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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 86-B, Issue 6 | Pages 906 - 911
1 Aug 2004
Kearns SR Daly AF Sheehan K Murray P Kelly C Bouchier-Hayes D

Compartment syndrome is a unique form of ischaemia of skeletal muscle which occurs despite patency of the large vessels. Decompression allows the influx of activated leucocytes which cause further injury. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which concentrates preferentially in leucocytes and attenuates reperfusion-induced muscle injury. We have evaluated the use of pretreatment with oral vitamin C in the prevention of injury caused by compartment syndrome in a rat cremasteric muscle model.

Acute and delayed effects of pretreatment with vitamin C were assessed at one and 24 hours after decompression of compartment syndrome. Muscle function was assessed electrophysiologically. Vascular, cellular and tissue inflammation was assessed by staining of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and by determination of the activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in neutrophils and tissue oedema.

Compartment syndrome impaired skeletal muscle function and increased the expression of ICAM-1, activity of MPO and muscle weight increased significantly. Pretreatment with vitamin C preserved muscle function and reduced the expression of ICAM-1, infiltration of the neutrophils and oedema.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 5 | Pages 758 - 760
1 Jul 2002
Thornes B Murray P Bouchier-Hayes D

We have compared the rates of infection and resistance in an animal model of an orthopaedic procedure which was contaminated with a low-dose inoculum of Staphylococcus epidermidis. We randomised 44 Sprague-Dawley rats to have bone cement implanted subcutaneously containing either gentamicin or saline (control). The wound was inoculated with a dilute solution of gentamicin-sensitive Staphylococcus epidermidis. At two weeks the cement was retrieved and microbiologically tested. A lower overall rate of infection was seen in the gentamicin-loaded cement group, but there was a significantly higher rate of gentamicin-resistant infection in this group (Fisher’s exact test, p < 0.01). Antibiotic-impregnated cement has an optimum surface for colonisation and prolonged exposure to antibiotic allows mutational resistance to occur. Gentamicin-loaded cement may not be appropriate for revision surgery if it has been used already in previous surgery.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 83-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1202 - 1206
1 Nov 2001
Kearns SR Moneley D Murray P Kelly C Daly AF

Ischaemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is caused by endothelial and subendothelial damage by neutrophil-derived oxidants. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which attenuates endothelial injury after IRI. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of oral vitamin C in the prevention of IRI in skeletal muscle. We used a model of cross-clamping (3 hours) and reperfusion (1 hour) of the cremaster muscle in rats. Muscle function was assessed electrophysiologically by electrical field stimulation. Infiltration by neutrophils was determined by the activity of tissue myeloperoxidase (MPO) and tissue oedema by the wet-to-dry ratio. Neutrophil respiratory burst activity was measured in control animals and groups pretreated with vitamin C.

IRI significantly decreased muscle function and increased muscle neutrophil MPO activity and muscle oedema. Pretreatment with vitamin C preserved muscle function and reduced tissue oedema and neutrophil infiltration. Neutrophil respiratory burst activity was reduced in the group treated with vitamin C compared with the control group.

We conclude that pretreatment with oral vitamin C protects against acute muscle IRI, possibly by attenuating neutrophil respiratory burst activity.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 5 | Pages 744 - 746
1 Jul 2000
Kealey WDC Mayne EE McDonald W Murray P Cosgrove AP

Recent reports have suggested an association between Perthes’ disease and an underlying thrombophilic or hypofibrinolytic tendency. In Northern Ireland there is a high incidence of Perthes’ disease (11.7 per 100 000 or 1 in 607 children) in a stable paediatric population.

We reviewed 139 children with Perthes’ disease and compared them with a control group of 220 aged- and gender-matched healthy primary schoolchildren with similar racial and ethnic backgrounds.

There were no significant deficiencies of antithrombotic factors protein C, protein S, antithrombin III or resistance to activated protein C. A total of 53 (38.1%) of the children with Perthes’ disease had a prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (> 38) compared with 13 (5.9%) of the control group (p < 0.001). Our findings have shown that using standard assays, thrombophilia secondary to antithrombotic factor deficiency or resistance to activated protein does not appear to be an aetiological factor for Perthes’ disease. The cause of the prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, usually associated with a clotting factor deficiency, is under further investigation.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 3 | Pages 433 - 434
1 Apr 2000
Fleming P Fitzgerald P Devitt A Rice J Murray P

Compression foot pumps are widely used for the prevention of postoperative venous thrombosis. We tested the efficiency of the pump in ten healthy subjects; the velocity of venous blood flow in the common femoral vein was measured in the horizontal, Trendelenberg (foot-up) and reverse-Trendelenberg (foot-down) positions.

Application of the foot pump produced an increase in the venous velocity in all subjects. The mean increase in the horizontal position was 27.2% and in the Trendelenberg position 15.4%. In the reverse-Trendelenberg position, the foot pump produced a mean increase of 102.8%.

The efficiency of the compression foot pump in increasing venous return is improved by adopting the reverse-Trendelenberg position. This may increase its thromboprophylactic effect.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 79-B, Issue 6 | Pages 952 - 954
1 Nov 1997
Poynton AR O’Farrell DA Shannon F Murray P McManus F Walsh MG

We have reviewed 59 patients with injury to the spinal cord to assess the predictive value of the sparing of sensation to pin prick in determining motor recovery in segments which initially had MRC grade-0 power.

There were 35 tetraplegics (18 complete, 17 incomplete) and 24 paraplegics (19 complete, 5 incomplete), and the mean follow-up was 29.6 months. A total of 114 motor segments initially had grade-0 power but sparing of sensation to pin prick in the corresponding dermatome. Of these, 97 (85%) had return of functional power (≥ grade 3) at follow-up. There were 479 motor segments with grade-0 power but no sparing of sensation to pin prick and of these only six (1.3%) had return of functional power. Both of the above associations were statistically significant (chi-squared test, p < 0.0001).

After injury to the spinal cord, the preservation of sensation to pin prick in a motor segment with grade-0 power indicated an 85% chance of motor recovery to at least grade 3.