Pain Chart over the first month, Oswestry Disability Index, and the need for surgery.

There was a significant reduction in pain early on after ESI compared with controls [p=< 0.004] between 10 and 35 days. There was no difference in the long term between the two groups and the rate of surgery in the two groups was not significantly different. Indeed the rate of surgery was higher in the ESI group than the control group [41% vs.31%] but this was not significant. A second ESI did not change the likelihood that surgery would be required.

Conclusion: ESI is effective for early pain relief for lumbar nerve root compression. However it does not change the natural history of the condition and does not reduce the ultimate need for surgery. It is probably effect to “buy time” in acute sciatica until improvement occurs naturally.


P Johnston AR Norrish T Brammer N Walton NP Coleman TA Hegarty

The objective of our study was to assess the efficacy of infection control measures (pre-admission screening and patient segregation) on reducing inpatient exposure to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

A prospective case-control study was undertaken, analysing all admissions to three wards over an 83-month period from September 1995 to July 2002 inclusive (a total of approximately 34 000 patients). An orthopaedic ward with active infection control measures was compared with two controls, an orthopaedic ward with no measures and a general surgical ward with no measures. A statistical analysis was performed of the difference between the 3 wards in numbers of new cases of MRSA infection or colonisation. There was a statistically significant difference in numbers of new cases between the ward with the active infection control measures and the two control wards.

The infection control methods described are shown to reduce the exposure of patients to MRSA, which is of importance in orthopaedics, and has further benefits that may be applied in other surgical specialties, notably the choice of antibiotic used with the associated risk of side-effects of the specific anti-MRSA agents, the cost for surgical prophylaxis and patients’ confidence in the admitting surgical unit. As a useful by-product, such segregated inpatient beds are effectively ring-fenced, ensuring availability even during a hospital bed-shortage.


D Griffin M Dunbar H Kwong P Upadhyay D Morgan M Lwin D Damany C Barton G Surr

Hip and knee arthroplasty has been associated with relatively high rates of thromboembolic events and the majority of UK orthopaedic surgeons use at least one form of prophylaxis. Of the many different subgroups of thromboembolic rates that are commonly presented in the literature, symptomatic proximal deep vein thrombosis (spDVT) and fatal pulmonary embolism (fPE) are perhaps the most important clinical outcomes.

To determine the effectiveness of common chemical and mechanical prophylactic methods in preventing spDVT and fPE in patients undergoing primary hip and knee arthroplasty. A systematic review of the literature from 1981 to December 2002 was performed. Predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Studies where more than one method of prophylaxis was used were excluded from analysis. For each individual method of prophylaxis, data was extracted, combined and converted to give estimates of the rates of spDVT, fPE and major bleeding events. Absolute risk reduction estimates for spDVT, fPE and major bleeding events were calculated by comparing the thromboembolic rates for each method of prophylaxis with using no prophylaxis of any kind.

992 studies were identified of which 162 met the inclusion criteria. No method of prophylaxis was statistically significantly more effective at preventing spDVT and fPE than using nothing. There were at least as many major bleeding complications as spDVTs. The number of fPEs prevented was very small.

When complications such as major bleeding are considered, the evidence behind the use of any prophylaxis is unconvincing.


SR Mitchell K Hinduja R Samuel P Hirst

Problem-based learning medical courses are now in the majority in the UK. This type of teaching, based on research by Barrow in the 1960s, seeks to integrate basic sciences and clinical teaching, leading to the acquisition of an integrated knowledge base that is readily recalled and applied to the analysis and solution of problems. We noticed an apparent difference in the core anatomical knowledge in a group of 4th year medical students during their orthopaedic placement, some of whom had been taught a traditional course and some a PBL course. We set out to quantify this difference.

60 simple anatomy questions were asked, with 30 minutes allowed, and no negative marking. 33 students were PBL taught, and 27 by a traditional course, with a roughly equal male: female ratio. The average score in the PBL group was 39.2% (range 11–52%), whereas the traditional group averaged 73.7% (range 63–79%).

A second study was undertaken on two groups of 80 second year medical students, at 2 different UK universities with comparable teaching standards and entry requirements, both being well-established courses. Again, a simple 50-question anatomy paper was used, without negative marking. The traditional course students scored a mean of 37.5 (25–46), and the PBL group scored a mean of 32.3 (18–45). The results were statistically significant (p< 0.0001).

Our results suggest that the difference between the two groups with regard to core anatomical knowledge increases with progression through training. This has significant implications due to PBL courses being in the majority. During the usually short orthopaedic attachment, it will become increasingly difficult for clinicians to teach effectively due to the lack of this knowledge.


SK Saraf V Logani OP Sharma

Ultrasound detects fracture healing earlier than conventional radiographic methods; however, its clinical applicability is limited by subjective nature of interpretation. An ultrasonographic scoring system was developed to quantify fracture healing objectively.

Fifty closed traumatic diaphyseal fractures of less than three weeks, treated by IM Nails, were subjected to serial radiographic and USG examinations (2–24 weeks) by LOGIQ 500 USG machine using 7.5MHz linear transducer. USG parameters included were Echogenecity (EC), Visibility of IM Nail (VIMN), Bridging Callus (BC), and Continuity of Cortex (CC). Marks were allotted from 0–3 for each parameter in the three fracture zones. Three portals were used and mean was obtained. Disorganized echopattern was also defined by us. The results were statistically analyzed and compared with radiological findings using Bone Formation (BF) score.

At 2 weeks, 94% had EC score of < 3, increasing significantly at each follow-up. Defective unions had EC less than 3 at all the times. BC score of 9 was obtained by 94% at 2 weeks increasing to 100% at 8 wks. In non-union score remained 0. VIMN did not provide any statistically significant information. CC were significant only 12 weeks onwards.

USG Score parallels the appearance and progressive mineralization of callus in the fracture gap. Healing pattern can be predicted more definitely in the earlier stages where EC score has more positive predictive value and statistical significance than radiological BF score. EC> 3, BC> 3 and absence of DE was considered an essential USG criteria to conclude fracture union. The advantage over radiological assessment is lost after 12 weeks. We also conclude that a fracture will probably end up in delayed union nonunion if, at 6–8 weeks, the fracture has EC score < 1 or does not show bridging callus in any of the sonographic portals (BC score < 3) or has a disorganized echopattern in any of the sonographic portals.


B.J Fourie J Stothard R Madhock J Hovenden

We set out to ascertain if there is a consensus in elective orthopaedic practice for the screening and management of MRSA. A questionnaire was distributed to all British Orthopaedic Association Linkmen, with prepaid return envelopes.

A response rate of 60% (159 of 250) was recorded. 62% do have a screening policy in practice: all admissions (44%), high risk patients only (22%), only patients for joint replacement (12%), both patients for joint replacement and patients at high risk of carriage (21%). Eradication therapy is used in a MRSA - positive patient prior to joint replacement surgery by 91%, following which the MRSA status would be checked by 88%. The efficacy of eradication would be confirmed by obtaining: one set (29%), two sets (13%), and three sets (49%) of negative swabs, prior to proceeding with surgery. A 2nd generation Cephalosporin (77%), followed by Teicoplanin/Vancomycin (16%) are in routine use for antibiotic prophylaxis.

The majority of responders have adopted a practice of screening patients; however, significant differences exist in the population that is selected for screening. Eradication in MRSA positive patients is a common practice, but there is variation in the number of subsequent screens performed. Cephalosporins remain the antibiotic of choice for prophylaxis but first line therapeutic agents are also being used which may have implications for resistance. These variations can be partly attributed to the lack of evidence from which practical guidelines can be drafted, as highlighted by national guidelines published in 1998. Until further research is done into the cost effectiveness of screening and the further management of MRSa we have to rely on strict adherence to infection control practices, and appropriate use of antibiotics.


CH Wong LW Khin KS Heng KC Tan CO Low

Early operative debridement is a major determinant of mortality in necrotizing fasciitis. However, early recognition is difficult. The aim of our study is to develop a novel scoring system for distinguishing necrotizing fascitis from other soft tissue infections based on routine laboratory findings on admission.

The developmental cohort consisted of 89 consecutive patients with necrotizing fasciitis treated between January 1997 and August 2002. Control patients (n=225) were randomly selected from patients admitted with the diagnosis of cellulitis or abscesses during the same period. Their haematological and biochemical results done on admission were analyzed.

Total white cell count, haemoglobin, sodium, glucose, creatinine and C-reactive protein were selected as predictors. The final constructed model was reliable and discriminated well between patients with necrotizing fascitis from those with other benign soft tissue infections (Area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve, 0.98). The LRINEC score was derived from this model and was validated in a separate cohort of patients from a different hospital (56 patients with necrotizing fasciitis and 84 control patients). Based on the calculated probability we stratified patients with soft tissue infections into 3 risks categories: high (LRINEC score _8), intermediate (LRINEC score 6–7) and low (LRINEC score _ 5) risks groups.

The LRINEC score is a robust score capable of detecting even clinically early cases of necrotizing fasciitis. On admission, patients in the intermediate and especially the high risks groups should be subjected to a frozen section biopsy or MRI scans with an aim of early diagnosis, debridement and ultimately


C Rajasekhar S Das A Smith

We report the outcome of 135 knees with medial compartment osteoarthritis treated by Oxford meniscal-bearing unicompartmental arthroplasty. They have been performed in a Distict General hospital by a single surgeon. All the knees had an intact anterior cruciate ligament, a correctable varus deformity and the lateral compartment was uninvolved or had minor osteoarthritic changes. At review 29 knees were in patients who had died and 106 were in those who were still living. The mean elapsed time since operation was 5.82 years (range 2–12 yrs).

Using revision as the end point the outcome for every knee was established. Five knees have been revised, giving a cumulative prosthetic survival rate at ten years of 94.04% (95% confidence interval 84.0 to 97.8). The causes for revision were aseptic loosening in three, progressive valgus deformity in one and dislocation of the bearing in one. Knee rating and patient function were assessed using the modified Knee Society Scoring system. The mean Knee score was 92.2 (51–100), and mean Functional score was 76.2 (51–100). 90% of the patients did not require blood transfusion. Two patients had deep vein thrombosis and three knees had superficial wound infection that responded to antibiotics. Intraoperatively, one patient had fracture of the proximal tibia which was fixed with two partially threaded cancellous screws.

92% of patients were fully satisfied with the procedure and 91% of them said that they would undergo a similar procedure in the opposite knee.

The implant survival is comparable to that reported by the designers of the prosthesis and not significantly different from those for total knee replacement. Uni-compartmental knee replacement with all its advantages offers a viable alternative in patients with medial gonarthrosis. Appropriate patient selection and good surgical technique are the key factors.


PTH Lee MT Clarke CP Roberts J Gray GS Keene N Rushton

Prior studies have compared the bacterial load observed in laminar flow operating theatres (LFOTs) and standard operating theatres (STOTs) by wound culture and air sampling during surgery. However many organisms responsible for low grade infection after THR are not readily identified on routine culture and may be detectable only by more sensitive techniques such as the poly-merase chain reaction (PCR). This study assessed the wound contamination rate during THRs and compared the results in STOT with that in LFOTs using PCR.

We recruited patients undergoing primary THR for osteoarthritis. Surgery was performed in either STOTs or LFOTs, using identical skin preparation solutions, surgical drapes and operating attire. Specimens of the deep tissue, taken at the beginning and end of surgery, were each immediately separated into two sterile containers, one sent for culture (aerobic, anaerobic and enriched meat broth) and the other frozen at minus 80 degrees Celsius for PCR at a later date.

In each theatre type, 40 specimens from 20 THRs were analysed by both PCR and culture. Using PCR, bacterial DNA was identified on 12 of 40 specimens (30%) from STOTs, of which 3 were taken at the start of surgery and 9 at the end of the surgery, giving a 45% wound contamination rate (9 of 20). Two specimens (5%), both taken at the end of surgery, were positive on enriched culture. In LFOTs, bacterial DNA was identified by PCR on 8 of 40 specimens (20%), of which 2 were taken at the start of surgery and 6 at the end of surgery, giving a 30% wound contamination rate (6 of 20). No specimens were positive on enriched culture.

Wound contamination of primary THR occurs frequently in both STOTs and LFOTs. Although STOTs showed evidence of more frequent wound contamination than LFOTs, with the numbers available, no significant difference was detected. These data remind us the importance of aseptic surgical technique as significant wound contamination can occur despite the use of ultra clean air operating theatres.


T M Lawrence R Wenn C White C G Moran

The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of second hip fracture.

A prospective cohort study include 2682 patients aged 50 years or more admitted with a hip fracture over a 4 year period. Mortality data were available for all patients and survival analysis was performed to determine the incidence of second hip fracture. The mean age-specific incidence rates of primary hip fracture in the population were calculated to serve as a baseline.

95 patients (3.5%) sustained a sequential, contralateral hip fracture within the study period. The mean age at first hip fracture was 82 years and the mean interval between fractures was 316 days. Fracture morphology was similar on both sides in 69% of cases. Survival analysis demonstrated that the incidence of second hip fracture at 1 year was 2.8% (95% CI: 2.0–3.6), 2 years was 5.7% (95% CI: 4.3–7.1) and 3 years was 7.3% (95% CI: 5.4–9.2). The relative risk of hip fracture in patients who had already sustained one hip fracture was 2.4 times above that of matched controls. Assistance with activities of daily living was identified as a risk for second hip fracture (p=0.026, 95% CI: 1.058, 2.466). The odds ratio for sustaining a second hip fracture compared with the incidence of primary hip fracture in the normal population aged 55–64 years was 47.5 xs; 65–74 years was 15 xs; 75–84 years was 3.7x and 85+ years was 1x.

The risk of sustaining a second contralateral hip fracture is substantial. In younger patients preventative measures can be targeted at the individual who has sustained a fracture whereas in more elderly patients, preventative measures need to address the population as a whole.


A Misra MRA Hussain NJ Fiddian G Newton

129 knees suitable for a standard PCL retaining cemented total knee replacement were randomised into two groups, one in which PCL was retained in the normal way, the other group having the PCL fully resected. Both groups received a PCL retaining implant. The two groups were well matched with a predominance of females and a mean age of 67 years.

There was no statistically significant difference in the HSS scores at an average of 57 months (range 56–60 months) in the two groups. Pain relief, deformity correction, range of motion, stability and strength were comparable in the two groups. A radiological assessment revealed femoral rollback in approximately 20% of cases with a slightly higher incidence in the PCL sacrificed group. There was no significant loosening detected in either of the categories at two years review.

At five years one TKR in the PCL retained group has been revised due to an infection and one each in the two groups are awaiting revision surgery for loosening. Our findings have shown that there is no significant difference in the 5 year results of a PCL-retaining total knee replacement if the PCL is excised or preserved. This suggests two significant points:

the PCL is not functional in most patients with a total knee replacement even when retained:

patients with excised PCLs show good results with PCL retaining implants, thereby questioning the need for posterior stabilised designs in all such cases.


RV Patel J Stygall J Harrington M Harrison SP Newman FS Haddad

To quantify the intraoperative cerebral microemboli load during primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using transcranial Doppler ultrasound and to investigate whether a patent foramen ovale influences cerebral embolic load in general.

Patients undergoing primary TKA, with no history of stroke, TIA, ongoing CNS disease or alcoholism were included. All operations were carried out under a standardised general anaesthetic and performed by two consultant orthopaedic surgeons. Microemboli l oad was recorded, using transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD), onto VHS tape for subsequent playback and analysis. Patent foramen ovale detection was performed using bolus intravenous injection of agitated saline followed by valsalva manoeuvre technique and TCD. Timing of specific surgical steps was recorded for each operation and emboli load calculated for that period.

Results: 50 TKA patients were studied (31 females, 19 males); 28 right and 22 left TKAs were performed. Cerebral microembolisation occurred in 19 patients (42%). Mean microembolic load was 3.56 per patient (range 0–21). PFO was detected in 9 patients (18%). Two thirds of PFO positive patients displayed cerebral microemboli. However, 36.6% (n=15) of PFO negative patients also displayed microemboli intraoperatively. Deflation of the tourniquet was followed by a larger microembolic load than the other phases of the operation.

Conclusion: Intraoperative cerebral microembolisation occurs in a significant proportion of patients during total knee arthroplasty. The presence of a patent foramen ovale does not appear to influence the incidence microemboli intraoperatively. Specific surgical activities are associated with generating greater embolic loads. These questions will be comprehensively assessed in the larger study currently underway.


A Bennett CNA Esler WM Harper

The Trent Arthroplasty Audit Group has been prospectively collecting data on primary knee arthroplasty since 1990 and revision procedures since 1992. Details of 27 000 primary and 1300 revision knee arthroplasties have been registered. In 2001 hospitals in Wales joined the group, increasing the catchment population to 8 million (14% of the UK population). The register has enabled evaluation of changes in the demography and surgical practice of knee arthroplasty in the Trent region over the past 13 years.

Over this period there has been a steady increase in the number of arthroplasties registered, from 1330 cases in 1990 to 2855 in 2002. Whilst there has been a slight increase in the proportion of men undergoing surgery, the age distribution remains consistent (mean age 69 years). PFC/Sigma is currently the most commonly used prosthesis in the region.

Since 1990 the number of patients registered with rheumatoid arthritis has fallen by almost 50%. During this period there has also been a slight decrease in the proportion of uncemented joints and a decline in the number of bilateral simultaneous procedures taking place.

The ratio of primary to revision knee arthroplasty has not changed significantly since 1992 but there is some evidence of specialisation of revision knee surgery. There has been no significant change in patient satisfaction rates since the start of the registry, with 80% of patients reporting that they are satisfied with their joint replacement at 1 year.

Conclusion: It is reasonable to assume that these findings reflect practice across the UK as a whole, given the diversity of hospitals contributing and the large population base of the Trent & Wales register.


MJ Radford S Curry D Wood

Patella instability can be a disabling condition predominately affecting younger patients, restricting activity and potentially leading to premature osteoarthritis. We describe and evaluate a new technique of stabilising the joint.

Between November 2000 and January 2002 we operated on 24 unstable knees (belonging to 23 patients). All patients had failed a course of conservative treatment and the average number of dislocations pre-operatively was 7. All patients had an extra-synovial lateral release and stabilisation by harvesting the semitendinosus tendon which was then tunnelled through a vertical hole in the patella, under the vastus medialis, wrapped around the adductor magnus and tied to itself at the lower border of the patella.

The patients were assessed clinically and radiologically at an average of 19 months, following the procedure.

There were 19 knees assessed: 13 female /6 male, 10 left /9 right, average age 22 years. 13 patients had retro-patella chondral damage none had meniscal or cruciate pathology. The visual analogue score increased from 4 pre-op to 7.5 after operation. The Kujala patello-femoral score was 74 post procedure. 53% of patients described their knee as excellent, 47% as good. Only one patient has re-dislocated to date (single event). There were no specific risk factors.

Conclusion: Stabilisation of an unstable patello-femoral joint with a semitendinosus loop is a highly successful procedure with good patient satisfaction. We are also happy to use this procedure in the skeletally immature as its use does not preclude a later realignment procedure, should it be indicated.


N Pradhan AK Gambhir P Kay ML Porter

Fifty-seven revision total knee arthroplasties were performed in our hospital using the TC3 system between 1995 and 1997. Twelve patients died. Forty-five patients were followed up for an average of 5.6 years (range 4 – 7 years). No patients were lost to follow-up.

All patients were clinically and radiologically evaluated. A postal patient satisfaction questionnaire was completed. Two patients were revised; one for infection and one for instability. Survivorship using revision as the end point was 93.3% at 7 years.

Indications for revision were infection (4;9%), instability (38;84%), pain and stiffness (3;7%). 32 (71%) patients were satisfied with their outcome, 7 (16%) were noncommittal and 6 (13%) were disappointed at 5 years. We have analysed the 13 dissatisfied patients and highlight the lessons learned.

Pain and stiffness are not good indications for revision; insert thickness of more than 17.5mm is suggestive of elevation of the joint-line; instead the femoral component should be distalised; step wedges should be used in preference to angular wedges; Always long stem the tibial implant if augments are used; stems should be canal filling with adequate grip on the diaphysis.

We suggest the above lessons we have learned from our initial revision arthroplasty learning curve may correlate to the clinical outcome of this small group of dissatisfied patients.


H Prem S Aravindan MAS Mowbray A Newman-Sanders

70 patients who underwent dynamic MRI scanning for chronic anterior knee pain were retrospectively evaluated. All patients had been symptomatic for over a year. 43 patients had been treated conservatively and 27 had undergone surgical procedures (arthroscopy -13, lateral release- 9, tibial tubercle transfer 5). The extent of subluxation, tilt and cartilage abnormalities on MRI scans, during resisted extension were assessed. Functional scoring (Oxford, Lysholm and Tegner scores) was done through questionnaires and correlated with the radiological findings.

54 (77%) patients were found to have some patellofemoral abnormality on the scans. Subluxation was the most common finding with mild subluxation in 30, moderate in 18 and severe in 17 knees. Mild tilt was seen in 26 knees and moderate to severe tilt in 14 knees. Tilt was found in association with subluxation except in 8 cases. Grade 1 and 2 cartilage wear were seen in 13 knees and Grade 3 and 4 in 21 knees.

The “Tibial Tubercle to Trochlear Groove distance” (TTD) was measured in all knees and correlated with subluxation. The average distance was 13.5mm, 13.6mm and 18.8mm for mild, moderate and severe subluxation respectively. All patients with a TTD _ 20mm had moderate or severe subluxation. The specificity of a TTD _ 20mm for severe maltracking was 100% but the sensitivity was only 42%.

The TTD appears to be the single most significant parameter determining patella tracking. We have proposed an algorithm for the surgical and non-surgical treatment of chronic anterior knee pain. We recommend lateral release for those with moderate and severe subluxation and a tibial tubercle transfer as well in those with a TTD _ 20mm. The functional scores did not zshow a significant correlation with the grading of subluxation.


A Singh CNA Esler WM Harper

We sought to determine the incidence of complications and re-operation up to one year following primary total knee replacement in a single health region.

The Trent Arthroplasty Audit group collects prospective data on all knee replacements performed within this health region (population 5.2 million). All patients are sent a validated, self-administered questionnaire one year after surgery. The questionnaire addresses patient satisfaction and any complications and re-operations following surgery. We analysed the returned questionnaires of 5352 patients [5896 knees] who had their primary knee arthroplasty between 1998 to 2000. Responses were received from 4169 patients [4592 knees] (response rate 80%). Clinical records were also examined to gain further information.

516 patients reported complications in 546 knees. Complication rate of (12%) and 3.5% had a further operation on the joint within one year. Complications were highest following knee replacement for trauma (36%) followed by osteoarthritis (12%) and lowest for rheumatoid arthritis (8%). We have no knowledge of the complexity of the surgery but 60% of the complications occurred in patients operated on by a Consultant, 29% by a Specialist Registrar and 10% by an Associate Specialist & Staff Grade. On the whole Consultants performing fewer than 10 joint replacements per year registered a higher complication rate (21%) as compared to Consultants performing more than 25 joints per year (12%), but they performed 18% of the arthroplasties. The incidence of complications, as stated by the patient was as follows: Pain 7%, Stiffness 2%, Superficial infection 1%, Swelling 0.7%, Deep infection 0.7%, DVT 0.4%. 1.2% (infection 0.4%: Instability 0.7%: Patellar resurfacing 0.2%), Manipulation (1.3%), Arthroscopy (0.7%), ORlF of Peri-prosthetic fracture (0.06%). 12 % of the patients who had a primary knee replacement in Trent region between 1998 and 2000 considered that they had a complication. Complications rates appear to be higher for surgeons performing less than 10 joint replacements per year. Only 43% of Consultants performed more than 10 knee arthroplasties themselves in any one of these three years. The deep infection rate was 0.4% and one-year post surgery the revision rate, for all causes was 1.2% and the manipulation rate was 1.3%.


WJ Hart R Spencer Jones

To review the outcome of patients with deep infection using a new 2-stage revision technique.

A management plan consisting of initial debridement, insertion of antibiotic spacers and 2 weeks of intravenous antibiotics is currently used. No further antibiotics are given systemically. If blood tests are satisfactory at 12 weeks, reimplantation occurs. Patients are encouraged to partially weight-bear and perform a range of motion exercises with their spacers in place. The necessary data has been prospectively collected to identify predictors of success.

Thirty four patients have been identified and fully followed up for more than 1 year. 27 patients have over 2 years of follow-up. When looking at all of the patients we have achieved an 82% success rate. For patients whose only previous major surgery was their arthroplasty this rises to 90%. Where multiple surgeries have been undertaken this falls to 73%. All of the peri-operative investigations have been reviewed and whilst they have a good negative predictive value they are not specific enough to alter practice.

Conclusions: Short courses of parenteral treatment can produce comparable results to previously- published series when treating deep infection after knee replacement. There seems to be a failure rate that is difficult to avoid associated with chronic, multiple revision cases.


R Mittal PP Kotwal S Rastogi M Farooque

The rate of nonunion of shaft of humerus ranges from 0 to 15%. The management of this problem becomes difficult when it is complicated by osteoprosis, bone defects and previous surgeries. We treated 24 such cases. There were sixteen males and 8 females. Age ranged from 28 to 65 years and averaged 46 years. Ten fractures were in the middle third and 14 were at the junction of middle and lower thirds. The average duration of nonunion was 8 months. Eight cases were previously treated with plating, 4 were treated with intramedullary nail and 2 with external fixator. Ten cases were treated with slab or cast. All cases were treated with removal of old metalwork (if any), open reduction, placement of fibula autograft in the medullary canal of humerus, plating and cancellous onlay grafting. The length of the fibula autograft in the humerus exceeded the plate length over each fragment. Anterior approach was used in 22 cases. In 2 cases posterior approach was used because of a previously posterior placed plate. U-slab was given in the postoperative period. It was discarded when there was clinical and radiological evidence of union. Physiotherapy was given to all patients after union. 22 humeri united and 2 failed to unite. 21 patients could carry out their daily activities and return to their profession. There was no postoperative radial nerve palsy. 1 case had fibula donor site pain. The follow-up period was 12 to 26 months and averaged 20 months.

Conclusion: This method is a very useful way to manage difficult nonunions of shaft of humerus. We conclude that anterior approach to shaft of humerus is easy and physiological; intramedullary fibula helps to improve the screw purchase, abolishes the stress risers, acts as internal splint, substitutes for absent cortex and provides bone graft.


A Kulkarni H Ahrens A Abudu SR Carter RM Tillman RJ Grimer

Non-union of long bone fractures can be a challenging problem. There are several methods of treatment and they depend upon various patient factors, biology of non-union, and presence of infection. When faced with failure of treatment with biological reconstructive procedures patients have little choice. At our institute we have treated 10 such patients with radical excision and reconstruction using tumour endoprostheses as a last attempt to save the limb.

Median age of the patients was 71 years (25–85). 2 patients were male and 8 were female. Median follow-up was 49 months (8–229). 5 had infected non-union. Resection and massive endoprosthetic reconstruction involved the distal femur in 4 patients, proximal femur 3, distal humerus 2 and total Humerus in 1 patient. Time from diagnosis of non-union to treatment was 0 to 96 months (median 11 months) and patients had had 0 to 6 (median 3) previous operations 5 infected non-unions were operated as 2 stage procedures and received long term antibiotics. 4 out of 5 infected non-unions were salvaged. There were 5 complications, namely periprosthetic fracture, infection, a dislocated shoulder, radial nerve palsy, suture of bosing.

All the patients achieved immediate mobility and stability. Extendible prosthesis allowed partial correction of limb shortening.

Conclusion: Resection of established non-union and reconstruction with endoprostheses is a good salvage operation for elderly and low demand patients in whom time consuming biological reconstruction is not desirable.


SS Madan DS Feldman S Shin KJ Koval

To determine the effectiveness of six-axis analysis deformity correction using the Taylor Spatial Frame for the treatment of post-traumatic tibial malunions and non-unions, the study design was a retrospectively reviewed, consecutive series. Mean duration of follow-up: 3.2 years (range 2–4.2 years). All patients had been referred to a tertiary referral centre for deformity correction. Eighteen patients were included in the study (11 mal-unions and 7 nonunions). All deformities were post-traumatic in nature. The mean number of operations prior to the application of the spatial frame was 2.6 (range 1–6 operations). All patients completed the study. Six-axis analysis deformity correction using the Taylor Spatial Frame (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN) was used for correction of post-traumatic tibial malunion or nonunion. Nine patients had bone grafting at the time of frame application. One patient with a tibial plafond fracture simultaneously had deformity correction and an ankle fusion for a mobile atrophic nonunion. Two patients had infected tibial nonunions that were treated with multiple debridements, antibiotic beads, and bone grafting at the time of spatial frame application. A rotational gastrocnemius flap was used to cover a proximal third tibial defect in one patient. The average length of time the spatial frame was worn, time to healing, was 18.5 weeks (range 12–32 weeks). The main outcome measurements involved assessment of deformity correction in six axes, knee and ankle range of motion, incidence of infection, and return to preinjury activities.

Results: Seventeen of the 18 patients treated with the Taylor Spatial Frame, with adjunctive bone graft as necessary, achieved union and significant correction of their deformities in six axes, i.e. coronal angulation and translation, sagittal angulation and translation, rotation, and shortening. Fifteen of the 18 patients returned to their pre-injury activities at last follow-up.

Conclusion: Six-axis analysis deformity correction using the Taylor Spatial Frame is an effective technique in treating post-traumatic malunions and nonunions of the tibia, with several advantages over previously used devices.


P Armstrong R Dhamarajan E Breuning S Abudu

Complication rates are an increasingly topical issue. Figures are widely published in elective surgery. We were unable to find any overall rates published solely for trauma surgery involving metal implants. We wanted to identify our overall rate as a matter of good practise and to produce a figure for others to compare against.

We wanted to identify the overall infection rate and study those infections in terms of fracture healing, implant survival and chronic soft tissue infection.

A wound infection was any wound where there was a positive culture, prolonged pus drainage with or without a sinus or presence of pus at further surgery with or without a positive culture. Metal implants were any metalwork covered primarily or secondarily with soft tissue. 708 implants were inserted over the 11 month period studied.

The causative organism was staphylococcus aureus in 65% of cases and a third of these were MRSA. Other organisms included coliforms, acinobacter, pseudomonas and bacillus.

Of 52 patients who had a wound infection, 6 (11.5%) had no treatment with no detrimental effect, 34 patients had antibiotics alone and 27 had no further problems. 2 died from sepsis related causes, 3 died from other causes, 1 had delayed union but no evidence of continuing infection and 1 had chronic soft tissue discharge but bony union.

12 patients had further surgery and antibiotics. 6 retained their metal work and of these 3 died from sepsis related causes, 1 had no further problems, 1 tibial nailing became a chronic discharging osteomyelitis and 1 olecrannon fracture became an uninfected non-union. For the 6 patients who had their metalwork removed 2 died, 1 from sepsis, 2 had successful revisions and 2 were continuing treatment at most recent follow-up.

Conclusion: overall deep wound infection rate was 7.3%. Most deep wound infections were treated with antibiotics alone with a satisfactory outcome. Re-operation rate for deep wound infection was 1.7%. There is very little information available on overall deep wound infection rates for implants in trauma surgery; we offer our findings as a comparison for future reference.


L M Jeys O Wall G Radcliffe S J E Matthews

Human recombinant bone morphogenic protein type 7 (BMP 7) is now available commercially for clinical use. In our trauma unit it has been used since September 2001 for patients with established intractable non-unions. We present the early results.

All consecutive patients receiving BMP 7 were reviewed regularly following treatment. All patients had established non-unions previously treated with a variety of methods. The patients were assessed for clinical evidence of fracture union (using stability and pain). Treatment episodes will be categorised as failures if there is no evidence of fracture union at 1 year following BMP 7 treatment. Plain x-rays were assessed by 2 independent radiologists and categorised into: Radiological evidence of fracture union; encouraging progression towards union; little evidence of fracture healing; atrophic non-union, hypertrophic non-union.

A total of 12 separate non-union sites have been treated in 10 patients (all male) to date. The mean age of the patients at follow up was 45 years. The series included 5 tibial non-unions, 3 femoral non-unions, 3 ulna non-unions with a mean of 3.3 treatments (range 1–7 treatments) and had endured symptoms, from initial injury to treatment with BMP 7, with a mean of 8.3 years (range 2 months-10.4 years). To date, the mean follow-up is 18 weeks (range 6–48 weeks).

Currently, 2 fractures have clinical & radiological union, 2 treatments have failed (implant failure and patient opted for amputation), 3 fractures are below 3months follow up, 5 fractures have a radiological classification as “encouraging” progression towards of union ( 4 with clinical union).

In a very difficult treatment group, we have encouraging early clinical results. Radiological evidence to compare to initial clinical results will be available shortly.


R Bommireddy Y Shenava O Keast-Butler A Shetty S Phillips AFG Groom

We retrospectively reviewed 19 femoral non-unions. Age group ranged from 17–72 yrs with mean of 40 yrs. 12 were men and 7 were women. 11 fractures involved diaphysis and 8 involved supracondylar area. 5 cases were infected non-unions. Time from fracture to defini-tive treatment varied from 5 to 88 months (mean 21 months). Open technique was used in 18 cases. In 8 cases we have used autogenous cancellous bone graft and in 3 cases BMP7 was used in addition to bone graft. 9 cases were treated with Ilizarov frame without bone graft, 6 with plate & bone graft, 3 with intramedullary nail and 1 with bone graft alone. Internal bone transport was carried out in 5 cases to achieve limb length equality. Fracture union was achieved in 16 patients with 7 excellent and 8 good results as per ASAMI criteria. 15 cases achieved excellent to good functional results. Because of persistent infection, 2 distal femoral non-unions required transfemoral amputation. Treatment was discontinued due to psychiatric illness in 1 patient with Ilizarov frame. Two of the patients in Supracondylar group developed knee stiffness. Pin tract infection is a common complication in Ilizarov group.

Adequate reduction & stabilization is key to success. Non-unions without any complications can be treated with exchange nail or open reduction and plating. Ilizarov method is effective for non-unions complicated by distal location, infection and bone loss. Psychological assessment is important before considering Ilizarov method of treatment.


P Meda PB Machani I BraithwaiteI C Sinopidis P Brownson SP Frostick

A prospective study was carried out over a period of 4 years. 31 patients with a mean age of 49 years were treated using the clavicular hook plate. The mean follow up was 28.34 months. 23 patients were operated primarily and 8 patients were operated for symptomatic non-union.

All the patients achieved clinical and radiological union in a mean 12.71 weeks. According to Constant scoring the mean was 94. According to HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery) scoring 9 patients had excellent, 21 had good.

The clinical results of the clavicular hook plate were good leading to good shoulder girdle function.


M Agarwal K Tzafetta SL Knight PV Giannoudis

Between 1990 and 2000, 15 patients with open 3C fractures of the lower extremity were treated at our institution. Demographic data such as age, sex, associated injuries and co-morbidities were recorded. The mechanism of injury, ISS [Injury Severity Score] and MESS [Mangled Extremity Severity Score] were ascertained. The minimum follow up was 2 years. All the fractures were classified according to the AO system. The patients received a combined treatment by the orthopaedic and plastic surgeons and when necessary by the vascular surgeons. Treatment options, were based on the extent of soft-tissue damage and the configuration of the fracture. Intra-operative details including arteries and nerves involved, type of flap cover, quality of fixation and need for fasciotomy were recorded and analysed. A final follow up was carried out at a special clinic and the outcome was analyzed using SF-36 and EUROCOL. MESS and ISS were analyzed for possible predictors of final functional outcome.

The patients were predominantly males. The main mechanism of injury was due to a road traffic accident and 6 of the patients had associated injuries in other parts of the body. In two thirds of the patients the fracture site was in the tibia, and in 3 cases there was a combined fracture in femur and tibia. The posterior tibial artery was involved in the vast majority of the cases, which was either disrupted or avulsed. The Salvage and reconstruction was carried out in 13 patients, which accounted for 77% of the cases and 2 patients underwent immediate amputation. Both had a Mangled Extremity Severity Score of 10. The bone fixation was mainly achieved by plating, or nailing. Half of the patients underwent fasciotomy, in the rest the compartments were decompressed due to the nature and extent of the injury. All the patients required secondary procedures, the mean total number of operations was 2.6.

Although only one-fifth of the patients had some problems with self care, half experienced some problems with mobility. Anxiety and depression was a problem in two thirds of the patients, and about the same proportion of patients experienced moderate to severe pain. The mobility was correlated to the MESS score.

Conclusion: the functional outcome was most closely related to the severity of injury and the injury-surgery interval. Our study showed that improved functional outcome is possible following surgical treatment of these challenging injuries especially when prompt response is instituted by combined ortho/plastic/vascular surgical teams.


J Conroy M Agarwal PV Giannoudis

32 consecutive patients who suffered open [Gustilo grade IIIB] distal tibial [AO type 43B and C] ‘Pilon’ fractures were prospectively studied in order to assess long-term functional outcome. All patients had radical debridement with immediate [within 24hrs] skeletal stabilisation and early soft tissue cover with a vascularized muscle flap as per our hospital’s protocol for management of severe open tibial fractures. The minimum follow-up was one year [range 1–8 years]. The superficial infection rate was 13% [4/32], deep infection rate was 6% [2/32] and the amputation rate as 6% [2/32]. There were no long-term problems with union and none of the patients required an ankle fusion. Patients were assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire. There were sig-nificant differences from the US norm in physical function score [p< 0.01], role physical score (p< 0.05) and physical component score (p< 0.01). Physical component score of 38.5 was significantly better (p< 0.01) when compared with amputees from severe lower extremity trauma. Our protocol for management of severe open pilon fractures resulted in a good functional outcome with low infection and amputation rates.


B Thornes A Walsh F Shannon P Murray E Masterson M O’Brien

A new apparatus and technique of syndesmosis fixation is tested in a prospective clinical study. Buttons on both sides of the ankle anchor a strong suture under tension following syndesmosis reduction. This syndesmosis suture acts like a tightrope when under tension. Implantation is simple with a minimally invasive technique, as the medial side is not opened. It allows physiological micromotion whilst resisting diastasis, does not require routine removal, and allows patients to weight-bear earlier.

Sixteen patients with Weber C ankle fractures with a syndesmosis diastasis underwent suture-button fixation and the results compared to 16 consecutive patients with syndesmosis screw fixation. Patients were, in effect, quasi-randomised according to surgeon preference. Mean A,O,F,A,S, ankle scores were significantly better in the suture-button group at three months post-op (91 vs 80, p=0.01, unpaired t-test) and at twelve months (93 vs 83, p=0.04, unpaired t-test). Return to work was also significantly faster (2.6 months vs 4.6 months, p=0.02, unpaired t-test). No suture-buttons required implant removal. Axial CT scanning at three months showed implants to be intact with maintenance of reduction, as compared to the uninjured contralateral side.

Suture-button syndesmosis fixation is simple, safe and effective. It has shown improved outcomes and faster rehabilitation, without needing routine removal. Although the apparatus design may undergo further refinement, we believe this technique will become the treatment of choice in Weber C ankle fractures with a syndesmosis injury.


RJ Pacheco M El-Shazly M Saleh

To review the results of the treatment of pilon fracture with percutaneous internal fixation and extrarticular ring fixation in neutralization, twenty-two fractures in twenty-one patients were included in the study. The mean follow-up time was 5.3 years. Five fractures were classified Ruedi-Algower type I, six were Ruedi-Algower type II and eleven Ruedi-Algower type III. Six were open fractures (3 Gustilo type III) and there were 19 associated fibular fractures (five were internally fIxed). Thirteen fractures (60%) were associated with metaphysealdiaphyseal dissociation (MDD). The majority of fractures were high energy (18 out of 22). General health outcome was assessed with the use of the SF-36 and functional outcome was evaluated with AOFAS score and Bone’s criteria.

The average AOFAS score for the study population was 79.4. The AOFAS scores decreased as the severity of the fracture increases and these differences were statistically significant between the Ruedi-Algower types I and III. The pilon fractures population scored lower in all SF-36 categories but mental health and energy and vitality when compared to an age matched population but statistically significant differences were only found in the categories of physical function and limitation due to health problems. 65% achieved excellent or good results according to Bone’s criteria. No significant differences were found in the union times in the MDD group (253 days) when compared to the fractures with no MDD (224 days), but this can be due to the high incidence of autograft in the MDD group (7 out of 13). All patients achieved full weight bearing at 6 weeks. Fourteen patients had superficial pin site infections (one needed screw removal) that settled with oral antibiotics. There was one case of non-union and two varus heels.

Conclusion: Good results are achieved treating pilon fractures with minimal internal fixation and the Sheffield ring fixator in neutralization but quality of life and functional scores significantly worsen in the most severe Ruedi-Algower type III fractures.


MC Forster KS Kumar ID Hyde MI Adelman

The aetiology of Panner’s disease is unknown. Thrombophilic states have been implicated in Perthes’ disease but remain controversial. The relationship, if any, between thrombophilia and Panner’s disease is not known.

A 7 year old boy presented with pain and restriction of motion in one elbow with no history of trauma. Radiographs confirmed Panner’s disease. A thrombophilia screen showed an abnormal activated protein C resistance test consistent with the presence of Factor V Leiden in the heterozygous state. Thrombophilia may predispose to thrombotic venous occlusion in bone leading to intramedullary hypertension, anoxia and avascular necrosis. This may explain the aetiology of some cases of Panner’s disease. Resistance to activated protein C is a common heritable thrombophilia. The incidence in the UK is around 1.75%. It is caused by a CGA to CAA substitution at position 1691 of the Factor V Leiden gene. This blocks the binding of activated protein C to prothrombotic Factor V producing thrombophilia. Factor V Leiden carriers are three times more likely to experience clinical venous thrombosis than non-carriers. Whilst this risk does not warrant lifelong anticoagulation, thromboembolic events are more likely to cause problems than Panner’s disease which is essentially self-limiting. Affected patients should avoid other risk factors such as smoking or the combined contraceptive pill.

As Factor V Leiden is common in our population, its presence in this patient may be incidental. Thrombophilia screening should be considered for patients with Panner’s disease. This enables appropriate counselling if a thrombophilic condition is found.


SS Madan H van Bosse DS Feldman DE Ruchelsman KJ Koval WB Lehman

The aim of our study was to assess the efficacy and complications of treatment of limb deformities using six axes deformity analysis and the Taylor TM Spatial Frame [TSF]

Between January 1997 and March 2000, we treated 75 lower limbs in 66 patients with deformities. Patients were divided into four groups. The groups were Blount’s disease, congenital deformities, traumatic deformities, and a miscellaneous group. The data was prospectively collected. This was a consecutive series of the first 66 patients treated at our institution with the TSF. Deformity correction using the TSF is done with the aid of computer software.

The mean age of the 66 patients was 18.7 years (range 0.5 to 72 years). The average frame time was 18.6 weeks (range 9 to 49 weeks). There was shortening present in 31 limbs with a mean of 18.6 mm (range 5 to 50 mm). Deformity correction with distraction osteogenesis was begun 7 days after the osteotomy. The mean length of time until correction was 6.7 weeks (range 3 to 13 weeks). There were a total of 10 complications (13.3%) in the series.

27 tibiae in 23 patients underwent correction with the TSF for Blount’s disease. There were 11 infantile and 16 adolescent forms. Correction of congenital deformity was performed in 20 tibiae and 8 femurs in 18 patients. There were 9 males and 9 females. There were 13 male and 8 female patients with traumatic lower limb injuries. There were 11 malunions and 10 nonunions (including 2 infected nonunions) that were corrected with the TSF.

The TaylorTM Spatial Frame is an effective technique in treating deformity. Angulation, translation, shortening and rotation can be corrected simultaneously.

Based on our results, we conclude that the TSF allows safe, gradual correction that is accurate and well tolerated.


G Dewnany P Radford J Hunter

Prophylactic stabilisation with internal fixation of the asymptomatic hip in unilateral slipped capital femoral epiphysis is controversial.

The incidence of bilaterality varies from 20–80% depending on the length of follow-up. The opposite hip has 2335 times higher incidence of developing a slip in cases of a unilateral slip at presentation and there is no chemical, anatomic or radiological feature which can predict a slip.

The arguments regarding prophylactic fixation are based on risks of AVN, chondrolysis, and problems with implant removal and joint penetration

We present a retrospective analysis of sixty-five patients who had prophylactic fixation of the uninvolved hip at the same time as their opposite slipped femoral physis. None had an underlying systemic or endocrine disorder and the average age was 12.5 years (range 11–15 years).A single 7.0 mm cannulated screw was used in all cases. The average time to fusion was 18 months (range 6 to 36 months) and duration of follow up ranged from 3–8 years (mean 4.5 years).

None of the patients had implant removal and at latest review did not show any evidence of chondrolysis, avascular necrosis, premature physeal arrest or secondary arthrosis in the prophylactically fixed hip. There were a couple of cases of inadvertent wire penetration into joint, which were recognised and rectified immediately, and a correct length screw inserted. Both these patients had an uneventful post-operative course with no problems of chondrolysis etc at latest follow-up (5 years). One patient (1.5%) developed a superficial wound infection, which cleared up with antibiotics.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the safety of prophylactic fixation using a single cannulated cancellous screw and is recommended for prevention of delayed slip and hence secondary osteoarthrosis.


SS Madan DE Ruchelsman DS Feldman

We utilized a dry-bone model of the pelvis and proximal femur, set upon transparent Lucite plates with four mounting screws and adjustable struts, allowing measurable and reproducible pelvic tilt and rotation. Our protocol for osteotome placement at each of the osteotomy sites strictly followed the technique described by Ganz. A 30°, 15 mm bifid osteotome was used for imaging at the initial ischial osteotomy at the infracotyloid groove. A 30°, 2 cm straightedge osteotome was placed 4 cm below the pelvic brim to image the retroacetabular osteotomy on the quadrilateral plate. Various osteotome placements were imaged with the C-arm image intensifier to better define the risks of inferior and posterosuperior intraarticular osteotomies at each of these sites, respectively. A 600 osteotome oriented at 500 to the quadrilateral plate was also utilized.

In addition, violation of the inferior quadrant of the joint as well as posterolateral slipping of the osteotome blade along the posterior column, were appreciated on all images of pelvic flexion and rotation. The false-profile view always confirmed the perpendicular orientation of the osteotome blade. The false-profile view allowed for accurate evaluation of the positioning of the 30°, 2-cm straightedge osteotome along the retro-acetabular osteotomy site. In the views obtained, the blade could be seen aligned parallel to the posterior surface of the acetabulum, while respecting the posterosuperior joint space with optimal step-off from the posterior column. False-profile and posterior judet views provided optimal visualization of the 60° osteotome on the quadrilateral plate. In addition, pelvic flexion and rotation did not impact the ability to visualize the inferior margin of the acetabulum in evaluating the potential for creating an inferior intraarticular osteotomy. The results of our study indicate that awareness of the appearance of ideal osteotome placements at each osteotomy site on AP and false profile C-arm image intensification will decrease the incidence of iatrogenic osseous and therefore neurovascular complications reported in the literature and reduce post-operative patient morbidity.


S Patil DA Sherlock

Femoral head deformity with flattening and lateral protrusion can occur secondary to epiphyseal dysplasia or avascular necrosis of any aetiology in childhood. This causes painful impingement of the lateral femoral head on the acetabular lip, a phenomenon known as hinge abduction. We aimed to review our experience of valgus extension osteotomy in the treatment of hinge abduction in children and young adults with avascular necrosis.

Twenty patients undergoing valgus osteotomy for hinge abduction performed by a single specialist were clinically and radiologically reviewed. The aetiology was Perthes disease in 16 patients and treatment of DDH in 4 patients. The indication for the procedure was pain and limited abduction. The mean follow-up was 4.5 years. Patients were assessed using modified Iowa hip scores at final follow-up. The procedure corrected some leg shortening and improved the abduction range of the affected hip. Overall 80 % of patients did well. The mean Iowa hip score in Perthes group was 84 at final follow-up.

Four patients preoperatively had cysts/ defects in their femoral head. These were seen to fill up during their postoperative follow-up. Poorer outcome was associated with preoperative hip stiffness and surgery before stabilisation of the avascular process.

Conclusion: Valgus osteotomy is an effective procedure for relieving hinge abduction with associated additional benefits including improvement of leg shortening and improvement in hip abduction. The procedure should be avoided in stiff hips.


SS Madan DE Ruchelsman J Jeong WB Lehman DS Feldman

The role of femoral and acetabular version in correction of dysplasia of the hip has been undereported. Between June 1995 and September 2000, a Bernese periacetabu-lar osteotomy (BPO) was performed in 25 patients (26 hips) by the senior author with an average follow-up of 3.7 years (range 2-5 years). The mean age of the patients (24 female, 1 male) at the time of surgery was 29.4 years (range, 11.5 to 45 years). Only patients with a primary diagnosis of acetabular dysplasia were included in this series.

The average Harris hip score increased from 55.1 (range 34–75) preoperatively to 92.9 (range 72–100) at the latest follow up (p< 0.0001). The mean pre-operative Merle d’Aubign score increased from 13.5 (range 1015) to 17 (range 15–18) at the latest follow up. The mean lateral centre edge angle of Wiberg increased from 13.10 (range 00–200) pre-operatively to 52.60 (range 200-740) at latest follow-up (p< 0.0001). The anterior centre edge angle averaged 10.90 (range 4-170) pre-operatively and improved to 490 (range 210–760) at latest follow-up (p< 0.0001). The Mckibbin instability index is the sum of femoral and acetabular version (normal range 200–500). There were 6 hips with low instability index and 11 hips with high instability index pre-operatively. At the latest follow-up there were only 2 hips with low instability index and there were no patients with a high instability index. Our clinical results showed fi fteen patients with excellent results, eight good results and one fair and one poor results. Thus, overall good to excellent results were obtained in 92% of our patients. It is therefore possible that we had higher success rate in our series than that reported in other series because of the correction of version of the hip in addition to the coronal and sagittal defi ciency of the hip.


RMD Meek NV Greidanus DS Garbuz BA Masri

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of prosthetic patellar resurfacing on outcome of revision total knee arthroplasty in a matched cohort study.

From January 1997 to December 1999 126 patients who underwent revision of total knee arthroplasty were identified. The status of the patella was ascertained post revision as to the presence or absence of patellar prosthesis. At a minimum of two years follow-up, pain and function were assessed by questionnaire for WOMAC, Oxford-12, SF-12 and patient satisfaction data. Co-morbidity, surgical exposure, HSS knee scores and ROM were also collected. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed. Follow-up was obtained in 110 patients (52 with patellar component, 58 bony shell), matched for age (mean 70 and 67 years), sex and co-morbidity scores and followed for a minimum of two years. There was no significant difference between the two cohorts with regards to outcomes of WOMAC pain scores (mean 66 and 74, p=0.14), WOMAC function scores (mean 59 and 65, p=0.22), Oxford- 12 scores (mean 57 and 64, p=0.17), and satisfaction score outcomes (57 and 68, p=0.14). It remains controversial whether the patient’s pain, function and satisfaction are affected in revision total knee arthroplasty by patellar prosthetic resurfacing. Insufficient patellar bone stock may preclude prosthetic resurfacing in which case patel-loplasty is performed. From this series, the presence or absence of a patellar prosthesis does not appear to sig-nificantly affect pain, function, or satisfaction outcomes following revision total knee arthroplasty.


R Thonse GV Johnson

Of the 30585 births (from 1997–2002) in the population served by our NHS trust, 2742 babies (8.96%) were referred to the hip screening clinic by the neonatologists and general practitioners. They were examined clinically and by US scans by the specialist consultants. The findings were documented prospectively. 233 hips were identified as abnormal by ultrasound scans (Graf). 45% (106) of these were normal on clinical examination. None of the hips identified as abnormal on clinical examination were normal on US scans. In 38% (88) clinical examination could not be reliably performed as the babies were tense.

Of the 1862 hips which were clinically normal, 106 (5.69%) had abnormal ultrasound findings. Furthermore, of the 841 babies who were tense on clinical examination, 88 (10.46%) babies had abnormal ultra-sonographic findings.

Ultrasound scanning of hips in at-risk babies by an experienced paediatric radiologist will identify all the abnormal hips. This will release the paediatric orthopaedic surgeon from routine clinical examination of all these babies. This time can be utilised for running other clinics. Babies found to have abnormal hips on US scanning may be seen by the orthopaedic surgeon for treatment and follow-up. Parents of babies with normal hip US scans may be reassured by a nurse practitioner or a paediatric physiotherapist.


R Thonse GV Johnson

The aim of this study was to ascertain the results and effectiveness of targeted screening of babies.

All the newborn babies (30585 births from 1997 to 2002) in the geographical area served by our trust were assessed by the paediatricians (neonatologists) and general practitioners (GP). They were assessed for abnormal hip examination finding including clinical instability and risk factors for DDH. The risk factors were positive family history, abnormal lie or presentation other than vertex during pregnancy or at birth, oligohydramnios or other congenital abnormalities. On referral, they were assessed clinically and by ultrasound (US) scan in a special Hip screening clinic.

The data were obtained prospectively. Over the period of these six years, 2742 babies were examined in the clinic. Many had more than one risk factor or abnormal hip examination finding (15.9% of babies with abnormal hips and 7.4% of babies with normal hips). Only five babies presented at or after 4 months of age (delayed presentation). They had been treated by the GP (1 patient), at a private hospital (1 patient) or were from outside our area (3 patients). All had abnormal hips on clinical examination. Of these, 3 were 3A or 3B Graf grade (US scan), 1 was 2B and another 2A+.

Screening of babies with above risk factors has identified all patients with abnormal hips in our area, thus avoiding late presentation of DDH. Raising awareness of GPs and paediatricians about these factors should also reduce the number babies to be seen in the hip screening clinic to minimum yet safe levels.


SS Madan DE Ruchelsman DS Feldman WB Lehman

To evaluate the correction of complex congenital deformities of the lower limb by six axes deformity analyses and computer assisted correction using the Taylor TM Spatial Frame (TSF), from 1998 to 2000, the authors performed corrections of multiple congenital deformities in 24 lower limbs in 18 patients. There were 9 males and 9 females. There were a total of 29 bone segments, (8 femurs, 21 tibiae) in the 24 lower limbs that were corrected with application of the TSF. Our series included the following diagnoses and deformities: unknown skeletal dysplasia (2), achondroplasia (3), pseudoa-chondroplasia (1), multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (2), spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia (2), fibular hemimelia (3) tibia hemimelia (1), hypophosphatemic rickets (3), and posteromedial bowed tibia (1).

The mean age of the patients was 15.4 years (range 0.5 to 35 years). The mean frame time until correction was 20.1 weeks (range 9 to 49 weeks). The mean follow up was 2.4 years (range 2 to 3.4 years). The apex of the deformity was directed posteromedial in 7, anterolateral in 6, medial in 5 and anteromedial in 5 patients. The mean coronal and sagittal plane deformities were 14.60 (range −230 to 400) and 70 (range, −400 to 280), respectively. The average magnitude of the deformity was 21.70 (range 90 to 470), and the plane of the deformity to the coronal plane was −23.30 (range −800 to 400). Eight patients had a mean lower extremity shortening of 12.3 mm (range 5 to 50 mm). One patient had 15° of internal rotation. With application of the TSF and the principles of distraction osteogenesis, we were able to reduce the coronal and sagittal plane deformities to 3.10 and 1.40 respectively. The overall mean magnitude of the deformity was decreased to 3.40. Shortening was corrected to an average of 3 mm. We experienced only 4 complications in the 24 limbs (16.7%). Complications in this patient group included one female patient with hypophosphatemic rickets who had residual deformity with significant lateral mechanical axis deviation due to inadequate translation. In addition, there were two superficial pin tract infections and one delayed union.

Computer-assisted six axes deformity planning and TaylorTM Spatial Frame application effectively and safely correct complex congenital and developmental limb deformities and offer significant advantages over the well-established Ilizarov technique.


JB Wood

Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the immature femoral head is the final common pathway of the Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP) disease. Since cigarette smoking has been linked to the development of vascular disease, a study was performed to see if there was any association between parental smoking and LCP disease.

The biological parents of 97 children with LCP disease were questioned on their smoking habits, which were compared to a control group of parents with unaffected children. Further comparison was made with respondents from the Perthes’ Association website who completed an on-line questionnaire.

Parents were classified as being smokers or non-smokers on the basis of their smoking habit pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and at the time of diagnosis of LCP being made. There was a higher proportion of children in the LCP group who had parents who smoke (N=67/97, 69%) compared to the control group (N=14/87, 16%). Further analysis showed that the highest rate occurred when both parents smoke before pregnancy (N=37/97, 38%) followed by when only the father smoked (N=23/97, 24 %). Maternal smoking alone appeared to have the least association (N=7/97, 7 %).

In the control group the non-smoking rate was 58/87 [67%]. The changes in smoking patterns with respect to the pregnancy concerned were also noted.

Fisher’s Exact test was used to determine any difference between the study group and the control group. There was a significant difference between the Perthes’ SE group concerned to the controls in all respects except maternal smoking.

Comparison made with data obtained from the Perthes’ association website showed no difference between the two Perthes’ groups.

Conclusion: These results support an association between parental smoking and the development of disease LCP disease.


SS Madan JA Fernandes JF Taylor

Thirty-four patients were studied through the whole of the Perthes’ disease in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool. The acetabular changes included osteopaenia of the roof, irregularity of its contour, and decrease in the depth. These changes were proportional to the femoral head involvement. The purpose of the study was to know the effect of the morphological changes of the femoral head on the acetabulum and its outcome.

Radioisotope scans of the hip were examined in fourteen children with unilateral Perthes’ disease and comparison was made with the contralateral hip. These scans showed increased uptake on the lateral part of the acetabulum and no uptake over the avascular part of the femoral head. Average follow-up was ten years and on an average children were followed up from six years to fifteen years of age. Six readings of the measurements of various dimensions of the acetabulum and the femoral head were done. CT scan also showed irregularity in the acetabulum. Statistical tests lead to the conclusion that the decrease in the depth of the acetabulum was secondary to the femoral head involvement and the extent of its dimensional changes affected the final congruity between the femoral head and the acetabulum. Also the remodelling potential of acetabulum decreases as the child grows older. Therefore containment procedures could be done by femoral osteotomy in younger children and acetabular osteotomy may benefit older children.


JE Owen MC Watts PT Myers

This study reports our long-term results of arthroscopically assisted meniscal suture using an inside-out technique.

Between January 1990 and July 1997, 112 patients underwent 121 meniscal repairs in 112 knees. The average follow-up is 8.7 years (range 5.4 to 12.9 years). Repairs consisted of interrupted sutures using 2.0 PDS. Sutures were placed arthroscopically using a suture shuttle system and tied behind the capsule after making a small postero-medial or posterolateral incision. The meniscus and bed was prepared using a Rasp or hand-held instruments. Fibrin clot techniques were not used. 79% of patients had associated ACL reconstruction in addition to meniscal suture. All surgery was carried out by our senior author (PTM). Rehabilitation involved non-weight-bearing in an extension splint for 3 weeks and partial weight-bearing for a further 3 weeks followed by a progressive rehabilitation programme.

The average age at surgery was 23.9 years (range 12.2 to 57.7 years). The average time from injury to surgery was 13.5 months (range 0 to 60 months). There were 74 males and 38 females. 51% of patients were professional or semi-professional athletes. Repair involved 79 medial menisci, 42 lateral menisci. The average number of sutures used was 3.8 (range 1 to 12). Operative findings and procedure were entered prospectively into a database. Patients were assessed clinically until recovery and long-term follow-up consisted of a detailed postal questionnaire.

The average Lysholm scores were 86.4, with 59% excellent, 16% good, 17% fair and 8% poor. IKDC subjective scores averaged 82.0, with 40% excellent, 21% good, 27% fair and 12% poor. Confirmed failure of meniscal repair (as indicated by MRI or re-arthros-copy) has been identified in 11.8% of patients. A further 10.8% have a probable failure based on a recurrence of mechanical symptoms. Of the failures 73% were professional or semi-professional sportsman. Their average return to sport after surgery was 9.5 months (range 3 to 18 months). Failure was reported at an average of 29.3 months after surgery (range 0 to 84 months).

With an aggressive approach towards meniscal preservation we have achieved a success rate of 77.4% at an average follow-up of 8.7 years.

The majority of these tears are vertical posterior horn or large bucket handle and associated with an ACL reconstruction. The majority of patients are young and involved in a high level of sporting activity.


P Li J Forder R Ganz

To investigate the proportion of dysplastic hips which are retroverted. We studied the radiographs of over seven hundred patients with dysplastic hips who had had a periacetabular osteotomy in the period 1984–1998. We excluded patients with neuromuscular dysplasia, Perthes’ disease of the hip, post-traumatic dysplasia and proximal focal femoral deficiency. We selected 232 radiographs of patients with congenital acetabular dysplasia. A number of parameters were measured including lateral centre-edge angle, anterior centre-edge angle, acetabular index of weight-bearing surface, femoral head extrusion index and acetabular index of depth to width. Also recorded were acetabular version and congruency between femoral head and acetabulum.

The lateral centre-edge angle of Wiberg had a mean value of 6.4° (SD 8.9°), the mean anterior centre-edge angle was 1.3° (SD 13.5°) and the acetabular index of weight-bearing surface of the acetabulum had a mean value of 24.5° (SD 9.7°). The majority (192, 82.8%) of acetabula were anteverted as might be expected. However, a significant minority (40, 17.2%) were retroverted. The mean anterior centre-edge angle in retroverted hips was 6.7° (SD 9.4°) compared with 0.4° (SD 13.3°) in anteverted hips.

The authors have shown that, in a typical group of patients with congenital acetabular dysplasia significant enough to warrant periacetabular osteotomy, the majority of hips as expected have anteverted acetabula. However, a significant minority are retroverted. This finding has an important bearing on the performance of the osteotomy. We have also found that most if not all the information required prior to and following periac-etabular osteotomy can be obtained from an orthograde view of the pelvis.


R Samuel P Dunkow M Smith D Lang

Radiological examination is a useful tool in assessing osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee. We have compared the extent of osteoarthritis in the knee graded on radiographs and by intraoperative observation to determine if there is significant difference with relevance to preop-erative planning.

Radiographs for fifty-eight patients were graded for OA under blind conditions using the Ahlback classification system and direct measurement of the medial and lateral joint spaces. Intraoperative assessment of the corresponding joint surfaces was performed under blind conditions by a separate surgeon and graded using the Outerbridge classification system.

OA was found to be more common in the medial compartment than the lateral, both on radiographs and intraoperatively. Spearman correlation coefficient for the medial compartment comparing joint space narrowing and intraoperative assessment was −0.545. For the lateral compartment the Spearman correlation coefficient was lower at –0.406. Positive predictive values for OA in the medial and lateral compartments on radiography were 90% and 66.67% respectively. Negative predictive values for OA in the medial and lateral compartments on radiography were 44.74% and 34.69% respectively.

Conclusion: We have demonstrated that although radiographs have reasonable to good accuracy at showing OA in both compartments the absence of OA on radiographs does not correlate well with the absence of OA in the knee. This is of importance when planning operations, particularly unicompartmental knee replacement, as intraoperative findings of bilateral disease will change the operation required.


M Hockings J Borrill PJ Rae

Patients were followed up retrospectively by a combination of clinical review, mail and telephone questionnaires. The Lysholm knee (LS) and the Tegner activity (TA) scores were recorded.

From July 1991 until February 1999 75 meniscal repairs were carried out in 70 patients by a single surgeon (PJR). The average age of the patients was 26yrs 8 months, 52 male and 18 female. 14 patients (18.6%) were lost to formal follow-up. Lysholm Score (LS) and Tegner Activity (TA) scores were available on 58 repairs for analysis. The average follow-up was 6 yrs 4 months (range 3 yrs 4 months to 10 yrs 9 months), Average scores were LS=89.2, TA before surgery=6.2, TA after surgery=5.7. 9 patients had menisectomy following retear due to further injury. The overall success rate was 86.9%, with 74.1% scoring clinically good or excellent on the Lysholm Score.

There was a trend of improved results for patients over 30 yrs; those with longer tears and lateral repairs did slightly better. Those with ACL laxity had a significantly better result. The time interval to repair following injury did not make a difference. With an overall success rate of 86.9% the authors would recommend this traditional technique in light of the more recent techniques presently in use.


AP Davies PA Campbell CP Case ID Learmonth

Cobalt chrome-on-cobalt chrome bearing surfaces have been re-introduced despite some concerns regarding potential risks posed by soluble metallic by-products. We have investigated whether there are metal-selective differences between the levels of genetic damage caused to a human cell line when cultured with synovial fluids retrieved from various designs of orthopaedic joint replacement prostheses at the time of revision arthroplasty.

Synovial fluids were retrieved from revision hip and knee arthroplasty patients with bearings made from cobalt chrome-on-cobalt chrome, cobalt chrome-on-polyethylene and stainless steel-on-polyethylene. Control synovial fluids were retrieved from primary arthroplasty cases with osteoarthritis. Synovial fluid was cultured with human primary fibroblasts for 48 hours in a cell culture system under standardised conditions. The “Comet” assay was used with an image analysis system to measure levels of DNA damage caused by the various synovial fluid samples.

Synovial fluids from cobalt chrome-on-cobalt chrome and cobalt chrome-on-polyethylene joint replacements both caused substantial levels of genetic damage as detected by the Comet assay. Synovial fluids retrieved from stainless steel-on-polyethylene joints caused low levels of damage. The difference between these groups was highly statistically significant (p< 0.001). Control synovial fluids from osteoarthritic joints caused minimal changes. Atomic absorption spectroscopy demonstrated that the metal-on-metal synovial fluids contained the highest levels of cobalt and chromium. Different alloys used in orthopaedic implants are associated with different levels of DNA damage to cultured human cells in vitro. We are able to demonstrate that this damage is attributable at least in part to the metal content of the synovial fluid samples. We have no evidence for any long-term health risk to patients with such implants.


A Blom G Hughes T Lawes J Cunningham A Goodship I Learmonth

Restoration of bone stock is the single greatest challenge facing the revision hip surgeon today. This has been dealt with by means of impaction grafting with morsellised allograft from donor femoral heads.

Alternatives to allograft have been sought. This study investigates the use of a porous biphasic ceramic in impaction grafting of the femur.

Impaction grafting of the femur was performed in four groups of sheep. Group one received pure allograft, group two 50% allograft and 50% BoneSave, group three 50% allograft and 50% BoneSave 2 and group four 10% allograft and 90% BoneSave as the graft material.

Function was assessed by measuring peak vertical reaction forces. Changes in bone mineral density were measured by DEXA scanning. Loosening and subsidence were assessed radiographically and by examination of explanted specimens.

All outcome measures showed no statistically significant difference between the four groups after eighteen months of full function.

Conclusion: When used as allograft expanders, Bone-Save and similar porous biphasic ceramics perform as well as pure allograft in impaction grafting of the femur.


N Roy H Mirza NR Fahmy

Full thickness skin grafting has been used following dermo-fasiectomy for Dupuytren’s contracture. We have used a conservative approach following excision of the contracture. Following radical excision through Brunner’s incision, an elliptical full thickness skin graft is harvested from the volar aspect of the wrist. This is applied to the wound on the volar aspect of the proximal phalanx to cover the gap with the finger held in extension. Patients who have undergone primary Dupuytren’s excision between 1990–1998 were recalled and evaluated in special clinic. Clinical notes were reviewed for pre-operative deformity, wound problems if any and recurrence of deformity at annual follow-up. Patients were reviewed for present status of deformity, ROM, sensation, 2-point discrimination, evidence of recurrence and patient satisfaction.

One hundred and six fingers were evaluated in 80 patients. Average duration of follow-up was 52 months. Sixty-five patients had bilateral disease and 29 patients had family history of Dupuytren’s disease. Average pre-operative flexion deformity of the PIP joint was 68.6 degrees and 12 patients had deformity of the DIP joint. Mean flexion deformity at review of the PIP joint was 26.4 degrees. 29 patients reported sensitivity to cold. Two-point discrimination was abnormal in 24 patients. Skin tightness was noted in 8 fingers and 7 cases had recurrence. In 2 fingers the recurrence was away from the graft and in remaining 5 fingers it was proximal to the graft not crossing the grafted area. Thirty-three patients had progressive disease in the adjacent fingers away from the operated area. There was no case of graft loss. Seventy patients were satisfied with the end results of the operation.

Our study has shown a very low incidence of recurrence following radical dissection and similar result as dermo-fasciectomy, and the skin graft acting as a barrier in cases of recurrence. Also graft harvested from the wrist matches the colour of the palm with increased patient satisfaction.


MA El Masry WI El Assuity D Chan

To provide short- term follow-up data on the surgical success and patient outcome following early anterior cervical fusion in this particular type of injury. A prospective study of 10 consecutive patients.

Stage I compressive extension injury of the cervical spine, as described by Allen and Ferguson, is not always a stable injury. The combined unilateral failure of the posterior structures under compression together with failure of the anterior structure under tension will lead to a rotationally unstable segment. Various treatment options are available including halo vest immobilization, posterior stabilization with plating and anterior fusion and plating.

10 consecutive patients diagnosed with stage I compressive extension injury (fracture subluxation of the cervical spine). All subjects presented with a neurological deficit and vertebral subluxation. All patients were investigated with CT scan of the involved segment; in addition 2 patients had MRI scans.

The surgical protocol consisted of early reduction followed by anterior cervical fusion using a tricortical iliac graft, and stabilization, using locking plate fixation. Follow-up was by radiographs and clinical examination.

Intraoperative assessment revealed disc injury in all patients. Anatomical realignment was achieved together with a solid fusion in all of the patients. All patients showed improvement in the neurological deficit. One patient remains with some residual weakness in his triceps and another patient required removal of a prominent screw.

Early anterior fusion and plating for this type of injury is a safe procedure


HA Mann NJ Goddard CA Lee

Haemophilia care has steadily improved over the years and especially so during the last decade. The routine use of prophylactic treatment has undoubtedly resulted in a significant improvement in the life-style, quality of life and life expectancy of these patients, and bodes well for the future.

The knee is the most common joint affected in patients with severe haemophilia (approx 50%) and despite best efforts there is still a group of young adults who have a severe degree of knee joint destruction as a result of repeated articular bleeding episodes during their early years.

The indications for operation are primarily disabling pain that is unresponsive to medical treatment. Deformity and poor functional range of motion, particularly a severe flexion contracture of the knee, are relative indications and may in themselves justify joint replacement. Equally joint contractures and flexion deformity pose various surgical challenges for the surgeon. The introduction of continuous replacement clotting factor has facilitated the operation and in our experience has reduced the complications of TKR. We have found that it permits earlier rehabilitation and in our present series the outcome in this group of patients almost comparable to TKR performed in the general population.


JM Wilkinson

Aseptic loosening arises when periprosthetic bone loss results in mechanical failure at the host-implant interface, and is the main factor limiting implant survival after total hip arthroplasty (THA). The aims of this study were to determine whether genetic variation is a risk factor for loosening, explore the metabolic mechanisms of periprosthetic bone loss, and determine whether bisphosphonates may prevent bone loss and enhance implant mechanical stability after THA. In a genetic association study (J Bone Mineral Res2003; 18:1995–2001) we found that carriage of the −238A allele within the promoter region of the TNF gene was an independent risk factor for aseptic loosening. A subsequent reporter gene assay showed differential TNF gene responsiveness between the –238A and –238G alleles to polyethylene particule stimulation (Calcified Tissue Int 2003; 72: 251-273). In a cross-sectional study (J Orthop Res 2003; 214: 691–696) we found that subjects with aseptic loosening had lower bone mineral density (BMD) in the region of the femoral calcar and higher urinary excretion of cross-linked collagen breakdown products than their counterparts with fixed femoral implants. In a randomised controlled trial we found that a single dose infusion of a bisphosphonate (pamidronate) reduced femoral bone loss over 2 years after THA, but did not affect pelvic bone loss or implant migration (J Bone Miner Res2002; 17: 1328). Transient increases in bone turnover markers occurred after surgery and were highly predictive of later femoral BMD change. The main predictor of early implant migration was patient age, but not periprosthetic BMD change. In summary, genetic as well as environmental factors affect implant survival after THA. Aseptic loosening is associated with regional changes in bone mass and turnover as well as focal osteolytic lesions. Bisphosphonate therapy is well tolerated after THA and has a clear biological effect. However, the impact of preventing early bone loss on late aseptic loosening remains unclear and awaits long term study.

[Winner, Robert Jones Gold Medal and Association Prize, 2003]


M Moran P Walmsley A Gray IJ Brenkel

There is little evidence describing the influence of body mass index on the outcome of Total Hip Replacement (THR). There are concerns that an increasing BMI may lead to increased blood loss, infection and venous thromboembolism. 800 consecutive patients undergoing primary cemented THR were followed for a minimum of 18 months. The Harris Hip Score (HHS) and SF-36 were recorded pre-operatively and at 6 and 18 months post-operatively. In addition other significant events were noted, namely death, dislocation, re-operation, superficial and deep infection and blood loss. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify whether BMI was an independently significant predictor of the outcome of THR.

No relationship was seen between the BMI of an individual and the development of any of the complications noted. The HHS was seen to increase dramatically post-operatively in all patients. BMI did predict for a lower HHS at 6 and 18 months, and a lower physical functioning component of the SF-36 at 18 months. This effect was small when compared with the overall improvements in these scores.

Conclusion: THR provides good symptomatic relief irrespective of BMI. On the basis of this study we can find no justification for withholding THR solely on the grounds of BMI.


P Dunkow B Muddu

We conducted a prospective randomised controlled trial. 45 patients (total of 47 elbows) underwent either a formal open release or a percutaneous tenotomy (24 open, 23 percutaneous). All patients had pre-operative assessment by the DASH (Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) scoring system. The surgery was performed by 1 surgeon (BN Muddu). Both groups were followed up for a minimum of 12 months and re-assessed using the DASH scores, time for return to work and patient satisfaction. Statistical analysis using Mann-Whitney and repeated measures ANOVA were performed.

The groups were similar in respect of demographic and pre-test variables. Statistical analyses using Mann-Whitney showed significant differences for patient satisfaction (p=0.012), time to return to work (p=0.0001), improvements in DASH Score (p=0.002) and improvement in sporting activities (p=0.046). There was a trend to improvement in work related activity. Repeated measures ANOVA comparing the pre-operative data for each group were also significant for standardized DASH scores (p=0.0082) and sporting activities (p=0.043).

Our study has shown that there is a significant difference in outcome in the two patient groups. Those patients undergoing a percutaneous release returned to work on average 3 weeks earlier and their symptoms as shown from their DASH scores improved significantly more than those undergoing an open procedure. The percutaneous procedure is a quicker, simpler procedure to perform than an open procedure. Our study has shown that patients have significantly better outcome measures after a percutaneous procedure.


A Langston SH James MD Holt

The South Wales Air ambulance is a charity-funded helicopter service that started functioning on 1 April 2001. There are 10 staff involved in the running of the service, including pilot and paramedics. The territory covered is the South and Mid-Wales regions. The service costs on average £500 per flight and the net cost per year is approximately £750,000.

A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the extent and appropriateness of the air-ambulance call-outs over a 12-month period. The guidelines for call-out are based on medical and non-medical criteria. During this period the helicopter made 315 sorties. On 159 occasions the helicopter was stood down once airborne or following landing at the scene. £80,000 has been spent on non-patient -carrying call-outs. Of the 156 patient-carrying sorties 70% were transferred to Mor-riston Hospital, Swansea. 67% of these patients were categorised as trauma patients. Transfer distance averaged just 15 miles (range 2.6-41.2 miles). The majority of trauma cases were categorised as spinal soft tissue injuries or soft tissue injuries. 52% of patients were discharged by A& E staff without requiring orthopaedic assessment. 59% of trauma transfers were deemed to be inappropriate for helicopter transfer by the senior author.

Our study concludes that the air-ambulance is used inappropriately in at least 50% of the call-outs. The call-out criteria require amending and should place more emphasis on pick-up location rather than the nature of the casualty. It is not used cost effectively and is not always clinically effective.


WJ Harrison CP Lewis CBD Lavy

The study sought to compare infection and union rates in HIV positive patients sustaining severe open tibial fractures, with those in healthy controls.

In a prospective study, consecutive adult patients with Gustilo grade 2 or 3 open tibial fractures who consented to enter the study were enrolled and treated according to a standard regime. The regime consisted of intravenous antibiotics, emergency wound excision and irrigation, wound left open, fracture stabilisation by external fixation, wound inspection at 48 hours and closure if clinically indicated. 27 patients with 28 fractures entered of whom 7 patients were HIV positive.

At 3 months, 2 of the HIV positive cases had satisfactory wound healing, while 5 were infected. In the HIV negative controls, 17 had satisfactory wound healing while 4 were infected (p=0.020, Fishers exact test).

At 6 months 4 HIV positive patients were united, 3 were ununited. At the same time, 16 HIV negative patients were united, 1 ununited, and 4 lost to follow-up (p=0.059, Fishers exact test).

Open tibial fractures in HIV positive patients are prone to wound sepsis and may show a tendency to delayed or non-union.


R Raman S Cooke SJE Matthews PV Giannoudis

Firearm injury is a potentially increasing public health problem worldwide. It is increasingly the subject of media and public attention. We aim to analyze the epidemiology, pattern and outcome as experienced.

Data such as age, sex, race, scene and nature of injury, firearm used, alcohol and drug factors, anatomy involved, surgical requirements, transfusion details, ICU/HDU stay, complications, deaths, and outcome were collected from medical notes, WYMAS and Coroners office of all patients who presented with firearm injuries from January 1995 to December 2001. Seventy-eight cases presented to our institution. There were 19 fatalities at the scene of injury. 69 were male. 51 sustained injuries in public places, 20 at their homes and 7 in outdoor areas. Low velocity firearms were involved in 49 cases. 50 were crime related. Alcohol was identified in 34 patients and illicit drugs in 6 cases. 19 cases had bony injury with associated vascular injury in one case. Primary neurological injury was diagnosed in 5 cases. Lower extremities and upper limb injuries accounted for 59% and 26%. 3 had head and neck wounds. 4 patients had thoracic trauma and 5 had abdominal injury. 86% required surgical intervention. 11 patients had a total of 16 complications, the most common being secondary infection. 6% of patients died at the emergency department and 3 after. Chest injuries caused 5 deaths and head wounds caused 3 deaths illustrating criminal intention to cause fatal body harm.

Conclusion: Males in younger age groups are disproportionately affected and the majority were crime- related injuries. Alcohol and other drugs were identified as a significant factor. There has been no significant decrease in the reported cases of firearm injuries or firearm-related deaths after the amendment made in the Firearm Rules in September 1998 (No:1941). The incidence of non-fatal firearm injury is comparable to centres involving similar population.


SD Deo C Loucks PA Blachut PJ O’Brien HM Broekhuyse RN Meek

The long-term results of patients with multiple knee ligament injuries, i.e. at least 3 ligament ruptures, including both cruciates, in patients entered prospectively onto the trauma database between 1985 and 1999, were reviewed. Forty patients with this injury had modified Lysholm scores at long term follow-up a mean of 8 years post-injury. The mode of operative treatment fell into 3 groups: direct suture or screw fixation of avulsions (Group 1), mid-substance ruptures treated with cruciate reconstruction with hamstring tendons (Group 2), or suture repairs of mid-substance ruptures (Group 3). All operative procedures were undertaken within 2 weeks of injury. Non-operative treatment involved a cast or spanning external fixator (2–4 weeks) followed by bracing. Statistical analysis was performed on the Lysholm scores.

The 40 patients in the study group were predominantly young males, 40% had polytrauma, 33% had isolated injuries. Thirteen patients (33%) had non-operative management, the remainder had early operative treatment of their ligament injuries, tailored to the type of ligament injuries identified.

Long-term patient outcome data shows statistically significant differences (p< 0.05) between the best results, in patients with direct fixation of bony avulsions (mean = 89), followed by those who had early hamstring reconstruction (mean = 79), followed by those who underwent simple ligament repairs (mean = 65). There was a statistically significant difference (p< 0.05) between the overall scores for the operative group (mean = 80) compared with the non-operative group (mean = 50).

Operative treatment of multiple ligament injuries, particularly fixation of avulsions and primary reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament appears to yield better results than non-operative or simple repair in the long term follow-up in this group with significant knee injuries.


D Chakravarty MJ Parker A Boyle

This study was conducted to find out whether blood transfusion was an independent risk factor for mortality and wound infections after hip fracture surgery.

A retrospective cohort study analysed prospectively collected data for 3571 hip fracture patients undergoing surgery over the last 15 years in one institution. Out of these 1068 patients underwent blood transfusion.

There were no significant differences in the mortality values at 30, 120 and 365 days and in the rates of infection (superficial and deep) in the two groups (transfused and non-transfused).

Conclusion: Blood transfusion does not significantly increase mortality or infection following hip fracture surgery.


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S Ravinder HS Gill JPS Walia BS Brar TS Nagra

Skin and soft tissue loss is very common in modern high velocity trauma. Such wounds pose problem of coverage. We present a good alternative to skin grafting & flaps i.e. SINGH’S skin traction device for wound closure in these patients.

The technique is based on the principle of tissue expansion and makes use of viscoelastic properties of the skin i.e. creep and stress relaxation. 100 cases with 116 wounds with skin and soft tissue loss were treated. Two parallel kirshner wires (1.5mm) were passed through the dermis on either side of the wound margins and interconnected by compression device consisting of threaded rod having two blocks and compression knob. Gradual compression approximated the wound margins. Patients ranged in age from 15 to 65 years with average age of 30.5 years. Main modes of injury were roadside accidents and machinery accidents. Average operating time was about 20 minutes. 50 amputation stump wounds were also treated.

Excellent results were observed in 48 (41.4%), good in 42 (36.2%), fair in 14 (12%) and poor in 12 (10.4%) wounds. Main complication was cutting through of wires.

We found that this technique is simple, economical and effective. No special training and instruments are needed and can be done by junior surgeon at small centres. It provides full thickness cover to the wound which matches the surrounding normal skin in quality, sensations and colour. Above all this technique can be successfully used in infected wounds and wounds with exposed bone and tendons. Careful gradual compression judged by pain and blanching gives better results and fewer complications.


CWC Tong JF Griffith GE Antonio KM Chan

[Hong Kong Orthopaedic Association, Travelling Fellow]

Glenoid bone loss predisposes to further dislocation and failure of arthroscopic Bankart repair in patients with recurrent shoulder dislocation. This study investigates quantification of glenoid bone loss in anterior shoulder dislocation using computerized tomography (CT).

CT was performed in 40 patients (average age 31 years, range 16–82 years) with anterior shoulder dislocation. Of this group, 42 shoulders with anterior dislocation and 38 contralateral normal shoulders were examined. In addition, twenty shoulders in ten normal subjects were examined. CT technique comprised 1mm acquisition, pitch 1.0, simultaneously of both shoulders. Reformatted images en face to the glenoid fossa were obtained. Ten different measures of the glenoid fossa were obtained including cross sectional area, maximum height, and width and flattening of the anterior curvature of the glenoid.

In normal subjects, maximum side to side difference in cross-sectional area was 14% and maximum glenoid width 4.1mm. For dislocating shoulders, flattening of the anterior edge of the glenoid fossa and a reduction in maximum glenoid width were the best objective criteria of bone loss. Flattening of the anterior glenoid curvature was a feature of 95% dislocated shoulders though was only seen in 1.5% of normal shoulders. Glenoid cross-sectional area was not a useful measure of glenoid bone deficiency.

Variable glenoid bone loss is a measurable feature of anterior shoulder dislocation. CT can be used to objectively assess this preoperatively. This should help when deciding on whether to perform an arthroscopic Bankart repair or open bone block procedure.


S Sharma LA Rymaszewski

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the beneficial effects of elbow arthrolysis.

This was a prospective study on 88 patients with post-traumatic elbow stiffness with a mean follow-up of 51 months (1 year - 11 years), who had failed to improve their range of movement at a mimimum period of 6 months after their injury. All patients had an open arthrolysis. Post-operatively patients received continuous passive movement (CPM) for 48 to 72 hours. This was facilitated by good analgesia afforded by a continuous brachial plexus block. All patients received no physiotherapy thereafter and were advised to actively mobilise their elbow. ROM was assessed using a goniometer and function assessed using the Mayo elbow performance index.

The ROM improved from a mean of 56 degrees pre-operatively to 106 degrees post-operatively. This improvement in ROM was reflected in the improvement of pre-operative flexion from 107 to 138 degrees and improvement of extension from 60 to 31 degrees. Function improved from a mean of 65 to 85 on the Mayo elbow performance score. 95% of the patients were satisfied with the outcome. Complications included ulnar nerve paraesthesia in 3 patients, 1 triceps avulsion and 1 superficial infection. 3 patients required a manipulation of the elbow in the postoperative period. This was performed within 2 weeks of the operation. There were no cases of elbow instability or heterotopic ossification in this series.

Conclusion: Open elbow arthrolysis combined with continuous brachial plexus block and CPM in the postoperative period is a safe, reliable and durable procedure for improving ROM and function in patients with post-traumatic elbow stiffness.


AM Richards ND Citron

The aim of this study is to assess the clinical outcome following latissiumus dorsi transfer for massive irreparable tears of the rotator cuff.

Between 1996 and 2002 seven patients with massive irreparable rotator cuff tears were treated by transfer of the latissimus dorsi by a single surgeon. Their mean age at time of surgery was 65 years. Five patients were female, five were primary procedures and two were revisions. Patients were assessed with MRI pre-operatively; the decision to plan a transfer was made clinically.

At time of operation all were found to massive irreparable tears of the cuff including Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus, Subscapularis was intact in all cases. Five of the transfers were implanted to a bone trough, one was sutured to a tendon stump, and one was augmented with a Teflon patch.

Mean time to follow up was 21 months. All patients were assessed by the lead author or by his Specialist Registrar. Six patients had a good result, one had a poor result this was a revision procedure resulting in deltoid origin detachment.

Functional outcome significantly improved post-transfer. Constant score 62.1% vs 36.1% (p< 0.0005, Paired t-test), Pain was also significantly reduced post-transfer, both when active 7.1 vs. 2.2 p (< 0.005) and when at rest 3.7 vs. 1.2 (p< 0.005).

Conclusion: These results are compatible with those published for Latissimus Dorsi Transfer. Latissimus Dorsi Transfer can be effective in restoring shoulder function and reducing pain following massive irreparable tears of the rotator cuff.


DJ Watkinson M Waseem DG Hargreaves

A prospective study of early operative treatment of unstable elbow dislocations using a surgical algorithm, we present the early results of nine such injuries including five terrible triads of the elbow and four elbows which redislocated in plaster. All except two were high energy injuries. The lateral collateral ligament complex was found to be avulsed proximally in all cases and was reattached using a bone anchor. The common extensor origin was also torn to a variable extent in all cases and was repaired end to end. In the terrible triads, the coronoid fracture as fixed with a transosseous suture and the radial head reconstructed or, in one case with gross comminution, replaced. In the four redislocations, full stability was only restored when the medial collateral ligament was also reattached. Mobilization without a hinged external fixator was allowed from day one, but the elbows were protected in a hinged splint in between exercise sessions. Patients were assessed for stability, ROM, and functional disability using the DASH score at an average of 12 months.

No elbows redislocated post-operatively and no patients complained of instability. Mean extension was 18° (95% CI 7° – 28°), flexion 131° (124° – 137°), pronation 76° (56° – 96°), and supination 82° (75° – 90°). Mean DASH score was 14.6 (95% CI 0.7 – 28.5) though this result was skewed by one patient who developed RSD and had a DASH score of 67.2. This was however the only complication.

Early operative intervention with reconstruction of unstable elbow dislocations, including the terrible triad, prevents the poor results which are commonly found following non-operative treatment of such injuries. An external fixator is not usually required in the acute setting.


S Thomas A Wilson A Chambler I Harding M Thomas

The Copeland Shoulder Arthroplasty is a cementless, pegged humeral head surface replacement. The design is based on the principle of minimal bone resection and has been in clinical use since 1986. The only published series to date, that of Levy and Copeland, reported results for 103 patients which were comparable to those obtained with stemmed implants. We report the outcome at our institution using the same prosthesis with a hydroxyapatite coating.

81 shoulders (74 patients) underwent resurfacing hemiarthroplasty through an anterior deltopectoral approach. Preoperative diagnoses were: osteoarthritis (39), rheumatoid arthritis (29), rotator cuff arthropathy (1), post-traumatic arthrosis (2). They were followed for an average 28 months. 10 were lost to follow-up (8 deaths).

Constant scores improved from a mean preoperative figure of 15.7 to 54.0 (p< 0.01) at last follow-up. For rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis the scores improved from 15.2 to 50.4 (p< 0.01) and 16.0 to 55.4 (p,< 0.01) respectively.

There was a 13% complication rate with one case requiring revision for loosening to a stemmed implant. Most were cases requiring subsequent acromioplasty. In one case the glenoid rim was fractured during head dislocation. There was a low rate of perioprosthetic radiolucency (4.2%) which may relate to the hydroxyappatite coating within the shell of the prosthesis. Ipsilateral stemmed elbow replacement was performed in some cases without a double stress riser effect. Periprosthetic humeral neck fracture as managed non-operatively with uneventful union.

Conclusion: The good outcome reported in Copeland’s own series has been replicated in the early to medium term at our institution. The surface replacement system is simpler, accurate and preserves bone stock.


DPS Baghla JC Angel M Siddique A McPherson P Johal W Gedroyc G Blunn

Interventional MRI provides a novel non-invasive method of in-vivo weight-bearing analysis of the talo-calcaneal joint. Six healthy males (mean 28.8 years) underwent static right foot weight bearing MRI imaging at 0o, 15o inversion, and eversion. Using known radiological markers the motion of the talus and calcaneum were analysed.

The calcaneum externally rotates, plantar-flexes and angulates into varus. The talus shows greater plantarflexion with similar varus angulation, with variable axial rotation. Relative talo-calcaneal motion thus involves, 6o relative talar internal rotation, 3.2o flexion and no motion in the frontal plane. Concurrently the talus moves laterally on the calcaneum, by 6.5mm, with variable translations in other planes.

The calcaneum plantar-flexes, undergoes valgus angulation, and shows variable rotation in the axial plane. The talus plantar-flexes less, externally rotates, and shifts into varus. Relative motion in the axial and saggital plane reverses rotations seen during inversion. The 8o of relative valgus talo-calcaneal angulation is achieved through considerable varus angulation of the talus, in a direction opposite to the input motion. This phenomenon has not been previously reported. From coronal MRI data, comparative talo-calcaneal motion in inversion is prevented by high bony congruity, whereas during eversion, the taut posterior tibio-talar ligament appears to prevent talar valgus angulation.

We have demonstrated that Interventional MRI scanning is a valuable tool in analysing the weight-bearing motion of the talo-calcaneal joint, whilst approaching the diagnostic accuracy of stereophotogammetry. We have also demonstrated consistent unexpected talar motion in the frontal plane. Talo-calcaneal motion is highly complex involving simultaneous rotation and translation, and hence calculations of instantaneous axes of rotation cannot effectively describe talo-calca-neal motion. We would suggest that relating individual and relative motion of the talus / calcaneum better describes subtalar kinematics.


RK Choudhary B Theruvil GR Taylor

Arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) has been recommended for various big toe deformities. We present a new technique of internal fixation for achieving dynamic compression at the first metatarso-phalangeal joint arthrodesis using memory compression staples. The memory compression staple is fabricated from equiatomic Nickel-Titanium (Ni-Ti) alloy. This alloy has a property by virtue of which it becomes easily malleable at a low temperature and reverts back to its original shape at a higher temperature. This property is known as the Shape Memory Effect. This principle is employed to provide compression at the arthrodesis site. Thirty feet were operated in 27 patients. There were 24 females and 3 males with a mean age of 61.2 years. Two memory compression staples were used at right angles to each other to achieve compression at the fusion site. The post-operative regime allowed full weight-bearing in a rigid sole shoe. A standard questionnaire was used for the subjective assessment, which included questions regarding level of pain, ambulation and patient satisfaction. Objective assessment was performed by a clinical and a radiological examination. Post-operatively there was a reduction in the pain score from 4.6 to 1.6 (p< 0.0001). Ambulation ability improved from 4 to 2.5 (p< 0.0001). There was 96.7% of radiological fusion with an average fusion time of 8.2 weeks. Patients reported 86.6% excellent to good results. The only significant post-operative complication was a single non-union.

We advocate memory compression staples for the internal fixation of the first metatarsophalangeal joint arthrodesis, which is a low profile implant, does not require post-operative cast immobilisation and has a predictable success rate comparable to previously reported methods.


M Freudmann S Hay

A comprehensive postal questionnaire was sent to 164 orthopaedic consultants, all members of the Brit-ish Elbow and Shoulder Society. Questions were asked about the initial reduction, investigations undertaken, timing of any surgery, preferred stabilization procedure, arthroscopic or open, detail of surgical technique, period of immobilization and rehabilitation programmes instigated in first-time and recurrent traumatic dislocators. The response rate was 83% (n=136)

The most likely treatment of a young traumatic shoulder dislocation:

It will be reduced under sedation in A& E by the A& E doctor.

Apart from x-ray, no investigations will be performed

It will be immobilised for 3 weeks, then given course of physiotherapy

Upon their second dislocation, they will be listed directly for an open Bankart procedure (with capsular shift as indicated) during which subscapularis will be detached and metallic bone anchors used

Following surgery, they will be immobilised for 3 to 4 weeks, before being permitted full range of movement at 2 to 3 months and allowed to return to contact sports at 6 to 12 months

On the other hand, 54% of surgeons indicated they would investigate prior to surgery, 16% said their first choice operation would be arthroscopic stabilisation, the number of dislocations normally permitted before surgery ranged from 1 to more than 3, and the period of immobilisation post operation from nil to 6 weeks.

The results reveal a wide variation in practice and no clear consensus on how to best manage these patients. Open stabilisation remains the firm favourite. Does this mean arthroscopic stabilisation is regarded as an experimental procedure?


M. Karski K. Giannikas A. Khan H. Maxwell

We present our technique for arthrodesis of the failed Keller’s excisional arthroplasty and the results of postoperative follow-up in a series of eight patients [nine feet].

Arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint was performed with a tricortical interposition bone graft stabilised between the first metatarsal and proximal phalanx with a mini dental plate. In all cases the indication for the procedure was for chronic pain at the first meta-tarsophalangeal joint and transfer metatarsalgia of the lateral rays. Post-operative follow-up ranged from 13– 70 months and patients were evaluated using a custom-made satisfaction questionnaire, clinical examination and evaluation of pre-and post-operative x-rays.

All patients were female. The mean age of the patients was 53.2 years [range 32–69]. The post- operative questionnaire revealed that five patients [six cases] were highly satisfied with the surgery. However, we do report complications associated with the procedure including one case of deep infection and four cases in total of radiological non-union of the graft.

The majority of patients were highly satisfied with the surgery, but this technique for the revision of failed Keller’s procedures has a significant risk of complications, so patients should receive appropriate counselling pre-operatively. Although the mini dental plate was low profile, its decreased rigidity may have been responsible for the four cases of non-union.


BC Knight ME Lovell

This study assessed the effect of litigation on the long-term outcome and recovery of ankle inversion injuries. 167 patients from an accident and emergency database were contacted by telephone. Thirty participants were litigating and these candidates were randomly matched with 30 non-litigating patients with respect to mechanism of injury. Each group had 27 patients with ankle sprains because of falls/trips and 3 after road traffic accidents. Radiographs when available of each participant were examined and the degree of soft tissue swelling over the lateral malleolus was assessed.

76.6% of litigants reported incomplete recovery compared to 26.7% of non-litigants. The median period of sleep disturbance, swelling, limping and non-weight-bearing was 1.5 days, 2.0 weeks, 2.0 weeks and 1.0 weeks for the non-litigants. This compares to 3.5 days, 10.0 weeks, 8.0 weeks and 8.0 weeks for the litigants using the same variables (p< 0.0001 in all cases). Where ankle radiographs had been taken swelling was equal in each group (9.0mm over lateral malleolus (30% of litigants incorrectly suggested an ankle x-ray had been taken, when it had not)). The majority of litigants (65%) thought that physiotherapy would not be beneficial in rehabilitating their ankle (35% non-litigants)

It appears that litigation has a negative effect on the outcome and recovery of ankle sprains.


H Sharma G Shah J De Leeuw F Denolf

Does the type of implant have any correlation with critical fusion time of hallux metatarsophalangeal joint? There are few cadaveric biomechanical studies published in the literature assessing the strength and rigidity of different fixation methods. Although it is still unclear whether the amount of metal affects the fusion rate, the aim of this study was to assess whether using a supplementary dorsal ¼ tubular plate in addition to a compression screw gives any added rigidity to the fusion area leading to an earlier fusion.

A retrospective analysis was conducted on the first metatarsophalangeal joint fusion in 26 consecutive patients (34 feet) between April 1998 to February 2002 comparing using single screw versus a screw supplemented with a dorsal ¼ tubular plate. There were 18 females and 8 males with a mean age of 51.5 years and a mean follow-up of 2.9 years. The final fusion was assessed clinically and radiologically by trans-articular trabeculation.

There was a fusion rate of 97%. All patients except one had solid fusion. One case had non-union. Four cases had superficial wound infection, which settled down with appropriate antibiotic therapy. Paraesthesia over the dorso-medial aspect of the big toe in three patients and transfer metatarsalgia in two patients were documented.

The type of implant did not show any direct correlation with the complication rate. There is no evidence to suggest in this study relating the amount of implant to final outcome. Therefore the choice of implant fixation can be at the discretion of the operating surgeon.


S Aravindan JG Kennedy AJ McGuinness TC Taylor

High complication rates and technical difficulties of intramedullary fixation in children with osteogenesis imperfecta have prompted the modification of existing rod systems. The Sheffield telescoping intramedullary rod system was introduced to reduce the complications. It has a T-piece which is permanently fixed to prevent its separation and is expanded to reduce the migration. This study analyses the outcome of this rod system over a 12-year period in two specialist centres.

Sixty rods were inserted in the lower limbs of 19 children with osteogenesis imperfecta. All children had multiple fractures of the bones before rod insertion. 39 rods were inserted into the femur, of which 3 were exchange and 4 revision procedures. 21 rods were inserted in the tibia. Eight children had intramedullary rodding of all the four lower limb long bones. The outcome was measured in terms of mobility status, incidence of refractures and rod-related complications.

Our series demonstrates that there is significant reduction in refractures and improvement in the mobility status in children with osteogenesis imperfecta following intramedullary fixation. The frequent complication of T-piece separation and the need for reoperation has been overcome with the Sheffield modification of rod design. But the extracortical and metaphyseal migration of the rod continues to be a problem and further improvement in the design is desirable.


S. Mannion S. Chimangeni C. Lavy

Gap defects in the tibial shaft can arise as a consequence of auto-sequestrectomy in chronic osteomyelitis. Whilst bone transport techniques can be utilised to treat defects, the skills and equipment necessary for such procedures are seldom available in the developing world. An alternative, and more freely available method of reconstruction is to use ipsilateral vascularised fibular transfer.

Approach to the fibula is postero-lateral. Muscle attachments to the lateral and antero-medial surfaces of the bone are released but care is taken to maintain the posterior proximal vascular pedicle, arising from the peroneal artery and to keep the periosteum intact. The fibula is then osteotomised proximally and distally and then transposed, by translation and rotation into a pre-prepared graft bed spanning the tibial defect. Some form of fixation and stabilisation may then be required and cancellous bone graft applied.

Over the past 12 months 5 cases of ipsilateral vas-cularised fibular transfer have been performed. Mean age of the patients was 6.4. In three cases stabilisation was by a trans-calcaneal, intramedullary K-wire. In the remainder interfragmentary screws were used at the proximal and distal ends of the graft, supplemented by external fixation. Cancellous bone grafting was only performed in those cases also undergoing external fixation.

In all cases the graft united satisfactorily at both the proximal and distal ends. No further procedures were necessary to effect this union. Particularly in the younger patients compensatory hypertrophy of the fibula, in response to the increased weight-bearing demand, was both marked and rapid. All five cases have completed treatment and need no mobility aids when walking.

In conclusion we feel that the ipsilateral vascular-ised fibular graft is a useful method for treating tibial gap defects of osteomyelitic origin. Few specialised resources are required and thus it is a suitable technique for the developing world.


CK Yiannakopoulos AD Kanellopoulos

Between 1999 and 2002 14 children with femoral shaft fractures were treated with closed, locked intramedullary nailing. There were 11 male and 3 female patients, aged 11–16 years (mean 14.4 years). All fractures were closed. There were 9 transverse, 1 pathologic, 1 bipolar, 1 malunited and 2 spiral fractures. The fractures occurred following MVA or falls from height. All fractures were reduced and closed locked intramedullary nailing was performed using small diameter titanium nails without reaming. The entrance of point of the nail was created at the tip of the greater trochanter and no traction was used intraoperatively. The mean hospital stay was 2 days and immediate partial weight-bearing was permitted.

All fractures united according to clinical and radiological criteria within 9 weeks. The maximum patient follow-up was 24 months (mean 17 months). Hip and knee mobility was full and no case of femoral head osteonecrosis, infection or malunion was ascertained.

Closed, locked intramedullary nailing in adolescent patients provides immediate fracture immobilization combining safety and limited morbidity. Meticulous adherence to the surgical technique is necessary respecting the developing upper part of the femur.


JR. Greenslade EO Sullivan R Carare-Nnadi G Bowyer

The “Knot of Henry” was dissected in 16 embalmed cadaveric feet to reveal the complex interconnections between flexor hallucis longus (FHL) and flexor digi-torum longus (FDL) tendons. Three distinct anatomical patterns were observed.

Tension was applied manually to FHL or FDL proximal to the Knot. Digit movement was different depending on the anatomical pattern.

FHL or FDL tendon transfer is an accepted technique to prevent progression of acquired plano-valgus deformity. In order to minimise donor deficit, we suggest the use of either FHL or FDL should be based on assessment of the anatomical pattern at the time of surgery.


HS Gill S Ravinder JPS Walia BS Brar

Lisfranc injury is named after Jacques Lisfranc, a field surgeon in Napoleon’s army.

Based on Columnar classification of Lisfranc fracture dislocation, study of injury to medial column was carried out as they have the potential to be a severe cause of residual disability in the foot if not properly treated at the initial stage. Importance of Medial column is that it forms the highest point of longitudinal arch and may be injured in isolation or in association with lateral and middle column. Complex deforming forces may cause unusual pattern of medial column injuries at more than one level. There is renewed interest in this injury over past decade as modalities of treatment have changed over a period of time from conservative to fixation with K-wires to rigid fixation with screws to fixation with absorbable screws or combination of above.

We present 21 cases of medial column injuries in Lis-franc fracture-dislocation. Age ranged from 18 to 65 yrs. All were male. Four fixed with compression screws,12 fixed with K-wires, 2 managed conservatively, 3 were neglected cases. Post-operatively POP back splint was given, K-wire removal at 8 weeks, screw removal after 12 weeks and partial weight bearing started at 8-12 weeks. Follow-up ranged from 3 months to 3 years.

They were graded on basis of residual pain, foot shape, and movements. Best results were seen in cases where rigid intertarsal / intercolumnar stability was achieved by screw fixation. There was residual inter-cuneiform subluxation in 4 cases, which were fixed with K-wires, and this led to residual pain. Conservative/neglected cases had poor results.

Intercolumnar / intertarsal instabilities should be primarily recognized and stabilized under compression. Stabilization should not only be within the 3 columns but also intercolumnar, thus maintaining the relative length of 3 columns and hence reconstitution of medial longitudinal arch.


P Haslam M Morris I Lasrado JA Fernandes

CTEV is a difficult condition to treat with chances of recurrence, re-operation rate and over correction. Recent literature based on evidence is favourable with the Ponseti management. The aim of the study was to review our surgical results over a 5-year period using the Cincinnati approach.

Children with failure of conservative serial stretching and casting for 6 months underwent open release. The records and radiographs were reviewed retrospectively from 1997–2002. 60 patients were identified with 92 feet undergoing primary sub radical releases using the Cincinnati approach in 40 male and 20 female children. The mean age at surgery was 10 months. 55 patients were idiopathic with 3 syndromal and 2 teratological.

Consultants performed > 75% of operations, with k-wire stabilisation done in 46 patients and primary wound closure in 25; the majority of wounds were left open. The timing of plaster change varied, with the majority at 2 weeks. Wound problems occurred in 4 patients (significant in 2). All patients but one wore splints for an average length of 13 months. Complication rate was 20% comprising infection, over- correction and recurrence. Re-operation rate for early recurrence was 12%. Further surgery in the form of tibialis anterior transfer and derotation osteotomy was performed on 15% and 10% of feet respectively. 6 feet in 4 patients showed signs of significant over correction.

Wound healing by secondary intention of the Cin-cinnati approach is safe. Results and complications are comparable to other series, but not to the Ponseti non-operative management. Practice is now changed to the latter based on evidence.


S Mannion S Chimangeni A Mawa P Chirombo

Clubfoot is one of the commonest congenital abnormalities and is 2–3 times commoner in African populations than Caucasian. From December 2000 in Lilongwe, Malawi, the Ponseti method was used for treatment of this condition combined with the Colombian Clubfoot Score. Over the study period 150 patients were treated, with an average age on presentation of 5.5 months. 43% of cases had completed the manipulation and casting part of treatment and 5.5 months. 43% of cases had completed the manipulation and casting part of treatment and had been braced, but 75% of these were no longer attending regular follow up. We believe that the method is useful for treating CTEV in Africa, but that the intensive nature of the therapeutic regime leads to compliance difficulties.


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KAN Saldanha JA Fernandes MJ Bell M Saleh

To review the results of limb lengthening and deformity correction in fibular hemimelia, fifty-five patients with fibular hemimelia underwent limb reconstruction at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. According to Achter-man and Kalamchi classification, twenty-six were classified as Type IA, six as Type IB and twenty-three as Type II fibular hemimelia. All patients had at least some shortening of ipsilateral femur but forty-nine had sig-nificant femoral deficiency. Lengthening of tibia and in significant cases femur was done using De Bastiani or Vilarrubias or Ilizarov methods. Ankle valgus and heel valgus were corrected through osteotomies either in the supramalleolar region or heel. Equinus was corrected by lengthening of tendoachelis with posterior soft tissue release and in severe cases using Ilizarov technique.

The average length gained was 4.2 cm (range 1 to 8) and the mean percentage of length increase was 15.82 (range 4.2 to 32.4). Mean bone healing index was 54.23 days/cm. Significant complications included knee subluxation, transient common paroneal nerve palsy, and recurrence of equinus and valgus deformity of foot. Overall alignment and ambulation improved in all patients. Knee stiffness due to cruciate deficient subluxations needed prolonged rehabilitation. Presence of 3-ray foot gives a better functional result and cosmetic acceptance by patients. The Ilizarov frame has the advantage to cross joints and lengthen at the metaphysis.

Limb reconstruction in fibular hemimelia using limb lengthening and deformity correction techniques improve functional status of involved lower limb.


RW Paton A Bonshahi W Kim

We describe a successful modified operative procedure at an average 19 months follow-up in 3 patients with congenital dislocation of the patella and compare its merits to the other procedures already reported in the literature.

Congenital dislocation of the patella may be associated with other congenital conditions or syndromes i.e. Down’s syndrome, congenital vertical talus and cerebral palsy. Numerous operative techniques have been described in the literature which may be divided into 3 basic groups. A modification of the Langenskiold & Ritsila procedure is described. The original procedure describes an extensive lateral release with detachment and medial transfer of the patellar tendon through a curved incision. The tendon is routed through a fold of synovium medially and fixed distally to bone with sutures through drill holes in the proximal tibia. We found at surgery this synovium was too fragile to hold the transferred tendon and the use of drill holes unnecessary. The main alterations include a limited and straight anterior skin incision, a fashioning of a ‘buckle’ of the transferred distal patellar tendon to a distally based flap which avoids drill holes in the growing bone. This modification of the Langenskiold procedure was used successfully in 3 cases, including a revision of a failed Goldthwaite- Roux procedure in a mentally handicapped child. The results at average 19 months follow-up are successful. The early results confirm that the patella remains located and tracks normally. The valgus and flexion deformities have significantly improved.

This modification of the Langenskiold & Ritsila procedure requires less dissection than other operations, with no bony surgery and a cosmetic scar. The Langen-skiold & Ritsila procedure has been successful and we feel that this modification simplifies and improves on the original technique.


M Bhatia P Housden

We assessed two simple radiological methods of predicting redisplacement of forearm fractures in children: a) Cast Index (ratio of sagittal to coronal cast width at the fracture site), and b) Padding Index (ratio of padding thickness at the fracture site in the plane of the deformity to the maximum interosseous width).

Case records and radiographs of 100 children who underwent a manipulation under general anaesthesia for a displaced fracture of forearm or wrist were studied. Redisplacement was defined as more than 15 degrees of angulation and/or more than 50 percent of translational displacement on check radiographs at 1–2 weeks.

Angulation (in degrees) and translation displacement (in percentage) were measured on the initial and check radiographs. Cast index and Padding index were measured on the check radiographs. Good intra and inter observer reproducibility was observed for both these measurements. The cast index was validated in an experimental study.

Redisplacement was seen in 29 cases. Of these 21 cases underwent a secondary procedure for redisplacement. Initial displacement, cast index and padding index were the three factors which were significantly higher in the redisplacement group (p< 0.05). The means and 95% Confidence intervals for cast index and padding index were 0.88 (0.84, 0.90) and 0.48 (0.39, 0.62) in the redisplacement group whereas were 0.71 (0.69, 0.72) and 0.11 (0.09, 0.12) in the group with no redis-placement respectively. No statistically significant difference was seen for age, fracture location, initial angular deformity and seniority of the surgeon.

Conclusion: cast index and padding index are simple and reliable radiographic measurements to predict the redisplacement of forearm fractures in children. A plaster with a cast index of> 0.9 and padding index of > 0.3 is prone to redisplacement.


KAN Saldanha M Saleh MJ Bell JA Fernandes

To review the results of reconstruction of pseudoar-throsis and/or significant varus with retroversion of proximal femur in congenital longitudinal lower limb deficiencies, twenty-three of ninety-five patients with lower limb deficiencies underwent proximal femoral reconstruction at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. All twenty-three underwent valgus derotation osteotomies to correct coxa vara and retroversion of femur. Seven patients also had pseudoarthrosis of the neck of femur. Three of these were treated with valgus derotation osteotomy and cancellous bone grafting, two with fibular strut grafts, one King’s procedure and one with excision of fibrous tissue and valgus derotation osteotomy. A variety of internal fixation devices and external fixator were used.

Seventeen of the twenty-three patients had valgus osteotomies repeated more than once (average 2.3) for recurrence of varus deformity. Average initial neck-shaft angle was 72 degrees, which improved to an average of 115 degrees after reconstruction.

All seven patients with pseudoarthroses underwent multiple procedures (average 3.3) to achieve union. Cancellous bone grafting was repeated twice in two patients to achieve union but all three with cancellous bone grafting underwent repeat osteotomies to correct residual varus. Two patients achieved union after fibu-lar strut grafting. One patient, who underwent excision of pseudoarthrosis, achieved union but had to undergo further valgus osteotomy. No particular advantage of any one-fixation device over the others was noted in achieving correction.

Early axis correction using valgus derotation oste-otomy is important in limb reconstruction when there is significant coxa vara and retroversion, although recurrence may require repeated osteotomies. Pseudoarthro-ses needed more aggressive surgery to achieve union.


A Kulkarni A Abudu RM Tillman SR Carter RJ Grimer

130 consecutive patients with metastastic tumours of the extremity bones treated with resection with or without major endoprosthetic reconstruction were studied retrospectively to determine the indication for surgery, complications, clinical outcome and oncological results of treatment.

The mean age at diagnosis was 61 (22 – 84). The tumours originated from a variety of organs. Lower extremity was involved in 104 and upper extremity in 26. Metastatic disease was solitary in 55 patients and multiple in 75 at the time of surgery. The median follow-up possible from the time of operation to review was 48 months (0-103).

The indication for surgery was radical treatment of solitary metastases with curative intent in 33, pathological fracture in 46, impending fracture in 27, failure of prior fixation devices in 17, painful swelling or extremity in 37. Surgical treatment included excision of expendable bones without reconstruction in 20 patients and resection with endoprosthetic reconstruction in 110 patients. 7 patients received adjuvant chemotherapy and the majority received adjuvant radiotherapy.

At the time of review, 58 patients had died at a mean time of 23 months (0–90) from surgery (53 from progressive metastatic disease and 5 from other causes). 72 were alive at mean follow-up of 22 months (1–103) from surgery. 36 patients (28%) were alive at 2 years post-surgery and 8 (6%) at 5 years. One patient died intra-operatively. Post-operative complications occurred in 32 patients (25%). 18 patients required further surgical procedures for dislocation, infection haematoma, stiff joint, plastic surgical procedures. All the patients had control of pain and 90% achieved desired mobility.

There was no difference in the survival of patients who presented with solitary and multiple metastases, renal and non-renal metastases, and upper or lower limb metastases.

Conclusion: Selected patients with bone metastases can benefit from resection and major bone reconstruction with acceptable morbidity. We have not identified predictable prognostic factors in these selected patients.


V Kapoor B Theruvil SE Edwards GR Taylor NMP Clarke MG Uglow

The majority of diaphyseal forearm fractures in children are treated by closed reduction and plaster immobilisation. There is a small subset of patients where operative treatment is indicated. Recent reports indicate that elastic intramedullary nailing (EIN) is gaining popularity over plate fixation. We report the results of EIN for diaphyseal fractures of the forearm in 44 children aged between 5 and 15 years during a three-year period. The indications were instability (26), redisplacement (14), and open fractures (4). Closed reduction and nailing was carried out in 18 cases. A single bone had to be opened in 16 cases and in 10 cases both bones were opened for achieving reduction. Out of the 39 both bone forearm fractures, 35 patients had stabilisation of both radius and ulna and in 4 cases only a single bone was nailed (Radius 3, Ulna 1).

Union was achieved in all the 44 cases at an average time of 7 weeks with one delayed union. All patients regained full flexion and extension of the elbow and wrist. Pronation was restricted by an average of 20° in 30% patients.

Complications were seen in 10 patients (20%). 4 patients had prominent metal work which required early removal. There was refracture in one case, which was treated by nail removal and re-fixation. Two patients developed post operative compartment syndrome requiring fasciotomy. EIN of the radius alone in a patient with fractures of both the bones of forearm, led to secondary displacement of the ulna. This resulted in ulnar malunion and a symptomatic distal radio-ulnar joint subluxation. This was successfully treated by ulnar osteotomy.

Compared to forearm plating EIN involves minimal scarring, easier removal and less risk of nerve damage. We therefore recommend EIN for the treatment of unstable middle and proximal third forearm fractures.


M Ramakrishnan G Kumar SS Prasad RW Parkinson

To report the experience with the new device, the Long Proximal Femoral Nail (Long PFN) in patients with impending pathological femoral fractures to identify the advantages and complications associated with its usage. This is the first in the series on the use of Long PFN for patients with femoral metastases.

Between April 2000 and September 2001, twenty-five consecutive patients with femoral pathological lesions were prophylactically stabilised using Long PFN. The nailings were performed using a percutaneous closed technique. Lateral femoral Line (LFL) technique was used for location of the entry point and easy insertion for the nail. Only the proximal one-fifth of the femur was reamed to accommodate the 17 mm diameter of the proximal part of the nail.

We had technical problems in three patients. The overall mobility of the patients improved in twenty patients and the mobility remained the same as pre-operative level in five patients. Good to excellent pain relief achieved in eighteen patients. The pain relief was fair in five patients and poor in two patients. We had no mechanical failure of the implant in our series.

Long PFN, a modified reconstruction nail, can be inserted percutaneously and has an easy operation technique. Our early experience with Long PFN in the management of impending femoral fractures has been favourable.


A Kulkarni F Fiorenza RJ Grimer SR Carter RM Tillman

Only 1% of all primary bone tumours are situated in the distal humerus. Destruction of the distal humerus by tumour is rare and reconstruction of the distal humerus is challenging. Because of the amount of bone loss following tumour excision, excision arthroplasty or arthrodesis is impossible and hence some form of reconstruction is usually required. Allograft reconstruction and hemiarthroplasty are uncommon and lead to an unpredictable outcome.

Ten patients underwent endoprosthetic replacement of the distal humerus for bone tumours over a thirty one-year period. There were 8 primary and 2 secondary tumours and male to female ratio was 2:3. Average age of the patients was 47.5 years (15–76 years). Mean follow up was 8 years (9 months - 31 years). Four patients required further surgery, three having revision for asceptic loosening and two of these and one other later needing a rebushing. There were no permanent nerve palsies, infections, local recurrences or mechanical failures of the implant. Four patients died of their disease between 12 and 71 months after operation, all with their prosthesis working normally.

Average flexion deformity was 15 degrees (0–35) and average flexion of these patients was 115 degrees (110–135). The average TES Score for these patients was 73% (29% to 93%). The activities which the patients found to be no problem (TES score more than 4.5 out of 5) were: brushing hair, drinking from a glass, putting on make up or shaving, picking up small items, turning a key in a lock, doing light household chores and socialising with friends, whilst activities that proved difficult (TES score less than 3 out of 5) were: gardening and lifting a box to an overhead shelf. Pain was not a problem and only 1 of the surviving patients reported ever having to use regular analgesics.

Conclusions: Endoprosthetic replacement of the distal humerus and elbow joint is a satisfactory method of dealing with these unusual tumours in the long term.


L Jeys R Suneja S Carter R Grimer

To identify the incidence of a cortical breech on the initial presentation X-rays of patients with distal femoral GCTs, and whether this lead to a higher rate of local recurrence of tumour, a prospective database is kept of all patients seen in the unit. Initial presentation X-rays on 54 patients with distal femroal GCTs were reviewed. The size of the tumour was estimated by measuring the largest dimensions of the tumour (depth, breadth & height). The volume of the distal femur was estimated using the same X-ray and computer programme. The X-rays were then carefully studied for evidence of a cortical breach. The records were also checked for evidence of subsequent locally recurrent disease and subsequent surgery.

X-rays were reviewed on 54 patients (29 male, 25 female), range of 18–72 years. All patients had a biopsy-proven GCT of the distal femur, X-rays (prior to biopsy) were reviewed. 34 (63%) patients with a cortical breech on X-ray. The mean tumour volume: distal femoral volumes (TV:DFV) was statistically greater between those patients with a cortical breach and those without, using ANOVA (p< 0.0001). There were 13 patients with local recurrent disease but no statistical difference in subsequent local recurrence rates between the two patient groups. There was also no statistical differences between the number of operations for those who presented with a cortical breach or without. There was no evidence that more radical surgery was required if a patient presented with a cortical breach.

The risk of cortical breech in patients with GCTs of the distal femur is dependant upon the tumour volume to distal femur volume ratio. If the ratio is above 54% then present with a cortical breech on X-ray is likely (95% confidence interval).There is no evidence those patients with a cortical breach have a higher rate of local recurrence, an increased number of operations or more radical surgery.

Conclusion: The risk of cortical breech in patients with GCTs of the distal femur is dependent upon the tumour volume to distal femur volume ratio.


AA Narvani E Tsiridis M Ramachandran TW Briggs SR Cannon A Saifuddin R Mitchell

The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of image guided (ultrasound or CT) percutaneous needle biopsy to percutaneous needle biopsy without image guidance in diagnosis of soft tissue tumours.

Eighty-eight consecutive patients with soft tissue lesion who were referred to the soft tissue tumour unit underwent percutaneous needle biopsies of their lesion either with image guidance or without. Sixty-one out of these 88 patients subsequently underwent excision of their lesion and the excised specimen was then subjected to histological examination. The accuracy of image guided percutaneous needle biopsy and percutaneous needle biopsy without image was then calculated by comparing the histological results of the needle biopsy to that of excision biopsy.

The diagnosis accuracy of image guided percutaneous needle biopsy was 92% (34 out 37) compared to 79% (22 out of 28) for percutaneous needle biopsy without image. In 3 out of the 28 patients who had percutaneous needle biopsy without image guidance, there was insufficient material obtained from the needle biopsy to allow a histological diagnosis. This was not the case with any of the patients who had image guided percutaneous needle biopsy.

Conclusion: Using image guidance, either USS or CT scan, improves the diagnostic accuracy of percutaneous needle biopsy and should be the gold standard technique in management of soft tissue tumours. However, if the lesion is palpable and not mobile, the accuracy of percutaneous needle biopsy without image guidance can be up to 79%.


JAM Bramer H Ahrens SR Carter RM Tillman RJ Grimer A Abudu

Pathological fracture occurs in 5–10% of all primary malignant bone tumours. It is thought that they unfavourably influence survival, because the fracture haema-toma may contaminate adjacent tissues. Management is often more aggressive and one is less inclined to consider limb saving surgery.

Aim of this study was to determine whether the presence of pathological fracture had an effect on rate of limb salvage surgery, role of adjuvant treatment and survival.

A retrospective study was done on all patients with a pathological fracture through localised Ewing’s sarcoma, treated between 1979 and 2001. Of 289 patients with localised Ewing’s sarcoma, 27 had a pathological fracture. Eighteen presented with fracture, in 9 fracture occurred after biopsy. All were treated with chemotherapy according to protocol. Two fractures were already treated by osteosynthesis elsewhere, the rest healed with conservative treatment. After chemotherapy, 20 patients were treated surgically: 19 with limb saving surgery, 1 with amputation. Apart from chemotherapy, treatment was surgery alone in 15, surgery and radiotherapy in 5, and radiotherapy alone in 7 patients. Indications for radiotherapy were close margins, poor chemotherapy response, or pelvic tumours. Surgical margins were wide in 16 patients, marginal in 2, and intralesional in 1 patient. Local recurrence occurred in 2 patients, primarily treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy alone. Five year survival was 60%, metastasis free survival 59%, both comparable with rates reported in literature.

Conclusion: Chemotherapy allows fractures to consolidate with conservative treatment. Adequate surgical margins can be achieved in the majority of patients with limb saving surgery. Adjuvant radiotherapy does not seem necessary if margins are wide. Survival is not negatively influenced by pathological fracture. The survival rate following limb saving surgery in these patients is similar to that of patients in literature where amputation is done. Limb saving surgery seems a safe option.


K Ho J Harrison DH Sochart

To assess the cost involved and whether orthopaedic patients with Methicillin-resistant Staphylcoccus aureus (MRSA) infections were being managed according to national guidelines, retrospective survey of all MRSA infections over a 26 months period was performed. Demographic details and risk factors were identified. Infection control measures were compared with national guidelines. Total length of hospital stays, treatments received and cost were noted.

In total, 78 patients were diagnosed with a MRSA infection (31 male and 47 female) with a mean age 66.4 years +/− 20.8 SD. MRSA infections occurred in 75 (97%) trauma patients and in 2 (3%) elective patients. MRSA infections were isolated from wounds in 62 patients, others sites include sputum, blood, urine and skin colonization. The average time of diagnosis after admission was 20.6 days +/− 16.6 SD. Major risk factors were internal fixation of fractures (97%), previous antibiotics (97%), nursing home residents and hospital transfers (50%). Normal national guidelines were followed in 86% of the cases. Antibiotics were used in 67 patients after microbiological confirmation; this additional cost exceeded £19,000. The mean hospital stay was 50.7 days and the cost of hospitalization per patients exceeded £19,700 (£388.60 per day). Incidence of MRSA infection in trauma and elective patients were 2.4% and 0.1% respectively. Infection control policies were strictly followed in 86% of the cases. Long hospitalization and antibiotics were a significant risk factor for developing MRSA infections. Considering the low incidence of MRSA infection in elective surgery, segregation of trauma and elective patients is an important measure in reducing the incidence and cost of MRSA infections. Substantial saving can be achieved with firmer antibiotics policies.


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PM Lewis AR Evans PR Roberts R Kulkarni

Private companies now offer risk assessment packages to Trusts. Data are collected using ICD coding and complication rates for individual surgeons are calculated and published. A risk assessment document was recently published at the Royal Gwent Hospital presenting complication rates and misadventures on league tables of specialty and consultants. Serious concerns were raised about the quality of the data. We undertook a study to independently evaluate the accuracy of data used to calculate these complication rates.

Two Orthopaedic Surgeons with the highest published complication rates were studied. The notes of patients who had suffered complications were retrieved and the published complication data was compared with the clinical interpretation of the actual complication. One hundred and fifty reported complications were analyzed.

In most cases data accuracy was woefully inadequate. For example revision procedures were counted as complications for the revision surgeon irrespective of who carried out the primary procedure. The normal work-up of these patients including procedures to investigate the presence of infection are recorded as complications with some patients being recorded as having up to four separate complications. Misadventures published for surgeons included dural tap during epidural anesthesia. The results of this study highlight the potentially devastating consequences of data inaccuracy. Inaccurate published data on complications, used to form league tables for individual surgeons, can be career- jeopardizing. We advocate that consultation with the clinicians involved should always occur before data are published so that these inaccuracies can be picked up and the potentially damming consequences of falsely high complication rates can be avoided.


D Sunderamoorthy S Ahuja A Grant

Patients admitted to trauma wards are routinely screened for MRSA pre-operatively. The majority of them have implant surgery before the screening results were available. The aim of our study was to identify the incidence of MRSA wound infection in these patients and their outcome following it.

We randomly reviewed 40 patients who were colonised with MRSA pre-operatively and have had implant surgeries. The case notes, drug charts and the microbiology were reviewed to identify the incidence of MRSA wound infection and its outcome in these patients. The place of residence, site of colonisation and the treatment given were also considered.

70% of the patients were admitted from home and 20% had previous admission within one year. The commonest site colonised is the nose (50%) followed by the perineum in 20%. Multiple sites were colonised in 10% of the patients. Only 50% of them with positive nasal MRSA were given nasal bactroban and chlohexidine wash was given in only 70% of them with MRSA colonisation in other areas. 22.5% (9/40) of the patients developed MRSA infection post operatively and they were treated with vancomycin or teicoplanin. Wound debridement and washout were done in 67.5%. 75% of the MRSA infected wound healed well with no MRSA in the wound site after treatment. 25% of the MRSA infected wounds had persistent MRSA in the wound.

As per our study the incidence of MRSA wound infection in patients colonised pre-operatively is about 22.5%. Most cases seem to heal well without much complication with appropriate antibiotics and wound care.


SK Kapoor

An osteochondroma is a benign tumour and multiple hereditary osteochondromatosis [MHO] is an auto-somal dominant skeletal disorder in which there are numerous cartilage-capped excrescences. The true incidence of malignant change of osteochondromas is not known, as many osteochondromas, especially solitary lesions, are asymptomatic and usually not reported.

Between the years 1995 to 2002, 11 patients with a secondary chondrosarcoma developing in osteochon-droma were found, out of 300 cases of musculoskeletal tumours treated at our institution. All the patients were treated surgically, The mean follow up of the patients was approximately 2 years [range from 3 months to 4 years]

In radiographs, evidence of malignant change was seen in all the cases. In the cases where MRI was carried out [6 out of 11 cases], the average cartilage cap thickness was 5.0 cm [ranging from 2 to 12 cm].

It is important to recognize the features suggesting malignant change, namely pain, continued growth of the lesion after skeletal maturity, thick bulky cartilaginous cap, and soft tissue mass with or without calcifications. Six of our cases had Grade I chondrosarcoma. High-grade chondrosarcomas occur with greater frequency in patients of multiple hereditary osteochondromatosis. Grading of chondrosarcoma is considered to have prognostic significance. However, the rate of local recurrence is primarily dependent on the adequacy of the primary surgical therapy, rather than the histological grade. In our series we had 3 cases wih local recurrence. In 2 of these cases, intralesional debulking had been done and in 1 case of marginal excision was done. Therefore primary resection [with a cuff of normal tissue] or radical excision appears to be the treatment of choice for these lesions.


MC Oliver PW Skinner

To evaluate the performance of this institution in its delivery of care to elderly patients with a hip fracture over an 11-year period and to establish recommendations to improve practice.

Regular prospective audits of a cohort of 50 patients have been undertaken between 1990 and 2000. A larger and more comprehensive retrospective audit of 100 patients was performed in 2001. Goals were set regarding time to admission, time to surgery and to discharge in close accordance with the best practice guidelines devised by the Royal College of Physicians in 1989.

There has been an alarming decline in standards in key areas.

Time from A& E to admission: at best 78% of patients within 3 hours, 4% in 2001.

Time from admission to surgery: at best 89% within 24 hours, 31% in 2001.

Persistence of significant morbidity for patients delayed to surgery for non-medical reasons: 65% of these patients developed a post operative complication and 20% died within 30 days of admission.

Delay to discharge: at best 13 acute bed days, now 18 (2001).

Current practice is less than ideal. Clinical governance involves a dual responsibility – of the clinician to maintain high standards and of the management to provide adequate resources. Both need addressing to reverse the current trend.


L Audigé D Griffin M Bhandari J Kellam T Rüedi

We applied the technique of path analysis to investigate the effect of potential prognostic factors, including injury characteristics and treatment choices, on the risk of delayed healing or non-union after operative treatment of tibial shaft fractures.

Data were collected in a prospective observational study of 41 Swiss hospitals over two years, and analysed by regression models and path analysis. Path analysis is a technique to visualize the most important associations between clinical factors and outcome in a ‘causal path diagram’ that summarises the most likely cause and effect relationships.

Factors having a direct relationship with the occurrence of delayed healing or non-union included open fracture (RR 6.7), distal shaft location (RR 2.2), and initial treatment with an external fixator (RR 2.8). There were many other significant inter-relationships within the final diagram. For example, the choice of treatment was related to factors such as fracture aetiology, AO classification, location and skin injury. Fracture classification was not associated with delayed healing and non-union after adjustment for other factors including treatment choice.

The association of hypothesised risk factors, such as soft tissue injury and fracture location, with delayed healing or non-union was confirmed and measured. This study suggested that the use of an external fixator had a direct, negative effect on outcome, and that the use of nails or plates might contribute to delayed healing or non-union by their association with post-operative diastasis. These observations support this first use of path analysis in orthopaedics as a powerful technique to interpret data from an observational study.


PA Rust SA Black F Arnold CRR Corbertt MH Patterson

It is likely that league tables will to some extent determine hospital finance in the future. The major indicator used in league table calculations in orthopaedics is mortality rates following surgery. Therefore, our study audited the accuracy of mortality data.

A previous audit of our department by an external audit company was found to show an apparent excess mortality rate, due to the company’s failure to distinguish between true operations and certain procedures, i.e. urethral catheterisation. We were concerned that these flawed results may find their way into the publicised tables of the Department of Health (DH). We thus audited deaths in 2000/1 and compared the results with DH data.

DH league table figures combine the mortality numbers for all surgical specialities. Our analysis was based on DH criteria [www.doh.gov.uk/performancer-atings/2001), death within 30 days of operation, following non-elective admission and excluded certain procedures. PAS was used to identify deaths and all case notes were reviewed.

From review of the notes, the criteria for post-operative death were fulfilled by 54/131 deaths (41%). By speciality, these included 14/33 deaths in orthopaedics, general surgery (25/73) and neurosurgery (15/25). The DH identified 64 post-operative deaths in this period. DH calculations were applied to compare our postoperative mortality results (54 deaths) with those of the DH (64 deaths). Although there was no significant difference between our observed death rate and the DH’s, using our results the hospital’s ranking improved from twelfth to sixth place in 42 small acute hospitals.

The observed mortality rate in our hospital is very close to that published by the DH and the national average. From the results of our study, we are confident that the flawed data from the external company did not enter the system and distort the DH’s league tables.

Therefore, hospitals should not wast money on audits by external companies.


N.V. Greidanus R.M.D. Meek D.S. Garbuz B.A. Masri C.P. Duncan

Patient satisfaction is not uniform or consistent following revision total knee arthroplasty. This study evaluates ninety-nine patients with a self-administered patient satisfaction questionnaire at a minimum of two years following the revision procedure (1997–99) to determine differences between satisfied (sixty-six patients) and dissatisfied patients (thirty-three patients). Univariate analysis revealed that patients satisfied with their results were significantly different (p< .05) than dissatisfied patients with regards to post op scores including those of the WOMAC pain and function, oxford, and SF-12. Patients were not different with regards to (p> .05) age, comorbidity score, surgical approach, or sepsis as a reason for the revision procedure. Regression analysis demonstrated that gender, post-op WOMAC score, and pre-op arc of motion were significant determinants of satisfaction.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate determinants of patient satisfaction following revision total knee arthroplasty.

Patient satisfaction with revision knee surgery is most strongly associated with both pre and post-operative descriptors of knee function as well as gender.

Understanding the variables associated with satisfaction/dissatisfaction following revision knee arthroplasty may further assist ongoing research efforts to improve the outcomes of this procedure.

Univariate analysis revealed that patients satisfied with their results were significantly different (p< .05) than dissatisfied patients with regards to WOMAC pain and function score, oxford knee score, and SF-12. Patients were not different with regards to (p> .05) age, comorbidity score, surgical approach, or presence of sepsis as a reason for the revision procedure. Regression analysis demonstrated that gender, post-op WOMAC score, and pre-op arc of motion were significant determinants of satisfaction (p< .05).

A self-administered patient satisfaction survey was completed by ninety-nine patients at a minimum of two years following revision total knee arthroplasty. Fifty-nine patients were females and forty were males. Sixty-six patients were satisfied and thirty-three patients were dissatisfied with the outcome of their surgery at two years post-op. Univariate analysis and multivariate regression suggest that pre and post-operative joint function and gender are the most significant determinants of patient satisfaction


P. Zalzal B. Petrisor M. Bhandari F. Smith

A retrospective study of one hundred and nineteen unicompartmental knee arthroplasties was performed. Outcome measures were the Oxford twelve-item knee questionnaire, the Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment (SMFA) and the WOMAC. Regression analysis was performed in order to determine predictors of outcome. After an average follow up period of four years, the mean scores indicated a good to excellent functional outcome. The only predictor of outcome identified was gender, with women obtaining a better functional outcome than men. Other variables that did not influence functional outcome included age, weight, stage of disease, previous HTO and bilateral procedures.

The purpose of this study was to determine

the functional outcome of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty and

predictors of outcome.

Although unicompartmental knee arthroplasty is becoming more widely accepted as a treatment option for degenerative osteoarthritis, there are very few studies in the literature that systematically investigate the predictors of outcome for this procedure.

This is a retrospective study of one hundred and nineteen unicompartmental knee arthroplasties perfomed at a university hospital by a single surgeon. The outcome measures used were the Oxford twelve-item knee questionnaire, the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) and the Western Ontario and McMaster (WOMAC) functional indices. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine predictors of outcome from chart derived variables.

After a mean follow-up of four years the mean Oxford Knee Score was thirty-nine and the mean SMFA and WOMAC functional scores were eight and seven respectively, indicating a good to excellent functional outcome. Regression analysis revealed gender as a predictor of outcome however other variables including age (range 49–84 yrs), weight (range 55–225 kgs), previous ORIF, preoperative varus/valgus (range 0–16 degrees), joint subluxation (range 0–13mm), radiographic stage of disease (Kellgren and Lawrence), as well as previous HTO and bilateral (simultaneous or staged) unicompartmental knee arthroplasty were found to not correlate with functional outcome.

Good to excellent functional outcome scores can be achieved with unicompartmental knee replacement. Previous HTO or bilateral procedures as well as weight, pre-operative varus/valgus < sixteen degrees or radiographic stage of disease were not predictive of outcome.


K.J. Deluzio J.A. Astephen

The objective of this study was to determine if pre-operative gait patterns could predict which patients selected for unicondylar knee replacement (UKR) actually received a UKR or a total knee replacement (TKR). At the time of surgery, ten of the twenty-two UKR candidates presented with extensive degenerative changes and received total knee replacements. We analyzed gait, radiographic, and anthropometric data with a pattern recognition technique designed to detect biomechanical differences between the two groups. The groups were indistinguishable clinically, and radiographically, yet the pattern recognition technique identified features that completely separated the two groups based on the biomechanical differences.

The objective of this study was to determine if pre-operative gait patterns could predict which patients selected for UKR actually received a UKR or a TKR.

The UKR and TKR groups were indistinguishable visibly, clinically, and radiographically, yet the pattern recognition technique employed in this analysis identified features that completely separated the two groups.

Biomechanical differences between the pre-operative groups could lead to more accurate diagnosis of unicompartmental knee OA as well as further understanding of the pathomechanics of knee OA.

Twenty-two patients were initially diagnosed with unicompartmental knee OA of the medial side, and prescribed to receive unicompartmental knee replacements (UKR). At the time of surgery, ten of the twenty-two UKR candidates presented with more extensive degenerative changes and received total knee replacements (TKR). We measured gait data including knee joint angles forces and moments, velocity, stride length, stance percentage, and stance time as well as body mass index. Furthermore radiographic measures were taken including the Hip Knee Ankle (HKA) angle, the standing knee flexion angle, and the medial and lateral condyle joint spaces.

The data were analysed using a pattern recognition technique that used principal component analysis to extract features from the data and discriminant analysis to separate the two groups.

The discriminant function completely separated the UKR and TKR patients based on their pre-operative data. The most discriminatory feature represented a difference in early swing phase in the knee internal rotation moments.


J.F. Rudan P. Costigan S. Lynn H. Grant

Successful total knee arthroplasty design is related to the joint dynamics imposed by the design. This study examined the clinical and biomechanical performance of patients who received a PFC Sigma total knee implant (posterior cruciate substituting design). Radiographic, strength testing, gait pattern and clinical survey data were collected. Pre-operative and post-operative outcome measures were compared. Statistically significant differences were found on the pain, stiffness and physical function scales of the WOMAC as well as the knee and total score parameters of the Knee Society Score. Significant improvements were also seen on several gait pattern parameters.

Factors such as implant design and surgical technique have been found to influence knee kinematics and kinetics thereby effecting patient function and implant survival after total knee arthroplasty. Numerous gait studies have reported a lack of normal gait pattern for TKA patients (Wilson et al., 1996; Andriacchi, 1993; Jevsevar et al., 1993). There is debate in the literature as to which design best improves patient function and implant survival, the posterior cruciate (PC) substituting or PC-retaining. The purpose of this study is to determine the clinical outcome and biomechanical performance of patients who receive PFC Sigma total knee arthroplasty.

The PC substituting implant design provided significant improvements in clinical and gait outcomes at two years post-op in this patient sample.

Patients experience significant pain and stiffness relief, and better functional outcomes.

A cohort of eighteen total knee replacement patients were followed for two years post-operatively. Radiographic, strength testing, gait pattern and clinical survey data (SF36, WOMAC, Knee Society Score) were collected. Paired sample t-tests, repeated measures general linear modeling and principle component analyses comparing aged matched normals were conducted to evaluate pre-operative and post-operative outcomes. Statistically significant differences were found on the pain, stiffness and physical function scales of the WOMAC as well as the knee and total score parameters of the Knee Society survey. There were also significant improvements found on gait pattern parameters. Findings like these point to a need for larger population studies of patients with PC-substituting TKA.

Funding: Funding for this study was provided by Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc.


P. Thistlethwaite J. Ronsky H.S. Gill