Some orthopedic tests are valuable. They can help determine the cause of pain or the reason for lost function. But other tests may not be so helpful.
Tests may be unnecessary, they may be misleading, or they may even lead to a potentially harmful treatment.
It's important to have the right test to guide proper treatment, but sometimes the right thing is not to have a test. Here are a 5 tests that may not be necessary....
Injections are among the most common treatments used in an orthopedists office. Injections can be used for arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and other conditions.
In order to ensure the injection is as effective as possible, it is important to ensure the injection is given in the proper location. If your doctor doesn't get the injection to the right spot, it may not work as well to relieve symptoms.
Using ultrasound to "guide" the injection is increasingly common, but is it necessary? Some doctors insist the injections should be given with ultrasound, while others believe it is a waster of money. Learn about the use of ultrasound to guide injections...
Well, according to a recent survey of hospitals throughout the United States, many don't know!
And those hospitals that could offer a price, offer from a range of just over $10,000, to well over $100,000. So why the discrepancy?
Most hospitals are used to dealing with insurance companies and Medicare, not consumers. Most hospitals don't think much about price competition for services. Therefore, charges are often arbitrary, and don't make much sense.
In this survey, a caller asked for the price of a hip replacement. She said on the phone that her grandmother needed a new hip, and was willing to pay out of pocket. She just wanted to know how much? Many hospitals couldn't provide an answer, and those that could provided quite a range.
The truth is, that there is little variation in what is done to perform a hip replacement. Some hospitals may have more cost associated with their service, but the differences should be minimal. But the differences in price were anything but minimal!
In order to control the cost of healthcare, there must be pressure to compete on price. That pressure cannot impact the quality of care, but there has never been any evidence to show that a hospital that charges 10 times the amount for a hip replacement does a better job.
Over time, I would guess that this information becomes more widespread, and consumers will be asked to pay attention to the price of the service they are being offered.
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Source: Price for a New Hip? Many Hospitals Are Stumped
ACL reconstruction surgery is often the best treatment for an ACL tear. When reconstructing the torn ligament, a new ligament needs to be made. Unfortunately, the ACL cannot be repaired, and therefore the reconstruction is the best option.
Surgeons have debated for decades about the best option for the ACL graft. Options include either using tissue from somewhere in your body (commonly the patellar tendon or hamstring tendon), or using tissue from a donor (cadaver tissue). Recent research has clearly shown that your own tissue is better. In fact, a recent analysis of all the best studies on this subject found patellar tendon autografts (your own tissue) had all of the following advantages when compared to donor graft:
- Less repeat ruptures (tears of the graft)
- Stronger ACL (less laxity)
- Improved knee function (measured by single-leg hop test)
- More satisfied patients
While there may be some reasons to perform ACL reconstruction with donor tissue, more evidence is pointing towards use of your own tissue.
Related: Safety of Donor Grafts
Source: Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Autograft Versus Allograft in Outcomes of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction