ASSERT (Acute Sacral inSufficiEncy fractuRe augmenTation) randomised controlled, feasibility in older people trial: a study protocol.

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ASSERT (Acute Sacral inSufficiEncy fractuRe augmenTation) randomised controlled, feasibility in older people trial: a study protocol.

BMJ Open. 2019 Jul 10;9(7):e032111

Authors: van Berkel D, Ong T, Drummond A, Hendrick P, Leighton P, Jones M, Salem K, Quraishi N, Brookes C, Suazo Di Paola A, Edwards S, Sahota O

INTRODUCTION: Pelvic fragility fractures (PFF) are common in older people and associated with a significant burden of mortality and morbidity. This is related to the challenges of appropriate pain control and early mobilisation. The current standard for treatment of PFF is non-surgical management. Minimally invasive surgical techniques for sacral fracture stabilisation have been shown to improve outcomes in terms of pain control and mobility, and they are safe. Randomised controlled trials are required before recommendations can be made for surgical management of PFF to become the new standard of care. This feasibility study will explore several uncertainties around conducting such a trial.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: ASSERT (Acute Sacral inSufficiEncy fractuRe augmenTation) is a single-site randomised controlled, parallel-arm, feasibility trial of surgical stabilisation versus non-surgical management of acute sacral fragility fractures in people aged 70 years and over. Patients will be randomised to either surgical or non-surgical group on a 1:1 ratio. Follow-up of participants will occur at 2, 4 and 12 weeks with safety data collected at 52 weeks. Primary objectives are to determine feasibility and design of a future trial, including outcomes on recruitment, adherence to randomisation and safety. This will be supplemented with a qualitative interview study of participants and clinicians. Secondary objectives will inform study design procedures to determine clinical and economic outcomes between groups, including scored questionnaires, analgesia requirements, resource use and quality of life data. Data analysis will be largely descriptive to inform outcomes and future sample size.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was granted by the North East Newcastle and North Tyneside 2 Research Ethics Committee (reference 18/NE/0212). ASSERT was approved and sponsored by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (reference 18HC001) and the Health Research Authority (reference IRAS 232791). Recruitment is ongoing. Results will be presented at relevant conferences and submitted to appropriate journals on study completion.

PMID: 31296516 [PubMed – in process]