Choosing The Best Hospital For Your Orthopaedic Care

Ankle osteoarthritis is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the ankle joint. Traditional treatments like joint fusion can limit mobility. An alternative procedure called ankle distraction arthroplasty has been gaining some traction, but how well does it hold up in the long term? 

A recent study by Greenfield et al. (2019) investigated this very question. They conducted a survival analysis of ankle distraction arthroplasty for ankle osteoarthritis. Their findings suggest that this procedure may be a viable option for some patients. 

Key takeaways from the study: 

  • Ankle distraction arthroplasty showed promising results, with an 84% survival rate at 5 years. This is better than some previously reported outcomes. 
  • The study also identified factors that can influence the success of the procedure. Avascular necrosis of the talus (bone death) was associated with a lower survival rate. Additionally, sex may play a role, with the study suggesting potential gender differences in long-term outcomes. 

What this means for patients: 

Ankle distraction arthroplasty offers a potential option for preserving joint mobility in patients with ankle osteoarthritis. This study provides valuable data for surgeons and patients to consider when making treatment decisions. 

Important to note: 

  • This was a retrospective study, meaning researchers analyzed past data. More robust research designs are needed to confirm these findings. 
  • The study involved a relatively small group of patients. Larger studies are necessary to draw more definitive conclusions. 

Overall, this research suggests that ankle distraction arthroplasty may be a valuable tool for treating ankle osteoarthritis. However, more research is needed to solidify its place as a standard treatment option. 

ReferenceGreenfield, S., Matta, K. M., McCoy, T. H., Rozbruch, S. R., & Fragomen, A. (2019). Ankle distraction arthroplasty for ankle osteoarthritis: a survival analysis. Strategies in trauma and limb reconstruction, 14(2), 65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376580/#:~:text=In%20a%20significantly%20larger%20series,and%2037%25%20within%205%20years

Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss your individual treatment options.
 

Best Hospital For Your Orthopaedic Care
Image Credit: TC Palm 

‘He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.”- Arabian proverb

Article Authors: Gordon Slater| Tandose Sambo 

There may come a time in your orthopaedic health journey when you will have to stay at the hospital for treatment. When you’re sick, you may often go to the hospitals where your doctor practices, or you may be referred to a specialist who will handle your case. Knowing the hospital that is best suited for your needs often takes some time and research. There are some hospitals that are specialized in treating specific conditions. In those instances when you have a surgical procedure to be performed, there are guidelines that will enable you to learn about the choices that you have when it comes to choosing your hospital. 

The more informed you are about the quality of healthcare that you will be receiving, the calmer that you will be when the procedure is to be done. Your orthopaedic specialist will be willing to discuss the various options that are available to you during and after your treatment. Here is a checklist of considerations for your stay: 

Before The Appointment 

  • Research your condition and make a list of items that you will like to discuss with your doctor. These can range from medications you will need, to clothing or even pain management after the surgery. Knowing what to expect will keep you calm.  
  • Discuss your current medications. During surgery and pain management, there may be reactions between your existing medication and the medications that will be utilized during your treatment, such as anaesthetics. Bring a list of any prescriptions you are currently taking along with supplements. Your doctor will review them and let you know what you should keep taking, or remove from your current healthcare regime.
  • Take notes during the preliminary discussions, so that you can ask relevant questions as time progresses. 
  • Surgical procedures will often leave you in a weakened state, so carry with you, the relevant carers such as a spouse or friend. If they are aware of how the treatment will progress, they can keep watch and ensure that you are in alignment with the treatment plan. 
  • Ask for any relevant brochures or printouts about the procedure. There is a lot of information online, so conduct your research on the topic and gain experience from previous patients testimonials. If you can, find a patient who has undergone your intended therapy and ask them some questions. 
  • During the consultation, ask your doctor’s advice on which hospitals are best for your condition. Your doctor doesn’t have to be the one who treats you. There may be other hospitals that are better suited for your care. Investigate the staffing, how your care will be coordinated, and the after surgery care. Check how the hospitals are able to continually improve their quality of care. 
  • Discuss the health insurance coverage and find out which enterprises will benefit you costwise. The classification of hospitals is varied and ranges from specialty hospitals to teaching hospitals. 
  • Find out the experience of the doctors who will be treating you, as well as their success rates. You want to ensure that you are with a doctor who has a great reputation. 
  • Have a solid aftercare plan. Treatment and recovery may take weeks or even months, so ensure that plans are in place to have you taken care of for the duration of the interim. Inform your employer if you’re employed, or arrange your business around the treatment if you’re an entrepreneur. 
  • Investigate the location of your treatment center. Some hospitals may be far from your home, and you will have to arrange transport to and from the location. What will be the hospital’s opening hours? Will they enable your family and friends to visit you? 
  • Actually visit the site that is your potential hospital. Knowing the facilities ahead of time, will enable you to be comfortable in your environment. 
  • Utilize guidelines like the Best Hospitals guidelines, in order to compare the quality of the hospitals that you are considering. 
  • Make a decision. With all the various parameters outlined, discuss with your family and doctor, and then decide the hospital that will be best for you. 

 There will be no perfect decision. Considering all the above factors, choose the hospital that’s best for you, and allow yourself to have the optimal treatment. 

Article References: 

  1. Best Hospitals For Orthopaedics: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings/orthopedics
  2. Medicare.gov: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10181-Guide-Choosing-Hospital.pdf

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Dr. Gordon Slater

Dr. Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions.

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Dr Gordon Slater is a highly-skilled surgeon specialising in foot and ankle conditions and sports injuries. Dr Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions. MIS  has many advantages including shorter operating times, reduced post-operative pain, reduced risk of infection, minimal scarring and better cosmetic outcomes.

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