A patient’s knee is one of the most common injuries a patient may sustain in the hospital.
When a patient falls, hits the wall, or is pushed against a wall, it’s not uncommon for that patient to have a fracture or an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
Wellspan orthopaedic surgeon Matt McInnis is trying to figure out why that’s the case, as well as the other orthopedically related injuries patients may have suffered at the hospital and the community.
The results will help to inform a lot of the new policies that will be in place when the state of Colorado begins accepting applications for state-funded orthopedical surgery programs later this year.
In the meantime, McInnes has been helping to track down the latest data on orthopedists across the state.
The first thing he found was that the number of orthopedist visits in Colorado jumped during the last six months of 2016.
“The number of visits for all surgeries increased by 30 percent, and that’s not even including visits for surgeries that are outpatient,” McInns told Ars.
“So, that’s more than a 50 percent increase.
I think the increase in visits is probably due to the fact that patients are going to be more willing to come in for a surgical procedure.”
McInners study also found that patients were less likely to have orthopedia related injuries during the year in Colorado than in any other state.
“We had a really high number of patients who were admitted to the hospital for the ACL injury,” McAs, the orthopedologist, said.
“That number is just astounding.
It’s pretty shocking.”
McAs was able to pinpoint the most-likely cause of the increase: The state began accepting more and more applications from hospitals, even those in rural areas.
That was partly because the state was taking on more and a lot more patients in rural and remote areas.
But the reason behind the spike in visits to orthopedias in rural communities was also a factor.
“There were definitely a lot fewer patients in these areas,” McAnson said.
He also noted that patients in those areas were likely less likely than others to be covered by insurance or have insurance.
And, of course, McAns work had no control over the number or type of patients a hospital had in its system.
“It’s just so difficult to tell what people are doing and how many people there are that are doing these things,” McIngnes said.
For patients who had orthopedies that were in a clinic, the biggest impact was having to travel long distances to get to a hospital, McAs said.
Because of that, he was able in part to determine that the hospital had the most people who were on Medicare and Medicaid who had a severe knee injury.
“You can’t get an accurate picture of the number, because we’re looking at a population,” McOns said.
But he did say that his research showed that most of the patients who went to the clinic had at least a year of experience.
“They had a lot less experience in the clinic than they did in the general population,” he said.
As for the rest of the ortho industry, he said he thought the industry would continue to see an increase in business as the number and type of ortho patients in the state increased.
“I’m sure they’re going to keep on growing, and the number is going to continue to grow,” McThess said.