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Junbo He, Tingkui Wu, Chen Ding, Beiyu Wang, Ying Hong, and Hao Liu

  • Anterior cervical surgery (ACS) owes its development to various pioneering individuals whose revolutionary works form key advances and guide current medical decisions. This bibliometric study aimed to identify, analyse and visualize the main features of the most-cited papers in ACS.

  • The citation count for the top 100 most-cited articles ranged from 148 to 1,197, and citations per year ranged from 3.1 to 89.8. The articles were published from 1958 to 2016, with the 2000s being the most active decade. There was an inverse correlation between the average citations per year since publication and article age.

  • The oldest as well as most-cited two articles were both published in 1958 by Smith and Robinson, and Cloward, respectively. In their studies, the authors individually described the technique of anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF).

  • The most popular keywords were: ‘fusion’ (22), ‘spine’ (20), ‘cervical spine’ (16), ‘complications’ (15), ‘arthrodesis’ (13), ‘interbody fusion’ (13), ‘bone morphogenetic protein’ (13), and ‘radiculopathy’ (12).

  • ACDF was the most frequent surgical procedure (80%), while cervical disc arthroplasty is of gradual greater impact.

  • The surgical techniques of ACDF have remained unaltered for over 60 years. More attempts are needed to promote its development.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1203-1213. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210074

Lorenz Pisecky, Matthias Luger, Antonio Klasan, Tobias Gotterbarm, Matthias C. Klotz, and Rainer Hochgatterer

  • Bioabsorbable and biodegradable implants offer new possibilities in orthopaedic and trauma surgery. As soon as the initial stability of the degradable implants has reached the qualities of conventional materials, new devices may find usage in younger and more demanding patients. Residual conventional osteosynthetic material or the necessity to remove metal increasingly seems to be more of an adverse event than daily practice in forefoot surgery. Nevertheless, some drawbacks need to be discussed.

  • Recent literature screened for the use of bioabsorbable and biodegradable materials in forefoot surgery, available implants and indications in forefoot surgery were analysed and summarized. Apart from common indications in forefoot surgery, points of interest were the type of biomaterial, the process of biodegradation and biointegration, and possible adverse events. Materials were comprehensively discussed for each indication based on the available literature.

  • Polylactide, polyglycoside and polydioxanone are considered safe and sufficiently stable for use in forefoot surgery. Low complication rates (e.g. 0.7% for pin fixation in hallux deformities) are given.

  • Magnesium implants suffered from an extensive corrosive process in the first generation but now seem to be safe in forefoot surgery and offer good options compared with conventional titanium screws, especially in procedures of the first ray.

  • Allograft bone has proven feasibility in small case series, but still lacks larger or randomized clinical trials. The first results are promising.

  • Bioresorbable and osseointegrating devices offer attractive new possibilities for surgeons and patients. Despite all the known advantages, the difficulties and possible complications must not be forgotten, such as soft tissue reactions, unwanted osteolysis and a lower primary mechanical load capacity.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1132-1139. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200157

Nanne Kort, Patrick Stirling, Peter Pilot, and Jacobus Hendrik Müller

  • Robot-assisted total hip arthroplasty (THA), in comparison to conventional THA, improves radiographic outcomes, but it remains unclear whether it alters complication rates, clinical and functional outcomes, and implant survival.

  • The purpose of this systematic overview was to summarize the findings of the most recent meta-analyses that compare clinical and surgical outcomes of robot-assisted versus conventional THA.

  • Two readers independently conducted an electronic literature search, screening and data extraction from five electronic databases. Inclusion criteria were: meta-analyses evaluating robot-assisted versus conventional THA in terms of radiographic outcomes, clinical and functional scores, and complications and revision rates. The literature search returned 67 records, of which 14 were duplicates and 49 were excluded, leaving three meta-analyses published within the past two years for data extraction and analysis.

  • The present overview of meta-analyses suggests that, compared to conventional THA (n = 3011), robot-assisted THA (n = 1813) improves component placement and reduces intraoperative complications. The overview also affirms that robot-assisted THA could extend surgery by 20 minutes, and increases risks of postoperative heterotopic ossification, dislocation, and revision. None of the meta-analyses found significant differences in clinical or functional scores between robot-assisted and conventional THA.

  • Future studies and reviews should make a clear distinction between active and semi-active robotic assistance, address technology matureness, and describe the experience of surgeons with robotic assistance.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1157-1165. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200121

Fabio A. Rodriguez-Patarroyo, Nadin Cuello, Robert Molloy, Viktor Krebs, Alparslan Turan, and Nicolas S. Piuzzi

  • Regional analgesia has been introduced successfully into the postoperative pain management after total knee arthroplasty, reducing pain scores, opioid use and adverse effects.

  • Combination of regional analgesia techniques is associated with better pain management and lower side effects than single regional techniques.

  • Adductor canal block provides good analgesia and considerably lower detrimental effect in muscular strength than femoral nerve block, enhancing surgical recovery.

  • Infiltration techniques may have equivalent analgesic effect than epidural analgesia and peripheral nerve blocks, however there should be awareness of dose dependent toxicity.

  • Novel long-acting local anesthetics role for regional analgesia is still to be determined, and will require larger randomized trials to support its advantage over traditional local anesthetics.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1181-1192. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210045

Alexis Nogier, Idriss Tourabaly, Sonia Ramos-Pascual, Jacobus H. Müller, Mo Saffarini, and Cyril Courtin

  • To report clinical and radiographic outcomes of primary THA using three-dimensional (3D) image-based custom stems.

  • This systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines and registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020216079). A search was conducted using MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane. Clinical studies were included if they reported clinical or radiographic outcomes of primary THA using 3D image-based custom stems. Studies were excluded if specific to patients with major hip anatomical deformities, or if not written in English.

  • Fourteen studies were eligible for inclusion (n = 1936 hips). There was considerable heterogeneity in terms of manufacturer, proximal geometry, coating and length of custom stems. Revision rates ranged from 0% to 1% in the short-term, 0% to 20% in the mid-term, and 4% to 10% in the long-term, while complication rates ranged from 3% in the short-term, 0% to 11% in the mid-term and 0% to 4% in the long-term. Post-operative Harris hip scores ranged from 95 to 96 in the short-term, 80 to 99 in the mid-term, and 87 to 94 in the long-term. Radiographic outcomes were reported in eleven studies, although none reported 3D implant sizing or positioning, nor compared planned and postoperative hip architecture.

  • Primary THA using 3D image-based custom stems in unselected patients provides limited but promising clinical and radiographic outcomes. Despite excellent survival, the evidence available in the literature remains insufficient to recommend their routine use. Future studies should specify proximal geometry, length, fixation, material and coating, as well as management of femoral offset and anteversion. The authors propose a classification system to help distinguish between custom stem designs based primarily on their proximal geometry and length.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1166-1180. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210053

Juan I. Cirillo Totera, José G. Fleiderman Valenzuela, Jorge A. Garrido Arancibia, Samuel T. Pantoja Contreras, Lyonel Beaulieu Lalanne, and Facundo L. Alvarez-Lemos

  • Adequate sagittal balance (SB) is essential to maintain an upright, efficient, and painless posture. It has been shown that sagittal profile alterations affect quality of life of patients with a similar or even greater impact than chronic disease.

  • Evaluation of the SB has gained much relevance in recent years, with recognition of its importance in the evaluation of spinal pathology.

  • This review summarizes the basic principles of SB, aiming to obtain a practical, simple and understandable evaluation of the sagittal profile of a patient.

  • SB is a dynamic process that involves a varying degree of energy expenditure. Distinguishing between a balanced, compensated imbalance or decompensated imbalanced patient, is relevant to diagnosis and therapeutic decision-making.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1193-1202. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210062

Joseph Genevière, Shawna McCallin, Angela Huttner, Truong-Thanh Pham, and Domizio Suva

  • Bone and joint infections are difficult to treat, and increasing antibiotic resistance has only made them more challenging. This has led to renewed interest in phage therapy (PT). The aim of this systematic review was to determine success rate, current treatment modalities and safety of PT in bone and joint infections.

  • A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases as well as the journal PHAGE for literature published between January 2000 and April 2021 was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines to identify all human studies assessing bacteriophages as therapy for bone and joint infections. All study designs and patient populations were eligible. The review’s primary outcome was success rate.

  • Twenty records describing a total of 51 patients and 52 treatment episodes were included. No randomized controlled studies were identified. The overall success rate was 71% (n = 37/52). Topical administration alone was the most frequent administration route (85%, n = 44/52). Antibiotics were administered concomitantly with PT in the majority of treatments (79%, n = 41/52), and surgery was performed for 87% (n = 45/52) of treatment episodes. Four minor adverse events related to PT were reported, representing 8% (n = 4/52) of treatment episodes.

  • PT for bone and joint infections has not been evaluated in any randomized controlled clinical study, and current administration modalities are highly variable between case reports and case series. While publications included here show potential benefit and few adverse effects, clinical trials are warranted to assess the efficacy of PT for bone and joint infections and determine optimal treatment modalities.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1148-1156. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210073

E. Carlos Rodríguez-Merchán and Inmaculada Moracia-Ochagavía

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) is a neuropathy due to compression of the posterior tibial nerve and its branches.

  • It is usually underdiagnosed and its aetiology is very diverse. In 20% of cases it is idiopathic.

  • There is no test that diagnoses it with certainty. The diagnosis is usually made by correlating clinical history, imaging tests, nerve conduction studies (NCSs) and electromyography (EMG).

  • A differential diagnosis should be made with plantar fasciitis, lumbosacral radiculopathy (especially S1 radiculopathy), rheumatologic diseases, metatarsal stress fractures and Morton’s neuroma.

  • Conservative management usually gives good results. It includes activity modification, administration of pain relief drugs, physical and rehabilitation medicine, and corticosteroid injections into the tarsal tunnel (to reduce oedema).

  • Abnormally slow nerve conduction through the posterior tibial nerve usually predicts failure of conservative treatment.

  • Indications for surgical treatment are failure of conservative treatment and clear identification of the cause of the entrapment. In these circumstances, the results are usually satisfactory. Surgical success rates vary from 44% to 96%.

  • Surgical treatment involves releasing the flexor retinaculum from its proximal attachment near the medial malleolus down to the sustentaculum tali. Ultrasound-guided tarsal tunnel release is possible.

  • A positive Tinel’s sign before surgery is a strong predictor of surgical relief after decompression.

  • Surgical treatment achieves the best results in young patients, those with a clear aetiology, a positive Tinel’s sign prior to surgery, a short history of symptoms, an early diagnosis and no previous ankle pathology.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1140-1147. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210031

Joshua B.V. Smith, Habeeb Bishi, Chao Wang, Vipin Asopa, Richard E. Field, and David H. Sochart

  • The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy and the inter- and intra-observer reliability of preoperative digital 2D templating in prosthesis size prediction for the planning of cemented or uncemented THA.

  • This study was registered in the NIHR PROSPERO database (ID: CRD42020216649) and conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. A search of electronic databases in March 2021 found 29 papers overall. The quality of evidence was assessed using the IHE Quality Appraisal of Case Series Studies Checklist and the CASP Randomised Controlled Trials Checklist. A meta-analysis was conducted, and the accuracy was presented as proportions and the inter- and intra-observer reliability were measured using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC).

  • Accuracy within one prosthesis size (±1) for cemented stems was 0.89 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83–0.95), cemented cups 0.78 (95% CI 0.67–0.89), uncemented stems 0.74 (95% CI 0.66–0.82) and uncemented cups 0.73 (95% CI 0.67–0.79) (test of group differences: p = 0.010). Inter-observer reliability (ICC) for uncemented cups was 0.88 (95% CI 0.85–0.91), uncemented stems 0.86 (95% CI 0.81–0.91), cemented stems 0.69 (95% CI 0.54–0.84) and cemented cups 0.68 (95% CI 0.55–0.81) (test of group differences: p = 0.004). Due to lack of data, intra-observer reliability (ICC) could only be calculated for uncemented prostheses, which for the stems was 0.90 (95% CI 0.88–0.92) and for the cups was 0.87 (95% CI 0.83–0.90) (test of group differences: p = 0.124).

  • The accuracy of preoperative digital templating is greater for cemented prostheses, but the inter-observer reliability is greater for uncemented prostheses. The intra-observer reliability showed a high level of agreement for uncemented prostheses.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:1020-1039. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.210048