JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 23, No. 9


Atypical Femur Fractures Associated With Diphosphonate Use

Osteoporosis-related fractures create a heavy economic and healthcare burden. Although diphosphonate medications have been successful at decreasing the risk of osteoporotic fragility fractures and have become staples in the treatment of osteoporosis, concerns have been raised about the association of diphosphonate therapy with spontaneous nonvertebral fractures. Diphosphonate fractures are characteristically transverse or slightly oblique in nature and occur in the lateral cortex, or tension side, of the subtrochanteric region of the femur where diffuse cortical thickening and fracture can be observed on radiographs. A multidisciplinary approach incorporating both medical and surgical teams should be used in the case of diphosphonate-associated fractures. Future medical and surgical developments that augment fracture fixation and counteract diphosphonate-associated osteoclast apoptosis may play a role in therapy. Although diphosphonate use has decreased the rate of osteoporosis-related fractures, increased awareness and association with atypical subtrochanteric fractures is an important concern for clinicians to keep in mind.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Trauma

      • General Orthopaedics

      • Basic Science

    Double Crush Syndrome

    Double crush syndrome is a distinct compression at two or more locations along the course of a peripheral nerve that can coexist and synergistically increase symptom intensity. In addition, dissatisfaction after treatment at one site may be the result of persistent pathology at another site along a peripheral nerve. Double crush syndrome is a controversial diagnosis; some scientists and surgeons believe it is an illness construction that may do more harm than good because it emphasizes an objective pathophysiologic explanation for unexplained symptoms, disability, and dissatisfaction that may be more psychosocially mediated. However, peripheral neuropathy may coexist with compressive neuropathy and contribute to suboptimal outcomes following nerve decompression. To better manage patients' expectations, treating practitioners should be aware of the possibility of concomitant cervical radiculopathy and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as the presence of underlying systemic neuropathy.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Foot and Ankle

      Granulomatous Vertebral Osteomyelitis: An Update

      A granulomatous infection of the spine is characterized by an infectious process within the spinal elements that results in the formation of a granuloma, an organized collection of transformed macrophages (ie, epithelioid cells), matrix, and other inflammatory cells. Causative organisms include various bacteria, fungi, or other parasites; however, the most frequently encountered causative organism is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (ie, Pott disease). The onset of these infections is often insidious, frequently leading to a delay in diagnosis. Left untreated, this disease process may lead to a compromise in the structural integrity of the spine and subsequent spinal deformity that may eventually result in compression of neural elements. Successful treatment of a granulomatous infection requires timely diagnosis, prompt medical management, and potential surgical intervention directed at the decompression of neural elements and the correction of spinal malalignment. Of granulomatous infections, tuberculous infections are the most thoroughly understood and serve as the standard to which other less commonly reported organisms are compared.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Spine

        Low Back Pain and Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

        Pregnancy has a profound effect on the human body, particularly the musculoskeletal system. Hormonal changes cause ligamentous joint laxity, weight gain, and a shift in the center of gravity that leads to lumbar spine hyperlordosis and anterior tilting of the pelvis. In addition, vascular changes may lead to compromised metabolic supply in the low back. The most common musculoskeletal complaints in pregnancy are low back pain and/or pelvic girdle pain. They can be diagnosed and differentiated from each other by history taking, clinical examination, provocative test maneuvers, and imaging. Management ranges from conservative and pharmacologic measures to surgical treatment. Depending on the situation, and given the unique challenges pregnancy places on the human body and the special consideration that must be given to the fetus, an orthopaedic surgeon and the obstetrician may have to develop a plan of care together regarding labor and delivery or when surgical interventions are indicated.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Spine

            • General Orthopaedics

          Nonsurgical Management of Early-onset Scoliosis

          Early-onset scoliosis is potentially fatal if left untreated. Although surgical management with growing instrumentation may be necessary, this is not a panacea and is associated with high complication rates. Recent evidence has demonstrated that nonsurgical treatment can be an effective early management strategy in delaying or even precluding the need for surgery, especially surgery with growing instrumentation. The goal of both nonsurgical and surgical management is to control or correct the spinal curve to allow appropriate pulmonary development while delaying definitive fusion until an appropriate skeletal age. Although more commonly used to delay surgery, serial cast correction using the Cotrel and Morel elongation-derotation-flexion technique may result in complete correction in patients with infantile idiopathic scoliosis and smaller curve magnitudes.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Pediatric Orthopaedics

              • Spine

            Pediatric Knee Dislocations and Physeal Fractures About the Knee

            Given the high incidence of vascular and neurologic injury associated with pediatric knee dislocations and displaced physeal injuries about the knee, a thorough understanding of the clinical and radiographic signs associated with these injuries, relevant anatomy, workup, reduction techniques, and surgical management is crucial. A higher incidence of these injuries in children is anticipated because of increased participation in high-energy activities that result in contact or collision during sports or recreation. Complications, such as vascular and nerve injuries and compartment syndrome, can be diagnosed early in the workup to prevent catastrophic outcomes. The clinical examination should include evaluation of the motor and sensory status of the limb, palpation of pulses, and measurement of ankle brachial indices. Radiographic examination should include plain radiography and supplemental advanced imaging, if indicated. Vascular imaging or expert consultation should be considered when the pulse or ankle brachial index is abnormal on clinical examination. Selection of nonsurgical or surgical treatment depends on the fracture pattern and stability.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Trauma

                • Pediatric Orthopaedics

              Perioperative Treatment of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

              Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease mediated by a widespread chronic systematic inflammatory process that causes joint deterioration, which leads to pain, disability, and poor quality of life. The increased use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs has been shown to markedly slow disease progression, which has translated into a decrease in the need for orthopaedic intervention in this population. However, a substantial percentage of patients with the disease fail optimal pharmacologic treatment and still require surgical intervention. A thorough understanding of medical considerations in these patients and improved knowledge of the medical complications caused by the disease process and the pharmacologic therapy used to treat it may lead to improved preoperative planning and medical clearance, which may ultimately improve the overall postoperative outcome.

                  Psychological Factors Affecting Rehabilitation and Outcomes Following Elective Orthopaedic Surgery

                  Orthopaedic surgery often requires many months of rehabilitation to achieve a successful outcome, regardless of subspecialty. Several important psychological factors strongly influence pain perceptions, rehabilitation compliance, and patient outcomes after common orthopaedic surgeries that require extensive rehabilitation, including total joint arthroplasty, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and spine surgery for degenerative disease. Early recognition of patients exhibiting psychological distress, fear-avoidance behavior, or poor perceived self-efficacy or pessimistic personality traits can be used to improve preoperative risk stratification for poor rehabilitation or surgical outcomes. Several intervention strategies exist to address these psychological factors when they appear to contribute suboptimal postoperative rehabilitation or recovery.

                      • Subspecialty:
                      • Sports Medicine

                      • Spine

                      • General Orthopaedics

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