Patient outcomes in orthopaedic trauma: how to evaluate if your treatment is really working
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Outcomes are critical to gauge the success of our treatments and, in particular, surgical interventions in orthopaedic trauma. Patient-reported outcomes have evolved to become the primary measurement of success in surgery. This article reviews the concepts relevant to understanding these outcomes including general health outcomes, extremity- and disease-specific outcomes, minimum clinically important difference, economic analysis of treatment cost/benefit, and the impact of psychosocial factors on outcomes. An understanding of these concepts is important to allow for effective interpretation and critical analysis of the literature as well as to facilitate the practice of evidence-based medicine.
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