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It is well established that there is a strong association between Perthes’ disease and worsening socioeconomic deprivation. It has been suggested that the primary determinant driving this association is exposure to tobacco smoke. This study aimed to examine this hypothesis.

Patients and Methods

A hospital case-control study (n = 149/146) examined the association between tobacco smoke exposure and Perthes’ disease, adjusting for area-level socioeconomic deprivation. Tobacco smoke exposure was assessed by parental questionnaire of smoking habits during pregnancy, and by quantitative assay of current exposure using the urinary cotinine-creatinine ratio, which is a widely used and validated measure of tobacco smoke exposure.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 98-B, Issue 5 | Pages 710 - 714
1 May 2016
Perry DC Skellorn PJ Bruce CE


To explore the of age of onset distribution for Perthes’ disease of the hip, with particular reference to gender, laterality and conformity to the lognormal distribution.

Patients and Methods

A total of 1082 patients were identified from the Liverpool Perthes’ Disease Register between 1976 and 2010, of which 992 had the date of diagnosis recorded. In total, 682 patients came from the geographical area exclusively served by Alder Hey Hospital, of which 673 had a date of diagnosis. Age of onset curves were analysed, with respect to the predefined subgroups.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1424 - 1426
1 Oct 2014
Mayne AIW Bidwai AS Beirne P Garg NK Bruce CE

We report the effect of introducing a dedicated Ponseti service on the five-year treatment outcomes of children with idiopathic clubfoot.

Between 2002 and 2004, 100 feet (66 children; 50 boys and 16 girls) were treated in a general paediatric orthopaedic clinic. Of these, 96 feet (96%) responded to initial casting, 85 requiring a tenotomy of the tendo-Achillis. Recurrent deformity occurred in 38 feet and was successfully treated in 22 by repeat casting and/or tenotomy and/or transfer of the tendon of tibialis anterior, The remaining 16 required an extensive surgical release.

Between 2005 and 2006, 72 feet (53 children; 33 boys and 20 girls) were treated in a dedicated multidisciplinary Ponseti clinic. All responded to initial casting: 60 feet (83.3%) required a tenotomy of the tendo-Achillis. Recurrent deformity developed in 14, 11 of which were successfully treated by repeat casting and/or tenotomy and/or transfer of the tendon of tibialis anterior. The other three required an extensive surgical release.

Statistical analysis showed that children treated in the dedicated Ponseti clinic had a lower rate of recurrence (p = 0.068) and a lower rate of surgical release (p = 0.01) than those treated in the general clinic.

This study shows that a dedicated Ponseti clinic, run by a well-trained multidisciplinary team, can improve the outcome of idiopathic clubfoot deformity.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:1424–6

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1684 - 1689
1 Dec 2012
Perry DC Bruce CE Pope D Dangerfield P Platt MJ Hall AJ

Perthes’ disease is an osteonecrosis of the juvenile hip, the aetiology of which is unknown. A number of comorbid associations have been suggested that may offer insights into aetiology, yet the strength and validity of these are unclear. This study explored such associations through a case control study using the United Kingdom General Practice Research database. Associations investigated were those previously suggested within the literature. A total of 619 cases of Perthes’ disease were included, as were 2544 controls. The risk of Perthes’ disease was significantly increased with the presence of congenital anomalies of the genitourinary and inguinal region, such as hypospadias (odds ratio (OR) 4.04 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.41 to 11.58)), undescended testis (OR 1.83 (95% CI 1.12 to 3.00)) and inguinal herniae (OR 1.79 (95% CI 1.02 to 3.16)). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was not associated with Perthes’ disease (OR 1.01 (95% CI 0.48 to 2.12)), although a generalised behavioural disorder was (OR 1.55 (95% CI 1.10 to 2.17)). Asthma significantly increased the risk of Perthes’ disease (OR 1.44 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.76)), which remained after adjusting for oral/parenteral steroid use.

Perthes’ disease has a significant association with congenital genitourinary and inguinal anomalies, suggesting that intra-uterine factors may be critical to causation. Other comorbid associations may offer insight to support or refute theories of pathogenesis.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1556 - 1561
1 Nov 2011
Singhal R Perry DC Khan FN Cohen D Stevenson HL James LA Sampath JS Bruce CE

Clinical prediction algorithms are used to differentiate transient synovitis from septic arthritis. These algorithms typically include the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), although in clinical practice measurement of the C-reactive protein (CRP) has largely replaced the ESR. We evaluated the use of CRP in a predictive algorithm.

The records of 311 children with an effusion of the hip, which was confirmed on ultrasound, were reviewed (mean age 5.3 years (0.2 to 15.1)). Of these, 269 resolved without intervention and without long-term sequelae and were considered to have had transient synovitis. The remaining 42 underwent arthrotomy because of suspicion of septic arthritis. Infection was confirmed in 29 (18 had micro-organisms isolated and 11 had a high synovial fluid white cell count). In the remaining 13 no evidence of infection was found and they were also considered to have had transient synovitis. In total 29 hips were categorised as septic arthritis and 282 as transient synovitis. The temperature, weight-bearing status, peripheral white blood cell count and CRP was reviewed in each patient.

A CRP > 20 mg/l was the strongest independent risk factor for septic arthritis (odds ratio 81.9, p < 0.001). A multivariable prediction model revealed that only two determinants (weight-bearing status and CRP > 20 mg/l) were independent in differentiating septic arthritis from transient synovitis. Individuals with neither predictor had a < 1% probability of septic arthritis, but those with both had a 74% probability of septic arthritis. A two-variable algorithm can therefore quantify the risk of septic arthritis, and is an excellent negative predictor.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1586 - 1588
1 Nov 2010
Perry DC Tawfiq SM Roche A Shariff R Garg NK James LA Sampath J Bruce CE

The association between idiopathic congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV) and developmental dysplasia of the hip is uncertain. We present an observational cohort study spanning 6.5 years of selective ultrasound screening of hips in clubfoot. From 119 babies with CTEV there were nine cases of hip dysplasia, in seven individuals. This suggests that 1 in 17 babies with CTEV will have underlying hip dysplasia.

This study supports selective ultrasound screening of hips in infants with CTEV.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 2 | Pages 273 - 276
1 Feb 2010
Ballal MS Bruce CE Nayagam S

A total of 25 children (37 legs and 51 segments) with coronal plane deformities around the knee were treated with the extraperiosteal application of a flexible two-hole plate and screws. The mean age was 11.6 years (5.5 to 14.9), the median angle of deformity treated was 8.3° and mean time for correction was 16.1 months (7 to 37.3). There was a mean rate of correction of 0.7° per month in the femur (0.3° to 1.5°), 0.5° per month in the tibia (0.1° to 0.9°) and 1.2° per month (0.1° to 2.2°) if femur and tibia were treated concurrently. Correction was faster if the child was under 10 years of age (p = 0.05). The patients were reviewed between six and 32 months after plate removal. One child had a rebound deformity but no permanent physeal tethers were encountered.

The guided growth technique, as performed using a flexible titanium plate, is simple and safe for treating periarticular deformities of the leg.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1385 - 1387
1 Oct 2006
Changulani M Garg NK Rajagopal TS Bass A Nayagam SN Sampath J Bruce CE

We report our initial experience of using the Ponseti method for the treatment of congenital idiopathic club foot.

Between November 2002 and November 2004 we treated 100 feet in 66 children by this method. The standard protocol described by Ponseti was used except that, when necessary, percutaneous tenotomy of tendo Achillis were performed under general anaesthesia in the operating theatre and not under local anaesthesia in the out-patient department. The Pirani score was used for assessment and the mean follow-up time was 18 months (6 to 30).

The results were also assessed in terms of the number of casts applied, the need for tenotomy of tendo Achillis and recurrence of the deformity. Tenotomy was required in 85 of the 100 feet. There was a failure to respond to the initial regimen in four feet which then required extensive soft-tissue release. Of the 96 feet which responded to initial casting, 31 (32%) had a recurrence, 16 of which were successfully treated by repeat casting and/or tenotomy and/or transfer of the tendon of tibialis anterior. The remaining 15 required extensive soft-tissue release. Poor compliance with the foot-abduction orthoses (Denis Browne splint) was thought to be the main cause of failure in these patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 3 | Pages 358 - 361
1 Mar 2006
Prathapkumar KR Garg NK Bruce CE

Several techniques are available for the treatment of displaced fractures of the neck of the radius in children. We report our experience in 14 children treated by indirect reduction and fixation using an elastic stable intramedullary nail. The patients were followed up for a mean of 28 months. One developed asymptomatic avascular necrosis. The rest had excellent results. One had a neuropraxia of the posterior interosseous nerve, which recovered within six weeks. We advocate elastic stable intramedullary nailing for the closed reduction and fixation of these fractures in children.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 85-B, Issue 3 | Pages 464 - 464
1 Apr 2003

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 7 | Pages 1085 - 1085
1 Sep 2002

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 2 | Pages 258 - 262
1 Mar 2002
O’Connor MA Palaniappan M Khan N Bruce CE

The treatment of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in children and adolescents is determined by the stability of the lesion and the state of the overlying cartilage. MRI has been advocated as an accurate way of assessing and staging such lesions. Our aim was to determine if MRI scans accurately predicted the subsequent arthroscopic findings in adolescents with OCD of the knee.

Some authors have suggested that a high signal line behind a fragment on the T2-weighted image indicates the presence of synovial fluid and is a sign of an unstable lesion. More recent reports have suggested that this high signal line is due to the presence of vascular granulation tissue and may represent a healing reaction.

We were able to improve the accuracy of MRI for staging the OCD lesion from 45% to 85% by interpreting the high signal T2 line as a predictor of instability only when it was accompanied by a breach in the cartilage on the T1-weighted image. We conclude that MRI can be used to stage OCD lesions accurately and that a high signal line behind the OCD fragment does not always indicate instability.

We recommend the use of an MRI classification system which correlates with the arthroscopic findings.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 83-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1173 - 1175
1 Nov 2001
Davidson JS Brown DJ Barnes SN Bruce CE

Torus (buckle) fractures of the distal radius are common in childhood. Based on the results of a postal questionnaire and a prospective, randomised trial, we describe a simple treatment for this injury, which saves both time and money.

Over a six-month period, we randomised 201 consecutive patients with this injury to treatment with either a traditional forearm plaster-of-Paris cast or a ‘Futura-type’ wrist splint. All patients were treated for a period of three weeks, followed by clinical and radiological review.

There was no difference in outcome between the two groups, and all patients had a good result. Only one patient did not tolerate the splint which was replaced by a cast.

The questionnaire showed a marked variation in the way in which these injuries are treated with regard to the method and period of immobilisation, the number of follow-up visits and radiographs taken.

We suggest that a ‘Futura-type’ wrist splint can be used to treat these fractures. The patient should be reviewed on the following day to confirm the diagnosis and to give appropriate advice. There is no evidence that further follow-up is required.

This simple treatment has major benefits in terms of cost and reduction of the number of attendances.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1207 - 1207
1 Nov 2000