JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 15, No. 10


Chronic whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders: an evidence-based approach.

Whiplash is neck pain experienced as a result of a motor vehicle collision or similar trauma. Following a motor vehicle collision, 15% to 40% of patients with acute neck pain develop chronic neck pain. The cervical facet joint is the most common source of chronic neck pain after whiplash injury, followed by disk pain. Some patients experience pain from both structures. Initial management recommendations need not be directed toward an exact structural cause, but treatment includes advising the patient to remain active, prescribing medications when necessary, and providing advice regarding the generally favorable outcome. When neck pain persists, the physician should recommend medial branch blocks of the dorsal rami of the spinal nerves that supply the putative painful facet joint or joints; this is done to determine whether the facet joints are the cause of pain. When significant relief occurs on two occasions, radiofrequency neurotomy typically provides substantial relief for approximately 8 to 12 months and can be repeated indefinitely as needed. Occasionally, long-term treatment with medication may be indicated. Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion is necessary on rare occasions.

    • Keywords:
    • Adult|Chronic Disease|Evidence-Based Medicine|Female|Humans|Neck Pain|Whiplash Injuries

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Clinical Practice Improvement

Extremity War Injuries: Development of Clinical Treatment Principles.

The AAOS/OTA Extremity War Injuries: Development of Clinical Treatment Principles symposium, held in January 2007, was a follow-up to the first Extremity War Injuries symposium held a year earlier. Discussion focused on four specific areas: prehospital management of extremity wounds, initial débridement, early stabilization, and postoperative wound management during air evacuation. Liberal emergency use of field tourniquets likely is contributing to lower overall mortality and is associated with very low rates of complications. Additional tools for extremity hemorrhage control, such as chitosan-based patches and granular zeolite hemostat, were postulated to be effective. Consensus opinion was that necrotic, devitalized, and contaminated tissue must be removed although objective assessment of completeness of initial débridement is difficult. Definitive open reduction and internal fixation for US and Coalition forces in the theater of operations should be limited to fracture patterns associated with significant perceived risk of delay in treatment. Finally, primary skin closure should be avoided in theater. In addition, because of the time and complications involved in transporting patients to level 4 care facilities, surgeons should consider release of compartments prior to patient transport whenever significant perceived potential for compartment syndrome is present.

    • Keywords:
    • Extremities|Humans|Military Medicine|Orthopedic Procedures|War

    • Subspecialty:
    • Clinical Practice Improvement

Fixation systems of greater trochanteric osteotomies: biomechanical and clinical outcomes.

The development of cerclage systems for fixation of greater trochanteric osteotomies has progressed from monofilament wires to multifilament cables to cable grip and cable plate systems. Cerclage wires and cables have various clinical indications, including fixation for fractures and for trochanteric osteotomy in hip arthroplasty. To achieve stable fixation and eventual union of the trochanteric osteotomy, the implant must counteract the destabilizing forces associated with pull of the peritrochanteric musculature. The material properties of cables and cable grip systems are superior to those of monofilament wires; however, potential complications with the use of cables include debris generation and third-body polyethylene wear. Nevertheless, the cable grip system provides the strongest fixation and results in lower rates of nonunion and trochanteric migration. Cable plate constructs show promise but require further clinical studies to validate their efficacy and safety.

    • Keywords:
    • Arthroplasty

    • Replacement

    • Hip|Biomechanics|Bone Wires|Equipment Failure|Femur|Humans|Internal Fixators|Orthopedic Fixation Devices|Osteotomy

    • Subspecialty:
    • Adult Reconstruction

    • Basic Science

Fractures of the greater tuberosity of the humerus.

Isolated fractures of the greater tuberosity of the humerus can occur in anterior shoulder dislocations or as the result of an impaction injury against the acromion or superior glenoid. Greater tuberosity fractures may be associated with partial-thickness rotator cuff tears and labral tears, which may be the cause of persistent pain after fracture healing. Nondisplaced and minimally displaced fractures are typically treated successfully nonsurgically. Surgical fixation is recommended for fractures with >5 mm of displacement in the general population or >3 mm of displacement in active patients involved in frequent overhead activity. Open surgical repair is performed with suture or screw fixation. Recently, arthroscopic techniques have produced promising results. Careful follow-up and supervised rehabilitation optimize results after both nonsurgical and surgical treatment.

    • Keywords:
    • Humans|Shoulder Fractures

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Shoulder and Elbow

Gout affecting the hand and wrist.

Tophaceous gout in the hand and wrist often presents de novo as the first sign of the disease process in the elderly. Tophaceous material may present in a liquid, pasty, or chalky/granular state. Treatment may be as simple as aspirating the liquid or squeezing out pasty tophaceous material. Other nonsurgical treatment options include lifestyle and dietary modifications and drug therapy. Surgery is often indicated for the patient with significant tendon and joint compromise as well as skin breakdown and for decompression of compressive peripheral neuropathy.

    • Keywords:
    • Gout|Hand Joints|Humans|Wrist Joint

    • Subspecialty:
    • Hand and Wrist

The use of free vascularized fibular grafts in skeletal reconstruction for bone tumors in children.

The reconstruction of large skeletal defects in children following resection of a bone tumor presents a unique challenge to the orthopaedic surgeon. Issues in this population that are not present in the adult population include significant remaining growth potential, the desire for biologic preservation of the joint surface, and the need for a long-term viable reconstruction in patients who are anticipated to survive for decades. The use of a free vascularized fibular graft, supplied by the peroneal vessels in intercalary fibular grafts and the anterior tibial vessels in proximal fibular grafts, has been shown to provide biologic reconstruction that successfully addresses these issues in the pediatric population. Specific techniques are applied in the upper and lower extremity to provide long-term excellent functional results. Experience in microvascular surgery and careful postoperative care are required for the success of these procedures.

    • Keywords:
    • Bone Neoplasms|Bone Transplantation|Child|Fibula|Humans|Reconstructive Surgical Procedures

    • Subspecialty:
    • Pediatric Orthopaedics

    • Musculoskeletal Oncology

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