JAAOS, Volume 23, No. 4

Prenatal Diagnosis of Musculoskeletal Conditions

Ultrasonography is a safe, cost-effective tool used to prenatally detect common musculoskeletal conditions, including clubfoot, skeletal dysplasias, limb-length discrepancies, spinal abnormalities, and hand and other upper extremity deformities. With increased detection of such abnormalities, prenatal parental counseling by orthopaedic surgeons is being requested more frequently. Counseling is important for family education on prognosis and treatment options. A thorough understanding of the common musculoskeletal conditions diagnosed on prenatal ultrasonography, classification of these conditions, and the correlations of these classifications to postnatal severity allows the orthopaedic surgeon to conduct well-informed counseling sessions with families. Accurate information and counseling aids parents in understanding their child's diagnosis, assists clinicians in planning treatment algorithms, and optimizes family preparedness.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Pediatric Orthopaedics

    Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

    Thoracic outlet syndrome is a well-described disorder caused by thoracic outlet compression of the brachial plexus and/or the subclavian vessels. Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome is the most common manifestation, presenting with pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and vasomotor changes of the upper extremity. Vascular complications of thoracic outlet syndrome are uncommon and include thromboembolic phenomena and swelling. The clinical presentation is highly variable, and no reproducible study exists to confirm the diagnosis; instead, the diagnosis is based on a physician's judgment after a meticulous history and physical examination. Both nonsurgical and surgical treatment methods are available for thoracic outlet syndrome. Whereas nonsurgical management appears to be effective in some persons, surgical treatment has been shown to provide predictable long-term cure rates for carefully selected patients. In addition, physicians who do not regularly treat patients with thoracic outlet syndrome may not have an accurate view of this disorder, its treatment, or the possible success rate of treatment.

        • Subspecialty:
        • General Orthopaedics

      Procedural Sedation in the Emergency Department

      Procedural sedation options in the emergency department now allow for more effective and safer care and facilitate the delivery of orthopaedic care that would otherwise require operating room anesthesia. Traditional sedation agents, such as nitrous oxide, midazolam, fentanyl, and ketamine, have a persistent role. Etomidate and propofol are relatively recent additions that are highly effective. Combination regimens, such as ketamine-midazolam and ketamine-propofol, may be superior because they benefit from synergistic traits. Despite these sedation regimens, use of local blocks in adults continues to be effective, and intranasal delivery in children has emerged as a viable option. Orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the appropriateness of different sedation regimens and other options for specific clinical scenarios.

          • Subspecialty:
          • General Orthopaedics

        External Beam Radiation Therapy for Orthopaedic Pathology

        External beam radiation therapy is essential in the management of a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions, both benign and malignant, including bony and soft-tissue sarcomas, metastatic tumors, pigmented villonodular synovitis, and heterotopic ossification. Radiation therapy, in combination with surgery, helps reduce the functional loss from cancer resections. Although the field of radiation therapy is firmly rooted in physics and radiation biology, its indications and delivery methods are rapidly evolving. External beam radiation therapy mainly comes in the form of four sources of radiotherapy: protons, photons, electrons, and neutrons. Each type of energy has a unique role in treating various pathologies; however, these energy types also have their own distinctive limitations and morbidities.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Musculoskeletal Oncology

          Management of Osteoporosis in Spine Surgery

          Osteoporosis is a burgeoning clinical problem that is characterized by decreased bone strength and density. It predisposes patients to fragility fractures and debilitating spine deformities. Several complications are associated with spine surgery in patients with osteoporosis, and there is currently no treatment algorithm to guide the spine surgeon. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment of patients with osteoporosis and spine deformity or fracture is encouraged, and preoperative planning is crucial for successful surgical outcomes. Several surgical techniques have been developed to treat osteoporosis-related deformities, including posterior instrumentation with fusion. However, achieving fixation and fusion in these patients can be difficult secondary to poor bone stock. Augmentation methods to improve pedicle screw fixation have evolved, including instrumentation at multiple levels, bioactive cement augmentation, and fenestrated or expandable pedicle screws, but their impact on clinical outcomes remains unknown. Management of osteoporosis in patients undergoing spine surgery is challenging, but with appropriate patient selection, medical optimization, and surgical techniques, these patients can experience pain relief, deformity correction, and improved function.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Spine