Understanding the Importance of Clinical Effectiveness

Clinical effectiveness measures care based on continued research and offering orthopaedic advanced treatment options that use innovative techniques and technologies that improve patient outcomes and evolve with medicine. This includes evaluating questions such as:

  • What is the value of musculoskeletal care to hospitals and patients?
  • Can bone strength lead to better surgical outcomes?
  • Does physical therapy benefit patients suffering from back pain?

Leveraging our strengths in data analytics, UChicago Medicine surgeon-scientists are exploring questions such as these to determine which techniques and procedures are most beneficial over the long term. With this knowledge, we seek to inform surgical decision-making-not only within our hospital but across the country. 

Recent discoveries in clinical effectiveness made by UChicago Medicine researchers include:

  • Anti-osteoporosis medications taken after a fragility fracture can reduce the risk of subsequent fracture by 44 percent over the following three years.
  • Shoulder dislocation surgery fails to reduce the risk of re-injury in patients over age 40.
  • Hyaluronic acid treatment, which accounts for a quarter of the expense for those treated for knee arthritis, provides no positive benefit.
  • Patients undergoing ACl — a costly, new procedure for knee cartilage reconstruction — are more likely to require a subsequent surgical procedure or total knee replacement than those undergoing microfracture, a less expensive and more common procedure.