Orthopedic follow-up with radiograph, questionnaire effective as in-person assessment: 4 study insights

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | October 12, 2016 | Print  |

A study in The Bone & Joint Journal found that surgical follow-up using both a questionnaire and radiograph was as effective as in-person follow-up at a traditional outpatient clinic.

The researchers identified 401 patients who underwent primary hip arthroplasty and 198 patients who underwent primary knee arthroplasty, all of whom attended a traditional follow-up clinic led by an arthroplasty care practitioner. They later had an orthopedic surgeon review the clinic's radiographs and function questionnaires to compare the surgeon and arthroplasty care practitioner's findings.


Here's what you need to know:


1. Review of either the radiograph alone or the questionnaire alone missed patients with potential problems.


2. When the orthopedic surgeon reviewed both a patient's radiograph and a patient's questionnaire, the orthopedic surgeon and the arthroplasty care practitioner overall agreed on the patient classifications for both hip and knee patients.


3. The orthopedic surgeon and arthroplasty care practitioner's agreement was especially high for patients ready for discharge and routine follow-up.


4. However, for patients with potential problems, the arthroplasty care practitioner was more likely to select annual monitoring while the orthopedic surgeon was more likely to select urgent review.


The researchers concluded: "A radiograph in conjunction with a questionnaire as a review may represent a cost effective THA/TKA follow-up mechanism."


More articles on orthopedics:
Patients with increased joint space prove well-suited for revision arthroscopy: 4 study insights
Tranexamic acid safely reduces risk of blood loss, transfusion: 6 study insights
Common imaging techniques for diagnosing hip infection, ranked by accuracy: 5 study insights

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