JBJS JOPA 2021 Best Paper Awards

JBJS Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants (JOPA) continues the tradition of recognizing outstanding papers. A total of 4 awards are given for the best review or case study articles submitted during the previous calendar year.  

Two awards recognize articles by certified practicing physician assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs). The other 2 awards are designated for papers by authors who are PA students at the time of article submission. 

Congratulations to the 2021 winners: 

Best JOPA Articles by Practicing PAs or NPs 

Efficacy of Cannabidiol in Treating Osteoarthritis” by Wesley Lykins, DMSc, PA-C 

This article reviews treatment options for osteoarthritis (OA) and discusses the potential efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative treatment.  

“Using the best available evidence, clinicians must continue to evaluate new treatment options for efficiency and safety in treating OA,” says the author. “High-quality clinical studies are necessary to compare the efficacy of CBD to NSAIDs or corticosteroid injections, determine the efficacy and safety profile on human subjects, and determine the mode of CBD administration that is most effective. These studies are necessary to obtain FDA approval and regulation over CBD, which may provide a safe and effective alternative treatment option for all osteoarthritic joints.” 

External Fixation in Orthopaedic Trauma and Limb Reconstruction. Part II: Circular Ring Fixation” by Kristin M. Loker, DNP, ONP-C; Denise Quattlebaum, PA-C; and Jason W. Stoneback, MD  

X-ray of ring fixationThis review describes modern and advanced uses of external fixation. The primary focus is the use of circular ring fixation (RF).

The authors conclude, “Although circular RF serves a vital role in orthopaedic trauma, this review aims to provide a critical evaluation in terms of basic componentry, uses, advantages, and disadvantages in the treatment of several complex conditions orthopaedic teams are faced with routinely. The APP [advanced practice provider] must be adept in the comprehension of RF and competently and quickly provide supportive treatment to the patient through their understanding of the indications, biomechanics, and trends in treatment with circular fixation that lead to successful outcomes.” 

Best JOPA Articles by PA Students 

Stem-Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritisby Alexandra Meekin, BSBA; and Cody Sasek, PhD, PA-C 

The authors review the current literature on the use of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy for patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). 

“Overall, MSC therapy in the treatment of KOA shows improvement of pain and function,” say the authors. “It is a safe and effective option for KOA especially for patients who want to stabilize the disease process or delay the need for a total knee arthroplasty. Current standard-of-care treatment is for symptomatic relief and does not halt the disease process. There is a lack of medical evidence to direct delivery of therapy for the number of injections, dose, and site of stem-cell retrieval. Future research is necessary to identify the best execution of MSC therapy in the treatment of KOA.” 

Review of Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathyby Gabriela Palombo, PA-S; and Blake Hoppe, DO, MSMEd 

Nerve conduction study being performed on hand/wristThis article presents a review of acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), a specific subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

As described by the authors, “AIDP is a rare syndrome that affects the peripheral nervous system. It is the most common presenting form of GBS in Western countries. Most often, the disease occurs in adults after stress on the body. Gastrointestinal infections, upper respiratory infections, surgeries, and trauma are correlated the highest to AIDP onset. Acute paralysis accompanied with areflexia, weakness and, in severe cases, autonomic dysfunction are the signs found on physical examination. Owing to the presenting similarity between AIDP and the other 3 subtypes of Guillain-Barré, it is important to perform a thorough history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests to definitively diagnose the syndrome.” 


JBJS Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants (JOPA) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes timely and practical articles covering all orthopaedic subspecialties for PAs and NPs. JOPA provides a unique forum for health-care practitioners to share knowledge and experiences with colleagues in the profession.  

Authors are encouraged to contribute any original articles that promote PA and NP orthopaedic education. Articles submitted to JOPA undergo double-blinded peer review by a panel of orthopaedic physicians and PAs to ensure accuracy, clinical relevance, and readability.  

Now Accepting 2022 Award Submissions 

Visit the JBJS JOPA Writing Awards page to find out more about the awards and how to submit an article. Questions can be sent to jopaeditorial@jbjs.org 

In other award news, the JBJS Open Access Awards were recently announced. OrthoBuzz spotlights the winning JBJS Open Access papers. 

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