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  • Shoulder activity not associated with severity of atraumatic rotator cuff tear

    Among patients with atraumatic rotator cuff tears, shoulder activity was not associated with severity of the tear, but was affected by patients’ age, sex and occupation, according to study results.
    Researchers prospectively enrolled patients with an atraumatic rotator cuff tear on MRI in the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network shoulder study of nonoperative treatment. Patients were asked to complete a previously validated shoulder activity scale; 434 patients completed the scale and were included in the analysis. Mean patient age was 62.7 years.
    The researchers performed a regression analysis to assess the association of shoulder activity level to rotator cuff tear characteristics, including tendon involvement and traction, as well as patient factors such as age, sex, smoking and occupation.
    Shoulder activity was not associated with severity of the rotator cuff tear, according to the researchers. However, shoulder activity was negatively associated with age and female sex. According to the regression model, 69-year-old patients with rotator cuff tears were 1.5 points less active on the 20-point scale vs. identical 56-year-old patients; female patients were 1.6 points less active vs. similar male patients. Occupation was also a significant predictor of shoulder activity level, with unemployed patients predicted to be 4.8 points less active compared with employed patients.

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  • NFL players return to the game after stabilizing shoulder surgery

    Shoulder instability is a common injury in football players but the rate of return to play has not been regularly determined following surgery. A new study, discussed at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting, details that return rates for NFL players is approximately 90 percent no matter what the stabilization procedure (open vs. arthroscopic).

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  • Risk factors identified for little league shoulder

    As cases of Little League Shoulder (LLS) occur more frequently, the need for additional information about the causes and outcomes of the condition has become clear. Researchers presenting at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting shared new data identifying associated risk factors, common treatment options and return to play.

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  • Shock therapy improves pain and function in patients with chronic calcific shoulder tendinitis

    Shock therapy improves pain and function in patients with chronic calcific shoulder tendinitis, according to an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Rotator cuff tendonitis is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain and may present with or without calcifications. There is little evidence to suggest that conventional therapies, such as rest, ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and subacromial corticosteroid injections can effectively ease pain or restore function. Calcific tendinitis, in particular, may be more difficult to manage and may require surgery. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), which uses sound waves of high or low energy that impart rapid fluctuations of pressure to tissues, has been suggested as an alternative treatment to expensive and risky surgical interventions.

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  • Physical therapy instructional video may be as good as an in-person visit for shoulder rehabilitation exercises

    A rehab video may get the same results as an in-person visit for shoulder rehabilitation exercises, a new study suggests. "These results are significant for two reasons," said the lead researcher. "First, having an additional tool to augment what the patient learns at an initial physical therapy visit may help with exercise accuracy and hopefully therefore improve outcomes. Additionally as access to physical therapy becomes more limited due either to cost or insurance, identifying new tools to better help out patients will be essential."

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  • Baseball pitchers, volleyball spikers have something in common: Similar shoulder, elbow injuries

    Baseball and volleyball players share the similar arm injuries due to overuse of their shoulders and elbows. In both circumstances, the shoulder muscles generate and transmit an incredible amount of energy and serve as the transition point where built up energy is transferred from the rest of the body down the arm. After too many pitches or serves, these shoulder muscles get overworked and tend to cause the shoulder to tighten up.

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  • Short term improvements only for shoulder revision repair surgery

    Long-term outcomes of revision arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery is not as successful as in a first-time surgery, according to researchers from the Orthopaedic Research Institute in Sydney, Australia, who presented their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Specialty Day.

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  • Rotator Cuff Repair and Immobilization

    Shoulder rotator cuff repair aims to suture torn rotator cuff tendons and provide them with the optimal environment to heal and minimize chance of retear. Overall retear rates have decreased over the years, but are still a major concern. Better suture techniques have been thoroughly investigated but there is less attention paid to the rehabilitation protocol. Currently the gold standard for rehabilitation after surgery is to wear an abduction brace and begin physical therapy for passive range of motion within the first few weeks. As surgical techniques have evolved from open surgery to arthroscopic surgery, there are questions as to whether this rehabilitation protocol is ideal. Animal studies have shown that longer periods of immobilization are beneficial to healing after rotator cuff repair.

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  • In pitching injuries, the elbow is connected to the hip bone

    New University of Florida research suggests that a pitcher’s elbow injury could be linked to movement in the hips. Dr. Kevin W. Farmer, an assistant professor in the UF department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, presented research at the March meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that shows a limited range of motion in a pitcher’s hips could be a risk factor in injury to his elbow.

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  • Volar plating not suited for all distal radius fractures

    Distal radius fracture fixation techniques can differ and be more or less effective based on the patient’s age, bone quality and fracture stability. In a Cover Story in Orthopaedics Today Europe, investigators from throughout Europe discuss their results with distal radius fracture treatments, how to avoid complications and factors that impact a patient’s return to preinjury levels of activity.

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  • Year-round play contributes to 10-fold increase of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction among youth

    Baseball season is back and so are the injuries. But, elbow injuries, once seen as a problem for professional athletes, are becoming more prevalent among high school and middle school athletes due to increased play and competition at the youth level. Repetitive stress to a pitcher’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) – an important stabilizing ligament of the elbow joint – can lead to pain and eventually to the inability to pitch and throw.

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  • Athletes’ risk of concussion reduced by custom-made mouthguards

    When it comes to buying a mouthguard, parents who want to reduce their child’s risk of a sports-related concussion should visit a dentist instead of a sporting goods store.
    High school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injures (MTBI)/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards, reports a new study in the May/June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

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  • Predictors of successful ACL reconstruction identified

    Researchers have found that a patient’s age and the type of tissue graft have a direct impact on ACL reconstructive surgery (ACLR) outcomes, according to an exhibit presented at the 2014 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting in New Orleans.

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  • ACL injury risk reduced in young athletes by universal neuromuscular training

    The ACL is a critical ligament that stabilizes the knee joint. An ACL injury, one of the most common sports injuries, often requires surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation before an athlete can return to sport and other activities. Recent research has found that screening tools, such as "hop" or isokinetic (computer/video) tests to identify neuromuscular deficits, as well as neuromuscular training programs, may reduce ACL injuries.

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  • Patients should wait at least six weeks to resume driving following shoulder replacement surgery

    More than 53,000 Americans have total shoulder joint replacement (SJR) surgery each year, and yet the effects of this surgery on a patient’s ability to safely drive a vehicle, and the appropriate recovery time before patients should return to driving, have yet to be determined.

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  • New probe could help determine severity of rotator-cuff injuries

    A new ultrasound probe that has been developed at Clemson University could take some of the guesswork out of determining the severity of rotator-cuff injuries, making it easier for doctors to decide whether patients need surgery.

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  • Doctor offers tips to prevent injuries while shovelling snow

    As temperatures continue to plunge and snowfall levels increase across the tri-state region, a physical therapy professor at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia reminds individuals the exertion, cold weather, and slippery surfaces snow shovelers face in these conditions are a dangerous combination.

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  • Obese children more likely to have complex elbow fractures and further complications

    Pediatric obesity is currently an epidemic, with the prevalence having quadruped over the last 25 years. Children diagnosed with obesity can be at risk for various long-term health issues and may be putting their musculoskeletal system at risk. According to new research in the February issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), obese children who sustain a supracondylar humeral (above the elbow) fracture can be expected to have more complex fractures and experience more postoperative complications than children of a normal weight.

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  • A lower ratio between index and ring fingers is associated with higher risk of developing severe osteoarthritis in the knee, says study

    A new ultrasound probe that has been developed at Clemson University could take some of the guesswork out of determining the severity of rotator-cuff injuries, making it easier for doctors to decide whether patients need surgery.

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  • High-demand patients returned to work quickly after arthroscopic treatment of a dislocated elbow

    Investigators found patients returned to work 2.7 weeks after acute arthroscopic repair of the radial ulnohumeral ligament for elbow dislocation.Michael J. O’Brien, MD, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed the results of surgeries they performed in 14 consecutive high-demand patients. The investigators defined high-demand patients as those who needed both hands to work or play a competitive sport. One patient in the series was a surgeon.
    Few guidelines exist about return to work after elbow dislocation, according to O’Brien, who presented the results at the American Academy of Orthopaedics Surgeons Annual Meeting, here.
    In this series, “All patients returned to their pre-injury level of function,” he said.
    The investigators followed the patients for an average of 30 months after either acute or subacute treatment of the radial ulnohumeral ligament (RUHL).
    O’Brien said all patients achieved a Mayo Elbow Performance Score that was excellent and ranged from 95 points to 100 points. According to the paper abstract, results using a goniometer showed a final range of motion from -3 º in full extension to full flexion that exceeded 130 º.
    O’Brien said the return to work was longer — at about 4.6 weeks — in the patients who underwent arthroscopic stabilization subacutely.

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