JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 6, No. 5


Achilles tendon injuries.

As the number of persons who participate in athletic activity into their later years has increased, so has the incidence of overuse injuries to the Achilles tendon. The etiology of these problems is multifactorial and includes biomechanical factors and training errors. Use of a histopathologic scheme for classification of these injuries facilitates a logical approach to treatment. Conservative care is a mainstay of treatment for inflammatory conditions. Satisfactory outcomes may be obtained with either nonoperative or operative treatment of acute ruptures, although surgically treated patients appear to recover better functional capacity. Treatment of neglected injuries to the Achilles tendon continues to be a challenging problem.

    • Keywords:
    • Achilles Tendon|Athletic Injuries|Cumulative Trauma Disorders|Humans|Rupture|Tendon Injuries

    • Subspecialty:
    • Foot and Ankle

    • Sports Medicine

Compressive ulnar neuropathies at the elbow: I. Etiology and diagnosis.

Ulnar nerve compression at the elbow can occur at any of five sites that begin proximally at the arcade of Struthers and end distally where the nerve exits the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle in the forearm. Compression occurs most commonly at two sites-the epicondylar groove and the point where the nerve passes between the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle (i.e., the true cubital tunnel). The differential diagnosis of ulnar neuropathies at the elbow includes lesions that cause additional proximal or distal nerve compression and systemic metabolic disorders. A complete history and a thorough physical examination are essential first steps in establishing a correct diagnosis. Electrodiagnostic studies may be useful, especially when the site of compression cannot be determined by physical examination, when compression may be at multiple levels, and when there are systemic and metabolic problems.

    • Keywords:
    • Diagnosis

    • Differential|Elbow|Elbow Joint|Humans|Ulnar Nerve Compression Syndromes

    • Subspecialty:
    • Shoulder and Elbow

    • Hand and Wrist

Compressive ulnar neuropathies at the elbow: II. treatment.

Initial treatment of most compressive neuropathies at the elbow is nonoperative, consisting of rest, avoidance of elbow flexion, and, when necessary, temporary immobilization of the elbow and wrist. If symptoms persist, particularly when accompanied by muscle weakness, surgery is usually indicated. Operative procedures include decompression without transposition of the nerve (in situ or by means of medial epicondylectomy) and decompression with transposition of the nerve carried out in a subcutaneous, intramuscular, or submuscular fashion. The indications, advantages, disadvantages, and surgical technique of each operative procedure are discussed.

    • Keywords:
    • Decompression

    • Surgical|Elbow|Elbow Joint|Humans|Ulnar Nerve Compression Syndromes

    • Subspecialty:
    • Shoulder and Elbow

    • Hand and Wrist

Extremity fractures in the patient with a traumatic brain injury.

Extremity fractures are common in patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries are often inadequately treated and occasionally are completely missed due to the unique problems inherent to the TBI patient. However, appropriate evaluation of the TBI patient allows prompt diagnosis and optimal treatment of extremity fractures. The increased survival rate of these patients has resulted in a greater emphasis on minimizing dysfunction and disability, especially that due to concomitant orthopaedic trauma. Advances in anesthestic technique permit earlier operative fixation of extremity fractures. Most injuries, particularly those in the lower extremity, require operative stabilization to allow early mobilization and rehabilitation. Upper extremity fractures are often associated with peripheral nerve injuries. Heterotopic ossification is common, especially about the elbow and hip. Contrary to prevalent belief, fracture healing is not necessarily accelerated in the TBI patient; hypertrophic callus, myositis ossificans, and heterotopic ossification occur frequently and are often misperceived as accelerated healing.

    • Keywords:
    • Adult|Arm Injuries|Brain Injuries|Child|Fracture Fixation|Fracture Healing|Fractures

    • Bone|Humans|Leg Injuries|Peripheral Nerves

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Shoulder and Elbow

Symptomatic scapulothoracic crepitus and bursitis.

Scapulothoracic crepitus and scapulothoracic bursitis are related painful disorders of the scapulothoracic articulation. Scapulothoracic crepitus is the production of a grinding or snapping noise with scapulothoracic motion, which may be accompanied by pain. Scapulothoracic bursitis manifests as pain and swelling of the bursae of the scapulothoracic articulation. Scapulothoracic bursitis is always seen in patients with symptomatic scapulothoracic crepitus, but may exist as an isolated entity. Symptomatic scapulothoracic crepitus may be due to pathologic changes in the bone or soft tissue between the scapula and the chest wall or may be due to changes in congruence of the scapulothoracic articulation, as seen in scoliosis and thoracic kyphosis. Treatment of patients with symptomatic scapulothoracic crepitus begins with nonoperative methods, including postural and scapular strengthening exercises and the application of local modalities. When soft-tissue lesions are the cause of scapulothoracic crepitus, conservative treatment is highly effective. When symptomatic scapulothoracic crepitus is due to osseous lesions, or when conservative treatment has failed, surgical options are available. Partial scapulectomies have produced satisfactory outcomes in selected patients. Recently, open and arthroscopic scapulothoracic bursectomies have been performed with some success and are being used more frequently.

    • Keywords:
    • Bursitis|Humans|Scapula|Shoulder Joint|Shoulder Pain

    • Subspecialty:
    • Shoulder and Elbow

Tarsal coalition and painful flatfoot.

The prevalence of tarsal coalition is probably 1% or less. The two sites most commonly affected are the calcaneonavicular joint and the middle facet of the talocalcaneal joint. Diagnosis should be suspected in the preteen or teenage patient with insidious or sudden onset of pain in the midfoot to hindfoot associated with a lack of motion in the subtalar joint. Initial treatment with immobilization or an orthosis may relieve symptoms, but most patients will have persistent symptoms that warrant surgical correction. Long-term results indicate that excision of the coalition is moderately successful in relieving symptoms in the calcaneonavicular bar. Long-term success with excision of subtalar bars is less clear, although early relief of symptoms is usually possible.

    • Keywords:
    • Adolescent|Child|Child

    • Preschool|Female|Flatfoot|Foot Deformities

    • Congenital|Humans|Infant|Infant

    • Newborn|Male|Tarsal Bones

    • Subspecialty:
    • Foot and Ankle

    • Pediatric Orthopaedics

Total wrist arthroplasty.

Although arthroplasty is a well-established procedure for many joints, its use in the wrist is less common, and the indications are less well defined. The standard procedure for the painful arthritic wrist remains radiocarpal arthrodesis. However, as technology and surgical procedures improve, wrist arthroplasty is being used more frequently. The authors provide a brief history of total wrist arthroplasty and review the arthroplasties most commonly used in the United States. Results with total wrist implants, the complications related to arthroplasty, technical aspects of the procedure, and salvage options are also discussed.

    • Keywords:
    • Arthritis

    • Rheumatoid|Arthroplasty

    • Replacement|Humans|Joint Deformities

    • Acquired|Joint Prosthesis|Prosthesis Design|Wrist Joint

    • Subspecialty:
    • Hand and Wrist

    • Basic Science

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