AO Trauma NA Resident Research 2021 awardees aiming for better patient outcomes

Explore the remarkable research being conducted by these grant winners

29 September 2021

Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Furdock, second-year resident at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Adam Kantor, third-year resident at the University of Utah, Dr. Jimmy Tat, fourth-year resident at University of Toronto, and Dr. Kempland Walley, second-year resident at Regents of the University of Michigan, for being recipients of the AO Trauma North America July 2021 Resident Research Award.

The AO Trauma North America Research Committee created and developed this award to fund worthwhile clinical and translational trauma-oriented research projects performed by residents.

Residents may develop their own project or work on a discrete component of an established investigator’s larger research endeavor. After the completion of the project, the PI submits a manuscript for publication in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma.

I hope that this research will lead to improved patient satisfaction and postoperative outcomes in a budget-neutral manner. I am inspired to do this type of research after conversations with my research mentor, Dr. Heather Vallier, as well as Joanne Fraifogl, Research Coordinator, and orthopedic trauma patients themselves.

My group has published on the benefits of psychosocial interventions in orthopedic trauma patients. We determined that our postoperative educational protocol could be easily integrated into existing psychosocial programming at our institution and potentially could enhance postoperative outcomes. In the future, I hope to see the standardized postoperative “teach back” educational protocol adopted at more trauma centers throughout the country.

AO NA’s support is allowing me to gain valuable experience in leading prospective research. I plan to carry the skills I am developing into the remainder of my residency, fellowship, and eventual career in academic orthopedics.

My study aims to allow orthopedic traumatologists to potentially identify individuals with a higher risk of nonunion and take measures during surgery to reduce their risk.

Long bone nonunions remain a difficult problem both for the patient and the orthopedic traumatologist. Though we have identified some factors that increase a patient’s risk of nonunion, we certainly do not have an explanation for all etiologies.

I am inspired to do this type of research due to the unique resource, the Utah Population Database, which provides catalogs of detailed data about their medical diagnoses and treatment. In the future, I hope we can identify families with the increased risk and potentially work to identify genetic markers for this risk factor.

AO North America is a wonderful partner for this study, as the study revolves around traumatic injuries and resulting nonunions.

My study aims to fill a current gap in knowledge and existing literature regarding the management of proximal humerus fractures (PHF) by comparing outcomes between patients treated with acute and delayed reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) in a large Canadian cohort.

Identifying whether a temporal association exists between surgical delay—to RTSA—and the development of complications necessitating reoperation will help better inform orthopedic surgeons in their management of this complex injury. I am utilizing a large administrative database from a 16-year period to examine the optimal time interval from PHF to RTSA before the risk of reoperation significantly increases.

With the help of the Resident Research Grant, I can fund the work of the Local Lead Analyst at IC/ES who is involved in the University of Toronto’s large population-based study utilizing administrative health data from Ontario, Canada. It is a tremendous honor to be a recipient of this grant.

Though there are bodies of literature that relate to this topic in orthopedics and other areas of medicine, the amount of clinical workload that precipitates a decline in trainee performance—and patient care delivery—is still uncertain.

I’m inspired to do this type of research because we, as orthopedic surgeons and trainees, all have an unrelenting passion and commitment to be better every day in how we deliver clinical care to our patients. We’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done. It is inspiring to study an area that may underscore the utility in safe, team-based healthcare delivery specific to orthopedic trauma.

I hope this study will motivate further discussion for residency program directors and traumatologists on best practices for encouraging shift changes amongst orthopedic surgeons to improve training and overall delivery of patient care.

AO North America serves as a catalyst to improve orthopedic care while promoting the public service and importance of translational research. 

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AO Trauma NA

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