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Weekly News, Analysis, and Commentary

Hanging Tough: Lumbar Disc Replacement Over Fusion

Courtesy of Texas Back Institute and Jack Zigler, M.D. / Courtesy of Synthes Spine

Jack Zigler keeps tracking his ProDisc patients, now 12 years post FDA approval. Just as he found at 3 years, 5 years and 7 years post approval, LADR is superior to fusion. And cheaper. Yet, on May 1, 2017 United Healthcare cited no long term data to label LADR “unproven.” Such a monumental mistake. Read on.

60% of ACDF Costs Are Disposables; Change PT Staffing, Shorten LOS; Blood Transfusions Triple Readmissions!

Source: Pixabay

The REAL cost of ACDF: disposables are a whopping 60% of the cost. A new study found that shifting PT hours gets patients moving shortly after surgery. And new work indicates that blood transfusions are linked to enormous increases in complications, tripling readmission rates.


Spooks, Phishing and Cyberattacks Cripple Hospitals

Spy vs. Spy / Courtesy of Antonio Prohías

Spook technology stolen from U.S. spy agencies was used by hackers in a phishing cyberattack that crippled Britain’s National Health Service and computers worldwide. Outdated healthcare computer systems make healthcare systems easy targets. Read about this attack and see what you can do to keep patients safe.


ACL Reconstruction: More About Skill Than Technique

Asheesh Bedi, M.D., Bernard Bach, M.D., Nikhil Verma, M.D., and Alexander Weber, M.D. at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting. / Courtesy of Alex Weber, M.D.

As one of the most common orthopedic surgeries today, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction gets a lot of attention in the orthopedic and sports medicine world. Each physician has his or her preferred technique begging the question: Is there a gold standard approach to anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction?

Transparent Bones!; New Biomechanics Testing Approach; IV Acetaminophen vs. Opioid

Transparent mouse tibia / Courtesy of Science Translational Medicine, Greenbaum, Chan, et al; Gradinaru laboratory/Caltech

Transparent bones means that researchers can peer inside and view active cells. New knee system reproduces movements, loading at the pace of a natural gait pattern and can IV Acetaminophen replace opioids?


Carestream Health’s New Technology Streamlining Orthopedic Care

With the OnSight 3D Extremity System, the patient simply inserts the injured extremity into a donut-shaped opening in the system. / Courtesy of Carestream

As more people are living longer, more active lives, the need for orthopedic and sports medicine care continues to grow placing a bigger burden on the healthcare system. New imaging technology offered by Carestream, however, may help streamline patient care.


Feds Join Whistleblower Lawsuit Against 15 Health Insurers

Source: Flickr and Ken Teegardin

A few years ago a former UnitedHealth employee filed a False Claims Act against United and 14 other insurers. On February 15, the Feds (Department of Justice) joined the suit on the side of the whistleblower. Together they are alleging that insurers “upcoded” claims in order to pocket excess reimbursements from Medicare Advantage.

Rothman Expands Into New York!; PROMs – Useful, Controversial; Treating Pregnant Orthopedic Patients

Photo creation by RRY Publications, LLC and courtesy of Rothman Institute

Rothman Institute is breaking new ground in the region, with a push into New York. Take heart, orthopedic surgeons…study says PROMs are reliable. And treating pregnant patients is a multispecialty, complex effort.


Q2 2016: Orthopedic Market Analysis and Forecast

Orthopedics remains healthcare’s largest single sector, affecting one out of every two people. The process of delivering and paying for orthopedic care is going through unprecedented changes. This presentation summarizes some of the key trends and pressures which are transforming this most important medical sector.

The Last Men Standing

Courtesy of Premia Spine Ltd

Once upon a time lumbar arthroplasty was the most innovative and exciting development in spine surgery. Thirteen years ago the procedure hit a reimbursement wall. That was then, this is now. The resurrection of TOPS is the latest sign that lumbar arthroplasty has a second wind.