JAAOS

JAAOS, Volume 26, No. 18


Intramedullary Nailing of Periarticular Fractures

Plate fixation has historically been the preferred surgical treatment method for periarticular fractures of the lower extremity. This trend has stemmed from difficulties with fracture reduction and concerns of inadequate fixation with intramedullary implants. However, the body of literature on management of periarticular fractures of the lower extremities has expanded in recent years, indicating that intramedullary nailing of distal femur, proximal tibia, and distal tibia fractures may be the preferred method of treatment in some cases. Intramedullary nailing reliably leads to excellent outcomes when performed for appropriate indications and when potential difficulties are recognized and addressed.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Trauma

    Pilon Fracture: Preventing Complications

    Fractures of the distal tibial plafond (ie, pilon) comprise a broad range of injury mechanisms, patient demographics, and soft-tissue and osseous lesions. Patients often present with considerably comminuted fracture patterns and notable soft-tissue compromise. Surgical intervention must be performed with respect for the exceedingly vulnerable soft-tissue envelope and with a properly executed technique. Even with proper timing, favorable host factors, and expert surgical technique, restoration of function and avoidance of complications are not always achievable. Recently validated techniques further diminish the risk of soft-tissue and osseous sepsis. These techniques include early (ie, “immediate”) fixation, upgrading, primary arthrodesis, staged sequential posterior and anterior fixation, acute shortening, and transsyndesmotic fibular plating. Proper application of these recently adopted techniques may be instrumental in achieving aseptic union of pilon fractures.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Ankle

        • Trauma

        • Foot and Ankle

      Minimally Invasive Plate Osteosynthesis of Humeral Shaft Fractures: Current State of the Art

      Most closed humeral shaft fractures can be successfully managed nonsurgically. However, fractures for which closed treatment is unsuccessful are stabilized using either plates or intramedullary nails. There are shortcomings associated with each technique, including the potential complications of nonunion, infection, shoulder pain, and radial nerve injury. Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO), an innovative alternative treatment, is gaining in popularity. This technique is based on the anterior humeral shaft providing a relatively safe surface for plate application, and limited open exposures proximally and distally allow percutaneous insertion of the necessary implant. More than 40 articles have been published regarding MIPO, and it compares favorably to other available forms of treatment with excellent functional outcomes and a lower rate of iatrogenic radial nerve injury. Larger randomized controlled trials comparing this method with other accepted techniques, including nonsurgical management, are necessary to better define the role of MIPO in the management of humeral shaft fractures.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Trauma

          • Shoulder and Elbow

        Knee Pain After Intramedullary Nailing of Tibia Fractures: Prevalence, Etiology, and Treatment

        Intramedullary nailing is often the treatment of choice for fractures of the tibia, but postoperative knee pain is common after this procedure. Potential etiologies include implant prominence, injury to intra-articular structures, patellar tendon or fat pad injury, damage to the infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve, and altered biomechanics. Depending on the etiology, described treatment options include observation, implant removal, assessment and treatment of injured intra-articular structures, and selective denervation. Careful attention to appropriate starting point and implant selection combined with more recently described semiextended nailing techniques may aid in prevention of knee pain.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Trauma

            • Foot and Ankle

          Trends in All-terrain Vehicle Injuries From 2000 to 2015 and the Effect of Targeted Public Safety Campaigns

          Introduction: All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) represent a notable portion of orthopaedic injuries presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. Public awareness campaigns have targeted these injuries, and this study sought to examine the effect of the 2007 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons public safety campaign on ATV use.

          Methods: The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was used to obtain national estimates of ATV and dirt bike injuries for the years 2000 to 2015. ED visits resulting from ATV injuries and dirt bike injuries were identified using NEISS product codes (ie, 3285-3287, 3296, and 5036). Patient demographics, injury-related data, and total annual case numbers were estimated. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used for comparative analyses as appropriate. All statistical analyses were performed using SAS statistical software v.9.4 (SAS Institute). Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05 a priori.

          Results: Beginning in 2000, the incidence of ATV injuries consistently increased over time and peaked in 2007 (54.1/100,000 people). Since 2007, the incidence of ATV injuries has consistently decreased (33.7/100,000 people in 2015). The frequency of ATV injuries differed significantly (P < 0.001) by age group, with children aged 14 to 17 years experiencing the highest incidence of ATV injury (2.8× national average). ATV injuries were also more common in males (2.7× national average; P < 0.001). The most common injuries were contusions and abrasions (25.3%), fractures (24.5%), and lacerations (11.4%). The decreased rate of ATV injury beginning in 2007 did not differ significantly (P = 0.81) from a comparative decrease in dirt bike–related injuries.

          Discussion: This study provides the most current data on ATV injuries presenting to EDs in the United States. The rate of ATV-related injuries has steadily decreased since 2007, which corresponds to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons public awareness campaign. However, the reasons for this decrease are likely multifactorial. Children aged 14 to 17 years are at high risk of ATV-related injuries, with orthopaedic injuries accounting for a notable proportion.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Trauma

            Assessment of Bone Healing During Antegrade Intramedullary Rod Femur Lengthening Using Radiographic Pixel Density

            Introduction: Premature full weight bearing after femur lengthening can lead to implant failure, telescopic nail shortening, and regenerate fracture. This study aimed at performing a retrospective analysis of the correlation between pixel density ratio (PDR) calculations and clinical readiness for weight bearing in patients undergoing intramedullary nail–mediated femoral distraction osteogenesis.

            Methods: Thirty-two patients who underwent antegrade femur lengthening were included in this study. The PDR was calculated on femur radiographs in a picture archiving and communication system for each cortex (ie, medial, lateral, anterior, and posterior) at each postoperative visit. These values were then correlated with subjective evaluation of bone healing by the treating physician with expertise in bone lengthening.

            Results: Bone regenerate healing was clinically declared by the treating surgeons (S.R.R. and A.T.F.) at a mean of 8.5 weeks (range, 4 to 18 weeks). No implant failure, nail shortening, or regenerate fracture was observed. The overall mean PDR corresponding to clinical bone healing was 0.90, which was significantly (P < 0.001) greater than the mean value at the previous visit (0.82), when the bone was not clinically declared to be healed. The PDR increased in all cortices at all postoperative visits.

            Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that there may be a correlation between the PDR and clinical bone healing. This observational pilot study should be followed by additional studies to understand the relationship between the PDR and bony union.

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