Epidemiological Characteristics of Spinal Cord Injury in Northwest China: A Single Hospital-Based Study

Background: While the cities in China in which spinal cord injury (SCI) studies have been conducted previously are at the forefront of medical care, northwest China is relatively underdeveloped economically, and the epidemiological characteristics of SCI have rarely been reported in this region.

Methods: The SCI epidemiological survey software developed was used to analyze the data of patients treated with SCI from 2014 to 2018. The sociodemographic characteristics of patients, including name, age, sex, and occupation, were recorded. The following medical record data, obtained from physical and radiographic examinations, were included in the study: data on the cause of injury, fracture location, associated injuries, and level of injury. Neurological function was evaluated using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale. In addition, the treatment and complications during hospitalization were documented.

Results: A total of 3487 patients with SCI with a mean age of 39.5 ± 11.2 years were identified in this study, and the male to female ratio was 2.57:1. The primary cause of SCI was falls (low falls 47.75%, high falls 37.31%), followed by traffic accidents (8.98%), and impact with falling objects (4.39%). Of all patients, 1786 patients (51.22%) had complications and other injuries. According to the ASIA impairment scale, the numbers of grade A, B, C, and D injuries were 747 (21.42%), 688 (19.73%), 618 (17.72%), and 1434 (41.12%), respectively. During the hospitalization period, a total of 1341 patients experienced complications, with a percentage of 38.46%. Among all complications, pulmonary infection was the most common (437, 32.59%), followed by hyponatremia (326, 24.31%), bedsores (219, 16.33%), urinary tract infection (168, 12.53%), deep venous thrombosis (157, 11.71%), and others (34, 2.53%). Notably, among 3487 patients with SCI, only 528 patients (15.14%) received long-term rehabilitation treatment.

Conclusion: The incidence of SCI in northwest China was on the rise with higher proportion in males; fall and the MCVs were the primary causes of SCI. The occupations most threatened by SCI are farmers and workers. The investigation and analysis of the epidemiological characteristics of SCI in respiratory complications are important factors leading to death after SCI, especially when the SCI occurs in the cervical spinal cord. Finally, the significance of SCI rehabilitation should be addressed.

The global burden of musculoskeletal injury in low and lower-middle income countries

Background:
While the global burden of musculoskeletal injury is increasingly recognized, few epidemiologic studies have specifically recorded its incidence or prevalence, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Understanding the burden of musculoskeletal injury relative to other health conditions is critical to effective allocation of resources to mitigate the disability that results from trauma. The current study aims to systematically review the existing primary literature on the incidence and prevalence of pelvic and appendicular fractures, a major component of musculoskeletal injury, in low- and lower-middle income countries (LMICs).

Methods:
This study conforms to the systematic review and traditional meta-analysis guidelines outlined in the PRISMA-P statement. Incidence rates were calculated as the occurrence of new fracture cases per 100,000 person-years, and prevalence as total fracture cases per population sample, reported as percentages.

Results:
The literature search yielded 3497 total citations. There were 21 full-text articles, representing 14 different countries, selected for data extraction. Included studies reported a wide range of incidence and prevalence rates, with an overall mean fracture incidence ranging from 779 (95% CI: 483.0–1188.7) to 1574 (95% CI: 1285.1–1915.1) per 100,000 person-years.

Conclusion:
Better understanding the unmet burden of musculoskeletal injury in LMICs is critical to effectively allocating resources and advocating for underserved populations. To address existing gaps and heterogeneity within the literature, future research should incorporate population-based sampling with broader geographic representation in LMICs to more accurately capture the burden of disease.

Critical Adjustments in a Department of Orthopaedics Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Purpose: SARS-CoV-2’s new scenario has forced health systems to work under extreme stress urging to perform a complete reorganization of the way our means and activities were organized. The orthopaedic and trauma units have rescheduled their activities to help SARS-CoV-2 units, but trauma patients require also treatment, and no standardized protocols have been established.

Methods: A single-centre cross-sectional study was performed in a tertiary hospital. Two different periods of time were analyzed: a two week period of time in March 2019 (pre-SARS-CoV-2) and the same period in March 2020 (SARS-CoV-2 pandemic time). Outpatient’s data, emergency activity, surgical procedures, and admissions were evaluated. Surgeons’ and patient’s opinion was also evaluated using a survey.

Results: A total of ~ 16k (15,953) patients were evaluated. Scheduled clinical appointments decreased by ~ 22%. Urgent consultations and discharge from clinics also descended (~ 37% and ~ 20% respectively). Telemedicine was used in 90% of outpatient clinical evaluations. No elective surgical procedures during SARS-CoV-2 time were scheduled, and subtracting the effect of elective surgeries, there was a reduction of inpatient surgeries, from ~ 85% to ~ 59%. Patients delayed trauma assistance more than 48 hours in 13 cases (35%). Pre-operative admission for hip fractures decreased in ten hours on average. Finally, surveys stated that patients were more in favour than surgeons were to this new way to evaluate orthopaedic and trauma patients based strongly on telemedicine.

Conclusion: Detailed protocols should be standardized for surgical departments during the pandemic. This paper offers a general view in how this virus affects an orthopaedic unit and could serve as a protocol and example for orthopaedic and trauma units. Even in the worst scenario, an orthopaedic and trauma unit could offer an effective, efficient, and quality service. SARS-CoV-2 will set up a new paradigm for health care in orthopaedics and trauma.

The Role of the Orthopaedic Surgeon in the COVID-19 Era: Cautions and Perspectives

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has revolutionized global healthcare in an unprecedented way and with unimaginable repercussions. Resource reallocation, socioeconomic confinement and reorganization of production activities are current challenges being faced both at the national and international levels, in a frame of uncertainty and fear. Hospitals have been restructured to provide the best care to COVID-19 patients while adopting preventive strategies not to spread the infection among healthcare providers and patients affected by other diseases. As a consequence, the concept of urgency and indications for elective treatments have been profoundly reshaped. In addition, several providers have been recruited in COVID-19 departments despite their original occupation, resulting in a profound rearrangement of both inpatient and outpatient care. Orthopaedic daily practice has been significantly affected by the pandemic. Surgical indications have been reformulated, with elective cases being promptly postponed and urgent interventions requiring exceptional attention, especially in suspected or COVID-19+ patients. This has made a strong impact on inpatient management, with the need of a dedicated staff, patient isolation and restrictive visiting hour policies. On the other hand, outpatient visits have been limited to reduce contacts between patients and the hospital personnel, with considerable consequences on post-operative quality of care and the human side of medical practice.

In this review, we aim to analyze the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the orthopaedic practice. Particular attention will be dedicated to opportune surgical indication, perioperative care and safe management of both inpatients and outpatients, also considering repercussions of the pandemic on resident education and ethical implications.

Orthopedic Healthcare in the Time of COVID-19: Experience of the Orthopedic Surgery Department at Mustapha Bacha Hospital, Algeria

In response to the global health emergency, which has been raised to its highest level as a consequence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), urgent and aggressive actions were taken by health institutions across the world to stop the spread of the disease while ensuring continuity of vital care. This article outlines the urgent measures put in place by the orthopedic surgery department at Mustapha Bacha Hospital in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trauma Transformed: A Positive Review of Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Charles Moore in The Telegraph recently described the NHS as ‘lumbering’.1 Far from this description, it has been our experience that the NHS has rapidly transformed across specialties in order to respond to the unprecedented global crisis of COVID-19. We describe here the multiple ways in which the plastic surgery trauma service at Salisbury District Hospital swiftly adapted over a two-week period in March 2020. Our aim is to deliver a tailored trauma service whilst adhering to the same high standards of patient care established prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our view that many of these changes will be positive enduring practices for the future.

Remote Monitoring of Clubfoot Treatment With Digital Photographs in Low Resource Settings: Is It Accurate?

Background: Clinical examination and functional assessment are often the first steps to assess outcome of clubfoot treatment. Clinical photographs may be an adjunct used to assess treatment outcomes in lower resourced settings where physical review by a specialist is limited. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of photographic images of patients with clubfoot in assessing outcome following treatment.

Methods: In this single-centre diagnostic accuracy study, we included all children with clubfoot from a cohort treated between 2011 and 2013, in 2017. Two physiotherapists trained in clubfoot management calculated the Assessing Clubfoot Treatment (ACT) score for each child to decide if treatment was successful or if further treatment was required. Photographic images were then taken of 79 feet. Two blinded orthopaedic surgeons assessed three sets of images of each foot (n = 237 in total) at two time points (two months apart). Treatment for each foot was rated as ‘success’, ‘borderline’ or ‘failure’. Intra- and inter-observer variation for the photographic image was assessed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated for the photographic image compared to the ACT score.

Results: There was perfect correlation between clinical assessment and photographic evaluation of both raters at both time-points in 38 (48%) feet. The raters demonstrated acceptable reliability with re-scoring photographs (rater 1, k = 0.55; rater 2, k = 0.88). Thirty percent (n = 71) of photographs were assessed as poor quality image or sub-optimal patient position. Sensitivity of outcome with photograph compared to ACT score was 83.3%-88.3% and specificity ranged from 57.9%-73.3%.

Conclusion: Digital photography may help to confirm, but not exclude, success of clubfoot treatment. Future work to establish photographic parameters as an adjunct to assessing treatment outcomes, and guidance on a standardised protocol for photographs, may be beneficial in the follow up of children who have treated clubfoot in isolated communities or lower resourced settings.

Global Trends of Hand and Wrist Trauma: A Systematic Analysis of Fracture and Digit Amputation Using the Global Burden of Disease 2017 Study

Background As global rates of mortality decrease, rates of non-fatal injury have increased, particularly in low Socio-demographic Index (SDI) nations. We hypothesised this global pattern of non-fatal injury would be demonstrated in regard to bony hand and wrist trauma over the 27-year study period.

Methods The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017 was used to estimate prevalence, age-standardised incidence and years lived with disability for hand trauma in 195 countries from 1990 to 2017. Individual injuries included hand and wrist fractures, thumb amputations and non-thumb digit amputations.

Results The global incidence of hand trauma has only modestly decreased since 1990. In 2017, the age-standardised incidence of hand and wrist fractures was 179 per 100 000 (95% uncertainty interval (UI) 146 to 217), whereas the less common injuries of thumb and non-thumb digit amputation were 24 (95% UI 17 to 34) and 56 (95% UI 43 to 74) per 100 000, respectively. Rates of injury vary greatly by region, and improvements have not been equally distributed. The highest burden of hand trauma is currently reported in high SDI countries. However, low-middle and middle SDI countries have increasing rates of hand trauma by as much at 25%.

Conclusions Certain regions are noted to have high rates of hand trauma over the study period. Low-middle and middle SDI countries, however, have demonstrated increasing rates of fracture and amputation over the last 27 years. This trend is concerning as access to quality and subspecialised surgical hand care is often limiting in these resource-limited regions.

COVID-19: Initial experience of an international group of hand surgeons

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected medical treatment protocols throughout the world. While the pandemic does not affect hand surgeons at first glance, they have a role to play. The purpose of this study was to describe the different measures that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by hand surgeons throughout the world. The survey comprised 47 surgeons working in 34 countries who responded to an online questionnaire. We found that the protocols varied in terms of visitors, health professionals in the operating room, patient waiting areas, wards and emergency rooms. Based on these preliminary findings, an international consensus on hand surgery practices for the current viral pandemic, and future ones, needs to be built rapidly.

A Review of State Guidelines for Elective Orthopaedic Procedures During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Background:
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in widespread cancellation of elective orthopaedic procedures. The guidance coming from multiple sources frequently has been difficult to assimilate as well as dynamic, with constantly changing standards. We seek to communicate the current guidelines published by each state, to discuss the impact of these guidelines on orthopaedic surgery, and to provide the general framework used to determine which procedures have been postponed at our institution.

Methods:
An internet search was used to identify published state guidelines regarding the cancellation of elective procedures, with a publication cutoff of March 24, 2020, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Data collected included the number of states providing guidance to cancel elective procedures and which states provided specific guidance in determining which procedures should continue being performed as well as to orthopaedic-specific guidance.

Results:
Thirty states published guidance regarding the discontinuation of elective procedures, and 16 states provided a definition of “elective” procedures or specific guidance for determining which procedures should continue to be performed. Only 5 states provided guidelines specifically mentioning orthopaedic surgery; of those, 4 states explicitly allowed for trauma-related procedures and 4 states provided guidance against performing arthroplasty. Ten states provided guidelines allowing for the continuation of oncological procedures.

Conclusions:
Few states have published guidelines specific to orthopaedic surgery during the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving hospital systems and surgeons with the responsibility of balancing the benefits of surgery with the risks to public health.