The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Online ISSN: 1067-151X
Publications
Causes of Compartment Syndrome 
Article
Acute compartment syndrome is a potentially devastating condition in which the pressure within an osseofascial compartment rises to a level that decreases the perfusion gradient across tissue capillary beds, leading to cellular anoxia, muscle ischemia, and death. A variety of injuries and medical conditions may initiate acute compartment syndrome, including fractures, contusions, bleeding disorders, burns, trauma, postischemic swelling, and gunshot wounds. Diagnosis is primarily clinical, supplemented by compartment pressure measurements. Certain anesthetic techniques, such as nerve blocks and other forms of regional and epidural anesthesia, reportedly contribute to a delay in diagnosis. Basic science data suggest that the ischemic threshold of normal muscle is reached when pressure within the compartment is elevated to 20 mm Hg below the diastolic pressure or 30 mm Hg below the mean arterial blood pressure. On diagnosis of impending or true compartment syndrome, immediate measures must be taken. Complete fasciotomy of all compartments involved is required to reliably normalize compartment pressures and restore perfusion to the affected tissues. Recognizing compartment syndromes requires having and maintaining a high index of suspicion, performing serial examinations in patients at risk, and carefully documenting changes over time.
 
Article
The Ponseti method for the management of idiopathic clubfoot has recently experienced a rise in popularity, with several centers reporting excellent outcomes. The challenge in achieving a successful outcome with this method lies not in correcting deformity but in preventing relapse. The most common cause of relapse is failure to adhere to the prescribed postcorrective bracing regimen. Socioeconomic status, cultural factors, and physician-parent communication may influence parental compliance with bracing. New, more user-friendly braces have been introduced in the hope of improving the rate of compliance. Strategies that may be helpful in promoting adherence include educating the family at the outset about the importance of bracing, encouraging calls and visits to discuss problems, providing clear written instructions, avoiding or promptly addressing skin problems, and refraining from criticism of the family when noncompliance is evident. A strong physician-family partnership and consideration of underlying cognitive, socioeconomic, and cultural issues may lead to improved adherence to postcorrective bracing protocols and better patient outcomes.
 
Article
The treatment of type II and type III supracondylar fractures of the humerus in children with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning has dramatically lowered the rate of complications from this injury. The incidence rates of malunion (cubitus varus) and compartment syndrome have both decreased. Nerve injury accompanying this type of fracture (prevalence, 5% to 19%) is usually a neurapraxia, which should be managed conservatively. Vascular insufficiency at presentation (prevalence, 5% to 17%) should be managed initially by rapid closed reduction and pinning without arteriography. Persistent vascular insufficiency necessitates exploration and vascular reconstruction.
 
Article
Randomized controlled trials are considered to provide the strongest data regarding the relative benefits of treatment alternatives for medical conditions. Uncertainty persists regarding the optimal treatment of patients with symptomatic lumbar disk herniation. Five randomized controlled trials were published between 1983 and 2007 that compared lumbar diskectomy with nonsurgical treatment. The studies enrolled more than 1,000 patients. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were generally similar, but there was substantial variation in the outcomes measurements used. In all studies, more than one third of patients assigned to nonsurgical care crossed over to have surgery. Crossover in the opposite direction ranged from 0% to almost 40%. As a result of the large number of crossovers, the estimated treatment effect size of diskectomy likely is underestimated. Valid inferences about the safety and effectiveness of continued nonsurgical care cannot be made. The use of frequentist statistical techniques threatens the validity of post hoc subgroup analysis. Large cohort studies and alternative statistical techniques may yield more accurate estimates of the effectiveness of lumbar diskectomy and aid in identifying patients who may benefit from early surgical intervention.
 
Article
Although the incidence of failures resulting from wear-related osteolysis and associated severe bone defects are expected to diminish with important advances in polyethylene manufacturing and processing, alternative bearing surfaces, implant design, and revision techniques, current failures still reflect concerns regarding earlier ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene sterilization and degradation. Clinical experience before the year 2000 included rates of wear and osteolysis from 10% to as high as 70% at 7- to 14-year follow-up. With recent advances, early clinical results are encouraging, demonstrating 50% to 81% decreases in radiographic wear rates. These improvements should eventually reduce the burden of future revision hip and knee surgery. However, the long-term in vivo durability of total hip arthroplasties using these alternative materials and bearing couples has not yet been well established, and considerably fewer clinical data are available for other types of joint arthroplasties, such as total knee arthroplasty.
 
Article
Glenohumeral instability encompasses a spectrum of disorders of varying degree, direction, and etiology. The keys to accurate diagnosis are a thorough history and physical examination. Plain radiographs are frequently negative, especially in subtle forms of instability. Computed tomography (CT), CT arthrography, magnetic resonance imaging, arthroscopy, and examination under anesthesia may occasionally yield important diagnostic information. Nonoperative treatment of shoulder instability consists of reduction of the joint (when necessary), followed by immobilization and rehabilitative exercises. The length and the value of immobilization remain controversial. Rehabilitative programs emphasize strengthening f the dynamic stabilizers of the shoulder, particularly the rotator cuff muscles. Both arthroscopic and open techniques can be used for operative stabilization of the glenohumeral joint. Results of these repairs are assessed not only in terms of recurrence rate, but also in terms of functional criteria, including return to athletics. Some standard repairs have declined in popularity, giving way to procedures that directly address the pathology of detached or excessively lax capsular ligaments without distorting surrounding anatomy. Capsular repairs also allow correction of multiple components of instability.
 
Article
Muscle strain is a very common injury. Muscles that are frequently involved cross two joints, act mainly in an eccentric fashion, and contain a high percentage of fast-twitch fibers. Muscle strain usually causes acute pain and occurs during strenuous activity. In most cases, the diagnosis can be made on the basis of the history and physical examination. Magnetic resonance imaging is recommended only when radiologic evaluation is necessary for diagnosis. Initial treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy. As pain and swelling subside, physical therapy should be initiated to restore flexibility and strength. Avoiding excessive fatigue and performing adequate warm-up before intense exercise may help to prevent muscle strain injury. The long-term outcome after muscle strain injury is usually excellent, and complications are few.
 
Article
Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: Evidence-Based Guideline, 2nd Edition, is based on a systematic review of the current scientific and clinical research. This guideline contains 15 recommendations, replaces the 2008 AAOS clinical practice guideline, and was reevaluated earlier than the 5-year recommendation of the National Guideline Clearinghouse because of methodologic concerns regarding the evidence used in the first guideline. The current guideline does not support the use of viscosupplementation for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. In addition, the work group highlighted the need for better research in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
 
Article
Pneumatic tourniquets maintain a relatively bloodless field during extremity surgery, minimize blood loss, aid identification of vital structures, and expedite the procedure. However, they may induce an ischemia-reperfusion injury with potentially harmful local and systemic consequences. Modern pneumatic tourniquets are designed with mechanisms to regulate and maintain pressure. Routine maintenance helps ensure that these systems are working properly. The complications of tourniquet use include postoperative swelling, delay of recovery of muscle power, compression neurapraxia, wound hematoma with the potential for infection, vascular injury, tissue necrosis, and compartment syndrome. Systemic complications can also occur. The incidence of complications can be minimized by use of wider tourniquets, careful preoperative patient evaluation, and adherence to accepted principles of tourniquet use.
 
Article
The use of patient-derived, objective outcome measures has expanded substantially within the orthopaedic literature. Quality-of-life instruments are categorized as general health or as condition-specific questionnaires. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) is a general health-based survey of quality of life. It has been validated, is used widely across medical disciplines, and can be self-administered by the patient with reliability. The SF-36 has been implemented to define disease conditions, to determine the effect of treatment, to differentiate the effect of different treatments, and to compare orthopaedic conditions with other medical conditions. However, a bias of lower over upper extremity function has been demonstrated with the SF-36, as have limitations in assessment of certain physical activities of daily living as well as upper and lower limits on the detection of certain changes in quality-of-life status. Nevertheless, with an adequate knowledge of its effectiveness and limitations, the SF-36 can be a useful tool in many branches of orthopaedic surgery.
 
Article
Improper acetabular component orientation negatively affects the outcome of total hip arthroplasty through increasing dislocation rates, component impingement, bearing surface wear, and the number of revision surgeries. Leg length, hip biomechanics, pelvic osteolysis, and acetabular component migration are also affected by malposition. With conventional techniques, numerous variables, such as patient size, deformity and/or position, and decreased visualization, contribute to inter- and intrasurgeon acetabular component variability during surgery regardless of surgeon experience and practice volume. New acetabular component implantation techniques, such as patient-specific morphology, that incorporate anatomic landmarks may provide more accurate and individualized target zones. These techniques, coupled with the use of quantitative technology such as computer-aided navigation, may improve the precision of acetabular component placement.
 
Article
The AAOS Clinical Practice Guideline on ACL injuries presents several recommendations that can help guide the evaluation and treat ment of these injuries. This guideline also outlines areas for further investigation into this condition.
 
Article
The AAOS Clinical Practice Guideline on osteochondritis dissecans of the knee presents few conclusive recommendations on the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with stable and unstable lesions. Many different evaluation and treatment modalities have been used, although few in a prospective, randomized manner. The guideline does suggest using MRI to evaluate the lesion. However, all other recommendations are either inconclusive or required consensus grading. This guideline will serve as a roadmap for further investigation into this vexing condition.
 
Article
Based on the evidence available, the AAOS recommendations on the management of Achilles tendon rupture range from Inconclusive to Moderate. Further studies are needed for stronger recommendations. However, knowledge of these guidelines is useful for the surgeon managing Achilles tendon ruptures and for counseling patients on treatment. It is the author's opinion that appropriate patient selection and meticulous soft-tissue technique are important for a good surgical outcome.
 
Article
With the approval of the Academy's Board of Directors, JAAOS this year began publishing summaries of the AAOS evidence‐based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). Development of these CPGs began in 2006, when the board made a commitment to providing Academy members with evidence‐based guidelines, in contrast with earlier, consensus‐driven guidelines for clinical care, which were prone to bias and lacked transparency. The initial effort was led by Joshua Jacobs, MD, former Chair of the Council on Research, Quality Assessment and Technology, and Charles Turkelson, PhD, Director of the Department of Research and Scientific Affairs. As additional AAOS staff members were assembled to assist in guideline development, the first AAOS CPG, concerning pulmonary embolism prophylaxis after total hip and total knee arthroplasty, was produced using outside consultants. A summary was published in the March 2009 issue of JAAOS.1 The next two CPGs, summaries of which appear in this month's Journal,2,3 focus, respectively, on the diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. The AAOS intends to develop four CPGs annually, beginning this year. Previously approved CPGs can be viewed in their entirety at www.aaos.org/guidelines. The rationale behind the development of CPGs is to develop a series of recommendations on clinical care supported by the best available evidence. The goal is to promote best practices and improve patient outcomes. The process involves undertaking a comprehensive, systematic review of the available literature and obtaining quality input across a broad spectrum of practitioners. Each CPG undergoes formal peer review and public commentary before approval by the Board of Directors. Those who read these CPGs should be able to readily perceive the data and methods used to reach the final recommendations. Each recommendation is assigned a grade indicating the level of confidence readers can have in that recommendation. Recommendations given with high confidence are more likely to stand the test of time than are those given with lower confidence, which are more susceptible to being overturned by future research. Hundreds of guidelines are available on many topics, produced by professional medical associations and the federal government. It is difficult for the average clinician to differentiate between a poor CPG and one that has been rigorously developed. The AAOS decision to use a strict methodology allows the guidelines to be of the highest quality. In addition, the AAOS CPGs are produced with no funding from industry, and any potential conflicts of individual work group members are disclosed. In a recent article in JAMA, Ted Epperly, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, described the AAOS recommendations on knee osteoarthritis as “balanced, fair and accurate.”4 Other medical associations are starting to notice the AAOS efforts; the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons recently voted to endorse the CPG Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
 
Article
The gluteus medius and minimus muscle-tendon complex is crucial for gait and stability in the hip joint. There are three clinical presentations of abductor tendon tears. Degenerative or traumatic tears of the hip abductor tendons, so-called rotator cuff tears of the hip, are seen in older patients with intractable lateral hip pain and weakness but without arthritis of the hip joint. The second type of tear may be relatively asymptomatic. It is often seen in patients undergoing arthroplasty for femoral neck fracture or elective total hip arthroplasty (THA) for osteoarthritis. The third type of abductor tendon dysfunction occurs with avulsion or failure of repair following THA performed through the anterolateral approach. Abductor tendon tear should be confirmed on MRI. When nonsurgical management is unsuccessful, open repair of the tendons with transosseous sutures is recommended. Good pain relief has been reported following endoscopic repair. Abductor tendon repair has had inconsistent results in persons with avulsion following THA. Reconstruction with a gluteus maximus muscle flap or Achilles tendon allograft has provided promising short-term results in small series.
 
Article
Musculoskeletal tumors, both primary neoplasms and metastatic lesions, present a therapeutic challenge for the physician who wishes to provide palliative pain relief using the least invasive approach. The increasing sophistication of imaging modalities such as CT in precisely localizing neoplasm, coupled with the widespread use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for treatment of other types of tumor, has generated interest in using RFA to treat musculoskeletal tumors. Primary bone tumors (eg, osteoid osteoma) and metastatic bone tumors have been successfully treated with RFA. Success rates with RFA are equal to those with standard surgical curettage, but RFA has the advantage of decreased surgical morbidity. The procedure is relatively safe, is well-tolerated by the patient, and typically can be performed on an outpatient basis. The most common serious complication reported is localized skin necrosis, which occurs rarely. RFA appears to be a viable minimally invasive approach for palliative treatment of selected bone tumors.
 
Article
Distinguishing between the normal gait of the elderly and pathologic gaits is often difficult. Pathologic gaits with neurologic causes include frontal gait, spastic hemiparetic gait, parkinsonian gait, cerebellar ataxic gait, and sensory ataxic gait. Pathologic gaits with combined neurologic and musculoskeletal causes include myelopathic gait, stooped gait of lumbar spinal stenosis, and steppage gait. Pathologic gaits with musculoskeletal causes include antalgic gait, coxalgic gait, Trendelenburg gait, knee hyperextension gait, and other gaits caused by inadequate joint mobility. A working knowledge of the characteristics of these gaits and a systematic approach to observational gait examination can help identify the causes of abnormal gait. Patients with abnormal gait can benefit from the treatment of the primary cause of the disorder as well as by general fall-prevention interventions. Treatable causes of gait disturbance are found in a substantial proportion of patients and include normal-pressure hydrocephalus, vitamin B(12) deficiency, Parkinson's disease, alcoholism, medication toxicity, cervical spondylotic myelopathy, lumbar spinal stenosis, joint contractures, and painful disorders of the lower extremity.
 
Anteroposterior ( A ) and lateral ( B ) radiographs of a periprosthetic fracture extending distal to the anterior flange of the femoral component. This fracture was treated by revision of the femoral component with a stemmed component and a distal femur allograft. Postoperative anteroposterior ( C ) and lateral ( D ) radiographs. 
Supracondylar Periprosthetic Fractures: Classification Systems
Anteroposterior ( A ) and lateral ( B ) radiographs of a periprosthetic fracture starting proximal to the anterior flange of the femoral component. This fracture was treated by open reduction and fixation with a dynamic condylar screw and sideplate. Postoperative anteroposterior ( C ) and lateral ( D ) radiographs. 
Anteroposterior ( A ) and lateral ( B ) radiographs of a periprosthetic fracture starting at the anterior flange of the femoral component. This fracture was treated by fixation with a retrograde intramedullary nail. Postoperative anteroposterior ( C ) and lateral ( D ) radiographs. 
Anteroposterior and lateral views of supracondylar periprosthetic femoral fracture classification. Type I: Fracture proximal to femoral knee component. Type II: Fracture originating at the proximal aspect of the femoral knee component and extending proximally. Type III: Any part of the fracture line is distal to the upper edge of the anterior flange of the femoral knee component. 
Article
Periprosthetic femoral fractures above total knee replacements can be managed by a variety of methods, including casting, open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation, or revision arthroplasty. Because no single method has emerged as the optimal choice for all such fractures, it is important to understand which options are appropriate for each fracture pattern. Early classification systems focused on displacement as a major indication for either surgical or nonsurgical management. However, recent techniques and current implants have made surgical management preferable for most periprosthetic fractures. Classification based on fracture location can help guide such treatment. Generally, intramedullary nails are best for proximal fractures, fixed-angle devices for fractures originating at the component, and revision arthroplasty for very distal fractures or those with implant loosening.
 
Article
Spinal epidural abscess is a potentially life-threatening disease that can cause paralysis by the accumulation of purulent material in the epidural space. Although modern diagnostic and management methods have improved the prognosis, morbidity and mortality remain significant. Outcome usually is determined by the rapidity of the diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment. A high index of suspicion is warranted when a patient presents with spinal pain or a neurologic deficit in conjunction with fever or an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging should be done in suspected cases to localize and define the abscess. For spinal epidural abscess associated with neurologic compromise, the treatment of choice is emergent surgical decompression and débridement (with or without spinal stabilization), followed by long-term antimicrobial therapy. In the absence of a neurologic deficit, medical management is an alternative to surgery when the risk of neurologic complications is low based on the location and morphology of the abscess, immune status of the patient, and virulence of the organism.
 
Article
Deep sepsis in the involved joint after hip or knee arthroplasty may be the result of hematogenous seeding from a remote infectious source. This mechanism has been used to explain the well-documented association between postoperative urinary tract infections and subsequent joint infection after hip or knee arthroplasty. However, it is unclear whether there is an association between preoperative bacteriuria and deep prosthetic infection. The purpose of this review is to identify perioperative risk factors associated with bacteriuria that have a positive correlation with deep joint sepsis following total hip or knee arthroplasty. The classic symptoms of dysuria, urgency, and frequency seen with urinary tract infections are often absent in the elderly despite the presence of urine coliforms; in these patients, pyuria (as indicated by the presence of more than 1x10(3) white blood cells per milliliter of noncentrifuged urine) may be used as a preliminary screening criterion. If there are irritative symptoms, the presence of more than 1x10(3) bacteria per milliliter of urine should be regarded as indicative of a urinary tract infection. If there is bacteriuria without symptoms of urinary irritation or obstruction, the current literature supports proceeding with total joint arthroplasty and treating those patients with urine colony counts greater than 1x10(3)/mL with an 8- to 10-day postoperative course of an appropriate oral antibiotic. Postponement of total joint surgery should be considered if preoperative evaluation reveals symptoms related to obstruction of the urinary pathway. Irritative symptoms in combination with a bacterial count greater than 1x10(3)/mL should also serve as an indication to postpone surgery. To diminish postoperative urinary tract infection, a bladder catheter should be inserted immediately preoperatively and removed within 24 hours of surgery to diminish the risk of urinary retention, which has been shown to increase the likelihood of a postoperative urinary tract infection.
 
Article
Increased awareness of elder abuse has led to the recognition that mistreatment of individuals over the age of 65 years is a widespread public health problem. It is estimated that the prevalence of elder abuse is 32 cases per 1,000 persons and is increasing with the growing elderly population. Elder abuse is suspected to be a major source of morbidity and mortality, representing a high economic burden to society. The diagnosis of elder abuse is seldom straightforward due to social issues, cognitive impairment, and comorbid conditions, and requires careful correlation of historical and clinical findings. Comprehensive evaluation, including a detailed history, systematic physical examination, and appropriate laboratory and radiographic assessment, is essential. The orthopaedic surgeon consulted to evaluate an elderly individual with musculoskeletal injuries must be cognizant of the potential for elder abuse, especially when circumstances are suspect. The role of the orthopaedic surgeon is often fundamental to establishing whether musculoskeletal injuries are consistent with the stated mechanism of injury. Due to the variety of presentations, there are no fracture patterns considered pathognomonic of elder abuse. Rather, the nature and pattern of injury must be viewed in the context of the general health and psychosocial environment of the patient to determine whether abuse has occurred. Once the diagnosis of elder abuse has been made, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary long-term care plan must be formulated to ensure patient safety while respecting the autonomy of a competent individual. Physicians have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect patients from suspected abuse, and most states mandate reporting by health-care personnel.
 
Article
Increased awareness of child abuse has led to better understanding of this complex problem. However, the annual incidence of abuse is estimated at 15 to 42 cases per 1,000 children and appears to be increasing. More than 1 million children each year are the victims of substantiated abuse or neglect, and more than 1,200 children die each year as a result of abuse. The diagnosis of child abuse is seldom easy to make and requires a careful consideration of sociobehavioral factors and clinical findings. Because manifestations of physical abuse involve the entire child, a thorough history and a complete examination are essential. Fractures are the second most common presentation of physical abuse after skin lesions, and approximately one third of abused children will eventually be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon. Thus, it is essential that the orthopaedist have an understanding of the manifestations of physical abuse, to increase the likelihood of recognition and appropriate management. There is no pathognomonic fracture pattern in abuse. Rather, the age of the child, the overall injury pattern, the stated mechanism of injury, and pertinent psychosocial factors must all be considered in each case. Musculoskeletal injury patterns suggestive of nonaccidental injury include certain metaphyseal lesions in young children, multiple fractures in various stages of healing, posterior rib fractures, and long-bone fractures in children less than 2 years old. Skeletal surveys and bone scintigraphy with follow-up radiography may be of benefit in cases of suspected abuse of younger children. The differential diagnosis of abuse includes other conditions that may cause fractures, such as true accidental injury, osteogenesis imperfecta, and metabolic bone disease. Management should be multidisciplinary, with the key being recognition, because abused children have a substantial risk of repeated abuse and death.
 
Article
Elder abuse is an underestimated mechanism of musculoskeletal injury and is of significant concern in geriatric and rapidly aging populations of the United States. Abuse can occur in a home or institutional setting and may include physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse as well as neglect or abandonment. Elderly persons with shared living arrangements, those with a history of domestic violence, and those with cognitive impairment are at high risk of abuse. Prevalence studies in the United States estimate that more than 1 million elderly persons are victims of abuse annually, and up to 25% have been physically abused. Multiple fractures, inconsistent histories, bruising, dehydration, and malnutrition are indications of abuse that can be identified by the orthopaedic surgeon. Elder abuse is often overlooked and is severely underreported. Because physicians are required to report abuse to agencies such as Adult Protective Services, awareness of its prevalence is essential, and the orthopaedic surgeon must know how best to identify, treat, and report elder abuse.
 
Article
Local injections of corticosteroids are commonly used in orthopaedic practice on the assumption that they will diminish the pain of inflammation and accelerate healing. Less often considered is the possibility that their use may delay the normal repair response. Among the multitude of conditions treated with corticosteroids are acute athletic injuries, overuse syndromes, nerve compression, bone cysts, and osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of well-controlled studies that provide definitive recommendations for nonrheumatologic use of corticosteroids. Also troubling are the significant potential complications that can occur with their use. The authors believe that use of corticosteroids should be limited to the few conditions that have been proved to be positively influenced by them. Their use must be accompanied by a well-orchestrated treatment plan including close follow-up, physical therapy, and limitation of activities.
 
Article
The diversity of surgical options for the management of distal femoral fractures reflects the challenges inherent in these injuries. These fractures are frequently comminuted and intra-articular, and they often involve osteoporotic bone, which makes it difficult to reduce and hold them while maintaining joint function and overall limb alignment. Surgery has become the standard of care for displaced fractures and for patients who must obtain rapid return of knee function. The goal of surgical management is to promote early knee motion while restoring the articular surface, maintaining limb length and alignment, and preserving the soft-tissue envelope with a durable fixation that allows functional recovery during bone healing. A variety of surgical exposures, techniques, and implants has been developed to meet these objectives, including intramedullary nailing, screw fixation, and periarticular locked plating, possibly augmented with bone fillers. Recognition of the indications and applications of the principles of modern implants and techniques is fundamental in achieving optimal outcomes.
 
Article
Porous tantalum is an alternative metal for total joint arthroplasty components that offers several unique properties. Its high volumetric porosity (70% to 80%), low modulus of elasticity (3 MPa), and high frictional characteristics make it conducive to biologic fixation. Tantalum has excellent biocompatibility and is safe to use in vivo. The low modulus of elasticity allows for more physiologic load transfer and relative preservation of bone stock. Because of its bioactive nature and ingrowth properties, tantalum is used in primary as well as revision total hip arthroplasty components, with good to excellent early clinical results. In revision arthroplasty, standard and custom augments may serve as a structural bone graft substitute. Formation of a bone-like apatite coating in vivo affords strong fibrous ingrowth properties and allows for substantial soft-tissue attachment, indicating potential for use in cases requiring reattachment of muscles and tendons to a prosthesis. Development of modular components and femoral stems also is being evaluated. The initial clinical data and basic science studies support further investigation of porous tantalum as an alternative to traditional implant materials.
 
Article
Subtrochanteric femoral fractures are complicated injuries that may be associated with other life-threatening conditions. Patients should be carefully evaluated and appropriately treated for hypovolemic shock. These fractures can be effectively stabilized with 95 degrees plates, femoral reconstruction nails, or trochanteric femoral nails with interlocking options. Nails produce very stable constructs and consistently can be placed with the patient in the lateral position on the radiolucent table or in the supine position on the fracture table. Standard antegrade femoral nails may be indicated in certain fracture patterns. The 135 degrees hip screw-plate is not suitable in the treatment of subtrochanteric femoral fractures; use of these implants may result in loss of fixation and fracture displacement. Chemical and mechanical prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis should be initiated unless contraindicated by other medical comorbidities. An accurate reduction and excellent surgical technique with minimal soft-tissue dissection can routinely produce good results without the need for secondary procedures.
 
Article
Most clavicle fractures heal without difficulty. However, radiographic nonunion after distal clavicle fracture has been reported in 10% to 44% of patients. Type II distal clavicle fractures, which involve displacement, are associated with the highest incidence of nonunion. Several studies have questioned the clinical relevance of distal clavicle nonunion, however. Nonsurgical and surgical management provide similar results. The decision whether to operate may be influenced by the amount of fracture displacement and the individual demands of the patient. Surgical options to achieve bony union include transacromial wire fixation, a modified Weaver-Dunn procedure, use of a tension band, screw fixation, plating, and arthroscopy. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages; insufficient evidence exists to demonstrate that any one technique consistently provides the best results.
 
Article
Recent increased interest in less invasive surgical techniques has led to a concurrent resurgence in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. The procedure has evolved significantly over the past three decades. Proponents of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty cite as advantages lower perioperative morbidity and earlier recovery. Both clinical outcome and kinematic studies have indicated that successful unicompartmental knee arthroplasty functions closer to a normal knee. Recent reports have demonstrated success in expanding the classic indications of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty to younger and heavier patients. Both fixed- and mobile-bearing implants can yield excellent clinical outcomes at >10 years, but with different modes of long-term failure. Proper execution of surgical technique remains critical to optimizing outcome. Long-term studies are needed to appropriately define the role of less invasive unicompartmental surgical approaches as well as the role of computer navigation.
 
Article
Recurrent lumbar disk herniation is the most common complication following primary open diskectomy. It is defined as recurrent back and/or leg pain after a definite pain-free period lasting at least 6 months from initial surgery. Careful neurologic examination is critical, and laboratory tests should be ordered to evaluate for infection. Imaging demonstrates disk herniation at the previously operated level. It is important to differentiate recurrent disk herniation from postoperative epidural scar because the latter may not benefit from reoperation. Treatment of recurrent lumbar disk herniation includes aggressive medical management and surgical intervention. Surgical techniques include conventional open diskectomy, minimally invasive open diskectomy, and open diskectomy with fusion. Fusion is necessary in the presence of concomitant segmental instability or significant foraminal stenosis resulting from disk space collapse.
 
Article
Radiocarpal fracture-dislocations most often are caused by high-energy trauma. These difficult, uncommon injuries involve significant soft-tissue and osseous trauma, requiring meticulous reduction and fixation. The mechanism of injury is generally a severe shear or rotational insult. Anatomically, the dislocation results in disruption of the radiocarpal ligaments and, usually, both the radial and the ulnar styloid. Understanding the anatomy of the radiocarpal joint is central to understanding the osseous and soft-tissue constraints that are disrupted with a radiocarpal dislocation. Diagnosis can be reliably made on physical examination and radiographic evaluation. Radiocarpal fracture-dislocation injuries must be differentiated from Barton fractures. Associated injuries such as open fractures, neurovascular involvement, and distal radioulnar dislocations also must be taken into account. Closed reduction can be obtained relatively easily, but open reduction and internal fixation is typically necessary to ensure accurate anatomic restoration of injured bone and ligaments.
 
Article
Clavicular fractures represent 2.6% to 5% of all fractures, and middle third fractures account for 69% to 82% of fractures of the clavicle. The junction of the outer and middle third is the thinnest part of the bone and is the only area not protected by or reinforced with muscle and ligamentous attachments. These anatomic features make it prone to fracture, particularly with a fall on the point of the shoulder, which results in an axial load to the clavicle. Optimal treatment of nondisplaced or minimally displaced midshaft fracture is with a sling or figure-of-8 dressing; the nonunion rate is very low. However, when midshaft clavicular fractures are completely displaced or comminuted, and when they occur in elderly patients or females, the risk of nonunion, cosmetic deformity, and poor outcome may be markedly higher. Thus, some surgeons propose surgical stabilization of a complex midshaft clavicular fracture with either plate-and-screw fixation or intramedullary devices. Further randomized, prospective trials are needed to provide better data on which to base treatment decisions.
 
Article
With the exception of displaced articular glenoid fractures, management of scapular fractures has largely consisted of benign neglect, with an emphasis on motion as allowed by the patient's pain. Better understanding of this injury has resulted in greater acceptance of surgical management of highly displaced variants. However, little agreement exists on indications for surgery, and there is no clear comparative evidence on outcomes for surgically versus nonsurgically managed fractures. Scapular fractures are the result of high-energy mechanisms of injury, and they often occur in conjunction with other traumatic injuries. In addition to performing meticulous physical and neurologic examination, the surgeon should obtain plain radiographs, including AP shoulder, axillary, and scapular Y views. Three-dimensional CT is used to determine accurate measurements in surgical candidates. Surgical approach, technique, and timing are individualized based on fracture type and other patient-related factors.
 
Outcomes of Various Treatment Methods For Infected Shoulder Arthroplasty
Article
Infection after shoulder surgery is rare but potentially devastating. Normal skin flora, including Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Propionibacterium acnes, are the most commonly isolated pathogens. Perioperative measures to prevent infection are of paramount importance, and clinical acumen is necessary for diagnosis. Superficial infections may be managed with local wound measures and antibiotics; deep infections require surgical débridement in combination with antibiotic treatment. Treating physicians must make difficult decisions regarding antibiotic duration and the elimination of the offending organisms by resection arthroplasty, direct implant exchange, or staged revision arthroplasty. Eradication of a deep infection is usually successful, but the course of treatment is often protracted, and tissue destruction and scar may adversely affect functional outcome.
 
Article
Acceleration of the fracture healing process would have far-reaching benefits for both civilians and military personnel. Decreasing the time to return to complete function would reduce medical costs, enhance quality of life by decreasing pain and increasing mobility, accelerate the return of professional athletes to their sport, and decrease the time for military recruits to enter active duty after injuries incurred in basic training. Moreover, augmenting the healing process may prevent the long-term disability caused by fracture nonunion. Currently available pharmaceutical agents may allow us to realize this goal. However, these agents need to be tested in prospective randomized clinical trials.
 
Article
Since the 1970s, workforce analysis for orthopaedic surgery has predicted a surplus of physicians into the 21st century. In 1998, the RAND study predicted a surplus of 4,100 orthopaedists in 2010. As we approach 2010, we find no surplus. The projected population growth during the next 20 years of those older than age 65 years presupposes a greater need for orthopaedists, given an increase in degenerative disease and fragility fractures associated with aging. The federal government predicts an overall shortage of physicians by 2020. Given the current nature of workforce analysis models and the concerns evoked by these disparate predictions, we, the authors, advocate change. Rather than large studies separated by decades, we recommend routine monitoring of the orthopaedic workforce. Further, we suggest that national, regional, and local organizations, as well as subspecialty societies, work together to monitor current and future orthopaedic workforce needs. Orthopaedic organizations should develop collaborative relationships with experts in the field and devise a true working model that allows for ongoing strategic planning.
 
Top-cited authors
William C Watters
Charles Turkelson
  • Saint Francis Hospital And Medical Center, Hartford, Ct
Mary Lloyd Ireland
  • University of Kentucky
William Garrett
  • Duke University Medical Center
Timothy E Hewett
  • Hewett Consultants - Rochester, Minneapolis