JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 22, No. 8


Management of Malunion of the Proximal Humerus: Current Concepts

Proximal humerus fractures remain one of the most common orthopaedic injuries, particularly in the elderly. Displaced fractures often require surgery, and management can be challenging because of comminution and poor bone quality. Despite advances in surgical technique and implant design, reoperation for malunion or nonunion of the tuberosity (arthroplasty) or screw penetration (open reduction and internal fixation) remains problematic. Recent studies have demonstrated acceptable results following nonsurgical management of displaced proximal humerus fractures in elderly, low-demand patients. In younger, more active patients, reduced function and pain that accompany select proximal humeral malunions are generally poorly tolerated. Surgical options for symptomatic, malunited tuberosities include osteotomy, tuberoplasty with rotator cuff repair and subacromial decompression, or decompression alone. Surgical neck malunion can be managed with corrective osteotomy and preservation of the native joint. Arthroplasty is reserved for complex malunions with joint incongruity. Surgical management of symptomatic proximal humeral malunion remains challenging, but good outcomes can be achieved with proper patient selection.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Shoulder and Elbow

    Periprosthetic Fractures Around Loose Femoral Components

    The development of periprosthetic fractures around loose femoral components can be a devastating event for patients who have undergone total hip arthroplasty (THA). As indications for THA expand in an aging population and to use in younger patients, these fractures are increasing in incidence. This review covers the epidemiology, risk factors, prevention, and clinical management of periprosthetic femoral fractures. Treatment principles and reconstructive options are discussed, along with outcomes and complications. Femoral revision with a long-stem prosthesis or a modular tapered stem is the mainstay of treatment and has demonstrated good outcomes in the literature. Other reconstruction options are available, depending on bone quality. Surgeons must have a sound understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of periprosthetic femoral fractures.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Adult Reconstruction

      Posterior Lumbar Fusion: Choice of Approach and Adjunct Techniques

      The choice among the many options of approach and adjunct techniques in planning a posterior lumbar fusion can be problematic. Debates remain as to whether solid fusion has an advantage over pseudarthrosis regarding long-term symptom deterioration and whether an instrumented or a noninstrumented approach will best serve clinically and/or cost effectively, particularly in elderly patients. Increased motion resulting in higher rates of nonunion and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been studied in animal models and are presumed risk factors, despite the lack of clinical investigation. Smoking is a proven risk factor for pseudarthrosis in both animal models and level III clinical studies. Recent long-term studies and image/clinical assessment of lumbar fusions and pseudarthrosis show that, although imaging remains a key area of difficulty in assessment, including an instrumented approach and a well-selected biologic adjunct, as well as achieving a solid fusion, all carry important long-term clinical advantages in avoiding revision surgery for nonunion.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Spine

        Posterosuperior Rotator Cuff Tears: Classification, Pattern Recognition, and Treatment

        The posterosuperior rotator cuff, composed of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons, is the most common site for full-thickness rotator cuff tears and represents a significant source of shoulder disability worldwide. Recognition of and classification of full-thickness tear patterns are essential in order to optimize surgical treatment and to improve prognosis. Until recently, tear patterns have been described using one- or two-dimensional classification systems. Three-dimensional pattern recognition is critical to achieving the most successful outcome possible. For more complex patterns, a combination of side-to-side stitching, margin convergence, and interval slide techniques may be needed to achieve a tension-free tendon-bone repair. Biomechanical and anatomic evidence supports the use of linked double-row repairs for most full-thickness tears. Although double-row repairs seem to result in improved structural outcomes, clinical evidence has not shown differences in outcomes scores between single-row and double-row repairs. Single-row repair may be performed in partial-thickness, small full-thickness, or very massive, immobile tears, whereas double-row repair may be performed in most other cases.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Shoulder and Elbow

          Subtle Cavus Foot: Diagnosis and Management

          The subtle cavovarus foot (SCF) is a mild malalignment caused by either primary hindfoot varus or a plantarflexed first ray, resulting in a typical constellation of symptoms because of altered foot mechanics. Key clinical signs are a peek-a-boo heel and a positive Coleman block test. The cavovarus position places lateral ankle soft-tissue structures, such as the anterior talofibular ligament and the peroneal tendons, on stretch during normal gait. This can lead to common conditions such as lateral ankle instability, peroneal tendon tears, and stress fractures of the lateral metatarsals and cuboid. The gait cycle is altered because a greater proportion of time is spent with the transverse tarsal joints locked due to the overall varus foot position. In contradistinction to physiologic valgus at heel strike, which maintains the transverse tarsal joints unlocked and affords approximately 50% force dissipation, the increased rigidity of the foot causes a maldistribution of forces that leads to accelerated wear of the midfoot joints and increased stresses along the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon insertion. Successful nonsurgical management requires correction of the biomechanical anomaly; surgical management of a subtle cavovarus foot typically is part of a comprehensive plan for correcting the symptoms and the malalignment.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Foot and Ankle

            The Use of Arthrography in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery

            Surgery near pediatric joints can be challenging because it is difficult to visualize vital articular structures. Assessment of underlying pathology is also challenging because the joint structures have not yet ossified. Arthrography is a useful tool that is quick and minimally invasive and allows adequate visualization of joint anatomy during surgery, which aids intraoperative decision making. In pediatric patients, arthrography is most useful for visualization of the elbow, knee, and hip joints. This tool can help the surgeon to refine the diagnosis and management of pediatric fractures and aids in surgical assessment during joint and limb reconstruction. Arthrography adds minimal time to surgery and carries a low risk of complications; it should be part of the armamentarium of any surgeon who treats pediatric orthopaedic patients.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Pediatric Orthopaedics

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