JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 16, No. 3


Complications of ankle fracture in patients with diabetes.

Ankle fractures in patients with diabetes mellitus have long been recognized as a challenge to practicing clinicians. Complications of impaired wound healing, infection, malunion, delayed union, nonunion, and Charcot arthropathy are prevalent in this patient population. Controversy exists as to whether diabetic ankle fractures are best treated noninvasively or by open reduction and internal fixation. Patients with diabetes are at significant risk for soft-tissue complications. In addition, diabetic ankle fractures heal, but significant delays in bone healing exist. Also, Charcot ankle arthropathy occurs more commonly in patients who were initially undiagnosed and had a delay in immobilization and in patients treated nonsurgically for displaced ankle fractures. Several techniques have been described to minimize complications associated with diabetic ankle fractures (eg, rigid external fixation, use of Kirschner wires or Steinmann pins to increase rigidity). Regardless of the specifics of treatment, adherence to the basic principles of preoperative planning, meticulous soft-tissue management, and attention to stable, rigid fixation with prolonged, protected immobilization are paramount in minimizing problems and yielding good functional outcomes.

    • Keywords:
    • Ankle Injuries|Diabetes Complications|Fracture Healing|Fractures

    • Bone|Humans|Wound Healing

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Foot and Ankle

Evidence-based orthopaedic surgery: what is evidence without the outcomes?

With the increased emphasis on evidence-based medicine in orthopaedics, the surgeon is faced with the challenge of evaluating the effectiveness of various treatment interventions. Health care authorities are also interested in measuring competing interventions, but out of concern for controlling costs. The success or failure of an intervention is often determined based on treatment outcomes. There are many outcomes measures available in the orthopaedic literature, and it is not uncommon for different measures to produce conflicting results. The orthopaedic surgeon must have the ability to accurately evaluate an outcomes measure to determine the value of a specific intervention. Similarly, selecting the appropriate outcomes measure for research or clinical purposes is an important decision that may have far-reaching implications on reimbursement and determining treatment success. To best select outcomes measures and to select the appropriate treatment for each patient, the orthopaedic surgeon needs to understand the recommended contents of a quality instrument, the difference between clinician-based and patient-reported outcomes, and how to evaluate outcomes reported in the literature.

    • Keywords:
    • Evidence-Based Medicine|Humans|Musculoskeletal Diseases|Orthopedic Procedures|Treatment Outcome

    • Subspecialty:
    • Clinical Practice Improvement

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion.

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) create intervertebral fusion by means of a posterior approach. Both techniques are useful in managing degenerative disk disease, severe instability, spondylolisthesis, deformity, and pseudarthrosis. Successful results have been reported with allograft, various cages (for interbody support), autograft, and recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2. Interbody fusion techniques may facilitate reduction and enhance fusion. The rationale for PLIF and TLIF is biomechanically sound. However, clinical outcomes of different anterior and posterior spinal fusion techniques tend to be similar. PLIF has a high complication rate (dural tear, 5.4% to 10%; neurologic injury, 9% to 16%). These findings, coupled with the versatility of TLIF throughout the entire lumbar spine, may make TLIF the ideal choice for an all-posterior interbody fusion.

    • Keywords:
    • Biomechanics|Humans|Lumbar Vertebrae|Spinal Fusion

    • Subspecialty:
    • Spine

    • Basic Science

Shoe modification and the use of orthoses in the treatment of foot and ankle pathology.

Shoe modification and foot orthoses can play an important role in the nonsurgical management of foot and ankle pathology. Therapeutic footwear may be used to treat patients with diabetes, arthritis, neurologic conditions, traumatic injuries, congenital deformities, and sports-related injuries. These modalities may improve patient gait and increase the level of ambulation. They also may be used to treat acute problems such as plantar fasciitis or metatarsalgia and as preventive tools in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Shoe selection is primarily based on the condition of the patient, the foot shape and type, and the patient's daily activities. Modifications include flares, which provide stability; extended shanks to reduce bending stresses; rocker soles to rock the foot from heel strike to toe-off; and relasting, or reshaping, shoes to accommodate deformities. The four main types of custom orthoses are the accommodative, which cushions and protects the foot; the semi-rigid, which cushions and protects as well as provides support, control, and weight redistribution; the rigid, which offers arch support; and the partial foot prosthesis, which addresses partial amputations and helps protect the foot.

    • Keywords:
    • Ankle|Foot|Humans|Musculoskeletal Diseases|Orthotic Devices|Shoes

    • Subspecialty:
    • Foot and Ankle

Thumb carpal metacarpal arthritis.

The thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint is the most common site of surgical reconstruction for osteoarthritis in the upper extremity. In patients older than age 75 years, thumb CMC osteoarthritis has a radiographic prevalence of 25% in men and 40% in women. The thumb CMC joint obtains its stability primarily through ligamentous support. A diagnosis of thumb CMC arthritis is based on symptoms of localized pain, tenderness and instability on physical examination, and radiographic evaluation. A reproducible radiographic classification for disease severity is based on the four-stage system described by Eaton. Nonsurgical treatment options include hand therapy, splinting, and injection. Surgical treatment is tailored to the extent of arthritic involvement and may include ligament reconstruction, metacarpal extension osteotomy, arthroscopic partial trapeziectomy, implant arthroplasty, and trapeziectomy with or without ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition.

    • Keywords:
    • Aged|Female|Hand Bones|Humans|Male|Osteoarthritis|Thumb

    • Subspecialty:
    • Hand and Wrist

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