Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

Published in
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®
Volume 466 | Issue 10 | Oct, 2008

The Global Burden of Musculoskeletal Injuries: Challenges and Solutions

Charles Mock MD, PhD, Meena Nathan Cherian MD Musculoskeletal injuries are a major public health problem globally, contributing a large burden of disability and suffering. This burden could be considerably lowered by implementation of affordable and sustainable strategies to strengthen orthopaedic trauma care, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This article summarizes the global burden of musculoskeletal injuries and provides several examples of successful programs that have improved care of injuries in health facilities in low- and middle-income countries. Finally, it discusses WHO efforts to build on the country experiences and to make progress in lowering the burden of musculoskeletal injuries globally.

Musculoskeletal Trauma Services in Uganda

E. K. Naddumba MMED (Surgery), FCS (ECSA) Approximately 2000 lives are lost in Uganda annually through road traffic accidents. In Kampala, they account for 39% of all injuries, primarily in males aged 16–44 years. They are a result of rapid motorization and urbanization in a country with a poor economy. Uganda’s population is an estimated 28 million with a growth rate of 3.4% per year. Motorcycles and omnibuses, the main taxi vehicles, are the primary contributors to the accidents. Poor roads and drivers compound the situation. Twenty-three orthopaedic surgeons (one for every 1,300,000 people) provide specialist services that are available only at three regional hospitals and the National Referral Hospital in Kampala. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries are managed nonoperatively by 200 orthopaedic officers distributed at the district, regional and national referral hospitals. Because of the poor economy, 9% of the national budget is allocated to the health sector. Patients with musculoskeletal injuries in Uganda frequently fail to receive immediate care due to inadequate resources and most are treated by traditional bonesetters. Neglected injuries typically result in poor outcomes. Possible solutions include a public health approach for prevention of road traffic injuries, training of adequate human resources, and infrastructure development.

Musculoskeletal Trauma Service in Thailand

Banchong Mahaisavariya MD Trauma is becoming a leading cause of death in most of the low-income and middle-income countries worldwide. The growing number of motor vehicles far surpasses the development and upkeep of the road and highway networks, traffic laws, and driver training and licensing. In Thailand, road traffic injuries have become the second leading cause of death and morbidity overall since 1990. The lack of improvement to existing roadways, implementation of traffic safety and ridership laws including seatbelt regulations, and poor emergency medical assistance support systems all contribute to these statistics. An insufficient number and inequitable distribution of healthcare professionals is also a national problem, especially at the district level. Prehospital care of trauma patients remains insufficient and improvements at the national level are suggested.

Musculoskeletal Trauma Services in China

Zhen-Sheng Ma MD, PhD, Hong-Ju Zhang BS, Wei Lei MD, PhD, Li-Ze Xiong MD, PhD China is a developing country with a population over 1.3 billion with the second largest group of people in poverty next to India. There are about 159 million motor vehicles, with 163,887,372 drivers. From 2001 to 2004 over 100,000 people died each year in traffic accidents. With law enforcement and public education, traffic accidents have decreased, and the death rate is now less than 100,000 each year.

Musculoskeletal Trauma Services in Serbia

Zoran Vukašinović MD, PhD, Duško Spasovski MD, MSc, Zorica Živković MD, PhD [object Object]

Managing the Injury Burden in Nepal

P. C. Karmacharya MS (oph), G. K. Singh MS, DNB, FICS, MS in Clin Epid, M. P. Singh MS, V. G. Gautam MD, Andrew Par, A. K. Banskota MD, A. Bajracharya MS, A. B. Shreshtha MS, Deepak Mahara MS Nepal loses about 530,000 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per year to injury, predominantly due to falls. It takes 30,000 Nepali rupees (NR), or approximately US$430 at 70 rupees per $US saved per DALY to achieve primary prevention and 6000 NR per DALY if we invest in hospitals, versus 1000 NR invested in prehospital care, because simpler less expensive actions performed early have a greater impact on outcome than more complex measures later. A system for prehospital services was planned for medical emergencies at a national level meeting at the Medical University of Nepal to promote healthcare to victims in inaccessible regions by empowered or enlightened citizens. Feasible actions for common emergencies were defined and a tutorial required to help the majority of such victims was created and packaged. The knowledge and attitude component of the tutorial will be delivered through a web site to citizens motivated to learn and help with emergencies. The knowledge will be tested through a net-based Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) test. Practical training in medical triage skills will be provided to those who qualify for the test at the University or its designated affiliates. A mobile phone-based information system will be created and used to make these enlightened citizens available to the victim at the site/time of the emergency.

Musculoskeletal Training for Orthopaedists and Nonorthopaedists: Experiences in India

Anil Arora MS, Anil Agarwal MS, Panos Gikas MBBS, Apurv Mehra In India, health policies, services, health indices, and medical education are improving despite the country’s enormous population and limited resources. Orthopaedic training in India should be geared to serve the predominantly rural population (72% of total population) living in some 550,000 villages, but unless the basic amenities improve in villages and towns, orthopaedists will remain averse to serving in these areas. Traditional practitioners play an important role in musculoskeletal trauma care in villages and even some town and city areas, and hence cannot be ignored. We suggest a stratified system of orthopaedic training for medical graduates, postgraduates, and paramedics with a well-defined need-based curriculum, and a clear cut division of labor, terms, and conditions to suit the stratified social and demographic structure of India. This stratified system is intended to provide appropriate musculoskeletal trauma care services to the rural population, reduce neglected and mismanaged trauma, consequently avoiding subsequent orthopaedic disability, and reduce the financial burden of managing these cases. This system also intends to prevent overloading of teaching hospitals and apex institutes and ensure availability of subspecialized orthopaedic services in the country at designated centers. Traditional practitioners shall be periodically educated regarding safe orthopaedic practices, which are anticipated to yield improved trauma care services.

Musculoskeletal Training for Orthopaedists and Nonorthopaedists in China

Zhen-Sheng Ma MD, PhD, Hong-Ju Zhang BS, Wei Lei MD, PhD, Lu-Yu Huang MD, PhD No diploma for orthopaedic surgery is available in the current medical education and licensing system in China. The orthopaedist generally receives on-the-job training in a clinical practice after getting a license to practice surgery. There are multiple training pathways to and opportunities in orthopaedic surgery, and these vary from hospital to hospital and from region to region. These include on-the-job training, academic visits, rotation through different departments based on local medical needs, fellowship training in large general or teaching hospitals (locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally), English language training, postgraduate diploma training, and Internet CME. Due to the current training system, orthopaedic techniques and skill levels vary greatly from hospital to hospital.

Musculoskeletal Training for Orthopaedists and Nonorthopaedists: Experiences in Nepal

Ashok K. Banskota MD, FACS Orthopaedic surgical training in Nepal began in 1998, and four major centers now produce between 15 and 20 graduates annually. The duration of the training is four years in one center and three years in the remaining centers. Trainees have adequate trauma exposure. The major challenges include: tailoring training to suit local needs, avoiding the dangers of market driven orthopaedic surgery, adequately emphasizing and implementing time honored methods of closed fracture treatment, and ensuring uniformity of exposure to the various musculoskeletal problems. Training in research methods needs to be implemented more effectively. The evaluation process needs to be more uniform and all training programs need to complement one another and avoid unhealthy competition. Training for nonorthopaedists providing musculoskeletal care is virtually nonexistent in Nepal. Medical graduates have scant exposure to trauma and musculoskeletal diseases during their training. General surgeons provide the majority of trauma care and in the rural areas, health assistants, auxiliary health workers and physiotherapy assistants provide much needed basic services, but all lack formal training. Traditional “bone setters” in Nepal often cater to certain faithful clientele with sprains, minor fractures etc. A large vacuum exists in Nepal for trained nonorthopaedists leading to deficiencies in prehospital care, safe transport and basic, primary emergency care. The great challenges are yet to be addressed.

Topics in Global Public Health

David A. Spiegel MD, Richard A. Gosselin MD, R. Richard Coughlin MD, Adam L. Kushner MD, Stephen B. Bickler MD Deficiencies in the delivery of musculoskeletal trauma care in low- and middle-income countries can be attributed to a variety of causes, all of which can be linked to failure of the health system to deliver the necessary services to prevent death and disability. As such, a “systems” approach will be required to improve the delivery of services. The goal of this review is to familiarize the orthopaedic surgeon with selected topics in public health, including health systems, burden of disease, disability adjusted life year (DALY), cost-effective analysis, and related concepts (eg, met versus unmet need, access, utilization, effective coverage).

Orthopaedic Clinical Officer Program in Malawi: A Model for Providing Orthopaedic Care

Nyengo Mkandawire BMBS, MCh (ORTH), FCS (ECSA), FRCS Eng, Christopher Ngulube BSc (HSE), Christopher Lavy MD, MCh, FRCS Malawi has a population of about 13 million people, 85% of whom live in rural areas. The gross national income per capita is US$620, with 42% of the people living on less than US$1 per day. The government per capita expenditure on health is US$5. Malawi has 266 doctors, of whom only nine are orthopaedic surgeons. To address the severe shortage of doctors, Malawi relies heavily on paramedical officers to provide the bulk of healthcare. Specialized orthopaedic clinical officers have been trained since 1985 and are deployed primarily in rural district hospitals to manage 80% to 90% of the orthopaedic workload in Malawi. They are trained in conservative management of most common traumatic and nontraumatic musculoskeletal conditions. Since the program began, 117 orthopaedic clinical officers have been trained, of whom 82 are in clinical practice. In 2002, Malawi began a local orthopaedic postgraduate program with an intake of one to two candidates per year. However, orthopaedic clinical officers will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future. Orthopaedic clinical officer training is a cost-effective way of providing trained healthcare workers to meet the orthopaedic needs of a country with very few doctors and even fewer orthopaedic surgeons.

The Practice of Traditional Bonesetting: Training Algorithm

A. B. Omololu MD, S. O. Ogunlade FRCS, V. K. Gopaldasani MBBS Traditional bonesetters (TBS) have been in Nigeria for centuries. Up to 85% of patients with fractures present first to the traditional bonesetters before coming to the hospital and therefore this mode of care delivery cannot be overlooked in Nigeria. We attempted to document the current practice of TBS in Ibadan and their methods of fracture treatment with a view to training and improving the services offered by them. We carried out a literature search to review all previous studies on traditional bonesetters’ practice and visited a few of them to document their current practice. The only change in the management of fractures by the TBS over the past 28 years was the use of spiritual methods of healing to treat open comminuted fractures; a technique for which no scientific basis was readily discernible. There is a need to educate and train the TBS in effective management of both open and closed fractures. Such training should be provided by orthodox orthopedic surgeons with a view to minimizing mismanagement of fractures. To this end, we propose a training algorithm.

Musculoskeletal Trauma Services in Mozambique and Sri Lanka

Richard C. Fisher MD There is currently an escalating epidemic of trauma-related injuries due to road traffic accidents and armed conflicts. This trauma occurs predominantly in rural areas where most of the population lives. Major ways to combat this epidemic include prevention programs, improved healthcare facilities, and training of competent providers. Mozambique and Sri Lanka have many common features including size, economic system, and healthcare structure but have significant differences in their medical education systems. With six medical schools, Sri Lanka graduates 1000 new physicians per year while Mozambique graduates less than 50 from their singular school. To supplement the low number of physicians, a training course for surgical technicians has been implemented. Examination of district hospital staffing and the medical education in these two countries might provide for improving trauma care competence in other developing countries. Musculoskeletal education is underrepresented in most medical school curricula around the world. District hospitals in developing countries are commonly staffed by recently graduated general medical officers, whose last formal education was in medical school. There is an opportunity to improve the quality of trauma care at the district hospital level by addressing the musculoskeletal curriculum content in medical schools.

Trauma Training for Nonorthopaedic Doctors in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Robert Quansah MD, PhD, Francis Abantanga MD, PhD, FWACS, Peter Donkor MDSc, FWACS Increasingly, nonspecialist Ghanaian doctors in district hospitals are called upon to perform a variety of surgical procedures for which they have little or no training. They are also required to provide initial stabilization for the injured and, in some cases, provide definitive management where referral is not possible. Elsewhere continuing medical education courses in trauma have improved the delivery of trauma care. Development of such courses must meet the realities of a low-income country. The Department of Surgery, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology developed a week-long trauma continuing medical education course for doctors in rural districts. The course was introduced in 1997, and has been run annually since. The trauma course specifically addresses the critical issues of trauma care in Ghana. It has improved the knowledge base of doctors, as well as their self-reported process of trauma care. Through the process we have learned lessons that could help in the efforts to improve trauma training and trauma care in other low-income countries.

Providing Outreach Continuing Education in Countries with Limited Resources

Kaye E. Wilkins DVM, MD Obtaining continuing education can be difficult in countries with limited resources. Members of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) have developed a program for providing outreach continuing education courses in pediatric orthopaedics. POSNA members provide their own transportation to the host country, while the orthopaedic physicians along with the educational institutions in the host country in turn provide the support needed to carry out the courses. They also provide lodging, meals, and local transportation. Since its inception in 1998, 30 courses have been conducted in 19 countries with limited resources. The program has expanded to develop a partnership with the European Pediatric Orthopaedic Society. The protocol for organizing the courses is discussed.

Global Access to Literature on Trauma

Shahryar Noordin MD, James G. Wright MD, MPH, FRCSC, Andrew W. Howard MD, MSc, FRCSC The trauma pandemic disproportionately kills and maims citizens of low-income countries although the immediate cause of the trauma is often an industrial export of a high income country, such as a motor vehicle. Addressing the trauma pandemic in low-income countries requires access to relevant research information regarding prevention and treatment of injuries. Such information is also generally produced in high income countries. We explored various means of making scientific information available to low-income country surgeons using the internet. If orthopaedic surgeons want to maximize their global impact, they should focus on writing about trauma questions relevant to their colleagues in low-income countries and ensuring these same colleagues have access to the literature.

Global Relevance of Literature on Trauma

Shahryar Noordin MD, James G. Wright MD, MPH, FRCSC, Andrew W. Howard MD, MSc, FRCSC The trauma pandemic disproportionately kills and maims citizens of low-income countries although the immediate cause of the trauma is often an industrial export of a high-income country, such as a motor vehicle. Addressing the trauma pandemic in low-income countries requires access to relevant research information regarding prevention and treatment of injuries. Such information is also generally produced in high-income countries. We reviewed two years’ worth of articles from leading orthopaedic and general medical journals to determine whether the scientific literature appropriately reflects the global burden of musculoskeletal disease, particularly that due to trauma. General medical journals underrepresented musculoskeletal disease, but within musculoskeletal disease an appropriate majority of papers were regarding trauma, in particular the epidemiology and prevention of injury. Orthopaedic journals, while focusing on musculoskeletal conditions, substantially underrepresented the global burden of disease due to trauma and hardly consider injury epidemiology and prevention. If orthopaedic surgeons want to maximize their global impact, they should focus on writing about trauma questions relevant to their colleagues in low-income countries and ensuring these same colleagues have access to the literature. Case-based Orthopaedic Wiki Project in China

Zhen-Sheng Ma MD, PhD, Hong-Ju Zhang BS, Tao Yu BS, Gang Ren BS, Guo-Sheng Du BS, Yong-Hua Wang BS Traditional continuing medical education (CME) depended primarily on periodic courses and conferences. The cost-effectiveness of these courses has not been established, and often the content is not tailored to best meet the needs of the students. Internet training has the potential to accomplish these goals. Over the last 10 years, we have developed a Web site entitled “,” based upon the wiki concept, which uses an interactive, case-based format. We describe the development of online case discussions, and various technical and administrative requirements. As of December 31, 2007, there were 33,984 registered users, 9,759 of which passed the confirmation procedures. In 2007, an average of 211 registrants visited daily. The average number of first page clicks was 4,248 per day, and the average number of posts was 70 per day. All cases submitted for discussion include the patient’s complaint, physical examination findings, and relevant images based on specific criteria for case discussion. The case discussions develop well professionally. No spam posting or unauthorized personal advertisement is permitted. In conclusion, online academic discussions proceed well when the orthopaedic surgeons who participate have established their identities.

Nongovernmental Organizations in Musculoskeletal Care: Orthopaedics Overseas

R. Richard Coughlin MD, MSc, Nancy A. Kelly MHS, Wil Berry MS Injuries are a major worldwide contributor to morbidity and mortality. The negative impact caused by such injuries is disproportionately heavy in developing countries. Such disparities are caused by a complex array of problems, including a lack of physical resources, poor infrastructure, and a shortage of trained health professionals. Overcoming such deficits in care will require the involvement of organizations that can offer broad-based solutions. These organizations must bridge the gap between private and public institutions to establish a systems-based approach to program development and institution-building. They must provide not just an adequate level of care, but a transfer of knowledge that leads to sustainable and cost-effective intervention. Orthopedics Overseas is an example of such an organization. We examine the development of Orthopedics Overseas and describe their interventions in Uganda as a case-study to show the unique position they have to affect change.

Injuries in Developing Countries—How Can We Help?: The Role of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Lewis G. Zirkle MD Each year nearly 5 million people worldwide die from injuries, approximately the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Ninety percent of these injuries occur in developing countries and that number is growing. Road traffic accidents account for 1.2 million of these 5 million deaths. For each death from trauma, three to eight more are permanently disabled. Orthopaedic surgeons should consider the victims of this epidemic by using their ability and capacity to treat these injuries. SIGN (Surgical Implant Generation Network, Richland, WA, USA) builds local surgical capability in developing countries by providing training and equipment to surgeons for use in treating the poor. It assists in treating long-bone fractures by using an intramedullary nail interlocking screw system. C-arm imaging, unavailable in many of these hospitals, is not necessary to accomplish interlocking. Surgery is performed primarily by local surgeons who record their cases on the SIGN surgical database. Discussion of these reports provides a means of communication and education among surgeons. This database demonstrates the capability of these surgeons. It also demonstrates that the SIGN intramedullary nail is safe for use in the developing world as it has been successful in treating 36,000 trauma patients.

Soft Tissue Coverage at the Resource-challenged Facility

Tuan Anh Nguyen MD, PhD Covering soft tissue defects remains challenging for orthopaedic surgeons, especially those in resource-challenged facilities. Covering tissue defects follow a plan from simple to complex: primary closure, local flap, area flap, pedicle flap, and free flap. I will limit my discussion to the role of latter two. At the district-level hospital in Vietnam, pedicle flaps are generally more useful, so I will discuss free flaps only briefly. The choices of pedicle flaps include: kite flap, posterior interosseous flap, radial flap (Chinese flap), neurocutaneous flap, anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flap, gastrocnemius flap, sural flap, posterior leg flaps; we typically use a free flap with the latissimus dorsi. Soft tissue coverage with pedicle flaps has many advantages: reliability, relatively easy harvest, and good blood supply. Free flaps with microanastomosis have an important place in covering difficult medium- or large-sized soft tissue defects but also require more instruments and more highly trained surgeons.

Update on Road Traffic Crashes

Wahid Al-Kharusi FRCS Road traffic injuries comprise the major share of all injuries globally. Traffic injuries kill 1.2 million people annually and injure 40 times as many, leaving a subsequent number totally disabled. Globally we spend approximately US $500 billion annually. The Middle East encompasses West Asia and North Africa and is very diverse economically, culturally and socially. Prevention and management of road traffic crashes and injuries is difficult. Comparative data are not readily available and therefore developing unified policies is a mammoth task. Implementation of best practices is not uniformly advocated due to socioeconomic and cultural differences. Enforcement of endorsed legislation on road traffic safety is not uniform in the region. Professional staff to combat this pandemic are scarce and it is important that capacity building, knowledge sharing, and increased political will becomes a priority in the region. This paper discusses the problems encountered in the prevention and management of road traffic injuries from the site of injury to rehabilitation and social reintegration. The role of Oman and that of the Bone and Joint Decade in the United Nations on Global Road Safety and its update is highlighted.

A Simple Grafting Method to Repair Irreparable Distal Biceps Tendon

Martti Vastamäki MD, PhD, Heidi Vastamäki MD Irreparable distal biceps tendon tears typically are treated using a free tendon graft. We asked whether our new method to fix the graft—using two suture anchors—yields similar results to our previous bone canal method. We compared the two methods for strength, endurance, and clinical findings. There were two groups, the suture anchor group (Group A, seven patients) and the bone canal group operated on before suture anchors (Group B, seven patients). The patients were males with a mean age at surgery of 44.9 years. The operative delay from primary trauma to index surgery averaged 5.9 months. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 11.1 years; range, 2–23 years). The mean arc of elbow motion was 0° to 132°, pronation 83°, and supination 80°. Compared with the contralateral side, the maximal peak torque was 84% in supination and 91% in pronation, and the maximal static elbow flexion strength was 94%. The Mayo elbow score averaged 99 in Group A and 100 in Group B. There were no major differences between the two groups. Our novel modification to fix a tendon graft yields equal clinical outcomes compared with the bone canal method for treatment of irreparable distal biceps tendon injuries.,[object Object]

Acetabular Revision with Metal Mesh, Impaction Bone Grafting, and a Cemented Cup

Martín A. Buttaro MD, Fernando Comba MD, Rodolfo Pusso MD, Francisco Piccaluga MD Impaction grafting is controversial in the presence of segmental and cavitary acetabular defects and requires the use of supplemental devices to close segmental defects. This approach, however, would allow treating combined deficiencies that could not be managed with impacted cancellous bone alone. We raised the following two questions: (1) What is the survival rate in patients with combined deficiencies reconstructed with metal mesh, impaction grafting and a cemented cup and (2) can metal mesh prevent cup migration? We evaluated 23 cavitary uncontained acetabular defects in revision hip arthroplasty. Preoperative diagnoses were aseptic loosening (19 hips) and second-stage reimplantations after resection for infection (four hips). The preoperative Merle D’Aubigné-Postel score averaged 7.4 points. Two patients had reoperations for mechanical failure at 6 and 24 months. The survival rate with further revision as an end point was 90.8% at an average of 36 months (range, 24–56 months; 95% confidence interval, 68.1–97.6). Metal mesh did not prevent cup migration: migration occurred in all patients, averaging 5.1 mm (range, 2–25 mm). Another three patients with severe combined defects had asymptomatic mesh rupture with 3- to 15-mm migration. Postoperative functional score averaged 16.2 points. Metal mesh, impaction grafting, and a cemented cup should be considered for reconstruction of medium uncontained acetabular defects, but not for severe combined deficiencies.,[object Object]

Changes in Knee Kinematics Reflect the Articular Geometry after Arthroplasty

Anthony M. J. Bull PhD, Oliver Kessler MD, Mahbub Alam FRCS, Andrew A. Amis DSc(Eng) We hypothesized changes in rotations and translations after TKA with a fixed-bearing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-sacrificing but posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)-retaining design with equal-sized, circular femoral condyles would reflect the changes of articular geometry. Using 8 cadaveric knees, we compared the kinematics of normal knees and TKA in a standardized navigated position with defined loads. The quadriceps was tensed and moments and drawer forces applied during knee flexion-extension while recording the kinematics with the navigation system. TKA caused loss of the screw-home; the flexed tibia remained at the externally rotated position of normal full knee extension with considerably increased external rotation from 63° to 11° extension. The range of internal-external rotation was shifted externally from 30° to 20° extension. There was a small tibial posterior translation from 40° to 90° flexion. The varus-valgus alignment and laxity did not change after TKA. Thus, navigated TKA provided good coronal plane alignment but still lost some aspects of physiologic motion. The loss of tibial screw-home was related to the symmetric femoral condyles, but the posterior translation in flexion was opposite the expected change after TKA with the PCL intact and the ACL excised. Thus, the data confirmed our hypothesis for rotations but not for translations. It is not known whether the standard navigated position provides the best match to physiologic kinematics.

Fixation Techniques for Split Anterior Tibialis Transfer in Spastic Equinovarus Feet

Harish Hosalkar MD, MBMS (Orth), FCPS (Orth), DNB (Orth), Jennifer Goebel BA, Sudheer Reddy MD, Nirav K. Pandya MD, Mary Ann Keenan MD Equinovarus of the foot is the most common lower extremity deformity following traumatic brain injury. We evaluated outcomes of the split anterior tibialis tendon transfer (SPLATT) for correction of equinovarus in 47 patients with hemiplegic traumatic brain injury and specifically studied differences in outcomes with two tendon fixation techniques. Seventeen patients constituting Group I underwent fixation with one technique and 30 constituting Group II had another technique. Patients in both groups had appropriate procedures based on dynamic electromyography and gait analyses. Both groups were demographically comparable. All 47 feet were corrected to plantigrade position. Thirty-six of 47 patients became brace-free at final followup. There was a notable decrease in the use of ambulatory aids and ambulatory status improved in both groups. There were three fixation-related complications in Group I and none in Group II. Surgical correction of the spastic equinovarus with SPLATT, in the appropriate patient, with or without associated tendon procedures helps to achieve and maintain correction, improves the ambulatory status of the patient, and eliminates the need for bracing in as much as 77% of patients. We recommend the Group II construct owing to the considerably lower complication rate.,[object Object]

Femoral Head Deformity after Open Reduction by Ludloff’s Medial Approach

Kunihiko Okano MD, PhD, Hiroshi Enomoto MD, PhD, Makoto Osaki MD, PhD, Katsuro Takahashi MD, PhD, Hiroyuki Shindo MD, PhD Ludloff’s medial approach has been described as a simple procedure for open reduction of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) requiring minimal dissection and tissue disruption. Many patients undergo subsequent reconstruction of the acetabulum after skeletal maturity for residual dysplasia. Femoral head deformity reportedly influences the long-term outcome of these osteotomies. The literature suggests this deformity may be related to the patient’s age at the time of a medial approach. We therefore asked whether femoral head deformity (roundness index, femoral head enlargement) at skeletal maturity correlates with patient age at surgery. We assessed the radiographs of 40 patients (42 hips). Their mean age at surgery was 14.3 months (range, 6–31 months); the minimum followup was 10 years (mean, 15.8 years; range, 10–27 years). The mean roundness index at skeletal maturity correlated with increased age at the time of the operation (mean index, 58.3; range, 47–79) while enlargement did not. Using a medial approach for correction of DDH in older patients increases the risk of femoral head deformity at skeletal maturity.,[object Object]

Systematic Review of Cemented and Uncemented Hemiarthroplasty Outcomes for Femoral Neck Fractures

Jaimo Ahn MD, PhD, Li-Xing Man MD, MSc, SangDo Park MD, Jeffrey F. Sodl MD, John L. Esterhai MD Although hemiarthroplasties are an important treatment for femoral neck fractures, the literature does not provide a clear approach for selecting the implant fixation method. Therefore, we performed a systematic search of the medical literature and identified 11 prospective and retrospective studies that compared results between cemented and uncemented femoral implant fixation methods. After independent blind data extraction, we compared variables between cemented and uncemented cohorts using two different meta-analysis models. Pooled data represented 1632 cemented and 981 uncemented hemiarthroplasties (average age of patients, 78.9 and 77.5 years, respectively). The average operating room times and blood loss volumes were 95 minutes and 467 mL, respectively, for the cemented and 80 minutes and 338 mL for the uncemented cohorts. Postoperative mortality rates, overall complications, and pain were similar between the two cohorts. Despite a few potential trends, we found few statistical differences between cemented and uncemented techniques based on reported outcome measurements. In addition, inspection of this literature underscored the lack of and need for consistent and standardized reporting of outcome variables regarding these procedures.,[object Object]

Unicameral Bone Cyst: A Retrospective Study of Three Surgical Treatments

Anthony D. Sung BS, Megan E. Anderson MD, David Zurakowski PhD, Francis J. Hornicek MD, PhD, Mark C. Gebhardt MD Between 1979 and 2004, 167 patients younger than 20 years were treated surgically for humeral or femoral unicameral bone cysts with either injection of corticosteroids (steroids), curettage plus bone grafting (curettage), or a combination injection of steroids, demineralized bone matrix, and bone marrow aspirate (SDB) at Children’s Hospital of Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital (mean followup, 7.3 years; range, 1 month–27 years). Outcomes included treatment failure (defined clinically as subsequent pathologic fracture or need for retreatment to prevent pathologic fracture) and complications. Information was obtained from medical records and by telephone questionnaire. After one treatment, 84% of cysts treated with steroids experienced failed treatment versus 64% with curettage and 50% with SDB. For unicameral bone cysts requiring retreatment (regardless of first treatment), 76% retreated with steroids had failed treatment versus 63% with curettage and 71% with SDB. Curettage was associated with the lowest rate of posttreatment pathologic fractures and highest rate of pain and other complications. Multivariate logistic regression indicated treatment with steroids alone and younger age were independent predictors of failure. We believe SDB is a reasonable first treatment for unicameral bone cysts in the humerus and femur in patients younger than 20 years, being less invasive yet comparable to curettage in preventing recurrence.,[object Object]

Differences in Innervation and Innervated Neurons between Hip and Inguinal Skin

Takayuki Nakajima MD, PhD, Seiji Ohtori MD, PhD, Shinji Yamamoto MD, PhD, Kazuhisa Takahashi MD, PhD, Yoshitada Harada MD, PhD Pain originating from the hip may be referred to the groin and anterior thigh. We investigated sensory dorsal root ganglion neurons innervating the hip and the inguinal skin in rats using retrograde neurotransport and immunohistochemistry. A retrograde neurotracer Fluoro-Gold™ was injected into the left hip or inguinal skin of rats. Seven days later, we harvested bilateral dorsal root ganglions and counted the number of Fluoro-Gold™-labeled neurons positive for calcitonin gene-related peptide, a marker of nerve growth factor-dependent neurons, or isolectin B4, a marker of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-dependent neurons. In the hip group, Fluoro-Gold™-labeled neurons were distributed throughout the left dorsal root ganglions from T13 to L5, primarily at L1, L2, L3, and L4, and the percentage of calcitonin gene-related peptide-positive neurons was higher than that of isolectin B4-binding neurons. In the inguinal skin group, Fluoro-Gold™-labeled neurons were distributed throughout the left dorsal root ganglions from T13 to L3, primarily at L1, L2, and L3, and the percentage of isolectin B4-binding neurons was higher than that of calcitonin gene-related peptide-positive neurons. These data suggest the sensory innervation pattern and characteristics of the sensory nerve of the rat hip are different from those of inguinal skin.

Image Fusion for Computer-assisted Bone Tumor Surgery

Kwok Chuen Wong MD, Shekhar Madhuker Kumta MD, Gregory Ernest Antonio MD, Lung Fung Tse MD The fusion of computed tomography and magnetic resonance images is a software-dependent processing technique that enables one to integrate and analyze preoperative images for planning complex musculoskeletal tumor resections. By integrating various imaging modalities into one imaging data set we may facilitate preoperative image analysis and planning of navigation computer-assisted bone tumor resection and reconstruction. We performed image fusion for computer-assisted tumor surgery in 13 consecutive patients, seven males and six females, with a mean age of 35.8 years (range, 6–80 years). Visual verification of fused images was accurate in all patients. The mean time for image fusion was 30.6 minutes (range, 8–80 minutes). After intraoperative registration, all tumor resections were performed as planned preoperatively under navigation image guidance. Resections achieved after navigation resection planning were validated by postoperative CT or resected specimens in seven patients. Histologic examination of all resected specimens showed tumor-free margins in patients with bone sarcoma. The fusion of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to enhance computer-assisted bone tumor surgery. The fusion image, when combined with surgical navigation, helps surgeons reproduce a preoperative plan reliably and may offer substantial clinical benefits.,[object Object]

Evidence of Educational Inadequacies in Region-specific Musculoskeletal Medicine

Charles S. Day MD, MBA, Albert C. Yeh BA Recent studies suggest US medical schools are not effectively addressing musculoskeletal medicine in their curricula. We examined if there were specific areas of weakness by analyzing students’ knowledge of and confidence in examining specific anatomic regions. A cross-sectional survey study of third- and fourth-year students at Harvard Medical School was conducted during the 2005 to 2006 academic year. One hundred sixty-two third-year students (88% response) and 87 fourth-year students (57% response) completed the Freedman and Bernstein cognitive mastery examination in musculoskeletal medicine and a survey eliciting their clinical confidence in examining the shoulder, elbow, hand, back, hip, knee, and foot on a one to five Likert scale. We specifically analyzed examination questions dealing with the upper extremity, lower extremity, back, and others, which included more systemic conditions such as arthritis, metabolic bone diseases, and cancer. Students failed to meet the established passing benchmark of 70% in all subgroups except for the others category. Confidence scores in performing a physical examination and in generating a differential diagnosis indicated students felt below adequate confidence (3.0 of 5) in five of the seven anatomic regions. Our study provides evidence that region-specific musculoskeletal medicine is a potential learning gap that may need to be addressed in the undergraduate musculoskeletal curriculum.

Case Reports: Ipsilateral Shoulder and Elbow Arthroplasty Using Custom Interlocking Prostheses

Mark O. McConkey MD, Abdullah M. Baslaim MD, FRCS, William D. Regan MD, FRCS Ipsilateral shoulder and elbow arthritis is not an uncommon problem seen in patients of upper extremity surgeons. If arthroplasty is required in both joints, there is a significant risk of periprosthetic fracture resulting from the stress riser occurring between the implants. We report the placement of custom interlocking shoulder and elbow prostheses in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. The elbow prosthesis with an uncemented humeral component was placed followed 18 months later by a custom-designed shoulder prosthesis. An internal strut between the two prostheses was created. Seven years postoperatively, the patient was asymptomatic with no radiographic signs of impending failure.

Case Report: Bipartite Tibial Epiphysis: Radiologic and Arthroscopic Presentation

Giacomo Negri MD, Marcello Zappia MD, Massimo Filippo MD, Antonio Rotondo We report the case of a bilateral bipartite ossification center of the proximal tibia in a 15-year-old boy with a history of knee injury. The presence of the duplicated ossific centers was an incidental finding on radiography and computed tomography performed after injury. Arthroscopy showed continuous hyaline cartilage between the two ossific centers confirming the diagnosis of a developmental abnormality; however, the articular surface was depressed in the region overlying the smaller ossific center. We presume the presence of an accessory center in the posteromedial aspect of the tibial plate could be a source of instability for the corresponding capsular and meniscal structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of tibial bipartite epiphysis.
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