JAAOS, Volume 23, No. 6

Open Surgical Release for Contractures of the Elbow

Compared with arthroscopic release, open release is more commonly used for the treatment of stiff elbow. Flexion is recovered by releasing posterior tethering soft-tissue structures and by removing anterior impingement between the coronoid and/or radial head and the distal humerus. Extension is improved by releasing anterior soft-tissue tethers and by removing impingement between the olecranon tip and the olecranon fossa. Open elbow release is most commonly performed via ligament-sparing approaches. Ulnar nerve identification and transposition is recommended in the presence of nerve dysfunction or when correction of significant loss of elbow flexion is anticipated. Long-term improvement in flexion and extension can be expected with proper patient selection. Less predictable results are obtained in adolescent patients and in those with underlying traumatic brain injury.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Shoulder and Elbow

    Male and Female Differences in Musculoskeletal Disease

    Gender differences exist in the presentation of musculoskeletal disease, and recognition of the differences between men and women's burden of disease and response to treatment is key in optimizing care of orthopaedic patients. The role of structural anatomy differences, hormones, and genetics are factors to consider in the analysis of differential injury and arthritic patterns between genders.

        • Subspecialty:
        • General Orthopaedics

      Medial Epicondylitis: Evaluation and Management

      Medial epicondylitis, often referred to as "golfer's elbow," is a common pathology. Flexor-pronator tendon degeneration occurs with repetitive forced wrist extension and forearm supination during activities involving wrist flexion and forearm pronation. A staged process of pathologic change in the tendon can result in structural breakdown and irreparable fibrosis or calcification. Patients typically report persistent medial-sided elbow pain that is exacerbated by daily activities. Athletes may be particularly symptomatic during the late cocking or early acceleration phases of the throwing motion. Nonsurgical supportive care includes activity modification, NSAIDs, and corticosteroid injections. Once the acute symptomology is alleviated, focus is turned to flexor-pronator mass rehabilitation and injury prevention. Surgical treatment via open techniques is typically reserved for patients with persistent symptoms.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Sports Medicine

        Infection Prevention in Total Knee Arthroplasty

        Periprosthetic joint infections are devastating complications that are difficult and expensive to treat and have a substantial mortality rate. A major goal of modern joint arthroplasty is to minimize these infections. Preoperative factors associated with increased risk of infection include malnutrition, diabetes mellitus, obesity (body mass index >40 kg/m2), and rheumatoid arthritis. Administration of appropriate antibiotics before the surgical incision is made is essential to minimize infection. The use of laminar flow rooms, proper skin preparation, limiting operating room traffic, and the use of various wound closure techniques can help to decrease infection rates. Postoperatively, optimal management of indwelling urinary catheters, blood transfusions, and wound drainage also may decrease infection rates.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Adult Reconstruction

          Paralytic Ileus in the Orthopaedic Patient

          Paralytic ileus is marked by the cessation of bowel motility. This condition is a major clinical concern that may lead to severe patient morbidity in orthopaedic surgery and trauma patients. Ileus most commonly occurs following spinal surgery, traumatic injury, or lower extremity joint reconstruction, but it may also occur following minor orthopaedic procedures. Possible consequences of ileus include abdominal pain, malnutrition, prolonged hospital stay, hospital readmission, bowel perforation, and death. Therapies used in the treatment of ileus include minimization of opioids, early patient mobilization, pharmacologic intervention, and multidisciplinary care. Orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the clinical signs and symptoms of paralytic ileus and should understand treatment principles of this relatively common adverse event.

              • Subspecialty:
              • General Orthpaedics

            Replantation of the Upper Extremity: Current Concepts

            Replantation is the process of reattaching amputated parts. Relative indications for replantation in the upper extremity include amputation of the thumb or multiple digits as well as amputations proximal to zone II and pediatric finger amputations at any level. Preoperatively, the part should be sealed in a bag and placed on ice; maximum ischemia times are approximately 12 hours of warm and 24 hours of cold time for digits, with shorter times tolerated for amputations at more proximal levels. With multiple digit involvement, an assembly line approach is used in the operating room. Postoperatively, close attention must be paid to detect thrombosis because secondary ischemia times are shorter. Success rates vary; survival is predicted in part by the mechanism of injury, with sharp cut injuries having better outcomes. There is no consensus on appropriate postoperative anticoagulation, the number of vessels that must be anastomosed, or whether replantations should be centralized or performed in every hospital.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Hand and Wrist

              Atlantoaxial Rotatory Subluxation in Children

              Atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation is a rare condition in which patients present with the acute onset of torticollis. Atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation represents a spectrum of disease from muscle spasm to a fixed mechanical block to reduction of the atlantoaxial complex. If left untreated, some cases may resolve spontaneously; however, other cases may result in the development of secondary changes in the bony anatomy of the atlantoaxial joint, leading to persistent deformity. Diagnosis of the condition is largely clinical but can be aided by various imaging modalities, including radiographs, dynamic CT scanning, three-dimensional CT reconstructions, or MRI. Consideration should always be given to infection or other inflammatory disease as an underlying, precipitating cause. Treatments include observation, the use a cervical collar and analgesics, halter or skeletal traction, and posterior fusion of C1-C2. The most important factor for success of conservative treatment is the time from the onset of symptoms to recognition and the initiation of treatment.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Pediatric Orthopaedics