Browsing articles from "January, 2015"


Jan 29, 2015   //   by Orrin Franko   //   Academic, All Apps, Clinical, Clinicians, Free, General Ortho, iPad Apps, Lower, Recent Reviews, Reference, Residents, Students, Study/Review, Top, Trauma, Upper  // 

High-quality case-based teaching tool for orthopedic trauma.

Overall: 5
Functionality: 5+
Coolness: 5

The ICUC app represents the future of surgical education.  Founded by orthopaedic surgeons and launched in 2014, the purpose of this app is to improve orthopaedic surgical education by sharing expert opinion on common cases through open and transparent commentary (  The app itself is very high quality and has an intuitive user interface.

The user begins by selecting a body region, divided by bones/joints of the upper or lower extremity.  At the time of this review, about half of the bones/joints had associated teaching files. Once an area is selected, the user is presented with a library of cases, reference cases, and expert opinions.

The ICUC Library includes continuous and complete registration of every surgical procedure performed by a group of selected surgeons during a registration period, with no possibility of changes of any type to the original data for different fracture patterns.  For this reason, there exist cases with and without errors. An overview page for each case includes the AO fracture classification, assessment of outcome, approach, and highlights.  The entire case can then be downloaded and reviewed.  The case is of very high quality and includes pre-operative imaging (XR and CT), intra-operative photographs, intra-operative fluoroscopy images, post-operative XR, and post-operative clinical function.  As an example of the level of detail, the proximal humerus case I reviewed had over 170 included images and commentary.  Of note, the comments are quite honest, and appropriately critical about imperfect techniques or non-ideal outcomes.  The amount of information here is extraordinary, with just the proximal humerus having 49 detailed cases.

The Reference Cases section includes animations representing approaches and treatment techniques.  These are usually in the form of an animation and clearly represent the theory behind treatment.

The Expert Opinion section includes recommendations for various parts of the procedure.  For example, in the proximal humerus they include X-ray tips, advice for retraction of the cephalic vein, recommendations to avoid drill-tip screws, drilling tips, etc.  These reflect the opinions of experienced leaders in the field.

The interface is easy to navigate.  When cases are selected and downloaded, they are stored in the “briefcase” for easy access and reference.  Cases can then be removed as well, if additional storage space is required.

Overall, this app represents an extraordinary advancement in surgical education and transparency.  The inclusion of a high volume of cases, combined with honest expert opinion, provides the opportunity for enhanced resident and surgeon education that is not limited by geographic barriers.  I recommend this app highly for all trainees and surgeons.

iPad Free Download


Mobile access to OrthoEvidence, including a reading list and full ACE reports

Overall: 5
Functionality: 5
Coolness: 4+

OrthoEvidence is a new app that complements existing subscriptions to the OrthoEvidence product.  For more information, please see  The premise of the platform is to provide “ACE” reports (Advanced Clinical Evidence Report) and improve evidence-based practice.  The app is an extension of the website and is very well designed and easy to use.

After logging in, the app has a home screen where recently added articles are populated in chronological order.  However, the menu allows for easy sorting by specialty as well.  When an article looks interesting to the reader, a quick “left swipe” allows for the option to add to reading list or add to favorites.  In this way, the user can easily scan new articles and select which ones should be saved for future review.  When ready to read, the reading and favorite lists are easy to access and list the selected articles. Impressively, the iPhone and iPad version sync with each other and selected readings on one device become available on the other (ie: select articles while “on the go” with your iPhone, but read them at a later time on your iPad). With one tap the ACE reports becomes immediately available.  For those who use OE, the ACE report has the same familiar appearance and includes links to the full text article (if available), a PubMed link, graphical representations of the Risk of Bias and Reporting score, and the synopsis and summary.  Added features include the ability to comment, rate the paper, and share via Facebook, Twitter, or Email.  The app also includes a robust search feature which includes a simple search (keyword) and advanced options (filter by date, score, bias, verification, or selected journals).  It is clear that the developers have taken every effort to create and intuitive, easy, and efficient app to complement their existing website.

iPhone Free Download
iPad Free Download