JAAOS, Volume 20, No. 6

The Spine-injured Patient: Initial Assessment and Emergency Treatment

Failure to recognize spinal column or spinal cord injuries, or improper treatment of them, can have catastrophic and often irreversible neurologic consequences. Although the initial assessment is often shared with emergency care personnel, an orthopaedic surgeon's perspective can elevate the priority of spinal care to the level that is warranted. An accurate early appraisal, including complete neurologic assessment, is critical. All aspects of emergent care, including optimal immobilization precautions, resuscitation, and choice of imaging modalities, should be systematically reviewed, and practice guidelines should be adopted by each institution. Increased vigilance is required in patients with underlying ankylosing spinal conditions. The use of CT in the symptomatic patient is established, but the use of cervical MRI in the obtunded individual is contentious. By informing decisions around appropriate preliminary treatment, particularly for persons with neurologic deficits or those at high risk for developing neurologic impairment, long-term outcomes can be optimized.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Trauma

      • Spine

    Surgical Management of Hallux Rigidus

    Hallux rigidus is the most common degenerative joint pathology of the foot. Untreated, it may result in notable limitations in gait, activity level, and daily function. Positive outcomes can be achieved with nonsurgical management; surgery is recommended for the sufficiently symptomatic patient for whom nonsurgical measures are unsuccessful. Surgery is selected based on grade of involvement. Early to mid-stage hallux rigidus is best managed with cheilectomy or cheilectomy and proximal phalanx osteotomy. Arthrodesis and arthroplasty are reserved for late-stage hallux rigidus.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Foot and Ankle

      The Musculoskeletal Effects of Perioperative Smoking

      Although the carcinogenic consequences of smoking are well known, further research is needed on the effects of smoking on musculoskeletal health and surgical outcomes. Orthopaedic perioperative complications of smoking include impaired healing, increased infection, delayed and/or impaired fracture union and arthrodesis, and inferior arthroplasty outcomes. The incorporation of smoking cessation protocols such as transdermal patches, chewing gum, lozenges, inhalers, sprays, bupropion, and varenicline in the perioperative period may result in substantial benefits for patients' musculoskeletal and general health.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Basic Science

        Scapular Dyskinesis and Its Relation to Shoulder Injury

        The scapula plays a key role in nearly every aspect of normal shoulder function. Scapular dyskinesis�altered scapular positioning and motion�is found in association with most shoulder injuries. Basic science and clinical research findings have led to the identification of normal three-dimensional scapular kinematics in scapulohumeral rhythm and to abnormal kinematics in shoulder injury, the development of clinical methods of evaluating the scapula (eg, scapular assistance test, scapular retraction test), and the formulation of rehabilitation guidelines. Primary scapular presentations such as scapular winging and snapping should be managed with a protocol that is focused on the scapula. Persons with associated conditions such as shoulder impingement, rotator cuff disease, labral injury, clavicle fracture, acromioclavicular joint injury, and multidirectional instability should be evaluated for scapular dyskinesis and treated accordingly.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Sports Medicine

            • Shoulder and Elbow

          Flexor Tendon Sheath Infections of the Hand

          Flexor tendon sheath infections of the hand must be diagnosed and treated expeditiously to avoid poor clinical outcomes. Knowledge of the sheath's anatomy is essential for diagnosis and to help to guide treatment. The Kanavel cardinal signs are useful for differentiating conditions with similar presentations. Management of all but the earliest cases of pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis consists of intravenous antibiotics and surgical drainage of the sheath with open or closed irrigation. Closed irrigation may be continued postoperatively. Experimental data from an animal study have shown that local administration of antibiotics and/or corticosteroids can help lessen morbidity from the infection; however, additional research is required. Despite aggressive and prompt antibiotic therapy and surgical intervention, even otherwise healthy patients can expect some residual digital stiffness following flexor tendon sheath infection. Patients with medical comorbidities or those who present late with advanced infection can expect poorer outcomes, including severe digital stiffness or amputation.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Hand and Wrist

            Implantable Sensor Technology: From Research to Clinical Practice

            For decades, implantable sensors have been used in research to provide comprehensive understanding of the biomechanics of the human musculoskeletal system. These complex sensor systems have improved our understanding of the in vivo environment by yielding in vivo measurements of force, torque, pressure, and temperature. Historically, implants have been modified to be used as vehicles for sensors and telemetry systems. Recently, microfabrication and nanofabrication technology have sufficiently evolved that wireless, passive sensor systems can be incorporated into implants or tissue with minimal or no modification to the host implant. At the same time, sensor technology costs per unit have become less expensive, providing opportunities for use in daily clinical practice. Although diagnostic implantable sensors can be used clinically without significant increases in expense or surgical time, to date, orthopaedic smart implants have been used exclusively as research tools. These implantable sensors can facilitate personalized medicine by providing exquisitely accurate in vivo data unique to each patient.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Basic Science

              Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Manifestations and Management

              Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by a homozygous deletion in the SMN1 gene and is manifested by loss of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord. Classifications of the disorder are based on age of onset and the patient's level of function. Scoliosis and hip subluxation or dislocation are two musculoskeletal manifestations associated with SMA. Severity of scoliosis correlates with age at presentation. Bracing has been unsuccessful in halting curve progression and may interfere with respiratory effort. Early onset scoliosis associated with SMA has been successfully treated with growing rod constructs, and posterior spinal fusion can be used in older children. Hip subluxations and dislocations are best treated nonsurgically if the patient reports no pain because a high rate of recurrent dislocation has been reported with surgical intervention.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Pediatric Orthopaedics

                  • Spine

                Modern Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

                This Technology Overview was prepared using systematic review methodology and summarizes the findings of studies published as of July 15, 2011, on modern metal-on-metal hip implants. Analyses conducted on outcomes by two joint registries indicate that patients who receive metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty (THA) and hip resurfacing are at greater risk for revision than are patients who receive THA using a different bearing surface combination. Data from these registries also indicate that larger femoral head components have higher revision rates and risk of revision and that older age is associated with increased revision risks of large-head metal-on-metal THA. Several studies noted a correlation between suboptimal hip implant positioning and higher wear rates, local metal debris release, and consequent local tissue reactions to metal debris. In addition, several studies reported elevated serum metal ion concentrations in patients with metal-on-metal hip articulations, although the clinical significance of these elevated ion concentrations remains unknown.

                    • Subspecialty:
                    • Adult Reconstruction