Second Look

If you missed these Headline News Now items the first time around, AAOS Now gives you a second chance to review them. Headline News Now—the AAOS thrice-weekly, online update of news of interest to orthopaedic surgeons—brings you the latest on clinical, socioeconomic, and political issues, as well as important announcements from AAOS. Links to additional information are available online at

New classification system proposed for spinal deformity
A research team has proposed a new classification system for spinal deformity that defines spinal abnormalities in all patients, regardless of age. The researchers conducted a literature review to identify studies that evaluated neutral upright spinal alignment (NUSA) from the occiput to the pelvis in asymptomatic individuals. They selected 17 angles and displacements to depict neutral upright coronal and axial spinal alignment, and 21 angles and displacements to depict neutral upright sagittal spinal alignment. Researchers used the data to calculate pooled estimates of the mean and variance for the angles and displacements, and developed a new classification of spinal deformity based on age-dependent NUSA; spinal abnormality; deformity curve location, pattern, magnitude, and flexibility; and global spinal alignment. The system appeared in the September 2008 issue of the journal Neurosurgery.

Study examines link between alcoholism and osteoporosis among younger patients
Younger alcoholic patients without other diseases may be at increased risk of osteoporosis, according to the results of a study published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The cross-sectional study covered 57 noncirrhotic alcoholic patients (37 male, 20 female) aged 27 to 50 years. None of the patients was suffering from comorbid somatic diseases or taking medication known to have an influence on bone mineral density (BMD). The research team found that BMD was significantly reduced in the lumbar region and the proximal femur in male patients. Nine male patients and one female patient had low BMD. Overall, 75.7 percent of the men and 90 percent of the women had vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Alcohol-related factors and smoking were not associated with a significant effect on BMD. All of the women in the study group showed elevated estradiol levels, which the researchers propose may have served as a protective factor.

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