BACKGROUND: Sufentanil is a potent but short-acting spinal analgesic used to manage perioperative pain. This study evaluated the influence of transdermal nitroglycerine on the analgesic action of spinal sufentanil in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. METHODS: Fifty-six patients were randomized to one of four groups. Patients were premedicated with 0.05-0.1 mg/kg intravenous midazolam and received 15 mg bupivacaine plus 2 ml of the test drug intrathecally (saline or 10 microg sufentanil). Twenty to 30 min after the spinal puncture, a transdermal patch of either 5 mg nitroglycerin or placebo was applied. The control group received spinal saline and transdermal placebo. The sufentanil group received spinal sufentanil and transdermal placebo. The nitroglycerin group received spinal saline and transdermal nitroglycerine patch. Finally, the sufentanil-nitroglycerin group received spinal sufentanil and transdermal nitroglycerine. Pain and adverse effects were evaluated using a 10-cm visual analog scale. RESULTS: The time to first rescue analgesic medication was longer for the sufentanil-nitroglycerin group (785+/-483 min) compared with the other groups (P<0.005). The time to first rescue analgesics was also longer for the sufentanil group compared with the control group (P<0.05). The sufentanil-nitroglycerin group group required less rescue analgesics in 24 h compared with the other groups (P<0.02) and had lesser 24-h pain visual analog scale scores compared with the control group (P<0.005), although these scores were similar to the sufentanil and nitroglycerin groups (P>0.05). The incidence of perioperative adverse effects was similar among groups (P>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Transdermal nitroglycerine alone (5 mg/day), a nitric oxide generator, did not result in postoperative analgesia itself, but it prolonged the analgesic effect of spinal sufentanil (10 microg) and provided 13 h of effective postoperative analgesia after knee surgery. (+info)
Primary hip and knee replacement surgery: Ontario criteria for case selection and surgical priority.
OBJECTIVES: To develop, from simple clinical factors, criteria to identify appropriate patients for referral to a surgeon for consideration for arthroplasty, and to rank them in the queue once surgery is agreed. DESIGN: Delphi process, with a panel including orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists, general practitioners, epidemiologists, and physiotherapists, who rated 120 case scenarios for appropriateness and 42 for waiting list priority. Scenarios incorporated combinations of relevant clinical factors. It was assumed that queues should be organised not simply by chronology but by clinical and social impact of delayed surgery. The panel focused on information obtained from clinical histories, to ensure the utility of the guidelines in practice. Relevant high quality research evidence was limited. SETTING: Ontario, Canada. MAIN MEASURES: Appropriateness ratings on a 7-point scale, and urgency rankings on a 4-point scale keyed to specific waiting times. RESULTS: Despite incomplete evidence panellists agreed on ratings in 92.5% of appropriateness and 73.8% of urgency scenarios versus 15% and 18% agreement expected by chance, respectively. Statistically validated algorithms in decision tree form, which should permit rapid estimation of urgency or appropriateness in practice, were compiled by recursive partitioning. Rating patterns and algorithms were also used to make brief written guidelines on how clinical factors affect appropriateness and urgency of surgery. A summary score was provided for each case scenario; scenarios could then be matched to chart audit results, with scoring for quality management. CONCLUSIONS: These algorithms and criteria can be used by managers or practitioners to assess appropriateness of referral for hip or knee replacement and relative rankings of patients in the queue for surgery. (+info)
Comparison of measures to assess outcomes in total hip replacement surgery.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the performance of a disease specific and a general health questionnaire in assessing changes resulting from total hip replacement. DESIGN: Two stage prospective study of patients undergoing total hip replacement surgery involving an assessment at a clinic before and six months after surgery. 60(32%) patients were followed up by post. SETTING: Outpatient departments at a specialist orthopaedic hospital and peripheral clinics within Oxfordshire. PATIENTS: 188 patients admitted for unilateral total hip replacement between February and mid-August 1994. MAIN MEASURES: Patients' self assessed scores with the 12 item Oxford hip score and SF-36 general health questionnaire together with surgeons' assessment with Charnley hip score obtained before and again at six months after surgery. RESULTS: 186 patients were followed up six months after total hip replacement; a subsample (n=60) by post. Of the 60 postal patients, 59(98.3%) fully completed the Oxford hip score compared with 44(73.3%) who fully completed the SF-36. For the followup sample as a whole, post operative changes in scores produced a large effect size of 2.75 on the Oxford hip score, compared with -1.89 physical function (SF-36), -2.13 pain (SF-36). With the exception of physical function and role (physical), postoperative SF-36 scores were shown to be similar to or better than those found by two population surveys on patients of comparable age. The responsiveness of a disease specific questionnaire, the Oxford hip score, and relevant sections of a general questionnaire, SF-36, were found to be similar as assessed by three different criteria. CONCLUSIONS: A disease specific questionnaire, the Oxford hip score, and a general state of health questionnaire, SF-36, performed similarly in assessing outcomes of total hip replacement except that the disease specific questionnaire resulted in a higher completion rate and greater responsiveness in some sections. On the other hand the general health questionnaire drew attention to broader problems of physical function not considered by the Oxford hip score. The health questionnaires examined here offer a valid and practical means of monitoring outcomes of hip replacement surgery. (+info)
Differences in costs of treatment for foot problems between podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons.
We examined charge data for health insurance claims paid in 1992 for persons under age 65 covered by a large California managed care plan. Charge and utilization comparisons between podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons were made for all foot care and for two specific foot problems, acquired toe deformities and bunions. Podiatrists provided over 59% of foot care services for this commercial population of 576,000 people. Podiatrists charged 12% less per individual service than orthopedists. However, podiatrists performed substantially more procedures per episode of care and treated patients for longer time periods, resulting in 43% higher total charges per episode. Hospitalization was infrequent for all providers, although podiatrists had the lowest rates. In a managed care setting in which all providers must adhere to a preestablished fee schedule, regardless of specialty, the higher utilization by podiatrists should lead to higher overall costs. In some cases, strong utilization controls could offset this effect. We do not know if the utilization difference is due to actual treatment or billing differences. Further, we were unable to determine from the claims data if one specialty had better outcomes than the other. (+info)
Impact of new guidelines on physicians' ordering of preoperative tests.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the number of preoperative tests ordered for elective ambulatory surgery patients during the 2 years before and the 2 years after the establishment of new hospital testing guidelines. MEASUREMENTS: The patterns of preoperative testing by surgeons and a medical consultant during the 2 years before and the 2 years after the establishment of new guidelines at one orthopedic hospital were reviewed. All tests ordered preoperatively were determined by review of medical records. Preoperative medical histories, physical examinations, and comorbidities were obtained according to a protocol by the medical consultant (author). Perioperative complications were determined by review of intraoperative and postoperative events, which also were recorded according to a protocol. MAIN RESULTS: A total of 640 patients were enrolled, 361 before and 279 after the new guidelines. The mean number of tests decreased from 8.0 before to 5.6 after the new guidelines ( p =.0001) and the percentage decrease for individual tests varied from 23% to 44%. Except for patients with more comorbidity and patients receiving general anesthesia, there were decreases across all patient groups. In multivariate analyses only time of surgery (before or after new guidelines), age, and type of surgery remained statistically significant ( p =.0001 for all comparisons). Despite decreases in surgeons' ordering of tests, the medical consultant did not order more tests after the new guidelines ( p =.60) The majority of patients had no untoward events intraoperatively and postoperatively throughout the study period, with only 6% overall requiring admission to the hospital after surgery, mainly for reasons not related to abnormal tests. Savings from charges totaled $34,000 for the patients in the study. CONCLUSIONS: Although there was variable compliance among physicians, new hospital guidelines were effective in reducing preoperative testing and did not result in increases in untoward perioperative events or in test ordering by the medical consultant. (+info)
Impact of the introduction of a daily trauma list on out-of-hours operating.
The British Orthopaedic Association have recommended that all hospitals should have daily, consultant-led, trauma lists. We have prospectively examined the introduction of a daily trauma list on the out-of-hours operating and the management of trauma in one district hospital. The data collected were compared with a corresponding 6-month period in 1996. It was found that the mean usage of the list was 2 h 38 min; 10% of lists were not used. There has been a significant reduction in the number of operations performed out-of-hours, and also a significant reduction in the amount of out-of-hours operating after midnight. More complex cases have also been operated on in normal working hours. The initial introduction of a daily trauma list has had a significant impact on the total amount of out-of-hours operating and has increased consultant supervision of the management of trauma, thereby increasing the quality of care for these patients. (+info)
General surgeons and the management of head injuries.
Most head injuries in Great Britain and Ireland are managed either by orthopaedic or general surgeons. In response to growing anxiety about the arrangements for the management of head injuries, the Royal College of Surgeons of England late in 1997 set up a working party to report to the Senate of Surgery. The results of that survey are presented here. (+info)
The audit of orthopaedic trainee teaching improves supervision rates.
Inefficiency in surgical training has been identified as a result of low rates of supervision, with direct teaching of operating by consultants occurring in less than 20% of cases in papers dealing with general surgery and cardiac surgery training. The introduction of an audit system in an orthopaedic training programme was associated with an improvement of teaching from an already high 30% to 40% of cases. A logbook programme was introduced which allows easy analysis of the distribution of experience on an anatomical basis. (+info)