JAAOS, Volume 23, No. 1

Venous Thromboembolism in Orthopaedic Trauma

Patients who sustain orthopaedic trauma are at risk for developing deep venous thrombosis and symptomatic pulmonary emboli. The prevention of venous thromboembolism has moved to the forefront of patient safety initiatives, resulting in the formation of various guidelines to assist the practitioner. Recommendations for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in the orthopaedic trauma patient exist, but there is insufficient evidence in the literature to make strong recommendations regarding type and duration of prophylaxis. The associated morbidity of chemical anticoagulants used in the orthopaedic trauma patient must also be taken into consideration, specifically the increased risk of bleeding. Mechanical prophylaxis is used in place of, or in addition to, these medications in certain situations. New, potentially superior anticoagulants have been developed but are still understudied. Larger studies are needed to further define the type and duration of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in the orthopaedic trauma patient.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Trauma

    A Comparison of the Lateral Decubitus and Beach-chair Positions for Shoulder Surgery: Advantages and Complications

    Arthroscopic or open shoulder surgery can be performed using the lateral decubitus or beach-chair position. Advantages of the lateral decubitus position include better visualization and instrument access for certain procedures and decreased risk for cerebral hypoperfusion. Complications associated with this position include traction injuries, resulting in neurapraxia, thromboembolic events, difficulty with airway management, and the potential need to convert to an anterior open approach. One advantage of the beach-chair position is easier setup from a supine to upright position, which allows the surgeon the option to convert to an open procedure if necessary. Although rare, patients in this position may experience cerebral hypoperfusion and complications that range from cranial nerve injury to infarction. Other complications related to this position include cervical traction neurapraxia, blindness, and cardiac and embolic events. The surgeon must be cognizant of the complications associated with both positions and take extra care in the initial patient setup and coordination with the anesthesiologist to minimize the risk of complications and morbidity.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Shoulder and Elbow

      Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Bone and Joint Infections in Children

      Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has been a clinically significant pathogen in orthopaedics for more than a decade. Research shows that these infections are more virulent and that treatment requires greater use of hospital resources. A multidisciplinary approach involving emergency department physicians, radiologists, interventional radiologists, MRI technicians, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, anesthesiologists, and orthopaedic surgeons is necessary to optimize outcomes and minimize costs. Early use of MRI helps delineate the extent of infection, aids in the consideration of surgery, and provides valuable information for surgical planning. Healthcare providers need to stay vigilant during the course of the disease to detect other sites of infection or complications of methicillin-resistant S aureus, such as deep vein thrombosis and septic pulmonary emboli. Patients with infections near growth centers require long-term monitoring to ensure the absence of growth disturbances. Physicians should help educate patients and families on prevention strategies and be aware of guidelines for students to return to school and athletes to return to play.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Pediatric Orthopaedics

        Human and Other Mammalian Bite Injuries of the Hand: Evaluation and Management

        The hand is the most common site for bite injuries. Because of specific characteristics of hand anatomy, bite mechanics, and organisms found in human and animal saliva, even small wounds can lead to aggressive infections. Failure to recognize and treat hand bites can result in significant morbidity. Human and animal bites most commonly lead to polymicrobial bacterial infections with a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic organisms. Pasteurella species are commonly found in dog and cat bite wounds, and Eikenella is characteristic of human wounds. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and anaerobic bacterial species are common to all mammals. Although public health measures in developed countries have been highly effective at reducing rabies transmission, dog bites remain the most common source of rabies infection worldwide. Human bites can transmit HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C, especially when contaminated blood is exposed to an open wound. Appropriate management of any mammal bite requires recognition, early wound cleansing, evaluation of injured structures, and infection prophylaxis. Structural repair is performed as indicated by the severity and contamination of the injury, and wounds may require delayed closure. Wound infections typically require d�bridement, empiric antibiotics, and delayed repair or reconstruction.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Hand and Wrist

          Entrapment Neuropathy About the Foot and Ankle: An Update

          Occurrences of entrapment neuropathies of the lower extremity are relatively infrequent; therefore, these conditions may be underappreciated and difficult to diagnose. Understanding the anatomy of the peripheral nerves and their potential entrapment sites is essential. A detailed physical examination and judicious use of imaging modalities are also vital when establishing a diagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis is obtained, treatment is aimed at reducing external pressure, minimizing inflammation, correcting any causative foot and ankle deformities, and ultimately releasing any constrictive tissues.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Foot and Ankle

            Mimickers of Lumbar Radiculopathy

            Orthopaedic surgeons frequently treat patients who report pain that radiates from the back into the lower extremity. Although the most common etiology is either a herniated disk or spinal stenosis, a myriad of pathologies can mimic the symptoms of radiculopathy, resulting in differences in the clinical presentation and the workup. Therefore, the clinician must be able to distinguish the signs and symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy from pathologies that may have a similar presentation. Being cognizant of these other possible conditions enables the physician to consider a breadth of alternative diagnoses when a patient presents with radiating lower extremity pain.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Spine