The JBJS Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants (JOPA) continues the tradition of recognizing outstanding review articles and case studies submitted during the previous year by practicing PAs, NPs, and PA students. OrthoBuzz is pleased to spotlight the winners of the 2020 JBJS JOPA Writing Awards.
Name: Christy W. Rose, MSM, PA-C
Affiliations: University Orthopedic Surgeons, Division of Ortho Tennessee; University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville
Tell us about your paper.
This paper presents 5 patients who were referred to our orthopaedic oncology clinic for atypical osseous and soft-tissue lesions or masses. Some of the lesions even appeared malignant on initial imaging, but once biopsy results were obtained, the pathology was consistent with gout. Gout is known as the “great mimicker” because it does a fantastic job of disguising itself as other disease processes. This paper highlights some of those atypical presentations with the hope that other providers will keep gout on their list of potential diagnoses when these patients present. We also cover some suggestions when working up osseous and soft-tissue masses and discuss when it is appropriate to refer to an orthopaedic oncologist.
How did you decide to write on this topic? What was the most interesting “take-away,” in your opinion?
At our institution, we treat everything from sarcomas to lipomas and everything in-between. These cases were particularly interesting to me because they were all referred to us for concerns of more nefarious diagnosis. When the patients present to our clinic, sometimes they are terrified because they were told that they had cancer even before a tissue diagnosis was obtained. These cases highlight that “nothing is certain until it is certain.” I know that this is not a profound statement, but I feel like we need to be up front with our patients and educate them on potential diagnosis, but at the same time, don’t crush their hope that something less threatening may be going on.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
My supervising physician, Dr. Anna Wallace, and I are honored and deeply humbled to have the privilege to walk with patients as they the go through their various oncologic treatments and pre- and postoperative process. These patients are so inspiring and encouraging to me because they are warriors, and they keep fighting. The outcomes aren’t always joyful (cancer stinks), but they can leave an impression on you that changes you.
How do you stay informed about new developments in orthopaedics?
I attend conferences, read journal articles, and listen to CME lectures through various apps.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
My husband and I have 3 children, ages 7, 5, and 2. At home, we watch a lot of PAW Patrol, Bluey, and various Lego movies. When we are not watching something animated, we enjoy the Marvel spin-off series. When I can find time for pleasure reading, I enjoy devotionals targeted at working moms and historical fiction.
More details about the JBJS JOPA Writing Awards can be found here.