JAAOS, Volume 22, No. 11

Obesity, Orthopaedics, and Outcomes

Obesity, one of the most common health conditions, affects an ever-increasing percentage of orthopaedic patients. Obesity is also associated with other medical conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, metabolic syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. These comorbidities require specific preoperative and postoperative measures to improve outcomes in this patient population. Patients who are obese are at risk for increased perioperative complications; however, orthopaedic procedures may still offer notable pain relief and improved quality of life.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Basic Science

      • General Orthopaedics

    Applications of Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography in Pediatric Patients

    Ultrasonography is an excellent adjunct to other musculoskeletal imaging tools utilized in the pediatric population and in some instances offers advantages over CT and MRI. It permits dynamic examination of anatomic structures and assists in guiding minimally invasive procedures. In the lower extremity, ultrasonography assists in screening for such disorders as developmental dysplasia of the hip and in detecting slipped capital femoral epiphysis and femoral acetabular impingement. In the neonatal spine, ultrasonography can identify unossified vertebral arches. Among other applications in the upper extremity, ultrasonography may be used in the evaluation and examination of peripheral nerve injuries and is a preferred modality for imaging the shoulder in infants with neonatal brachial plexus palsy. It is also considered an optimal adjunct for administration of botulinum toxin-A in children with cerebral palsy. The portability, relative low cost, lack of radiation, and absence of known contraindications enhances the utility of ultrasonography in pediatric orthopaedics.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Pediatric Orthopaedics

      Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Wrist

      Presentation of ulnar nerve entrapment at the wrist varies based on differential anatomy and the site or sites of compression. Therefore, an understanding of the anatomy of the Guyon canal is essential for diagnosis in patients presenting with motor and/or sensory deficits in the hand. The etiologies of ulnar nerve compression include soft-tissue tumors; repetitive or acute trauma; the presence of anomalous muscles and fibrous bands; arthritic, synovial, endocrine, and metabolic conditions; and iatrogenic injury. In addition to a thorough history and physical examination, which includes motor, sensory, and vascular assessments, imaging and electrodiagnostic studies facilitate the diagnosis of ulnar nerve lesions at the wrist. Nonsurgical management is appropriate for a distal compression lesion caused by repetitive activity, but surgical decompression is indicated if symptoms persist or worsen over 2 to 4 months.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Hand and Wrist

        Calcific Tendinitis of the Rotator Cuff: Management Options

        Calcific tendinitis of the rotator cuff tendons is a common cause of shoulder pain in adults and typically presents as activity-related shoulder pain. It is thought to be an active, cell-mediated process, although the exact pathophysiology remains unclear. Nonsurgical management continues to be the mainstay of treatment; most patients improve with modalities such as oral anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. Several options are available for patients who fail nonsurgical treatment, including extracorporeal shock wave therapy, ultrasound-guided needle lavage, and surgical débridement. These modalities alleviate pain by eliminating the calcific deposit, and several recent studies have demonstrated success with the use of these treatment options. Surgical management options include arthroscopic procedures to remove calcific deposits and subacromial decompression; however, the role of subacromial decompression and repair of rotator cuff defects created by removing these deposits remains controversial.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Shoulder and Elbow

          Upper Cervical Spine Trauma

          Injuries to the upper cervical spine are potentially lethal; thus, full characterization of the injuries requires an accurate history and physical examination, and management requires an in-depth understanding of the radiographic projection of the craniocervical complex. Occipital condyle fractures may represent major ligament avulsions and may be highly unstable, requiring surgery. Craniocervical dissociation results from disruption of the primary osseoligamentous stabilizers between the occiput and C2. Dynamic fluoroscopy can differentiate the subtypes of craniocervical dissociation and help guide treatment. Management of atlas fractures is dictated by transverse alar ligament integrity. Atlantoaxial dislocations are rotated, translated, or distracted and are treated with a rigid cervical orthosis or fusion. Treatment of odontoid fractures is controversial and dictated by fracture characteristics, patient comorbidities, and radiographic findings. Hangman's fractures of the axis are rarely treated surgically, but atypical patterns and displaced fractures may cause neurologic injury and should be reduced and fused. Management of injuries to the craniocervical junction remains challenging, but good outcomes can be achieved with a comprehensive plan that consists of accurate and timely diagnosis and stabilization of the craniocervical junction.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Spine

            Complications of Tibial Eminence and Diaphyseal Fractures in Children: Prevention and Treatment

            Fractures of the tibial eminence and of the diaphyseal tibia are common pediatric orthopaedic injuries. Although most tibial fractures can be treated nonsurgically, those that require surgical intervention may encounter specific complications. Surgical treatment of fractures of the tibial eminence may be complicated by failed fixation, knee joint stiffness, and arthrofibrosis of the knee, a complication rarely seen in children but occurring most frequently after tibial eminence injuries. Complications of healing after tibial fractures in pediatric patients are uncommon, although some tibial shaft fractures exhibit delayed union or nonunion, infection, and soft-tissue complications.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Pediatric Orthopaedics

              Diagnosis and Management of Soft-tissue Masses

              Soft-tissue masses of the extremities are common entities encountered by nearly all providers of musculoskeletal patient care. Proper management of these lesions requires a specific process of evaluation. A detailed history and physical examination must be performed. Appropriate imaging studies must be obtained based on clinical indications. MRI is the imaging modality of choice for diagnosis of soft-tissue masses, with CT and ultrasonography used as secondary options. These modalities aid the clinician in developing an appropriate differential diagnosis and treatment plan. When the initial evaluation is inconclusive, biopsy must be performed. A diagnosis must be established before definitive treatment with surgical excision or, in rare cases, radiation therapy is performed. Clinicians without significant experience in treating soft-tissue masses should consider referral to a musculoskeletal oncologist for specialized care when a definitive diagnosis of a benign lesion cannot be made. Several studies have shown that multidisciplinary care in specialized referral centers optimizes outcomes and diminishes comorbid complications.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Musculoskeletal Oncology