JAAOS, Volume 21, No. 10

Intrinsic Contracture of the Hand: Diagnosis and Management

Intrinsic contracture of the hand may result from trauma, spasticity, ischemia, rheumatologic disorders, or iatrogenic causes. In severe cases, the hand assumes a posture with hyperflexed metacarpophalangeal joints and hyperextended proximal interphalangeal joints as the contracted interossei and lumbrical muscles deform the natural cascade of the fingers. Considerable disability may result because weakness in grip strength, difficulty with grasping larger objects, and troubles with maintenance of hygiene commonly encumber patients. Generally, the diagnosis is made via history and physical examination, but adjunctive imaging, rheumatologic testing, and electromyography may aid in determining the underlying cause or assessing the severity. Nonsurgical management may be appropriate in mild cases and consists of occupational therapy, orthoses, and botulinum toxin injections. The options for surgical management are diverse and dictated by the cause and severity of contracture.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Hand and Wrist

    Objective Structured Clinical Examinations: A Guide to Development and Implementation in Orthopaedic Residency

    Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) have been used extensively in medical schools and residency programs to evaluate various skills, including the six core competencies outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Orthopaedic surgery residency programs will be required by the ACGME to assess residents on core competencies in the Milestone Project. Thus, it is important that evaluations be made in a consistent, objective manner. Orthopaedic residency programs can also use simulation models in the examination to accurately and objectively assess residents' skills as they progress through training. The use of these models will become essential as resident work hours are decreased and opportunities to observe skills become more limited. In addition to providing a method to assess competency, OSCEs are a valuable tool for residents to develop and practice important clinical skills. Here, we describe a method for developing a successful OSCE for use in orthopaedic surgical resident training.

        Femoral Bone Loss in Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty: Evaluation and Management

        Primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) is one of the most effective procedures for managing end-stage hip arthritis. The burden of revision THA procedures is expected to increase along with the rise in number of primary THAs. The major indications for revision THA include instability, aseptic loosening, infection, osteolysis, wear-related complications, periprosthetic fracture, component malposition, and catastrophic implant fracture. Each of these conditions may be associated with mild or advanced bone loss. Careful patient evaluation and bone loss classification guide preoperative planning and overall patient care. Historically, uncemented fixation has provided the best results, but cemented fixation is required in some cases.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Adult Reconstruction

          Fatty Infiltration and Rotator Cuff Atrophy

          Moderate to severe fatty infiltration and rotator cuff atrophy are commonly associated with poor clinical outcomes and failed rotator cuff repair. Numerous animal and human studies have attempted to elucidate the etiology of fatty infiltration and rotator cuff atrophy. Mechanical detachment of the tendon in rotator cuff tears is primarily responsible. Suprascapular nerve injury may also play a role. CT, MRI, and ultrasonography are used to evaluate severity. The Goutallier staging system is most commonly used to evaluate fatty infiltration, and rotator cuff atrophy is measured using multiple techniques. The presence and severity of fatty infiltration have been associated with increasing age, tear size, degree of tendon retraction, number of tendons involved (ie, massive tears), suprascapular neuropathy, and traumatic tears. Fatty infiltration is irreversible and progressive if left untreated. Slight reversal of muscle atrophy has been noted after repair in some studies. Novel therapies are currently being evaluated that may eventually allow clinicians to alter the natural history and improve patient outcomes.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Shoulder and Elbow

            Minor Traumatic Brain Injury: A Primer for the Orthopaedic Surgeon

            Minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a major public health problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control label it a "silent epidemic." Subtle signs and symptoms of mTBI, including headache, fatigue, and memory loss, are often seen in conjunction with musculoskeletal trauma. Although sometimes evident immediately, mTBI may not manifest until patients return to work and their personal lives. In the patient with acute concurrent mTBI, skeletal management must be based on either a period of observation to rule out evolving neurologic symptoms or, when warranted, the recommendations of a neurosurgeon. Such input is particularly important when mTBI is associated with a prolonged loss of consciousness or posttraumatic amnesia. In the outpatient setting, when concern for mTBI exists weeks after an injury, familiarity with and referral to locally available mTBI specialists and programs can facilitate proper care. Armed with this knowledge, the orthopaedic surgeon has an opportunity to positively influence outcomes and help provide crucial care that extends beyond the management of musculoskeletal injuries.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Trauma

              Septic Arthritis of the Neonatal Hip: Acute Management and Late Reconstruction

              Septic arthritis of the hip in neonates is rare but can have devastating consequences. Presenting signs and symptoms may differ from those encountered in older children, which may result in diagnostic challenge or delay. Many risk factors predispose neonates to septic arthritis, including the presence of transphyseal vessels and invasive procedures. Bacterial infection of the joint occurs via hematogenous invasion, extension from an adjacent site, or direct inoculation. A strong correlation exists between younger age at presentation and severity of residual hip deformity. Diagnosis is based on clinical examination, laboratory markers, and ultrasound evaluation. Early management includes parenteral antibiotics and surgical drainage. Late-stage management options include femoral and pelvic osteotomies, trochanteric arthroplasty, arthrodesis, pelvic support procedures, and nonsurgical measures. Early diagnosis and management continues to be the most important prognostic factor for a favorable outcome in the neonate with septic arthritis.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Pediatric Orthopaedics