Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics

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Where Have All the Fractures Gone? The Epidemiology of Pediatric Fractures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

imageBackground:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures to encourage social distancing have been implemented, including cancellation of school and organized sports. A resulting change in pediatric fracture epidemiology is expected. This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fracture incidence and characteristics.
Methods:
This is a retrospective cohort study comparing acute fractures presenting to a single level I pediatric trauma hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic with fractures during a prepandemic period at the same institution. The “pandemic” cohort was gathered from March 15 to April 15, 2020 and compared with a “prepandemic” cohort from the same time window in 2018 and 2019.
Results:
In total, 1745 patients presenting with acute fractures were included. There was a significant decrease in the incidence of fractures presenting to our practice during the pandemic (22.5±9.1/d vs. 9.6±5.1/d, P<0.001). The presenting age for all fractures decreased during the pandemic (7.5±4.3 vs. 9.4±4.4 y, P<0.001) because of decreased fracture burden among adolescents. There were also a decrease in the number of fractures requiring surgery (2.2±1.8/d vs. 0.8±0.8/d, P<0.001). During the pandemic, there was an increase in the proportion of injuries occurring at home (57.8% vs. 32.5%, P<0.001) or on bicycles (18.3% vs. 8.2%, P<0.001), but a decrease in those related to sports (7.2% vs. 26.0%, P<0.001) or playgrounds (5.2% vs. 9.0%, P<0.001). There was no increase in time-to-presentation. Patients with distal radius torus fractures were more likely to receive a velcro splint during the pandemic (44.2% vs. 25.9%, P=0.010).
Conclusions:
Pediatric fracture volume has decreased 2.5-fold during the COVID-19 pandemic, partially because of cessation of organized sports and decreased playground use. In endemic regions, lower trauma volume may allow redeployment of orthopaedic surgeons and staff to other clinical arenas. Given the rising proportion of bicycling injuries, an emphasis on basic safety precautions could improve public health. An observed increase in the prescription of velcro splints for distal radius fractures highlights an opportunity for simplified patient care during the pandemic.
Level of Evidence:
Level III.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Where_Have_All_the_Fractures_Gone__The.1.aspx

Characterizing Use of Growth-friendly Implants for Early-onset Scoliosis: A 10-Year Update

imageBackground:
Growth-friendly treatment of early-onset scoliosis (EOS) has changed with the development and evolution of multiple devices. This study was designed to characterize changes in the use of growth-friendly implants for EOS from 2007 to 2017.
Methods:
We queried the Pediatric Spine Study Group database for patients who underwent index surgery with growth-friendly implants from July 2007 to June 2017. In 1298 patients, we assessed causes of EOS; preoperative curve magnitude; age at first surgery; patient sex; construct type; lengthening interval; incidence of “final” fusion for definitive treatment; and age at definitive treatment. α=0.05.
Results:
From 2007 to 2017, the annual proportion of patients with idiopathic EOS increased from 12% to 33% (R2=0.58, P=0.006). Neuromuscular EOS was the most common type at all time points (range, 33% to 44%). By year, mean preoperative curve magnitude ranged from 67 to 77 degrees, with no significant temporal changes. Mean (±SD) age at first surgery increased from 6.1±2.9 years in 2007 to 7.8±2.5 years in 2017 (R2=0.78, P<0.001). As a proportion of new implants, magnetically controlled growing rods increased from <5% during the first 2 years to 83% in the last 2 years of the study. Vertically expandable prosthetic titanium ribs decreased from a peak of 48% to 6%; growth-guidance devices decreased from 10% to 3%. No change was seen in mean surgical lengthening intervals (range, 6 to 9 mo) for the 614 patients with recorded lengthenings. Final fusion was performed in 88% of patients who had undergone definitive treatment, occurring at a mean age of 13.4±2.4 years.
Conclusions:
From 2007 to 2017, neuromuscular EOS was the most common diagnosis for patients treated with growth-friendly implants. Patient age at first surgery and the use of magnetically controlled growing rods increased during this time. Preoperative curve magnitude, traditional growing rod lengthening intervals, and rates of final fusion did not change.
Level of Evidence:
Level II.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Characterizing_Use_of_Growth_friendly_Implants_for.17.aspx

Expert Consensus for a Principle-based Classification for Treatment of Diaphyseal Pediatric Femur Fractures

imageIntroduction:
Recent studies demonstrate considerable deviation from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of pediatric diaphyseal femur fractures (PDFFs). This study aimed to determine if expert-consensus can be reached on a principle-based classification to be applied broadly to a wide variety of PDFF scenarios and if outcomes correspond to adherence to the classification.
Methods:
A 2-stage study was performed. First, a survey of experts using a principle-based approach to PDFF. We conducted a survey of 17 thought-leaders (criteria≥20 y’ experience+authors of the seminal pediatric femur fracture studies) who were asked to classify 15 cases of PDFF using the principle-based classification for agreement. Next, we conducted a retrospective review of 289 consecutive PDFF treated (2011-2015) at a level 1 pediatric trauma center. For each case, we compared the actual treatment and proposed “ideal” principle-based classification. We then compared clinical results and outcome data points including the length of stay, physician visits, and hospital charge data.
Results:
A substantial (κ=0.7) expert-agreement was noted for assigning treatment principles with near-perfect (κ=0.93) agreement on conservative versus surgical management. We obtained agreement on employing a flexible implant (κ=0.84) rigid fixation (κ=0.75) and damage control philosophy (κ=0.64). Suboptimal clinical results were noted in 43% of the undertreated patients (24/56), 18.8% of the adequately treated, and 14.3% of overtreated (P<0.01) patients. An increasing trend for the length of hospital stay and a number of clinic visits was noted as the treatment class increased (P<0.01). Charges were 4.2 times higher for an episode of operative versus nonoperative care (P<0.01). Rigid fixation (class 4) had significantly (P=0.01) higher total and material charges than flexible fixation (class 3).
Discussion:
The proposed classification has a substantial agreement among thought-leaders. Clinical results demonstrated significantly more suboptimal results in undertreated fractures, compared with ideally treated or more invasively treated fractures. More invasive treatments led to increased burden to families and the system in terms of length of stay and hospital charges.
Level of Evidence:
Level III.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Expert_Consensus_for_a_Principle_based.2.aspx

Lengthening Less Than 7 Months Leads to Greater Spinal Height Gain With Rib-based Distraction

imageBackground:
Severe early-onset scoliosis (EOS) has been associated with a multitude of comorbidities, chief among them being deficient thoracic spine growth and pulmonary complications. EOS management with rib-based instrumentation involves repeated lengthening. Despite expansion practice patterns, there is limited literature and no evidence-based guidelines for optimal expansion intervals. Our study evaluates clinical outcomes in relation to lengthening intervals with the aim of optimizing the timing of surgical expansion in EOS patients.
Methods:
A single-institution retrospective review of 60 EOS patients treated with rib-based growth instrumentation with a minimum of 3-year follow-up and 3 expansion/revision surgeries. Patients were separated into 2 expansion cohorts: (1) more frequent lengthening [MFL group (≤7 mo)] and (2) less frequent lengthening [LFL group (>7 mo)]. Demographic information and clinical factors were recorded. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed.
Results:
Both the MFL group (35 patients) and LFL group (25 patients) were similar in sex distribution, diagnosis, preoperative parameters of interest, and treatment duration. The mean follow-up was 6.0 years. There was an increase in postoperative T1-S1 spine height gained in the MFL group (P=0.006) as well as a higher percent expected spine growth based on normative values (P=0.03) when compared with the LFL group. The MFL group had more expansion/revision surgeries (P=0.003) but no increase in the number of complications (P=0.86).
Conclusions:
More frequent lengthenings were associated with statistically significant overall spinal height gain and percent expected growth without a significant increase in complication rates. It was shown that change in major curve and space available for the lungs was not associated with the lengthening intervals.
Level of Evidence:
Level III—a comparative retrospective study.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Lengthening_Less_Than_7_Months_Leads_to_Greater.18.aspx

Handbook of Pediatric Orthopedics, Third Edition

No abstract available

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Handbook_of_Pediatric_Orthopedics,_Third_Edition.34.aspx

Intraoperative Issues and Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes of Femur Fractures Treated With Flexible Nails: A Comparison of Cases Utilizing Skeletal Traction and a Traction Table to Cases Using Manual Traction Only

imageIntroduction:
The use of the orthopaedic traction table (OTT) during elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) in the management of displaced diaphyseal femur fractures (DFFs) is still debated. In most centers, children with displaced DFF are treated using an OTT. In some other institutions, however, fracture reduction and stabilization by ESIN are performed on a radiolucent table without an OTT. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiologic outcome of children with displaced DFF managed by ESIN with and without the use of an OTT.
Methods:
Charts and radiographs were retrospectively reviewed for all pediatric patients sustaining DFF managed by ESIN from 2011 to 2017 at 2 different institutions. In all, 69 consecutive children with displaced DFF were recorded, of whom 35 underwent operative treatment by ESIN with the use of an OTT with skeletal traction (Group A), and 34 by ESIN without OTT (Group B). The titanium elastic nails outcome measure scale score and Beaty radiologic criteria were used to evaluate the results.
Results:
Average patient age at time of injury was 9 years (range, 5 to 13) and 10 years (range, 4 to 15) in Groups A and B, respectively. The mean follow-up was 54 months (range, 24 to 96). Overall, complications were observed in 6 patients (8.6%). Complication rate was higher among children managed without OTT (11.8%) than among children treated with OTT (2.5%); no complication related to pin insertion for skeletal traction was recorded. However, the number of patients with a poor outcome according to the titanium elastic nails outcome score was higher in Group A (20%) than in Group B (5.8%). Beaty radiologic criteria were comparable between the 2 groups. Mean length of surgery and mean cumulative time of radiation exposure during surgery were similar between the 2 groups.
Conclusions:
Overall, both techniques work equally well although patients treated by ESIN with the use of an OTT and skeletal traction tended to have a lower rate of complications and radiologic outcome was worse than for patients treated without using an OTT; however, no statistically significant difference was found.
Despite their limitations, the results of this study suggest that displaced DFF can be safely managed by ESIN with or without the use of intraoperative OTT and skeletal traction, according to the surgeon’s preference. Further studies are now needed to consolidate these conclusions and clarify the role of the OTT.
Level of Evidence:
Level III.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Intraoperative_Issues_and_Clinical_and.3.aspx

What’s New in Congenital Hand Surgery

imageBackground:
Congenital conditions of the hand and upper extremity are a frequent source of consultation among pediatric orthopaedists and hand surgeons. Advances in the fields of molecular biology and genetics have helped to better understand some of these conditions and redefine previous classification systems. New outcome measurement tools have been used to assess surgical results and have brought into focus a different aspect of the patients’ experience.
Methods:
We searched PubMed database for papers related to the treatment of congenital hand anomalies published from January 1, 2015 to October 31, 2018. The search was limited to English articles yielding 207 papers. Three pediatric hand surgeons selected the articles based upon the criteria that the topic was germane, the article fell under the subheadings within the manuscript, and the conclusions were meaningful.
Results:
A total of 40 papers were selected for review, based upon their quality and new findings. Research articles with significant findings were included for syndactyly, symbrachydactyly, cleft hand, polydactyly, radial longitudinal deficiency, congenital radio-ulnar synostosis, and macrodactyly.
Conclusions:
Our knowledge of the embryology and pathophysiology of congenital upper extremity conditions continues to evolve. Functional assessments combined with patient and parent-reported outcomes have our understanding of the results following surgical procedures. Further research and standardization of our scientific data will provide better answers and higher quality of evidence.
Level of Evidence:
Level V—literature review and expert opinion.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/What_s_New_in_Congenital_Hand_Surgery.19.aspx

Effect of NSAID Use on Bone Healing in Pediatric Fractures: A Preliminary, Prospective, Randomized, Blinded Study

imageBackground:
This study aimed to investigate if nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used in the acute phase of bone healing in children with fractures result in delayed union or nonunion as compared with patients who do not take NSAIDs for pain control during this same time period.
Methods:
In this prospective, randomized, parallel, single-blinded study, skeletally immature patients with long bone fractures were randomized to 1 of 2 groups for their postfracture pain management. The NSAID group was prescribed weight-based ibuprofen, whereas the control group was not allowed any NSAID medication and instead prescribed weight-based acetaminophen. Both groups were allowed to use oxycodone for breakthrough pain. The primary outcome was fracture healing assessed at 2, 6, and 10 weeks.
Results:
One-hundred-two patients were enrolled between February 6, 2014 and September 23, 2016. Ninety-five patients (with 97 fractures) completed a 6-month follow-up (46 patients with 47 fractures in the control group and 49 patients 50 fractures in the NSAID group). None achieved healing at 1 to 2 weeks. By 6 weeks, 37 of 45 patients (82%) of control group and 46 out of 50 patients (92%) of ibuprofen group had healed fractures (P=0.22). At 10 to 12 week follow-up, 46 (98%) of the control group fractures were healed and 50 (100%) of the ibuprofen group fractures were healed. All were healed by 6 months. Healing was documented at a mean of 40 days in the control group and 31 days in the ibuprofen group (P=0.76). The mean number of days breakthrough oxycodone was used was 2.4 days in the control group and 1.9 days in the NSAID group (P=0.48).
Conclusion:
Ibuprofen is an effective medication for fracture pain in children and its use does not impair clinical or radiographic long bone fracture healing in skeletally immature patients.
Level of Evidence:
Level I—therapeutic.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Effect_of_NSAID_Use_on_Bone_Healing_in_Pediatric.4.aspx

Modified Woodward Technique for Sprengel Deformity and a Modification of the Cavendish Classification

imageIntroduction:
Sprengel deformity (SD) is the most common congenital anomaly of the shoulder. Surgery is required for moderate and severe forms. The modified Woodward procedure is the most widely used procedure for the surgical treatment.
Methods:
SD patients who applied to our institution between 2005 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. A modification of the Cavendish classification was used for preoperative and postoperative evaluations.
Results:
Eighteen shoulders of 17 (mean age: 8.5 y, range: 2 to 18 y, 5 males and 12 females) patients were included. The right, left, and bilateral shoulders were affected in 9, 7, and 1 cases, respectively. The mean follow-up time was 62.9 months (12 to 161 mo). Preoperatively, 3 shoulders were type 2, 12 shoulders were type 3, and 3 shoulders were type 4 according to the Cavendish classification and 2 shoulders were type 0, 6 shoulders were type 1, and 10 shoulders were type 2 postoperatively.
Conclusions:
Periscapular congenital malformations play a significant role in range of motion limitation. The modified Woodward procedure is a viable alternative in the surgical treatment of SD and the proposed modification of Cavendish classification (grade 0) is functional.

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https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/Fulltext/2020/09000/Modified_Woodward_Technique_for_Sprengel_Deformity.20.aspx

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