Short-Term Outcomes Analysis in Pediatric Orthopaedics
James G. Wright, MD, MPH, FRCS(C); Robert B. Winter, MD

To The Editor:

I am writing in response to the recent Commentary entitled “The Fallacy of Short-Term Outcomes Analysis in Pediatric Orthopaedics” (81-A: 1499-1500, Oct. 1999), by Winter. The purpose of assessment is to determine the effect of treatment (or no treatment) on patients. Orthopaedic treatments are intended to (1) prolong life, as in patients with musculoskeletal oncology, (2) relieve concerns, as in patients with hip osteoarthritis, (3) restore function, as in patients with traumatic fractures, and (4) prevent future decline, as in infants with hip dislocation1. Patient-based assessments are most appropriate for the first three. Dr. Winter points out very appropriately that, in the latter case, in which the patient is young and asymptomatic, it would …

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