jaaos, Volume 22, No. 5

Traumatic Atlanto-occipital Dislocation in Children

Although once considered an invariably fatal injury, improvements in diagnosis and management have made atlanto-occipital dislocation (AOD) a survivable injury. MRI is the preferred imaging modality; occasionally, flexion/extension/distraction fluoroscopy may be required to determine craniovertebral stability. Early surgical stabilization is recommended for all children with AOD. Early occipitocervical fusion using screws in combination with a rod or plate, or sublaminar wires with a contoured rod, coupled with autograft bone, provide immediate stabilization and a high fusion rate. Halo immobilization and traction are contraindicated in the management of AOD in children because of the risk of displacement of the injured occipitocervical joint. Postoperative hydrocephalus is frequent and should be suspected when neurologic decline occurs after fixation. Nearly half of children who survive AOD will have residual neurologic deficits.

      • Subspecialty:
      • Pediatric Orthopaedics

    Anterior Glenohumeral Instability: A Pathology-based Surgical Treatment Strategy

    The glenohumeral joint is the most frequently dislocated major joint, and most cases involve an anterior dislocation. Young male athletes competing in contact sports are at especially high risk of recurrent instability. Surgical timing and selection of surgical technique continue to be debated. Full characterization of the injury requires an accurate history and physical examination. Diagnostic imaging assists in identifying the underlying anatomic lesions, which range from no discernible lesion to significant bone loss of the glenoid or humeral head and/or capsulolabral stretching or avulsion from the glenoid or humerus. Historically, open Bankart repair has been considered to be the standard method of managing capsulolabral injuries, but comparable results have been achieved with arthroscopic techniques. In the setting of anterior glenoid bone loss >20% of the articular surface, iliac crest bone grafting or coracoid transfer via the Bristow or Latarjet procedures has demonstrated satisfactory outcomes. Favorable results have been reported with bone grafting or remplissage for engaging Hill-Sachs lesions and those that affect >30% of the humeral circumference.

        • Subspecialty:
        • Shoulder and Elbow

      Unicameral Bone Cysts: General Characteristics and Management Controversies

      Unicameral bone cysts are benign bone lesions that are often asymptomatic and commonly develop in the proximal humerus and femur of skeletally immature patients. The etiology of these lesions remains unknown. Most patients present with a pathologic fracture, but these cysts can be discovered incidentally, as well. Radiographically, a unicameral bone cyst appears as a radiolucent lesion with cortical thinning and is centrally located within the metaphysis. Although diagnosis is frequently straightforward, management remains controversial. Because the results of various management methods are heterogeneous, no single method has emerged as the standard of care. New minimally invasive techniques involve cyst decompression with bone grafting and instrumentation. These techniques have yielded promising results, with low rates of complications and recurrence reported; however, prospective clinical trials are needed to compare these techniques with current evidence-based treatments.

          • Subspecialty:
          • Musculoskeletal Oncology

        Combined Acetabulum and Pelvic Ring Injuries

        Combined fractures of the acetabulum and pelvic ring are more common than previously believed, with an incidence as high as 15.7%. Recent series that include combined injuries indicate that the incidence of lateral compression and anteroposterior compression pelvic ring injuries is similar and that transverse and both-column acetabular fractures are the most common acetabular fracture patterns. Combined injuries most often are the result of high-energy mechanisms, and, compared with patients who present with isolated pelvic or acetabular injury, patients with combined injury typically have higher injury severity scores, higher transfusion requirements, and lower systolic blood pressure, with reported mortality rates of 1.5% to 13%. Treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach. The first priority is resuscitation following the Advanced Trauma Life Support protocols. Once the patient is stable, acetabular fractures and pelvic ring injuries should be assessed individually, and the most appropriate treatment for each should be outlined. These treatments should then be integrated to develop the most appropriate overall treatment strategy. Although outcomes data are available for isolated acetabulum and pelvic ring disruptions, no such data currently exist for combined injuries.

            • Subspecialty:
            • Trauma

          Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries in the Throwing Athlete

          Repetitive valgus forces on the throwing elbow place significant stress on that joint. This stress can cause structural damage and injury to the ulnar collateral ligament. Many acute injuries of the throwing elbow are caused by repetitive chronic wear. Although much work has been done on injury prevention in youth who are pitchers, overuse injury in throwing sports constitutes an epidemic. Failing nonsurgical management, ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction is a viable option to return the throwing athlete to competition.

              • Subspecialty:
              • Sports Medicine

            Occupational Hazards for Pregnant or Lactating Women in the Orthopaedic Operating Room

            Pregnant or lactating staff working in the orthopaedic operating room may be at risk of occupational exposure to several hazards, including blood-borne pathogens, anesthetic gases, methylmethacrylate, physical stress, and radiation. Because the use of proper personal protective equipment is mandatory, the risk of contamination with blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV is low. Moreover, effective postexposure prophylactic regimens are available for hepatitis B and HIV. In the 1960s, concerns were raised about occupational exposure to harmful chemicals in the operating room such as anesthetic gases and methylmethacrylate. Guidelines on safe levels of exposure to these chemicals and the use of personal protective equipment have helped to minimize the risks to pregnant or lactating staff. Short periods of moderate physical activity are beneficial for pregnant women, but prolonged strenuous activity can lead to increased pregnancy complications. The risk of prenatal radiation exposure during orthopaedic procedures is of concern, as well. However, proper lead protection and contamination control can minimize the risk of occupational exposure to radiation.

                • Subspecialty:
                • General Orthopaedics

              Anterior Ankle Impingement: Diagnosis and Treatment

              Anterior ankle impingement is a common clinical condition characterized by chronic anterior ankle pain that is exacerbated on dorsiflexion. Additional symptoms include instability; limited ankle motion; and pain with squatting, sprinting, stair climbing, and hill climbing. Diagnosis is typically confirmed with plain radiographs. Nonsurgical management includes physical therapy, strengthening exercises, activity modification, bracing, and anti-inflammatory medication. Although arthroscopic treatment is sufficient in some patients, most require an open approach to address related pathology. We advocate aggressive range of motion as well as weight bearing postoperatively. Further study is needed to confirm current understanding of anterior ankle impingement and to better define treatment options and prevention strategies.

                  • Subspecialty:
                  • Foot and Ankle