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The Sweaty Surgeon

 

The Sweaty Surgeon

With summer now in full swing, the temperature outside has risen to uncomfortable levels for many of us. However, one place we don’t expect to deal with excessive heat is in the operating room. Unfortunately, if your hospital is like mine, you may find yourself in a battle with anesthesia and nursing staff over the thermostat setting. Most frequently they will cite patient safety as a rationale for increased OR temperatures.

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Opioid Use Abroad

 

Opioid Use Abroad

The opioid epidemic continues to be an issue of growing concern across the U.S. The WOA has had several Touches and lively forum discussions on the matter.

I recently returned from a three-week AOA traveling fellowship in Japan and part of our charge while there was to develop and perform a research project. Given the nature of this topic in America, my co-fellows and I conducted a survey of Japanese surgeons’ attitudes and practice patterns regarding opioid use and prescribing.


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The Other W of the WOA

 

The Other “W” of the WOA

As many of you may know, this year’s incoming First Vice-President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is Dr. Kristy Weber. I found myself surprisingly emotional and proud listening to her speech at the annual Academy meeting in New Orleans a few weeks ago, and laughed as she referenced the fact that she was “the first person in heels” to address the crowd in the First VP role. As such, she is slated to be the first female President of the AAOS in 2019.

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Intended Retained Surgical Item (RSI) Not a Problem? Think Again!

 

Intended Retained Surgical Item (RSI) – Not a Problem? Think Again!

As I was placing the last stitch of the skin closure on a total hip surgery, the tip of the needle broke off. To remove the 1-cm fragment, I would probably have to reopen part of the skin incision (which could increase the risk of prosthetic joint infection), would possibly have to convert from spinal to general anesthetic, and there would be additional radiation exposure for the patient. I had intended to leave the fragment, but the hospital where I practice informed me that I HAD to remove it prior to the patient leaving the OR. It made no difference to the hospital whether this was a broken drill bit, a needle fragment or any other RSI. I subsequently had to answer to the hospital’s Peer Review Committee.

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Opioid Counterpoint

 

Opioid Counterpoint

I read Dr. Ilahi’s recent Touch with interest and admiration and I applaud his efforts to reduce his patients’ need for strong opioids. With the recent attention focused on opioid abuse in America, reports like Dr. Ilahi’s are becoming more common, and there is a push for doctors to standardize their prescribing in order to reduce opioid usage. However, as an Orthopaedic Oncologist, I have some patients that require strong opioids. Do they require them because I have over-prescribed? No, they require them because they have a condition that results in severe pain. Should I try less potent drugs initially? Absolutely. But, I should also tailor a medical regimen on an individual, per patient basis.

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How I Avoid Prescribing Strong Opioids

 

How I Avoid Prescribing Strong Opioids

I haven’t prescribed any opiate stronger than codeine in over 3 years. Before that, my routine post-operative prescription was hydrocodone, which was fairly standard for U.S. orthopaedic surgeons. But after learning of the gross disparity in postoperative narcotic prescriptions here compared to other countries and given the changing attitudes in America regarding post injury/postoperative pain control, I was able to significantly reduce the strength of my opioid prescriptions.

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Spring Has Sprung!

 

Spring Has Sprung!

As the weather warms up, it is only natural that we all head outside for sunshine and fun, especially our kids. So, this seems like a good time to quickly review safety regarding a warm-weather favorite: trampolines.

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The Western Orthopaedic Foundation Announces Latest Resident Research Grant Recipient

 

The Western Orthopaedic Foundation Announces Latest Resident Research Grant Recipient

The Western Orthopaedic Foundation (WOF) is pleased to announce its first 2018 Resident Research Grant Recipient, Caitlin Rugg, MD of UC San Francisco. Dr. Rugg has been awarded a grant to study “The Impact of Early Sport Specialization on the Collegiate Athlete.” With young athletes participating in organized sports at an ever-increasing pace, there has been a growing number of injures as well as “specialization” in sports played year-round. This continuous activity may lead to injury patterns and biomechanical changes in the musculoskeletal system, warranting in-depth study of major clinical significance to orthopaedists.

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Maintenance of Certification - The Saga Continues

 

Maintenance of Certification – The Saga Continues

At the urging of state societies, such as the California Orthopaedic Association (COA), and regional societies, such as the Western Orthopaedic Association (WOA), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has been working diligently with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) to push for changes to the unpopular Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

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Finding Gratitude

 

Finding Gratitude

The lecture assignment was for a Grand Rounds’ presentation entitled, “Lessons Learned – Pelvic Ring Disruptions.” It seemed simple enough, but as I assembled the example slides to demonstrate the modern treatment evolution, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

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Three Hundred and Forty-Eight

 

Three Hundred and Forty-Eight

•    George Foster’s career home run total… it took him 17 big league seasons.
•    Don Shula’s 328 career coaching wins are 20 short… it took him 33 seasons.
•    Alex English pulled down 348 defensive rebounds for the ’81-‘82 Denver Nuggets.
•    Eleven more Americans would have to go into space to reach 348.
•    Forty-eight fewer Spartans fought beside King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae.
•    A 1995 Ferrari 348 will cost you approximately $60,000… WOA’s 82nd Annual Meeting Registration will not.




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Benefits of Membership: Through the Eyes of a Resident

 

Benefits of Membership: Through the Eyes of a Resident

As a fourth-year resident, there are many demands on my time. Nonetheless, when presented with an opportunity to serve the WOA, I wasted no time applying. I'm one of two residents currently serving on the WOA’s Board of Directors; I am in my second year on the Board.

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Membership Has Its Privileges!

Membership Has Its Privileges!

The Western Orthopaedic Association (WOA) recently announced a new member benefit – a discounted subscription to a comprehensive bundle of Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) products. As you may know, the AAOS no longer offers its active members a complimentary subscription to JBJS. A subscription to the print journal alone is currently over $250.

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Maintenance of Certification Changes Announced

Maintenance of Certification Changes Announced

The Western Orthopaedic Association (WOA) has been advocating on your behalf for improvements to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process.

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The Western Orthopaedic Foundation: Strength In Numbers

The Western Orthopaedic Foundation: Strength In Numbers

The Western Orthopaedic Foundation (WOF) is a bold, ambitious extension of the Western Orthopaedic Association (WOA).

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The Resident’s Decision - Hospital or Private Practice

The Resident’s Decision - Hospital or Private Practice*

For residents, one of the biggest decisions to be made when completing medical education is whether to join a private practice or accept a hospital position.

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Burnout—What Can We Do to Combat Burnout? (Part II)

Burnout—What Can We Do to Combat Burnout? (Part II)

Burnout needs to be addressed jointly—both at the institutional and the individual level. Leaders need to be chosen who can work with the system and the physicians to promote engagement and wellness. Included are some ideas for both parties to work on.

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Burnout—What Is It? (Part I)

Burnout—What Is It? (Part I)

Burnout is a significant issue throughout the healthcare system and physicians are not exempt. In fact, up to 50% of physicians suffer from burnout. In 2014, at the Mayo Clinic, the burnout rate among orthopedic surgeons was 59.6%, up from 48.3% in 2011.

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WOA: A Place for Growth

WOA: A Place for Growth

Our generation of surgeons is fortunate to have many sources from which to obtain our ongoing education including meetings, online, and publications. The Western Orthopaedic Association (WOA) is an extraordinary star in the ever-expanding galaxy of orthopaedic organizations.

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The 81st WOA Annual Meeting - Content, Collegiality and So Much More

The 81st WOA Annual Meeting
Content, Collegiality and So Much More

The 81st WOA Annual Meeting highlighted a variety of aspects that are unique to the WOA. The Meeting’s content included multispecialty panel discussions focused on current and controversial issues as well as informative “rapid fire” research presentation modules.

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