Study Reveals Economic Benefit of ACL Surgery

200380540-001Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose has begun to  play basketball  for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee 1 ½ years ago. For Rose, the cost of not having surgery was clear — he is among the highest paid athletes in the world — but what does the average person have to lose?

For the first time, researchers have determined the economic benefit of having reconstructive ACL surgery, offering helpful information for the more than 200,000 people — often amateur athletes but including people of any age — who suffer ACL tears in the U.S. every year. The average lifetime benefit of having surgery is $50,000 per patient, and there is an estimated lifetime savings in the U.S. of $10.1 billion annually, according to a study published Oct. 2 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

The figures include direct costs, such as the price of surgery and rehabilitation, and indirect factors, including the ability to work, earnings and disability payments.

ACL reconstruction is the preferred cost-effective treatment strategy for ACL tears and yields reduced costs compared to rehabilitation alone once indirect cost factors are considered,” said Dr. Bernard Bach, one of the study’s authors and head of the division of sports medicine at Rush University Medical Center.

Read the entire news release.

Physician at Rush Named AAOS President

34jRmS8JZCVKFIkzY8MPTVJj79QTgeoS1c-2mboqldc,_Q35ZTorxY8eVP9xnJlrEm_fvl9Wt-hU4yUHXVxSW1ADr. Joshua Jacobs, a clinician, educator, researcher, and the chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center, was named the 81st president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) during the annual meeting in Chicago held on Thursday, March 21.

Jacobs is a board-certified and practicing adult reconstructive orthopedic surgeon who specializes in total joint replacement. He has been a leading researcher on the biocompatibility, wear and corrosion of implanted joint prostheses including the impact of metal-on-metal implants for joint replacement patients. Jacobs has presented his research extensively throughout the world and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, co-edited six books and co-authored more than 35 book chapters.

The AAOS president is selected by peer physician members of the academy. AAOS is the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopedic surgeons and others in the world and engages in health policy and advocacy activities on behalf of musculoskeletal patients and the profession of orthopedic surgery. AAOS serves more than 36,000 members worldwide.

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Orthopedic Experts at Rush Are First in the U.S. to Examine New Stem Cell Therapy for Damaged Knee Cartilage

Dr. Brian ColeOrthopedic experts at Rush University Medical Center are conducting the nation’s first clinical study of an innovative stem cell drug, Cartistem, to repair knee cartilage damaged by aging, trauma or degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Cartistem is manufactured from mesenchymal stem cells derived from allogeneic (donor) umbilical cord blood.  Umbilical cord blood is a readily accessible source of high-quality stem cells, is associated with minimal health risks and carries relatively few ethical concerns.

The stem cells are mixed with hyaluronan, a natural polymer that plays a major role in wound healing and is a building block of joint cartilage.  Cartistem is surgically administered into the area of cartilage damage following an arthroscopic surgery as an adjunct to microfracture, a commonly used technique used to repair cartilage damage.

The principal investigator on the study is Dr. Brian Cole, a professor in the department of orthopedics and anatomy and cell biology at Rush University Medical Center.  Dr. Cole is the head of Rush’s Cartilage Restoration Center and is also the head team physician for the Chicago Bulls.  Cole and his co-researchers will assess the drug’s safety as well as its ability to regenerate cartilage repair tissue and reduce pain in patients with localized cartilage loss in the knee.

Treating cartilage damage can be problematic because the tissue does not contain blood vessels or nerves and therefore has a limited ability to re-grow. Various treatments for cartilage degeneration, such as drug therapy, arthroscopy and joint replacement, yield mixed results and are unable to regenerate damaged tissue.

 The two-year, phase I/IIa study will enroll a total of 12 participants aged 18 years and older, with a body mass index of less than 35. Initially, six individuals with lesions sized 2 to 5 centimeters will be recruited into the study; an additional six volunteers with lesions larger than 5 centimeters will be enrolled sequentially. Each participant will undergo eligibility screening followed by a 12-month observation period to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug with an additional long-term follow-up evaluation at 24 months.

Read the entire news release.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries Increasing

Minimally invasive spine surgery at Rush using advanced imaging  allows patients to recover more quickly.

Minimally invasive spine surgery at Rush allows patients to recover more quickly.

With demand for unresolved back pain relief growing as the U.S. population ages, Rush University Medical Center is doing more minimally invasive spine surgery procedures that allow patients to return to normal, day-to-day activities faster than if they undergo conventional surgery.

Demand for this type of surgery is rising. In 2012, 534 patients underwent minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery through Rush’s Spine and Back Center, nearly a 19 percent increase over the previous year.

Unlike traditional open spinal surgery, minimally invasive lumbar spinal surgery is performed by neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons using small incisions that don’t produce as much damage to healthy tissue. Less blood is lost, patients have faster recovery times and with fewer complications. The procedures can range from repairing herniated (bulging) disks to reconstructing bones in the spine that have become misaligned due to spinal deformity.

Read the entire news release.

Return to Haiti: Jeff Mjaanes’ Blog

Dr. Jeff Mjaanes, orthopedic specialist at Rush University Medical Center, has returned to Haiti to help with ongoing disaster relief efforts and is blogging about his experience in the field. Mjaanes was part of a team of Rush doctors and nurses who volunteered to help with disaster relief efforts in Haiti in 2010 just after the earthquake hit.

Mjaanes has been having trouble getting Internet service during the day, but he just sent us an update and a few pictures.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at 8 p.m. CT: Went to another marginal community today on outskirts. Saw 200 people. Most of these folks have no access to health care for even basic needs.

Saw a 35 yo man who escaped a collapsing building during the quake. Jumped two floors to ground. Injured left knee – had surgery at the time – opened him and closed him, saying there’s nothing that could be done. Now he has bone on bone arthritis with avascular necrosis and needs a knee replacement. Four kids and a wife depend on him and he can’t work – all he wants is a normal knee and to work to provide for his family.

So many sad stories – but also many positive ones as well. We work with some fantastic Haitians who are dedicated to these communities and are helping us set up networks with local health care providers to provide for long-term help. Many amazing people … they are what makes this crazy world work!

Monday, October 15, 2012, at 7 a.m. CT: First full day in Haiti done. Lots of folks in tent city Jerusalem. Boy who has been beaten by father for poor grades, turns out he has amblyopia and can’t see. Needs glasses. We’ll get him some. It’s hot and humid but VERY rewarding! Tuesday, we’re off to a different community.