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Factors Orthopaedic Surgeons Should Consider When Prescribing Opioids
Orthopaedic surgeons are the third-highest physician prescribers of opioids, writing more than 6 million prescriptions a year. Because over-dispensing of opioids is a factor contributing to the ongoing opioid epidemic, researchers at Johns Hopkins surveyed orthopaedic providers to better understand what drives their prescribing practices and to identify gaps in knowledge and potentially worrisome trends. In their survey of 127 orthopaedic providers in the Baltimore area, the Johns Hopkins researchers found that respondents frequently recommended prescribing a nine-day supply of around-the-clock oxycodone doses following commonly performed orthopaedic surgeries. The researchers also found that risk factors that might normally warrant prescribing fewer opioids, such as a history of drug misuse or depression, often did not diminish hypothetical prescribing rates.
The researchers published
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Hydrogel Offers Double Punch Against Orthopedic Bone Infections
Surgery prompted by automobile accidents, combat wounds, cancer treatment and other conditions can lead to bone infections that are difficult to treat and can delay healing until they are resolved. Now, researchers have a developed a double-duty hydrogel that both attacks the bacteria and encourages bone regrowth with a single application containing two active components.
The injectable hydrogel, which is a network of cross-linked polymer chains, contains the enzyme lysostaphin and the bone-regenerating protein BMP-2. In a new study using a small animal model, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology showed significant reduction in an infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus – a common infection in orthopedic surgery – along with regeneration within large bone defects.
“Treatment for bone infections now often requires two surgeries to both eliminate the infection and heal th
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First-Ever Successful Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Without Brain Implants
A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, has made a breakthrough in the field of noninvasive robotic device control. Using a noninvasive brain-computer interface (BCI), researchers have developed the first-ever successful mind-controlled robotic arm exhibiting the ability to continuously track and follow a computer cursor.
Being able to noninvasively control robotic devices using only thoughts will have broad applications, in particular benefiting the lives of paralyzed patients and those with movement disorders.
BCIs have been shown to achieve good performance for controlling robotic devices using only the signals sensed from brain implants. When robotic devices can be controlled with high precision, they can be used to complete a variety of daily tasks.
Until now, however, BCIs successful in controlling robotic arms h
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Scaffold Helps Cells Repair Torn Meniscus In Lab Tests
About a million times a year, Americans with a torn meniscus in their knee undergo surgery in hopes of a repair. Certain tears can’t be fixed or won’t heal well, and many patients later suffer osteoarthritis from the injury.
Scientists have tried developing scaffolds or structures from various materials, including plastic and textile fibers, to lay a foundation for new cells. In a paper published June 18 in the journal Scientific Reports, Duke scientists describe a more organic model -- a scaffold derived from a pig’s meniscus, which performed better in lab tests than healing without a scaffold.
“A partial meniscus removal is one of the most commonly performed orthopedic surgeries in the U.S.,” said Amy McNulty, Ph.D., an assistant professor in orthopedic surgery at Duke and senior author of the paper.
“The damaged tissue must be cut out because it’s causing pain or catching, but when