JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 14, No. 1


Closed fractures complicated by peripheral nerve injury.

Closed fractures may be complicated by associated peripheral nerve injury. However, because clinical information is limited, determining the best course of treatment is difficult. Most patients with closed fractures have a local nerve injury without nerve division; their prognosis for recovery is favorable. In the acute setting, immediate surgery is usually unwarranted because of the difficulty in accurately defining the severity and extent of nerve injury. When débridement of an open fracture or repair is not required, peripheral nerve injuries are best observed and the extremity treated with splinting and exercise to prevent loss of joint motion. Patients who fail to demonstrate signs of recovery at 6 months, either clinically or with electrodiagnostic testing, should undergo exploration to maximize the likelihood for return of function. When, during exploration, the nerve is in continuity, intraoperative measurement of nerve action potentials should be done. Measuring nerve action potentials will determine whether nerve grafting, local neurolysis, or excision of the injured segment, accompanied by primary repair, is the most appropriate treatment.

    • Keywords:
    • Algorithms|Fractures

    • Bone|Humans|Peripheral Nerves|Trauma

    • Nervous System

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

Diskography in the evaluation of low back pain.

Diskography is evolving to play a crucial role in the evaluation of axial low back pain, especially in regard to surgical decision making. Despite advances in other forms of imaging, diskography remains unique in that it is the only test that seeks to provoke a pain response during the study. It has been suggested that patients with axial low back pain who experience a concordant pain response during diskography are more likely to respond favorably to surgical intervention. However, the efficacy of using this potential correlation is dependent on the technical application and interpretation. The validity of diskography remains controversial, in part because postdiskography surgical outcomes have been inconsistent. Therefore, in select patients with recalcitrant back pain, diskography remains a second-line diagnostic modality that is used to clarify surgical indications. Despite well-defined guidelines, the technical aspects of diskography and its interpretation are still evolving.

    • Keywords:
    • Contrast Media|Humans|Intervertebral Disk|Low Back Pain|Spinal Diseases

    • Subspecialty:
    • Spine

High-energy tibial plateau fractures.

The severity of a tibial plateau fracture and the complexity of its treatment depend on the energy imparted to the limb. Low-energy injuries typically cause unilateral depression-type fractures, whereas high-energy injuries can lead to comminuted fractures with significant osseous, soft-tissue, and neurovascular injury. Evaluation includes appropriate radiographs and careful clinical assessment of the soft-tissue envelope. Treatment is directed at safeguarding tissue vascularity and emphasizes restoration of joint congruity and the mechanical axis of the limb. Temporary joint-spanning external fixation facilitates soft-tissue recovery, whereas minimally invasive techniques and anatomically contoured plates can limit damage to the soft tissues and provide stable fixation. Alternatively, the use of limited internal fixation and definitive external fixation can minimize soft-tissue disruption, avoid complications, and allow fracture union. Complications, including infection, loss of fixation, and malalignment, are best avoided by following these biologically respectful treatment principles.

    • Keywords:
    • Humans|Tibia|Tibial Fractures

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Basic Science

Knee bracing for unicompartmental osteoarthritis.

Unicompartmental osteoarthritis of the knee affects millions of individuals. Most nonsurgical management of this progressive disease is primarily directed at reducing inflammation and pain with medication. Evidence supports the clinical efficacy of bracing for managing osteoarthritis of the knee. In some patients, bracing significantly reduces pain, increases function, and reduces excessive loading to the damaged compartment. A variety of health and functional status instruments, as well as radiologic techniques and biomechanical investigations, has been used to evaluate the unloading capabilities of these braces. Although changes in angulation are relatively minimal, the braces have been shown to load share and thus reduce the stresses in the degenerated medial compartment of the knee.

    • Keywords:
    • Braces|Gait|Humans|Orthopedic Procedures|Osteoarthritis

    • Knee

    • Subspecialty:
    • Adult Reconstruction

Leg-length discrepancy after total hip arthroplasty.

Leg-length discrepancy after total hip arthroplasty can pose a substantial problem for the orthopaedic surgeon. Such discrepancy has been associated with complications including nerve palsy, low back pain, and abnormal gait. Careful preoperative measurement and assessment, as well as preoperative and postoperative patient education, are important factors in achieving an acceptable result. However, after total hip arthroplasty, equal leg length should not be guaranteed. Rather, the patient should be given a realistic assessment of what can reasonably be expected.

    • Keywords:
    • Arthroplasty

    • Replacement

    • Hip|Humans|Informed Consent|Leg Length Inequality|Patient Education as Topic|Trauma

    • Nervous System

    • Subspecialty:
    • Adult Reconstruction

Symptomatic os acromiale.

Os acromiale, the joining of the acromion to the scapular spine by fibrocartilaginous tissue rather than bone, is an anatomic variant that has been reported in approximately 8% of the population worldwide. It is more common in blacks and males than in whites and females. Although it is often an incidental finding, os acromiale has been identified as a contributor to shoulder impingement symptoms and rotator cuff tears. When nonsurgical management of a symptomatic os acromiale fails to relieve symptoms, surgical intervention is considered. Options include os acromiale excision, open reduction and internal fixation, and arthroscopic decompression. Excision usually is reserved for small to midsized fragments (preacromion) or after failed open reduction and internal fixation. Persistent deltoid dysfunction may result from excision of a large os acromiale. Open reduction and internal fixation preserves large fragments while maintaining deltoid function. Cannulated screw fixation has been shown to result in good union rates. Arthroscopic techniques have shown mixed results when used for treating impingement secondary to an unstable os acromiale. Associated rotator cuff tears may be addressed arthroscopically or through an open transacromial approach, followed by open reduction and internal fixation of the os acromiale.

    • Keywords:
    • Acromion|Female|Humans|Male|Musculoskeletal Abnormalities|Shoulder Joint

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Shoulder and Elbow

    • Spine

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