JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 2, No. 2


Acute Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis: Treatment Alternatives.

Acute slipped capital femoral epiphysis represents a unique type of proximal femoral epiphyseal instability. The potential for complications and unsatisfactory outcomes is high, especially due to avascular necrosis. A newly proposed classification based on epiphyseal stability provides a rational assessment of this acute physeal fracture. Improvements in imaging and fixation techniques have reduced the morbidity of this condition. Choice of treatment must be based on the surgeon's experience and expertise. Vigilance is particularly required in young patients with underlying endocrine or metabolic conditions that predispose them to bilateral hip involvement.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Trauma

    Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears: Factors Affecting Surgical Outcome.

    Eighty-five percent to 95% of patients who undergo primary surgical repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears have a significant decrease in shoulder pain and improvement in shoulder function. The results of surgery are dependent on the surgical technique, the extent of pathologic changes in the rotator cuff, and the postoperative rehabilitation protocol. Preoperative factors associated with a less favorable result are the size of the tear, the quality of the tissues, the presence of a chronic rupture of the long head of the biceps tendon, and the degree of preoperative shoulder weakness. Surgical factors associated with a less favorable result include inadequate acromioplasty, residual symptomatic acromioclavicular arthritis, inadequate rotator cuff tissue mobilization, deltoid detachment or denervation, and failure of rotator cuff healing. Clinical evaluation and preoperative imaging of the shoulder will improve patient selection and counseling. Meticulous surgical technique and postoperative rehabilitation will optimize the final result.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Trauma

        • Sports Medicine

        • Shoulder and Elbow

        • Pain Management

      Nerve Entrapment Syndromes in the Wrist.

      The patient with compression neuropathies of the median and ulnar nerves at the wrist commonly presents with pain, paresthesias, and weakness in the hand and digits. Diagnosis of these conditions is becoming more widespread with the increased attention given to "cumulative trauma disorders" during the past decade. Successful management requires a thorough understanding of the pathophysiology of compression neuropathy and how it relates to the various diagnostic tests available today. The authors review the epidemiology, etiology, and evaluation of compression neuropathy and discuss common clinical presentations, treatment recommendations, and controversies surrounding carpal and ulnar tunnel syndromes.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Hand and Wrist

          • Pain Management

          • Basic Science

        Nonreamed Intramedullary Nailing of Open Tibial Fractures.

        The development of small-diameter interlocking intramedullary nails that can be inserted without reaming provides a fixation option for open tibial-shaft fractures. Nonreamed intramedullary nailing of these injuries facilitates soft-tissue management without an increase in infection or nonunion rates relative to external fixation. Reaming is not required, which means less injury to the tibial endosteal blood supply. Proximal and distal interlocking maintains better bone alignment than is possible with semirigid or noninterlocking intramedullary nails. The technique of using these devices with static interlocking is described, as are some suggested techniques for avoiding complications.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Trauma

          Patellofemoral Pain Disorders: Evaluation and Management.

          Patellofemoral pain disorders can be difficult to diagnose. Careful attention to the history and physical examination is central to accurate diagnosis. Standardized office radiographs are sufficient in most cases. Computed tomography of the patellofemoral joint (precise midpatellar transverse images through the posterior femoral condyles with the knee at 15, 30, and 45 degrees of knee flexion) will provide valuable objective information regarding subtle abnormalities of patellar alignment. Magnetic resonance imaging and radionuclide scanning may be helpful in selected cases. By differentiating between rotational (tilt) and translational (subluxation) components of patellar malalignment, the clinician will be better able to prescribe appropriate treatment. It is also extremely important to localize and quantitate articular and retinacular abnormalities. While nonoperative treatment is usually successful, surgery is sometimes required. Lateral release will relieve tilt and associated pain in the lateral retinaculum. Realignment of the extensor mechanism, usually at the level of the tibial tubercle, is necessary to control lateral tracking (subluxation) of the patella. If there is lateral or distal medial articular damage related to chronic lateral tilt and/or subluxation, shift of the tibial tubercle will help to unload damaged cartilage while realigning the extensor mechanism.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Sports Medicine

              • Pain Management

            Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy of the Knee.

            Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) of the knee frequently does not present with the classic combination of signs and symptoms seen in the upper extremity. Pain out of proportion to the initial injury is the hallmark symptom. Symptom relief by sympathetic block is the current standard for confirmation of the diagnosis. Because invasive diagnostic procedures, such as arthroscopy, are likely to increase symptoms, evaluation with a noninvasive diagnostic modality, such as magnetic resonance imaging, is preferred. Generally, RSD should be treated before surgical intervention to correct any underlying intra-articular pathologic condition. However, surgery may sometimes be necessary before RSD symptoms resolve; in these cases, use of intra- and postoperative continuous epidural block can be successful. The initial treatment of RSD of short duration should be conservative; physical therapy modalities, including exercise and contrast baths, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are indicated. In the authors' experience, an indwelling epidural block using bupivacaine for several days followed by use of a narcotic agent, combined with functional rehabilitation, is the most effective management when noninvasive treatment has failed. Surgical sympathectomy can be successful, but should be reserved until repeated lumbar sympathetic block or more than one trial of inpatient epidural block has failed. Early diagnosis and early institution of treatment (prior to 6 months) are the most favorable prognostic indicators in the management of RSD.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Sports Medicine

                • Pain Management

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