JAAOS, Volume 24, No. 12

Evaluation and Treatment of Lumbar Facet Cysts

Lumbar facet cysts are a rare but increasingly common cause of symptomatic nerve root compression and can lead to radiculopathy, neurogenic claudication, and cauda equina syndrome. The cysts arise from the zygapophyseal joints of the lumbar spine and commonly demonstrate synovial herniation with mucinous degeneration of the facet joint capsule. Lumbar facet cysts are most common at the L4-L5 level and often are associated with spondylosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Advanced imaging studies have increased diagnosis of the cysts; however, optimal treatment of the cysts remains controversial. First-line treatment is nonsurgical management consisting of oral NSAIDs, physical therapy, bracing, epidural steroid injections, and/or cyst aspiration. Given the high rate of recurrence and the relatively low satisfaction with nonsurgical management, surgical options, including hemilaminectomy or laminotomy to excise the cyst and decompress the neural elements, are typically performed. Recent studies suggest that segmental fusion of the involved levels may decrease the risks of cyst recurrence and radiculopathy.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Spine

    Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: How Is It Classified?

    The prevalence of lumbar spinal stenosis is approximately 9.3%, with people most commonly affected in the sixth or seventh decade of life. Patients often have pain, cramping, and weakness in their legs that is worsened with standing and walking. Although the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial clearly demonstrated that surgery improves health-related quality of life, treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis varies widely from the type of decompression performed to the need for fusion. This variability can be attributed largely to the lack of an accepted classification system. A good classification system serves as a common language to define the severity of a condition, guide treatment, and facilitate clinical research.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Spine

      Biologic and Synthetic Grafts in the Reconstruction of Large to Massive Rotator Cuff Tears

      Rotator cuff injuries are common in both young and elderly patients. Despite improvements in instrumentation and surgical techniques, the failure rates following tendon reconstruction remain unacceptably high. To improve outcomes, graft patches have been developed to provide mechanical strength and to furnish a scaffold for biologic growth across the delicate tendon-bone junction. Although no patch effectively re-creates the structured, highly organized system of prenatal tendon development, augmenting rotator cuff repair may help restore native tendon-to-bone attachment while reproducing the mechanical and biologic properties of native tendon. An understanding of biologically and synthetically derived grafts, along with knowledge of the preliminary data available regarding their combined use with growth factors and stem cells, is needed to improve management and treatment outcomes. The current literature has not been consistent in showing patch augmentation to be beneficial over traditional repair, but novel scaffolding materials may help facilitate rotator cuff tendon repair that is histologically and biomechanically comparable to native tendon.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Shoulder and Elbow

        Diagnosis, Treatment, and Return to Play for Four Common Sports Injuries of the Hand and Wrist

        Hand and wrist injuries in the high-level athlete are challenging because they may be underestimated by the patient, family, and team, and return to play may be longer than desired. The needs of the player and the team must be balanced with the long-term functional ramifications of the injury. Four common soft-tissue sports injuries are flexor digitorum profundus avulsion, flexor pulley rupture, extensor carpi ulnaris dislocation, and thumb metacarpophalangeal joint ulnar collateral ligament injury. For each of these injuries, the assessment, treatment, and considerations for return to play should be individualized on the basis of the patient, the sport, and the timing of the injury.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Hand and Wrist

          Patellar Tendinopathy: Diagnosis and Treatment

          Patellar tendinopathy is a common cause of pain in athletes' knees. Historically, it has been related to jumping sports, such as volleyball and basketball. Repetitive jumping generates a considerable load of energy in the extensor mechanism, leading to symptoms. The main pathophysiologic phenomenon in patellar tendinopathy is tendinosis, which is a degenerative disorder rather than an inflammatory disorder; therefore, the other popular term for this disease, tendinitis, is not appropriate. The nonsurgical treatment of patellar tendinopathy is focused on eccentric exercises and often has good results. Other experimental options, with variable levels of evidence, are available for recalcitrant cases. Surgical treatment is indicated for cases that are refractory to nonsurgical treatment. Open or arthroscopic surgery can be performed; the two methods are comparable, but arthroscopic surgery results in a faster recovery time.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Sports Medicine

            Concussion in Sports: What Do Orthopaedic Surgeons Need to Know?

            A concussion is a relatively common sports-related injury that affects athletes of all ages. Although orthopaedic surgeons are not expected to replace sports medicine physicians and neurologists with regard to the management of concussions, orthopaedic surgeons, particularly those who are fellowship-trained in sports medicine, must have a current knowledge base of what a concussion is, how a concussion is diagnosed, and how a concussion should be managed. Orthopaedic surgeons should understand the pathophysiology, assessment, and management of concussion so that they have a basic comprehension of this injury, which is at the forefront of the academic literature and North American media. This understanding will prepare orthopaedic surgeons to work in concert with and assist sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers, and physical therapists in providing comprehensive care for athletes with a concussion.

                • Subspecialty:
                • Sports Medicine

              Extremity War Injuries XI: Maintaining Force Readiness During an Era of Military Transition

              The symposium Extremity War Injuries XI focused on issues related to the transitions in medical care that are occurring as the focus of the war on terror changes. Titled “Maintaining Force Readiness During an Era of Military Transition,” this year’s symposium highlighted the results of Department of Defense–funded research in musculoskeletal injury, the evolution of combat casualty care, and the readiness of the fighting force. The issues highlighted related to the force readiness of both troops and their medical support as well as the maintenance of the combat care expertise that has been developed during the last decade of conflict. As always, participants in breakout sessions addressed the research gaps in the topics discussed.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Trauma

                Cost Savings From Utilization of an Ambulatory Surgery Center for Orthopaedic Day Surgery

                Introduction: Healthcare providers are increasingly searching for ways to provide cost-efficient, high-quality care. Previous studies on evaluating cost used estimated cost-to-charge ratios, which are inherently inaccurate. The purpose of this study was to quantify actual direct cost savings from performing pediatric orthopaedic sports day surgery at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) compared with a university-based children’s hospital (UH).

                Methods: Custom-scripted accounting software was queried for line-item costs for a period of 3 fiscal years (fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2014) for eight day surgery procedures at both a UH and a hospital-owned ASC. Hospital-experienced direct costs were compared while controlling for surgeon, concomitant procedures, age, sex, and body mass index.

                Results:One thousand twenty-one procedures were analyzed. Using multiple linear regression analysis, direct cost savings at the ASC ranged from 17% to 43% for seven of eight procedures. Eighty percent of the cost savings was attributed to time (mean, 64 minutes/case; P < 0.001) and 20% was attributed to supply utilization (P < 0.001). Of the time savings in the operating room, 73% (mean, 47 minutes; P < 0.001) was attributed to the surgical factors whereas 27% (17 minutes; P < 0.001) was attributed to anesthesia factors.

                Conclusions: Performing day surgery at an ASC, compared with a UH, saves 17% to 43% from the hospital’s perspective, which was largely driven by surgical and anesthesia-related time expenditures in the operating room.

                Level of Evidence: Level II

                    • Subspecialty:
                    • Sports Medicine

                  Return to Play Following Open Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement in Adolescent Athletes

                  Introduction: After treatment of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) in adolescent competitive athletes, the rate, timing, and level of return to play have not been well reported.

                  Methods: Adolescent athletes who underwent open FAI treatment were assessed at a minimum 1-year follow-up. Patients completed a self-reported questionnaire centered on the time and level of return to play. Pain and functional outcomes were assessed using the modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS) and the Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS).

                  Results:Among the 24 athletes included, 21 (87.5%) (95% confidence interval [CI], 67.6% to 97.3%) successfully returned to play after open FAI treatment. The median time to return to play was 7 months (95% CI, 6 to 10 months). Of the 21 who returned to play, 19 (90%) returned at a level that was equivalent to or greater than their level of play before surgery. Three athletes (12.5%) did not return to play and indicated that failure to return to play was unrelated to their hip. There was significant improvement in the mHHS (P < 0.0001), HOOS (P < 0.0001), α angle (P < 0.0001), and offset (P < 0.0001).

                  Discussion: Most adolescent athletes can expect to return to the same or better level of sports participation during the first year after open treatment of FAI.

                      • Subspecialty:
                      • Pediatric Orthopaedics

                    Prior Staphylococcus Aureus Nasal Colonization: A Risk Factor for Surgical Site Infections Following Decolonization

                    Introduction: Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) decolonization regimens are being used to mitigate the risk of surgical site infection (SSI). However, their efficacy is controversial, with mixed results reported in the literature.

                    Methods: Before undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA), total hip arthroplasty (THA), or spinal fusion, 13,828 consecutive patients were screened for nasal S aureus and underwent a preoperative decolonization regimen. Infection rates of colonized and noncolonized patients were compared using unadjusted logistic regression. An adjusted regression analysis was performed to determine independent risk factors for SSI.

                    Results: The rate of SSI in colonized patients was 4.35% compared with only 2.39% in noncolonized patients. In our TKA cohort, unadjusted logistic regression identified S aureus colonization to be a significant risk factor for SSI (odds ratio [OR], 2.9; P < 0.001). After controlling for other potential confounders including age, body mass index, tobacco use, and American Society of Anesthesiologists score, an SSI was 3.8 times more likely to develop in patients colonized with S aureus (OR, 3.8; P = 0.0025). The THA and spine colonized patients trended toward higher risk in both unadjusted and adjusted models; however, the results were not statistically significant.

                    Discussion: The results of our study suggest that decolonization may not be fully protective against SSI. The risk of infection after decolonization is not lowered to the baseline of a noncolonized patient.

                    Level of Evidence: Level IV

                        • Subspecialty:
                        • General Orthpaedics

                      Construct Validity for a Cost-effective Arthroscopic Surgery Simulator for Resident Education

                      Introduction: Arthroscopy is one of the most challenging surgical skills to assess and teach. Although basic psychomotor arthroscopic skills, such as triangulation and object manipulation, are incorporated into many simulation exercises, they are not always individually taught or objectively evaluated. In addition, arthroscopic instruments, arthroscopy cameras, and the cadaver or joint models necessary for practice are costly.

                      Methods: A low-cost arthroscopic simulator was created to practice triangulation, probing, horizon changes, suture management, and object manipulation. The simulator materials were purchased exclusively from national hardware stores with a total cost averaging $79. The universal serial bus (USB) camera is included in the total cost. Three residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education were tested on the simulator. Replica boards were created at each institution. Participants included medical students (20), residents (46), and attending physicians (9).

                      Results: Construct validity—the ability to differentiate between novice, intermediate, and senior level participants—was obtained. On all tasks, junior residents scored at a statistically significant lower rate than senior residents and attending physicians.

                      Conclusions: This cost-effective arthroscopic surgical simulator objectively demonstrated that attending physicians and senior residents performed at a higher level than junior residents and novice medical students. The results of this study demonstrate that this simulator could be an important training tool for resident education.

                          • Subspecialty:
                          • General Orthpaedics