Appropriate Use Criteria

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AAOS Appropriate Use Criteria

Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures with Vascular Injury

Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures

Non-Arthroplasty Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Optimizing the Management of Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears

Treatment of Distal Radius Fractures

AAOS AUC Endorsement Procedures

Process for reviewing an external AUC for endorsement

Related Resources:
American College of Radiology Musculoskeletal Imaging Criteria

What are Appropriate Use Criteria?
Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) specify when it is appropriate to use a procedure. An "appropriate" procedure is one for which the expected health benefits exceed the expected health risks by a wide margin. Often, sound data is not available or does not provide evidence that is detailed enough to apply to the full range of patients seen in everyday clinical practice. Nevertheless, physicians must make daily decisions about when to use or not use a particular procedure. AUCs facilitate these decisions by combining the best available scientific evidence with the collective judgment of physicians in order to determine the appropriateness of performing a procedure.

What procedures are addressed by Appropriate Use Criteria?
AUC topics focus on widely and frequently used procedures whose effectiveness is supported by evidence-based information. Additionally, AUC topics could be procedures that consume significant resources, have wide variations in their use (e.g. geographic), or are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. AUC topics are derived from AAOS Clinical Practice Guidelines that establish the effectiveness of various procedures for a given disease, disorder, or condition. AUCs then address the patients in which these procedures are appropriate given the nuances of everyday clinical practice.

Why develop Appropriate Use Criteria?
AUCs are developed to ensure the highest QUALITY of care for patients undergoing musculoskeletal procedures

How are Appropriate Use Criteria developed?
The AAOS uses the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method to develop AUCs. AAOS AUCs are developed using evidence-based information in conjunction with the clinical expertise of physicians from multiple medical specialties in order to improve patient care and obtain the best outcomes while considering the subtleties and distinctions necessary in making clinical decisions.

Table 1 shows the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method

Who develops Appropriate Use Criteria?
"Panels" of AAOS & Specialty Society volunteer physicians that operate independently of each other develop AAOS Appropriate Use Criteria.


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Appropriate Use Criteria in Development

Appropriate Use Criteria


Projected Completion

Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Voting Panel


Treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries (ACL)

Voting Panel


Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures: Management of Vascular Injuries Present Postoperatively in Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures

Voting Panel


Treatment of Hip Fractures in the Elderly

Writing Panel


More about Appropriate Use Criteria

AUC Development Processes and Procedures
Get Involved in the AUC Process!
What are Appropriate Use Criteria?