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Volume 82-B, Issue 8 November 2000

P. F. Leyvraz L. Rakotomanana
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CERAMICS IN ORTHOPAEDICS Pages 1095 - 1099
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M. Hamadouche L. Sedel
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Annotation
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V. Pinskerova P. Maquet M. A. R. Freeman
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P. Tabrizi W. M. J. McIntyre M. B. Quesnel A. W. Howard
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Injuries to the ankle are common in children. We investigated whether decreased dorsiflexion predisposes to such fractures and sprains. Passive dorsiflexion in children with ankle injuries was compared with that in a control group of patients with a normal ankle. The uninjured side was examined to determine flexibility in those patients with ankle injuries. In 82, the mean dorsiflexion was 5.7° with the knee extended and 11.2° with the knee flexed. In 85 controls, the mean dorsiflexion was 12.8° with the knee extended and 21.5° with the knee flexed (p < 0.001, Student’s t-test). There was a strong association between decreased ankle dorsiflexion and injury in children. A flexible triceps surae appeared to absorb energy and protect the bone and ligaments, while stiffness predisposed to injury. We suggest that children with tight calf muscles should undergo a regimen of stretching exercises to improve their flexibility.


B. Hintermann H. H. Trouillier D. Schäfer
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In 42 elderly patients, 33 women and nine men with a mean age of 72 years, we treated displaced fractures of the proximal humerus (34 three-part, 8 four-part) using a blade plate and a standard deltopectoral approach. Functional treatment was started immediately after surgery. We reviewed 41 patients at one year and 38 at final follow-up at 3.4 years (2.4 to 4.5).

At the final review, all the fractures had healed. The clinical results were graded as excellent in 13 patients, good in 17, fair in seven, and poor in one. The median Constant score was 73 ± 18. Avascular necrosis of the humeral head occurred in two patients (5%).

We conclude that rigid fixation of displaced fractures of the proximal humerus with a blade plate in the elderly patient provides sufficient primary stability to allow early functional treatment. The incidence of avascular necrosis and nonunion was low. Restoration of the anatomy and biomechanics may contribute to a good functional outcome when compared with alternative methods of fixation or conservative treatment. Regardless of the age of the patients, we advocate primary open reduction and rigid internal fixation of three- and four-part fractures of the proximal humerus.


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J. F. Keating P. A. Blachut P. J. O’Brien C. M. Court-Brown
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Reamed intramedullary nailing was carried out on 57 Gustilo grade-IIIB tibial fractures in 55 patients. After debridement, there was substantial bone loss in 28 fractures (49%). The mean time to union was 43 weeks (14 to 94). When there was no bone loss, the mean time to union was 32 weeks; it was 45 weeks if there was bone loss. Fractures complicated by infection took a mean of 53 weeks to heal. Revision nailing was necessary in 13 fractures (23%) and bone grafting in 15 (26%). In ten fractures (17.5%) infection developed, in four within six weeks of injury and in six more than four months later. Of these, nine were treated successfully, but one patient required an amputation because of osteomyelitis.

Our results indicate that reamed intramedullary nailing is a satisfactory treatment for Gustilo grade-III tibial fractures.


T. Yamamoto T Onga T. Marui K. Mizuno
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We treated 75 patients with benign bone tumours by curettage and filling the defect with calcium hydroxyapatite (HA). There were 28 women and 47 men with a mean age of 27.7 years (3 to 80). The mean follow-up was for 41.3 months. Postoperative radiological assessment revealed that the implanted HA was well incorporated into the surrounding host bone in all patients. Two patients suffered fractures in the postoperative period. Two patients complained of pain associated with HA in the soft tissues, but this diminished within six months. No patient had local pain at the final follow-up. Recurrence of the tumour was seen in three cases. Histopathological study of the implanted area showed removal of the HA by histiocytes and multinucleated giant cells, and the formation of much appositional bone. We conclude that HA is an excellent bone-graft substitute in surgery for benign bone tumours.


S. Nagoya M. Usui T. Wada T. Yamashita S. Ishii
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We treated four patients with periacetabular malignant tumours by pelvic reconstruction with a free vascularised fibular graft after resection of the tumour. The mean follow-up period was 32 months (9 to 39). The diagnosis was chondrosarcoma in three patients and osteosarcoma in one. In two patients total resection of the hemipelvis was required and in the other two less, but still massive, resection was undertaken. All were treated with an immediate free vascularised fibular graft which included arthrodesis of the hip and reconstruction of the pelvic ring.

One patient died. The other three have remained free from recurrence. Solid union of the graft was achieved between four and 14 months after surgery. Shortening of the involved limbs was less than 2 cm. The patients had no pain and were independent walkers without external support. Emotional acceptance was satisfactory.

Our results suggest that reconstruction with the use of a free vascularised graft is an alternative to other types of reconstructive procedure after resection of periacetabular tumours.


J. D. Witt M. A. Hall-Craggs P. Ripley J. P. Cobb S. G. Bown
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We report the results of a prospective study of 23 patients in which interstitial laser photocoagulation (ILP) was used to treat an osteoid osteoma. ILP is a technique in which tumour tissue is destroyed by direct heating using low-power laser light energy delivered by thin (400 μm) optical fibres which are introduced percutaneously into the tumour under image guidance.

Pain was evaluated before operation and at the latest follow-up using a visual analogue scale with 0 denoting no pain and 10 the worst pain imaginable. The mean follow-up was for 15 months.

The results showed that the mean pain score decreased from 7.5 before operation to 0.95 at the latest follow-up. Fourteen patients had no pain and eight had minor discomfort, not requiring analgesia. One patient required a second procedure because placement of the fibre had not been accurate enough and one developed recurrent symptoms eight months after treatment. All patients were satisfied with the operation because of the rapid resolution of pain, the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, and the fact that there was no postoperative restriction of activity.


Upper Limb
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P. Rozing
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We have reviewed 66 consecutive Souter-Strathclyde arthroplasties of the elbow implanted in 59 patients between 1982 and 1993. Thirteen patients (15 elbows) (19.6%) died. Sixteen elbows (24.2%) were revised, six for aseptic loosening (9%), four (6%) because of fracture or loosening after a fracture, three (4.5%) for infection and three (4.5%) for dislocation. Four patients refused to attend for review.

In 33 elbows with a follow-up of 93 months (60 to 167) complete relief of pain was achieved in 22 (67%) when seen at one year. After ten years or more 36% of the elbows were painfree and 64% had occasional slight pain especially under loading or stress. The mean gain in the arc of movement was 16°, but a mean flexion contracture of 33° remained. The main early complications were intraoperative fractures of the epicondyles (9%), postoperative dislocation (4.5%) and ulnar neuropathy. The incidence of ulnar neuropathy before operation was 19%. After operation 20 patients (33%) had an ulnar neuropathy, in seven of which it had been present before operation, and of these weakness of the hypothenar muscle occurred in two. The probability of survival of the Souter-Strathclyde elbow prosthesis based on the Kaplan-Meier calculation is 69% at ten years.


S. Bonsell A. W. Pearsall R. J. Heitman C. A. Helms N. M. Major K. P. Speer
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Radiographs of the shoulders of 84 asymptomatic individuals aged between 40 and 83 years were evaluated to determine changes in 23 specific areas. Two fellowship-trained orthopaedic radiologists graded each area on a scale of 0 to II (normal 0, mild changes I, advanced changes II). Logistic regression analysis indicated age to be a significant predictor of change (p < 0.05) for sclerosis of the medial acromion and lateral clavicle, the presence of subchondral cysts in the acromion, formation of osteophytes at the inferior acromion and clavicle, and narrowing and degeneration of the acromioclavicular joint. Gender was not a significant predictor (p > 0.05) for radiological changes. Student’s t-test determined significance (p < 0.05) between age and the presence of medial acromial and lateral clavicular sclerosis, subchondral acromial cysts, inferior acromial and clavicular osteophytes, and degeneration of the acromioclavicular joint.

Radiological analysis in conditions such as subacromial impingement, pathology of the rotator cuff, and acromioclavicular degeneration should be interpreted in the context of the symptoms and normal age-related changes.


The musculocutaneous nerve Pages 1140 - 1142
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A. W. H. Osborne R. M. Birch P. Munshi G. Bonney
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We have analysed the results of repair of traumatic lesions of the musculocutaneous nerve in 85 patients, which were graded by Seddon’s modification of the Medical Research Council system into three types of injury: open ‘tidy’, open ‘untidy’and closed ‘traction’. They were also correlated with associated arterial injury.

There were 57 good, 17 fair and 11 poor results. The type of injury was the most important factor in determining the result; 12 of 13 open-tidy lesions gave good results compared with 30 of 48 closed-traction lesions. The results were better when the nerves were repaired within 14 days of injury and when grafts were less than 10 cm long. They were worse in the presence of associated arterial or bony injury.


Spine
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S. Govender J. F. Maharaj M. R. Haffajee
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We treated 183 patients with fractures of the odontoid process (109 type II, 74 type III) non-operatively. Union was achieved in 59 (54%) with type-II fractures. All type-III fractures united, but in 16 patients union was delayed. There was no correlation between union and the clinical or radiological outcome of the fractures. Selective vertebral angiography, carried out in 18 patients ten with acute fractures and eight with nonunion, showed that the blood supply to the odontoid process was not disrupted. Studies on ten adult axis vertebrae at post-mortem showed that the difference in the surface area between type-II and type-III fractures was statistically significant. Our findings show that an age of more than 40 years, anterior displacement of more than 4 mm, posterior displacement and late presentation contribute towards nonunion of type-II fractures.


U. R. Hähnle L. Nainkin
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We describe a patient with traumatic right-sided invagination of two consecutive laminae into the spinal canal. The injury resembled a greenstick fracture and resulted in an acute Brown-Séquard syndrome. There was also an undisplaced hangman’s fracture of the axis vertebra. These injuries were caused by an acute hyperextension and axial compression of the cervical spine. Open reduction and internal fixation of the laminar fractures without fusion was followed by full neurological recovery within six weeks.


R. Radl C. Aigner M. Hungerford A. Pascher R. Windhager
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We performed a retrospective analysis of the clinical and radiological outcomes of total hip replacement using an uncemented femoral component proximally coated with hydroxyapatite. Of 136 patients, 118 who had undergone 124 primary total hip replacements were available for study. Their mean age was 66.5 years (19 to 90) and the mean follow-up was 5.6 years (4.25 to 7.25). At the final follow-up the mean Harris hip score was 92 (47.7 to 100). Periprosthetic femoral fractures, which occurred in seven patients (5.6%), were treated by osteosynthesis in six and conservatively in one. We had to revise five femoral components, one because of aseptic loosening, one because of septic loosening and three because of periprosthetic fracture. At the final follow-up there were definite signs of aseptic loosening in two patients.

Radiologically, proximal femoral bone loss in Gruen zones I and VI was evident in 96.8% of hips, while bone hypertrophy in zones III and V was seen in 64.7%. In 24 hips (20.2%) the mean subsidence of the stem was 3.7 mm which occurred within the first 12 postoperative weeks. This indicated poor initial stability, which might have been aggravated by early weight-bearing. The high rate of failure in our study suggests that proximal femoral bone loss affects the long-term survival of the replacement.


M. Rafiq T. Worthington S. E. Tebbs R. B. C. Treacy R. Dias P. A. Lambert T. S. J. Elliott
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Coagulase-negative staphylococci produce an exocellular glycolipid antigen which has potential as a serological marker of infection in bone. The value of this newly detected antigen was investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 15 patients with culture-proven infection of prostheses caused by Gram-positive bacteria. The antigen was purified by gel-permeation chromatography from the culture supernatants of coagulase-negative staphylococci grown in a chemically defined medium.

There were significant differences (p < 0.0001) between the serum IgG and IgM levels in patients with infection due to Gram-positive staphylococci and those of a control group of 32 patients with no infection. The ELISA test, which has potential for the diagnosis of infection, may be valuable in distinguishing between staphylococcal infection around prostheses and aseptic loosening.


A. P. Davies M. L. Costa S. T. Donnell M. M. Glasgow L. Shepstone
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Anterior knee pain due to dysplasia of the extensor mechanism is common. We have studied 137 knees (103 patients) in order to identify a rapid and reproducible radiological feature which would indicate the need for further analysis.

Overall, 67 knees (49%) had at least one radiological abnormality; 70 (51%) were considered normal. There were five cases of Dejour type-3 dysplasia of the femoral trochlea, nine of type-2 and 12 of type-1. There were 49 cases of patella alta and five of patella infera. Four knees had an abnormal lateral patellofemoral angle (patellar tilt), and in 15 knees there was more than one abnormality. Classification of trochlear dysplasia was difficult and showed poor reproducibility. This was also true for the measurement of the lateral patellofemoral angle. Patellar height was more easily measured but took time. The sulcus angle is an easily and rapidly measurable feature which was reproducible and was closely related to other features of dysplasia of the extensor mechanism.

The finding of a normal sulcus angle suggested that seeking other radiological evidence of malalignment of the extensor mechanism was unlikely to reveal additional useful information. The severity of other features of dysplasia of the extensor mechanism correlated with increasing sulcus angle.


G. Szabò G. Lovász T. Kustos A. Bener
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We have sought to clarify whether the traditional Arabic lifestyle prevents restriction of movement in patients with degenerative arthritis of the knee. The range of movement of 68 osteoarthritic knees of Arabic patients was compared with that of 51 healthy knees of Muslim patients and 83 osteoarthritic knees in non-Arabic patients.

The range of flexion of the osteoarthritic knees in the Arabic patients matched that of the healthy control knees, but was significantly better than that of the osteoarthritic knees in the non-Arabic patients. There was also a statistically significant difference between the mean extension deficit of the two groups with osteoarthritis. Exercises may help to prevent restriction of movement in osteoarthritis of the knee.


Children's Orthopaedics
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U. Hübner W. Schlicht S. Outzen M. Barthel H. Halsband
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We compared the results of primary ultrasonographic examination of 163 children with 224 suspected fractures with the subsequent radiological findings. The aim was to assess the value of ultrasound in the diagnosis of fractures in children. We found a good correlation for fractures of the long bones of the upper and lower limbs. Ultrasound was most reliable for the detection of simple femoral and humeral diaphyseal fractures and fractures of the forearm. It was less dependable for compound injuries and fractures adjacent to joints, lesions of the small bones of the hand and foot, non-displaced epiphyseal fractures (Salter-Harris type 1) or those with a fracture line of less than 1mm.

We were able to distinguish several types of fracture in which the use of ultrasound alone gave reliable information and further radiography was unnecessary. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of skeletal ultrasonographic studies in children.


J. P. Bidwell G. C. Bennet M. J. Bell P. J. Witherow
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We describe ten patients with Turner’s syndrome (karyotype 45, XO) who had leg lengthening for short stature. A high incidence of postoperative complications was encountered and many patients required intramedullary fixation as a salvage procedure. We discuss the reasons for this and highlight the differences between our findings and those of a similar series recently reported. In view of the considerable difficulties encountered, we do not recommend leg lengthening in Turner’s syndrome.


F. Fitoussi K. Mazda J.-M. Frajman P. Jehanno G. F. Penneçot
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This is a retrospective study of primary repairs of flexor pollicis longus in 16 children under 15 years of age. Patients with injuries to the median or ulnar nerve at the wrist, crush injuries, skin loss or fracture were excluded. Repairs were carried out within 24 hours using a modified Kessler technique. The mean follow-up was for two years.

The final results were evaluated using the criteria of Buck-Gramko and Tubiana. They were good or excellent in all except one patient who had a secondary tendon rupture. When compared with the non-injured thumb, however, there was a significant decrease in active interphalangeal flexion (> 30°) in one-third of cases. A new method of assessment is proposed for the recovery of function of the flexor pollicis tendon which is more suitable for children. Postoperative immobilisation using a short splint had a negative effect on outcome. The zone of injury, an early mobilisation programme or concurrent injury to the digital nerve had no significant effect on the final result.


Research
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D. S. Barker A. W. Wang M. F. Yeo N. S. Nawana S. A. Brumby M. J. Pearcy D. W. Howie
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We studied the effect of the surface finish of the stem on the transfer of load in the proximal femur in a sheep model of cemented hip arthroplasty. Strain-gauge analysis and corresponding finite-element (FE) analysis were performed to assess the effect of friction and creep at the cement-stem interface.

No difference was seen between the matt and polished stems. FE analysis showed that the effects of cement creep and friction at the stem-cement interface on femoral strain were small compared with the effect of inserting a cemented stem.


H. Iwaki V. Pinskerova M. A. R. Freeman
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In six unloaded cadaver knees we used MRI to determine the shapes of the articular surfaces and their relative movements. These were confirmed by dissection.

Medially, the femoral condyle in sagittal section is composed of the arcs of two circles and that of the tibia of two angled flats. The anterior facets articulate in extension. At about 20° the femur ‘rocks’ to articulate through the posterior facets. The medial femoral condyle does not move anteroposteriorly with flexion to 110°.

Laterally, the femoral condyle is composed entirely, or almost entirely, of a single circular facet similar in radius and arc to the posterior medial facet. The tibia is roughly flat. The femur tends to roll backwards with flexion.

The combination during flexion of no antero-posterior movement medially (i.e., sliding) and backward rolling (combined with sliding) laterally equates to internal rotation of the tibia around a medial axis with flexion. About 5° of this rotation may be obligatory from 0° to 10° flexion; thereafter little rotation occurs to at least 45°. Total rotation at 110° is about 20°, most if not all of which can be suppressed by applying external rotation to the tibia at 90°.


P. F. Hill V. Vedi A. Williams H. Iwaki V. Pinskerova M. A. R. Freeman
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In 13 unloaded living knees we confirmed the findings previously obtained in the unloaded cadaver knee during flexion and external rotation/internal rotation using MRI. In seven loaded living knees with the subjects squatting, the relative tibiofemoral movements were similar to those in the unloaded knee except that the medial femoral condyle tended to move about 4 mm forwards with flexion. Four of the seven loaded knees were studied during flexion in external and internal rotation. As predicted, flexion (squatting) with the tibia in external rotation suppressed the internal rotation of the tibia which had been observed during unloaded flexion.


S. Nakagawa Y. Kadoya S. Todo A. Kobayashi H. Sakamoto M. A. R. Freeman Y. Yamano
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We studied active flexion from 90° to 133° and passive flexion to 162° using MRI in 20 unloaded knees in Japanese subjects. Flexion over this arc is accompanied by backward movement of the medial femoral condyle of 4.0 mm and by backward movement laterally of 15 mm, i.e., by internal rotation of the tibia. At 162° the lateral femoral condyle lies posterior to the tibia.


J. Karrholm S. Brandsson M. A. R. Freeman
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We studied the knees of 11 volunteers using RSA during a step-up exercise requiring extension while weight-bearing from 50° to 0°. The findings on weight-bearing flexion with and without external rotation of the tibia based on MRI were confirmed.


Author’s reply Pages 1204 - 1204
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D. A. RIKLI
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S. JONES F. ALI J. FERNDANDES
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D. H. SOCHART
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Authors’reply Pages 1205 - 1205
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R. DEUTMAN C. L. E. GERRITSMA-BLEEKER
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D. C. JAFFRAY
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Author’s reply Pages 1205 - 1206
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P. FLEMING
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T. A. BARKER M. J. NICHOLLS
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S. J. SCOTT M. D. JENKINSON
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Authors’reply Pages 1206 - 1206
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P. P. KOTWAL V. GUPTA R. MALHOTRA
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M. RAMACHANDRAN
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Author’s reply Pages 1206 - 1207
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J. R. WILLIAMS
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A. D. ACHARYA C. E. BRUCE D. CAMPBELL
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Author’s reply Pages 1207 - 1207
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D. H. JONES
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The foot in diabetes. Pages 1208 - 1208
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Leslie Klenerman
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David Hamblen
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John Bingham
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Leslie Klenerman
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Bone and soft tissue tumors. Pages 1209 - 1209
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Steve Cannon
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Murray Matthewson
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ABC of sports medicine. Pages 1209 - 1209
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Corrections Pages 1210 - 1210
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