JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 8, No. 5


Basal joint arthritis of the thumb.

Thumb pain secondary to arthritis at the basal joint of the thumb is a common condition, especially in women, and can be quite disabling. An accurate diagnosis can be readily made from the history and examination. Radiographs are used to stage the severity of the arthritis. Splinting is the mainstay of conservative care. Reconstructive procedures for each stage of the disease are aimed at restoring thumb motion and strength. Partial or complete trapeziectomy with tendon interposition and ligament reconstruction to stabilize the metacarpal base is used for advanced disease. Secondary metacarpophalangeal joint hyper-extension deformity may need to be addressed. Surgery can reliably improve function and engender high patient satisfaction.

    • Keywords:
    • Female|Humans|Ligaments

    • Articular|Male|Osteoarthritis|Splints|Tendon Transfer|Thumb

    • Subspecialty:
    • Hand and Wrist

Cartilage tumors: evaluation and treatment.

The proper treatment of cartilaginous tumors is dependent on the clinicopathologic and radiologic findings. Enchondroma is a benign tumor that is usually asymptomatic and thus should be treated nonoperatively. Symptomatic enchondromas are often treated by intralesional excision. Intramedullary low-grade chondrosarcoma is a malignant tumor that is usually painful. The treatment of low-grade chondrosarcoma may range from intralesional excision with or without adjuvant therapy to wide excision. Although intralesional excisions have a higher bone and joint preservation rate than wide excisions, they may be associated with a higher local recurrence rate. Intermediate- and high-grade chondrosarcomas are treated with wide excisions. The treatment of these cartilaginous lesions should involve a multidisciplinary team including a musculoskeletal surgeon, a radiologist, and a pathologist.

    • Keywords:
    • Bone Neoplasms|Cartilage|Chondroma|Chondrosarcoma|Humans|Neoplasm Staging

    • Subspecialty:
    • General Orthopaedics

    • Musculoskeletal Oncology

    • Pain Management

Pathophysiology of infections after internal fixation of fractures.

Infection complicating internal fixation of fractures is a serious complication that is difficult to treat. Whenever metallic devices are implanted in vivo, successful biointegration requires that host cells colonize the highly reactive implant surface. Bacteria such as staphylococci can also become adherent to metallic or polymeric implants and will compete with host cells for colonization of the implant surface. Once adherent, these bacteria form a biofilm and undergo phenotypic changes that make them resistant to the normal host immune response as well as to antibiotics. Furthermore, metallic implants themselves cause specific deficits in the function of the local immune system that may render the host response to infection inadequate. Any associated soft-tissue injury causes even greater impairment of local immune function. Despite the potentially detrimental impact of internal fixation, fracture stability is of paramount importance in achieving fracture union and in preventing infection. It has been demonstrated in animal models that contaminated fractures without internal fixation develop clinical infection more commonly than similar fractures treated with internal fixation at the time of colonization. Because of the potential for infection whenever internal fixation is utilized, appropriate prophylactic antibiotic coverage for staphylococci and Gram-negative organisms should be provided. Open wounds and severely damaged soft tissues require aggressive management so that a viable soft-tissue envelope is maintained around the implant. Host factors such as smoking and malnourishment should be corrected. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment of implant-related infection with antibiotics, debridement, and maintenance of stable internal fixation are essential to successful treatment.

    • Keywords:
    • Animals|Antibiotic Prophylaxis|Bacterial Adhesion|Biofilms|Fracture Fixation

    • Internal|Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections|Humans|Prosthesis-Related Infections|Staphylococcal Infections|Surgical Wound Infection

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • General Orthopaedics

    • Basic Science

Thermal modification of connective tissues: basic science considerations and clinical implications.

Thermal modification (shrinkage) of capsular connective tissue has gained increasing popularity as an adjunctive or even a primary procedure in the arthroscopic treatment of shoulder instability. Although the physical effects of heat on collagenous tissues are well known, the long-term biologic fate of these shrunken tissues is still a matter of debate. The temperatures required to alter the molecular bonding of collagen and thus cause tissue shrinkage (65 degrees C to 70 degrees C) are also known to destroy cellular viability. Therefore, thermally modified tissues are devitalized and must undergo a biologic remodeling process. During this remodeling, the mechanical properties of the treated tissues are altered (decreased stiffness) and can be at risk for elongation if the postoperative rehabilitation regimen is too aggressive. Although anecdotal reports suggest that thermal capsular shrinkage does have a beneficial effect, the exact mechanism responsible for this clinical improvement has yet to be fully defined. The reported improvement could be due to the maintenance of initial capsular shrinkage, secondary fibroplasia and resultant thickening of the joint capsule, a loss of afferent sensory stimulation due to the destruction of sensory receptors, or a combination of all three. The clinical role for thermal modification of connective tissues has not yet been defined, but it appears that it may prove most useful as a stimulant for inducing a biologic repair response.

    • Keywords:
    • Animals|Collagen|Connective Tissue|Hot Temperature|Humans|Joint Capsule|Laser Therapy|Lasers|Radio Waves|Wound Healing

    • Subspecialty:
    • Shoulder and Elbow

    • Basic Science

Treatment strategies for acute fractures and nonunions of the proximal fifth metatarsal.

There are at least three distinct fracture patterns that occur in the proximal fifth metatarsal: tuberosity avulsion fractures, acute Jones fractures, and diaphyseal stress fractures. Each of these fracture patterns has its own mechanism of injury, location, treatment options, and prognosis regarding delayed union and nonunion. Tuberosity avulsion fractures are the most common in this region of the foot. The majority heal with symptomatic care in a hard-soled shoe. The true Jones fracture is an acute injury involving the fourth-fifth intermetatarsal facet. These injuries are best treated with non-weight-bearing cast immobilization for 6 to 8 weeks. The rate of successful union with this treatment has been reported to be between 72% and 93%. For the high-performance athlete with an acute Jones fracture, early intramedullary-screw fixation is an accepted treatment option. Nonacute diaphyseal stress fractures of the proximal fifth metatarsal and Jones fractures that develop into delayed unions and nonunions can both be managed with operative fixation with either closed axial intramedullary-screw fixation or autogenous corticocancellous grafting. Early results with the use of electrical stimulation are promising; however, prospective studies are needed to better define the role of this modality in managing these injuries.

    • Keywords:
    • Casts

    • Surgical|Fracture Fixation

    • Intramedullary|Fractures

    • Bone|Fractures

    • Stress|Fractures

    • Ununited|Humans|Metatarsal Bones|Shoes

    • Subspecialty:
    • Trauma

    • Foot and Ankle

Use of the pedicled latissimus muscle flap for upper-extremity reconstruction.

Tissue with a blood supply derived from a single constant vascular pedicle may be raised as a flap and rotated within the reach of its blood supply to cover and reconstruct a variety of complex wounds. The latissimus dorsi muscle makes an ideal pedicled flap because of its long neurovascular pedicle, large size, ease of mobilization, and expendability. It can be rotated, with or without overlying skin, to cover soft-tissue defects involving the shoulder, arm, and elbow, or it can be transferred as an innervated muscle to improve shoulder abduction as well as elbow flexion and extension. The major clinical applications of the pedicled latissimus dorsi muscle flap for upper-extremity reconstruction include use as a bipolar transfer to improve elbow flexion after trauma or brachial plexus injury and as a nonfunctioning myocutaneous transfer for coverage of nerves, bones, and joints after soft-tissue loss due to trauma, tumors, infection, or irradiation.

    • Keywords:
    • Adolescent|Adult|Arm|Elbow|Elbow Joint|Female|Humans|Male|Middle Aged|Reconstructive Surgical Procedures|Shoulder|Soft Tissue Injuries|Surgical Flaps

    • Subspecialty:
    • Shoulder and Elbow

Viscosupplementation: therapeutic mechanisms and clinical potential in osteoarthritis of the knee.

Viscosupplementation by means of intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid has been used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. The proposed mechanisms of action result from the physical properties of hyaluronic acid, as well as from its anti-inflammatory, anabolic, local analgesic, and chrondroprotective effects. Adverse reactions from hyaluronic acid injections into the knee occurred in 8.3% of the 336 patients treated in one study, but at a rate of less than 3% per injection. Reactions were almost always local and generally resolved over 1 to 2 days. Hyaluronic acid injections were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a medical device; thus, the level of efficacy demonstrated is less than might have been required for approval as a drug. Several studies have failed to show statistically significant benefit compared with placebo. Furthermore, the treatment is relatively expensive; the cost of the drug for a series of injections is more than $500 per knee. Therefore, widespread use of these agents should be limited until more convincing data on their efficacy are available from well-designed clinical trials.

    • Keywords:
    • Analgesics|Animals|Cartilage

    • Articular|Costs and Cost Analysis|Humans|Hyaluronic Acid|Injections

    • Intra-Articular|Osteoarthritis

    • Knee

    • Subspecialty:
    • Adult Reconstruction

    • Basic Science

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