JAAOS, Volume 23, No. 11

Decellular Nerve Allografts

Multiple treatment options are available for patients who have peripheral nerve injuries with a gap. Decellular nerve allografts are one option and provide an extracellular scaffold for neuronal cells to migrate for axonal regrowth. Immunosuppression is not needed because improved nerve processing technologies have rendered decellular nerve allografts nonimmunogenic. These allografts have also shown promising results in both animal and human studies as an alternative repair option.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Spine

    Update on the Diagnosis and Management of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

    Spondylotic degeneration in the cervical spine may result in static and/or dynamic spinal cord compression that can lead to the associated signs and symptoms of myelopathy. Clinical examination combined with appropriate imaging studies help to confirm the diagnosis. Classic natural history and basic science studies suggest a pernicious course of demyelination and neurologic decline in a large subset of patients. The characterization of disease severity and progression in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy has improved in recent years with imaging and data from prospective and multicenter studies. Additionally, advances in surgical techniques, implants, and imaging modalities have improved the identification of surgical candidates with cervical spondylotic myelopathy and associated treatment strategies. Surgical treatment, via an anterior, posterior, or a combined approach, is primarily intended to arrest neurologic progression, although it can improve function in many patients. Alignment and the characteristics and location of spinal cord compression help determine the ideal surgical approach. Distinct complications associated with each technique may be mitigated by appropriate patient selection and should be discussed preoperatively to ensure informed decision making.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Spine

      High Ankle Sprains and Syndesmotic Injuries in Athletes

      Treatment of athletes with ligamentous injuries of the tibiofibular syndesmosis can be problematic. The paucity of historic data on this topic has resulted in a lack of clear guidelines to aid in imaging and diagnosing the injury, assessing injury severity, and making management decisions. In recent years, research on this topic has included an abundance of epidemiologic, clinical, and basic science investigations of syndesmotic injuries that are purely ligamentous or associated with ankle fracture. Several classification systems can be used to classify ligamentous injury to the syndesmosis. These systems integrate clinical and radiographic findings but do not address the location of the injury or its severity. Injury to the syndesmosis can be purely ligamentous; however, many unstable syndesmotic injuries are associated with fractures. Nonsurgical management can be used for stable ligamentous injuries without frank diastasis, but surgical management, including screw or suture-button fixation, is indicated for fractures with unstable syndesmotic injuries.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Sports Medicine

        Lyme Disease Presenting as a Spontaneous Knee Effusion

        Musculoskeletal complaints, which are frequently associated with Lyme disease, often prompt patients to see a physician. In particular, transient episodes of spontaneous knee effusion are common early in the progression of Lyme disease, and, if left untreated, 60% of patients diagnosed with the disease develop Lyme arthritis. This disease is easily treated with antibiotics; therefore, inclusion of Lyme disease in the differential diagnosis as a potential cause of a spontaneous knee effusion can prevent the development of more severe symptoms associated with the disease. However, the time required to receive test results and the inconsistencies between serum and synovial tests can complicate diagnosis of the disease.

            • Subspecialty:
            • General Orthpaedics

          External Fixation: Principles and Applications

          The modularity and ease of application of modern external fixation has expanded its potential use in the management of fractures and other musculoskeletal conditions. In fracture care, it can be used for provisional and definitive fixation. Short-term provisional applications include "damage control" and periarticular fracture fixation. The risk:benefit ratio of added stability needs to be assessed with each fixator. Soft-tissue management is critical during pin insertion to lessen the risk of loosening and infection. Although provisional fixation is safe for early conversion to definitive fixation, several factors affect the timing of definitive surgery, including the initial injury, external fixator stability, infection, and the physiologic state of the patient.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Trauma

              • General Orthopaedics

            Injuries of the Scapholunate Interosseous Ligament: An Update

            The scapholunate ligament is both a key ligament in the stability of the carpus and one of the most frequently injured. Thorough understanding of the anatomy, biomechanics, and pathophysiology of the wrist is important in treating injuries to the scapholunate ligament. The presentation of scapholunate instability often includes a vague injury history and pain with grip, wrist extension, and sport or labor. Identified injuries are classified based on dynamic and static radiographic findings, chronicity, and the presence or absence of arthrosis. Surgical options for the treatment of low- and high-grade injuries include both open and arthroscopic procedures and can be broadly classified into four categories: limited arthroscopic procedures, primary ligament repair, reconstructive procedures, and salvage procedures. No strong evidence currently supports any one treatment. Decision making is largely based on expert opinion and surgeon experience. Prognosis is often guarded, and patient expectations should be tempered.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Hand and Wrist

              Preventing Hospital Readmissions and Limiting the Complications Associated With Total Joint Arthroplasty

              Total joint arthroplasty is a highly successful surgical procedure for patients with painful arthritic joints. The increasing prevalence of the procedure is generating significant expenditures in the American healthcare system. Healthcare payers, specifically the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, currently target total joint arthroplasty as an area for healthcare cost-savings initiatives, resulting in increased scrutiny surrounding orthopaedic care, health resource utilization, and hospital readmissions. Identifying the complications associated with total hip and total knee arthroplasty that result in readmissions will be critically important for predictive modeling and for decreasing the number of readmissions following total joint arthroplasty. Additionally, improving perioperative optimization, providing seamless episodic care, and intensifying posthospital coordination of care may result in a decreasing number of unnecessary hospital readmissions. Identified modifiable risk factors that significantly contribute to poor clinical outcome following total joint arthroplasty include morbid obesity; poorly controlled diabetes and nutritional deficiencies; Staphylococcus aureus colonization; tobacco use; venous thromboembolic disease; cardiovascular disease; neurocognitive, psychological, and behavioral problems; and physical deconditioning and fall risk. Both clinical practice and research will be enhanced if there is standardization of defined total joint arthroplasty complications and utilization of stratification schemes to identify high-risk patients. Subsequently, clinical intervention would be warranted to address modifiable risk factors before proceeding with total joint arthroplasty.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Foot and Ankle