American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, March 1-5
The annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons was held from March 1 to 5 in Orlando, Fla., and attracted approximately 30,000 participants from around the world. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions, with presentations focusing on joint fractures, osteoarthritis, and other musculoskeletal injuries, as well as factors impacting joint replacement procedure outcomes.
In one study, Claudette Lajam, M.D., of the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues compiled results from several technology reviews and examined popular wearable fitness tracking devices.
"We learned that many of these devices have out-of-the-box features that could make them useful in managing orthopedic conditions. Preoperative and non-operative management, preoperative optimization, and postoperative management can all be enhanced using these patient-generated health data," Lajam said. "Unlike a traditional office visit, patient-generated health data from a fitness tracker can give real time, 24-hour information and can assist the surgeon in individualizing care."
According to Lajam, use of consumer products like fitness trackers in orthopedic care holds tremendous potential.
"We encourage surgeons to explore the use of these devices to enhance orthopedic practice," Lajam added.
In another study, David Pisetsky, M.D., of the Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C., and colleagues evaluated the burden of musculoskeletal (MSK) disease in the United States. They found that approximately 126.6 million Americans have a MSK condition, costing an estimated $213 billion annually in treatment, care, and lost wages.
"The key results relate to both the frequency of MSK disease in the U.S. population and direct and indirect costs. MSK diseases are highly diverse, but in total the cost is large," Pisetsky said. "Investment in the care of patients with MSK is important not only to reduce pain and disability but also to promote better overall health. Since physical activity is the key to better health, care for MSK diseases can increase mobility and thereby reduce comorbidity for conditions such as heart disease and diabetes."
In an effort to improve care and reduce associated costs, Pisetsky notes that it is important to identify and address MSK issues promptly and completely, and utilize a multidisciplinary approach to improve patient outcomes.
"In general, MSK care involves team approaches and it is important to identify team members and coordinate their activities," Pisetsky said. "Another impact is the need to adopt preventive strategies for conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sports injury, and fracture."
Clifton Willimon, M.D., of the Children's Orthopedics of Atlanta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and colleagues aimed to quantify the average number of days missed from school following common pediatric orthopedic procedures.
The investigators found that knee, hip, and shoulder arthroscopy patients returned to school eight to 10 days following surgery. Patients treated for upper extremity fractures (forearm fractures and supracondylar humerus fractures) had the shortest time to return to school of four to six days. Patients undergoing posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion for scoliosis were out of school the longest -- for approximately 42 days.
"This is the first study to systematically document the time missed from school for pediatric and adolescent patients after 10 common orthopedic procedures," Willimon said. "The study provides useful information for physicians to counsel patients and families. Parents and caregivers will be able to better anticipate the time needed away from work and other obligations to provide care for children after surgery. Additionally, this study aids educators and students in preparing for missed school days, projects, and homework. This study will be helpful in developing 'return-to-learn' guidelines, similar to those that exist for return-to-play after sports injuries."
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