Second Look—Clinical News and Views

If you missed these Headline News Now items the first time around, AAOS Now gives you a second chance to review them. Headline News Now—the AAOS thrice-weekly, online update of news of interest to orthopaedic surgeons—brings you the latest on clinical, socioeconomic, and political issues, as well as important announcements from AAOS.

Wrong-site surgery rate increasing
Some researchers and patient safety experts say the problem of wrong-site surgery—surgery on the wrong patient or body part—has not improved in the 7 years since the introduction by The Joint Commission of the “universal protocol,” which requires verification of important details, marking of the surgical site, and a timeout just prior to surgery. Based on state data, The Joint Commission estimates that 40 wrong-site surgeries occur every week in U.S. hospitals and clinics. In addition, 93 cases of wrong-site surgery were reported in 2010, compared to 49 cases in 2004.

Vertebroplasty shows no advantage over placebo
According to a study published online in the British Medical Journal, vertebroplasty has no significant advantage over placebo (sham surgery) for patients with recent onset fracture or severe pain. The meta-analysis of two multicenter, blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trials of vertebroplasty covering 209 total participants with at least one radiographically confirmed vertebral compression fracture found no advantage of vertebroplasty over placebo for participants with recent onset fracture or severe pain. In addition, vertebroplasty patients were more likely to be using opioids at one month than those who received the sham surgery.

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