Surgery Outcomes Worse on Weekends!

Nicholas Bakalar writing in New York Times reported that researchers who studied data for more than 7,000 emergency surgeries found that emergency surgeries performed on a weekend may have poorer results than the same operation performed on a weekday.  Lead author Dr. Ashwin N. Ananthakrishan an Assistant Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital said the findings didn’t mean patients shouldn’t accept the need for surgery on a weekend.  But, the question is, why does this happen?  It’s apparently not because of patient factors.  Is it infrastructure?  Provider experience?  It’s important to find out what causes these disparities.   The study appeared in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Well, if you can avoid surgery on a weekend or in July when the new interns turn over, it still might be in your best interest.  Still not certain about this study.

Mary Elizabeth Dallas writing in HealthDay reported that physically active children may be at lower risk for fractures when they grow older according to a study presented at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting.  The study involved more than 2,300 children living in Sweden ranging in age ranging from seven to nine years of age.  Researchers found that children who got 40 minutes of daily exercise from physical education classes at school have greater bone mineral density than the children in the control group.

So, my take on this is that exercise is good and has benefits no matter what your age, and the earlier you start the better.

Steven Reinberg writing in HealthDay reported on an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the investigators found that social isolation was a more consistent
predictor of not surviving than with loneliness and was related to a greater risk of dying even after age and background health were taken into account.  The study also found that social isolation increased the risk of dying regardless of one’s health and other factors while loneliness increased the risk of dying only among those with underlying mental or physical problems.

So in conclusion, I guess it’s better to be lonely than socially isolated.

Mary Brophy Marcus writing in HealthDay reported that a new 700 patient study showed that most people returned to work after a total knee replacement, even those with physically demanding jobs.  The study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in Chicago shows that 98% of people who undergo total knee replacement are able to go back to work afterwards.

So, my comment on this that it’s very encouraging news that shows how much the technology has improved.

Nancy Walsh writing in MedPage Today reported that the reasons for failures of implanted knees have changed over the past 15 years with the majority of failures today relating to surgeon dependent
factors such as component mal-positioning according to research presented at the meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.  Researchers arrived at this conclusion after having conducted a retrospective review of why primary knee implants failed in almost 700 cases and the time frames in which this happened.  The study’s lead author said in over 70% of cases where the cause was aseptic loosening, infection, or instability the mechanisms were at least in part under the surgeon’s control.

My comment about this:  all the more reason to find a surgeon who specializes in the procedure you’re going to have.

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