OrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. This guest post comes from Matthew Herring, MD in response to a recent study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially life-threatening complication among many orthopaedic trauma patients. PE can be a silent killer, with only about 30% of fatal PEs being detected before death. Chemical prophylaxis with “blood thinners” such as injectable enoxaparin is effective in mitigating the risk of PE, but in the poly-traumatized patient, its application is often contraindicated. In an effort to develop a more effective approach to PE prevention in the trauma population, Starr et al. built a tool to estimate the risk of PE early and effectively, and then developed a multidisciplinary protocol for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis. They present their preliminary experience with the risk-assessment tool and the new protocol in the February 2019 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.
The smart-phone app (ParkLandOrtho) to risk-stratify trauma patients in the ED is based on 7 easily captured variables that the authors’ prior work identified as statistically significant predictors for developing a PE. Patients who are identified as “high risk” are aggressively started on enoxaparin, with the first dose ideally given prior to ED discharge. If contraindications for chemical prophylaxis are present, enoxaparin is withheld for up to 24 hours after admission. After 24 hours, if the patient is still unable to receive enoxaparin, a removable inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is placed.
The authors performed a retrospective review of PE incidence among 368 consecutive orthopaedic trauma patients admitted to their hospital after this new protocol was implemented and compared it to PE incidence among a historic cohort of 420 similar consecutive patients admitted during the year prior to the protocol. The two groups were similar in age and injury severity. In the control group, 51 patients were retrospectively classified as high risk, and 9 patients (2.1%) developed symptomatic PEs, one of which was fatal. In the group managed under the new protocol, 40 patients were identified as high risk, and only 1 patient (0.27%) developed a nonfatal PE. The difference in incidence of PE between the two groups was statistically significant (P = 0.02).
This paper highlights two significant achievements in my opinion. First, I was excited to see the success of a smart-phone app to facilitate rapid risk assessment. This was a significant key to the success of the multidisciplinary PE protocol, which depends on buy-in and compliance. Second, this thoughtful, decisive, and team-based protocol for DVT/PE prophylaxis in an orthopaedic trauma setting seems to be making a meaningful impact on patient outcomes.
The authors report that they are currently designing a multicenter trial to prospectively validate their protocol. I eagerly await this and hope that their next step includes a ParklandOrtho app release for Android devices, as it is only available now for iPhone and Samsung users.
Matthew Herring, MD is a fellow in orthopaedic trauma at the University of California, San Francisco and a member of the JBJS Social Media Advisory Board.
Every month, JBJS publishes a Specialty Update—a review of the most pertinent and impactful studies published in the orthopaedic literature during the previous year in 13 subspecialties. Here is a summary of selected findings from Level I and II studies cited in the January 20, 2016 Specialty Update on adult reconstructive knee surgery:
Nonsurgical Management and Osteotomy
- A Cochrane database review found that land-based therapeutic exercise programs were modestly beneficial to patients with knee arthritis. Individualized programs were more effective than exercise classes or home-exercise programs.1
- A study comparing intravenous administration of tanezumab versus naproxen and placebo in patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis found that tanezumab effectively relieved pain and improved function at week 16.2
- A comparison of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and hyaluronic acid (HA) injections found both treatments to be equally effective in improving knee function and reducing symptoms as measured by the IKDC subjective score.3
- A study comparing opening-wedge and closing-wedge high tibial osteotomy found that among patients who did not go on to conversion to TKA, there were no between-group differences in clinical or radiographic outcomes at six years of follow-up.
Implants, Instrumentation, and Technique
- A comparison of highly cross-linked and conventional polyethylene in posterior cruciate-substituting TKA found no differences in pain, function, and radiographic outcomes at a mean of 5.9 years.
- A randomized study of 140 patients that compared the use of patient-specific instrumentation (PSI) and conventional instrumentation found no differences in clinical, operative, and radiographic results.4
- In a randomized trial of 200 patients, the use of electromagnetic computer navigation resulted in insignificantly fewer outliers from the target alignment, compared with the use of conventional instrumentation. There were no between-group differences in clinical outcomes.5
- In a prospective randomized trial, the use of computer-assisted navigation during TKA resulted in lower systemic embolic loads, compared with TKA performed using conventional intramedullary instrumentation.
- A randomized controlled trial comparing kinematically and mechanically aligned TKA found that kinematic alignment with patient-specific guides provided better pain relief and restored better function and range of motion than mechanical alignment using conventional instruments.6
- A randomized study of selective patellar resurfacing in 327 knees followed for a mean of 7.8 years found higher satisfaction among patients with a resurfaced patella.7
Pain and Blood Management
- A randomized controlled trial comparing femoral and adductor canal blocks found that adductor canal blocks decreased time to discharge readiness without an increase in narcotic consumption.8
- A trial comparing periarticular injections (PAIs) of liposomal bupivacaine with conventional bupivacaine PAI found no between-group differences in VAS pain scores 72 hours postoperatively or in patient narcotic consumption.9
- A double-blinded randomized trial comparing topical versus intravenous administration of tranexamic acid found no significant differences in estimated blood loss or complications.
Rehabilitation and Complications
- A randomized trial of 205 post-TKA patients found no differences in WOMAC scores for pain, function, and stiffness in groups that received telerehabilitation or face-to-face home therapy.
- A randomized trial found that Kinesio Taping helped reduce postoperative pain and swelling and improved knee extension during early postoperative rehabilitation.10
- A trial comparing oral edoxaban and subcutaneous enoxaparin for post-TKA thromboprophylaxis found that edoxaban was the more effective agent. The incidence of bleeding events was similar in both groups.11
- Fransen M, McConnell S, Harmer AR, Van der Esch M, Simic M, Bennell KL.Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2015;1:CD004376. Epub 2015 Jan 9.
- Ekman EF, Gimbel JS, Bello AE, Smith MD, Keller DS, Annis KM, Brown MT, WestCR, Verburg KM. Efficacy and safety of intravenous tanezumab for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis: 2 randomized controlled trials versus naproxen. J Rheumatol. 2014 Nov;41(11):2249-59. Epub 2014 Oct 1.
- Filardo G, Di Matteo B, Di Martino A, Merli ML, Cenacchi A, Fornasari P, MarcacciM, Kon E. Platelet-rich plasma intra-articular knee injections show no superiority versus viscosupplementation: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Sports Med. 2015Jul;43(7):1575-82. Epub 2015 May 7.
- Abane L, Anract P, Boisgard S, Descamps S, Courpied JP, Hamadouche M. A comparison of patient-specific and conventional instrumentation for total knee arthroplasty: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Bone Joint J. 2015 Jan;97-B(1):56-63.
- Blyth MJ, Smith JR, Anthony IC, Strict NE, Rowe PJ, Jones BG. Electromagnetic navigation in total knee arthroplasty-a single center, randomized, single-blind study comparing the results with conventional techniques. J Arthroplasty. 2015Feb;30(2):199-205. Epub 2014 Sep 16.
- Dossett HG, Estrada NA, Swartz GJ, LeFevre GW, Kwasman BG. A randomised controlled trial of kinematically and mechanically aligned total knee replacements: two-year clinical results. Bone Joint J. 2014 Jul;96-B(7):907-13.
- Roberts DW, Hayes TD, Tate CT, Lesko JP. Selective patellar resurfacing in total knee arthroplasty: a prospective, randomized, double-blind study. J Arthroplasty.2015 Feb;30(2):216-22. Epub 2014 Sep 28.
- Machi AT, Sztain JF, Kormylo NJ, Madison SJ, Abramson WB, Monahan AM,Khatibi B, Ball ST, Gonzales FB, Sessler DI, Mascha EJ, You J, Nakanote KA, IlfeldBM. Discharge readiness after tricompartment knee arthroplasty: adductor canal versus femoral continuous nerve blocks-a dual-center, randomized trial.Anesthesiology. 2015 Aug;123(2):444-56
- Schroer WC, Diesfeld PG, LeMarr AR, Morton DJ, Reedy ME. Does extended-release liposomal bupivacaine better control pain than bupivacaine after total knee arthroplasty (TKA)? A prospective, randomized clinical trial. J Arthroplasty. 2015Sep;30(9)(Suppl):64-7. Epub 2015 Jun 3.
- Donec V, Kriščiūnas A.The effectiveness of Kinesio Taping after total knee replacement in early postoperative rehabilitation period. A randomized controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2014 Aug;50(4):363-71. Epub 2014 May 13.
- Fuji T, Wang CJ, Fujita S, Kawai Y, Nakamura M, Kimura T, Ibusuki K, Ushida H, Abe K, Tachibana S.Safety and efficacy of edoxaban, an oral factor Xa inhibitor, versus enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis after total knee arthroplasty: the STARS E-3 trial. Thromb Res. 2014 Dec;134(6):1198-204. Epub 2014 Sep 21.