New Outcome Measurement Tool Could Improve Arm Surgery for Devastating Nerve Injury

OrthoSuperSite—May 20, 2011

Investigators with Hospital for Special Surgery in New York have developed a novel tool to measure outcomes in brachial plexus surgery. The study was presented at the 2011 International Symposium on Brachial Plexus Surgery in Lisbon, Portugal.

“What we are doing is presenting this to the international community to get buy-in on the concept,” Scott W. Wolfe, MD, lead author on the study, stated in the release. “This is a first iteration, and we hope the group will respond favorably, but we’d like to get researchers and plexus surgeons from the far east, Europe, the United States and South America to work together to design a system that we all feel will function effectively for our patients.”

Following a study that revealed little in terms of standardization among the reported outcomes of traumatic nerve injury — and thus significant difficulty in the comparison of efficacy of different surgical treatments — Wolfe’s group set out to design a tool capable of facilitating this standardization and present it to an international audience.

“We had to take elements of different instruments as well as elements that we designed to derive a complete system,” Wolfe stated. “We’re studying an injury of several critical nerves, an injury that affects the arm in a way that is very different from a fracture or degenerative disease. We need to design an innovative way to analyze and report outcomes, because we’re simultaneously assessing nerve, muscle, and joint recovery.”

Read the full story at orthosupersite.com.

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