Physical Abuse of Children: A Review for Orthopedic Surgeons--Sara H. Sinal, MD; Cynthia D. Stewart, MA, LPC

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Statistics show that more than half the victims of child abuse have fractures. The orthopedic surgeon will often be the first person to identify a potentially abused child. In a series at Brenner Children’s Hospital, 17% of abused children had a fracture as the initial manifestation of child abuse. For protection of the child, it is essential that the orthopedic surgeon recognize the signs of child abuse and make a referral to the appropriate child protection agency. In this review article, we discuss recognition of common types of child abuse and outline appropriate management of child abuse cases.

Salter-Harris Type III Epiphyseal Fractures of the Proximal Phalanx--John C. Crick, MD; Mark S. Lemel, MD

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Of 823 pediatric hand fractures treated between 1981 through 1996, only 11 (1.3%) were Salter-Harris type III fractures of the proximal phalanx. We review the anatomic basis, etiology, age prevalence, treatment, and results of these epiphyseal injuries. The average age at injury was 14.9 years, with a narrow range from 14 years 2 months to 15 years 11 months. Nine of 11 fractures were displaced and treated with open reduction and internal fixation. At an average follow-up of 21 months, 9 of 11 had full joint motion. The other two had minimal loss of motion, and all had normal function and collateral ligament stability. The displacement and size of the epiphyseal fragment, avulsed and rotated by the collateral ligament, are often underestimated by radiographs. We found that anatomic reduction and fixation yielded good results in all displaced fractures. This restores both the stability of the collateral ligament and a smooth articular surface.

Femur Fractures in Patients With Hip Arthroplasty: Indications for Revision Arthroplasty--Alexander Siegmeth, MD; Wolfgang A. Menth-Chiari, MD; Gerald E. Wozasek, MD; Vilmos Vécsei, MD

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The number of periprosthetic femur fractures has increased due to the increase in the number of patients having total hip arthroplasty. In this study, we define indications for operative treatment in patients with femur fractures after hip arthroplasty. Fifty-three patients with 56 periprosthetic fractures were available for retrospective review of charts, radiographs, and physical examination; 42 fractures were treated with open reduction and internal fixation, 8 had replacement of hip prosthesis, 4 were treated with a retrograde genucephalic nail, and 2 patients were treated conservatively. The choice of treatment depended on the stability of the prosthesis and on the type and location of the fracture. Fifty-two fractures healed primarily. Three patients sustained a refracture, one an additional fracture, and two a deep infection. We recommend treatment with plate fixation for fractures without signs of prosthetic loosening. In fractures with loose implants, revision arthroplasty is required. Distal femoral fractures should be stabilized with a plate or with genucephalic nailing.

Spine Injuries Associated With Falls From Hunting Tree Stands--Brian M. Crites, MD; Claude T. Moorman III, MD; William T. Hardaker, Jr., MD

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Spinal injuries resulting from falls out of tree stands are often associated with concomitant neurologic deficit, prolonged hospitalization, and long-term disability. The purpose of this study was to review the types of spinal injuries that resulted from falls from hunting tree stands. We retrospectively reviewed 27 patients who came to our institution for treatment of spine injuries related to tree-stand accidents between 1981 and 1997. Eleven percent of the falls were alcohol related. Mean height of the fall was 19.6 feet (range, 10 to 35 feet). There were 17 burst fractures, 8 wedge compression fractures, 4 fractures involving the posterior elements, and 1 coronal fracture of the sacral body. Significant neurologic injury occurred in 12 patients (44%). Sixteen patients (59%) had associated injuries. Nine patients (33%) had open reduction, internal fixation, and fusion of their spine fractures. One patient was treated with a halo jacket. The remaining patients were treated in rigid, molded, polypropylene thoracolumbar orthoses or lumbosacral corsets. Accidental falls from tree stands may result in significant spinal fractures often associated with concomitant neurologic injury, extended hospitalization, and permanent disability. Many of these injuries may be prevented through aggressive hunter safety education.

Cementless Revision of Total Hip Arthroplasty Using Proximal Porouscoated Femoral Implants--George W. Brindley, MD; Rebecca Adams, RN, BSN

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Thirty patients had 32 cementless total hip arthroplasty revisions and were evaluated postoperatively for clinical function (Harris Hip Score) and radiographic evidence of implant stability. Of the 26 femoral components revised, 16 were revised with anatomic long-stem femoral prostheses, and 10 were revised with straight mid-stem-length components. All components were collared and had circumferential proximal fiber-mesh porous coating. Seven of 16 patients had radiographic subsidence after revision with long-stem components (2 to 30 mm); 6 of 10 patients had subsidence after revision with midstem femoral components (2 to 25 mm). Of the 13 patients with femoral subsidence, 8 had calcar reconstruction with allograft bone; of the 13 patients without radiographic subsidence, 8 did not require calcar reconstruction. One of 27 fibermesh, porous-coated acetabular components migrated (30 mm). No components have been removed or revised. Even with circumferential proximal porous coating, femoral implant stability remains unpredictable in total hip arthroplasty revision.

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