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2020 Dec 17

Int J Orthop Trauma Nurs

The orthopaedic nurse practitioner: Breaking tradition to fill gaps in care delivery through varied scopes of practice.


Musculoskeletal conditions are the world's fourth largest burden of disease, accounting for more than 50% of chronic health conditions in the population aged >50 years (Briggs et al., 2016). This increasing burden is due to a progressively overweight, sedentary and ageing population and is often poorly recognised as a priority globally in an under-resourced health care system. This article reviews the current literature to identify where Orthopaedic Nurse Practitioners (ONPs) currently fill gaps in care delivery through varied scopes of practice in musculoskeletal trauma, degenerative disease, tumour and bone health. The varied scopes of practice include, fracture management, surgical assisting, performing surgical and/or advanced clinical procedures, prescribing treatment for bone health, conducting home visits and managing ONP led outpatient clinics. The article will outline current ONP roles in orthopaedic trauma, pain management fragility hip fractures, osteoporosis, bone and soft tissue sarcoma and surgical assisting which effectively address long waiting lists, gaps in care delivery and reduce costs currently being managed by the health care system.