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Volume 86-B, Issue SUPP_II February 2004

CJ Goldberg DP Moore EE Fogarty FE Dowling

Objective: It is frequently said that the natural history of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is not understood. This study examines clinical data collected over some years and shows that the information is available and needs only to be generalised and applied.

Design: Retrospective analysis of data, relating basic clinical information (age, Cobb angle, pubertal status, growth) to outcome in the practical terms that are relevant to clinical practice and patient management, Subjects: Two groups of female patients identified from the database: Group 1, girls diagnosed at least one year before the onset of menses and last reviewed at least one year afterwards; Group 2, girls diagnosed at least one day after menarche, followed for at least one year and not having surgery as a first option i.e. within six months.

Outcome measures: Within and between group comparisons as regards age, height and Cobb angle at presentation and at last review and age at menarche. Change in height and Cobb angle of 10°, and the incidence of non-operative treatment and corrective surgery were considered. Statistical analysis was by student’s t test and Fisher’s exact.

Results: Group 1 (N=58) presented at a mean age of 11.6 years SD 1.02, range 10 – 13.9 and reached menarche a mean of 2.1 years later, SD 0.86, range 1.0 – 4.5. Mean Cobb angle was 16.79 SD 8.58. Progression of more than 10° was observed in 24 girls, 11 of whom underwent surgery. Those who progressed had a higher initial Cobb angle (p=0.01) and were taller at discharge (p=0.041), but all other parameters were the same. Group 2 (N=92) presented at a mean age of 13.7 years SD 0.92 with a mean Cobb angle of 23.77° SD 14.52. Progression of 10° or more was observed, one of whom had surgery, her Cobb angle having increased from 48° to 64°. 6 had surgery for cosmetic reasons without further increase in Cobb angle. There was no statistically significant difference between the stable and progressive groups on any parameter other than final Cobb angle.

Comparing Groups 1 & 2, girls in Group 1 were younger and smaller at diagnosis with lower Cobb angles. They were older at menarche, but this was inevitable from the selection criteria, and more likely to progress (p< 0.001), to receive a brace (p=0.047) and to undergo surgery (p=0.043). Age, final Cobb angle and height at discharge were not significantly different.

Conclusions: 1.Girls diagnosed with AIS before puberty are at increased risk of progression but this is not usually clinically significant and does not usually lead to corrective surgery. 2.Girls diagnosed after menarche progress rarely and less. In practice, their deformity can be taken as stable at presentation. 3. In most cases, the course is benign and non-operative treatment had no discernible effect on outcome. As the percentage progressing significantly or requiring treatment at any stage is small, a less interventionist approach is indicated.


Nachiappan Chockalingam Peter Dangerfield El-Nasri Ahmed Aziz Rahmatalla Tom Cochrane

Introduction and Objective: Although the causation and progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) remains unclear, a recent review has highlighted a series of possible aetiological factors. Additionally, research investigations have indicated that the kinematic differences in various body segments may be a major contributing factor. The value of gait analysis systems employed to measure dynamic back movements in furthering understanding of spinal deformity has also been demonstrated by various studies. Research employing gait measurements have indicated asymmetries in the ground reaction forces and have suggested relationship between these asymmetries, neurological dysfunction and spinal deformity. This investigation, which formed part of a wider comprehensive study, was aimed at identifying asymmetries in lower limb kinematics and pelvic and back movements during level walking in scoliotic subjects that could be related to the spinal deformity.

Design and Methodology: The research employed a movement analysis system and a strain gauge force platform to estimate time domain kinetic parameters and other kinematic parameters in the lower extremities, pelvis and back. 16 patients with varying degrees of deformity, scheduled for surgery within a week took part in the study.

Results and conclusions: The findings have demonstrated the presence of asymmetries in kinetic parameters in the scoliotic subject and have also served to highlight the value of using kinetic and kinematic parameters in developing the understanding of the pathogenesis and aetiology of scoliosis. In addition, the results have also indicated that the variables identified in the study can be applied to initial screening and surgical evaluation of spinal deformities such as scoliosis. Further studies are being undertaken to validate these findings.


R G Burwell P H Dangerfield

Objective. Despite the current revolution in molecular medicine that has benefitted the treatment of certain diseases (Ross 2002), idiopathic scoliosis has resisted attempts to understand the molecular basis of its curve development. Lowe et al (2002) in a longitudinal study of 55 AIS patients concluded that platelet calmodulin levels correlate closely with curve progression and stabilization by bracing or spine fusion. They suggest that the platelet is a “minimuscle” with a protein contractile system (actin and myosin) similar to that of skeletal muscle. Using Lowe’s data we found that percentage platelet calmodulin change correlates significantly with percentage Cobb angle change (ANOVA, p=0.0003, n=54) that led us to suggest a platelet/skeletal hypothesis to account for their findings as part of a cascade concept for the pathogenesis of AIS.

Hypothesis. The human immature vertebral body is unusual among mammals in lacking epiphyses. This may explain why an axial load transmitted directly from the intervertebral disc deforms mature vertebral body end-plates as an axial inward bulge (Brinckmann et al 1983). In immature normal vertebral bodies vascular “lakes” (resembling bunches of grapes) have been found adjacent to the disc growth plates in subjects aged 9 to 13 years of age (Mineiro 1965). These “lakes” may provide a susceptibility to platelet activation from vascular stasis and shear stresses. In addition to their role in hemostasis platelets contain many growth factors including TGF-βs in α-granules that are secreted at a fracture site (Bolander 1992). TGF-βs are found in human neonatal rib growth plates (Horner et al 1998) but, like estrogen receptors, have not yet been sought in human intervertebral disc growth plates. We hypothesize that in the presence of a small scoliosis curve (from unknown causes ?spine, rib, muscle, or nervous system) platelets, as they circulate through vessels in eccentrically-loaded and deforming immature vertebral bodies particularly about the curve apex in the presence of a basic defect, are activated also by repeated axial inward bulges of disc growth plates causing mechanical micro-insults with endothelial cell desquamation and the formation of a calcium-cadmodulin complex. The latter is associated with platelet contraction (shape change) and the secretion from α-granules of various growth factors including angiogenic regulators (platelet release reaction, Hartwig 2003, Reed 2002, Rendu and Brohard-Bohn 2002). These growth factors abet the hormone-driven growth of the already mechanically-compromised disc growth plates and induce anterior spinal overgrowth and curve progression. The basic defect in AIS could be 1) a platelet, endothelial, or subendothelial anomaly, defect, or functional (?hormonal) disorder, and 2) one or more genetic polymorphisms that involve platelet receptors (Afshar-Kharghan and Bray 2002) and putative estrogen receptors in vertebral disc growth plates (Inoue et al 2002ab). The predilection of progressive AIS for girls may be related to the cyclical platelet functions in women associated with normal uterine function (Jones et al 1983, Pansini et al 1986, Tarantino et al 1994, Faraday et 1997). Curve laterality is determined by factors that initiate curve progression. Low plasma melatonin of progressive AIS may act both by a reduced antagonism to calmodulin (Lowe 2000, Dubousset and Machida 2001) and facilitating platelet aggregation with secretion of growth factors from α-granules.

Conclusions. The platelet/skeletal hypothesis for progressive AIS and the cascade concept suggests much new research. The hypothesis has genetic, diagnostic, prognostic and potential therapeutic implications. It raises questions about the possibility of changes in platelet calmodulin levels in other progressive and resolving deformities that occur in the immature and adult skeleton.


E. Lou V.J. Raso D.L. Hill M. J. Moreau J. K. Mahood

Objectives: To determine the correlation between brace treatment and the brace tightness and treatment compliance

Design: A monitoring device [1] was designed to measure and record the time and temporal profile of the loads on the pressure pad imposed on the trunk during daily activity. The device consists of a programmable digital data acquisition system and a force transducer. Three light emitted diodes (LEDs) were used to indicate the tightness level below 80%, between 80 to 120%, and above 120% of the load level prescribed. Each subject used the indicator on the device to adjust the tightness of the brace so as to achieve the prescribed pad load. The prescribed pad load had been set by his/her physician after the transducer was installed.

Subjects: Eighteen brace candidates, 3 males and 15 females age 13.6 ± 1.8 years, who had worn their braces from 6 months up to 1 year were recruited. All subjects gave their informed consent to participate in this study. The selection criteria were 1) diagnosis of idiopathic scoliosis, 2) ages between 9 – 15 years and 3) prescribed brace treatment. The exclusion criteria were anyone who 1) had other musculoskeletal or neurological disorders, 2) refused to wear the brace, 3) was being weaned from treatment, or 4) was a surgical candidate. Twelve of eighteen subjects have completed their brace treatment. Loads were measured one sample per minute. These twelve subjects used the systems from 3 to 14 days (9.4 ± 4.9 days). All subjects reported that the time they wore their braces was not influenced by wearing the monitor.

Outcome measures: The quality of the brace wear was assessed by how often the brace was worn with zero force (i.e., not worn), below 80%, between 80 to 120%, and above 120% of the load level prescribed in the clinic. The quantity of brace wear was determined by how many hours per day they wore their braces. Three treatment outcomes were defined: improvement, no change, and deterioration. Improvement was defined as a reduction of the Cobb angle, compared to the pre-brace measurement, by more than 5 degrees after weaning; no change was defined as a Cobb angle change of ± 5 degrees after weaning, and deterioration was defined as a Cobb increase greater than 5 degrees after weaning.

Results: One subject had curve improvement, 7 subjects had no change and 4 subjects had curve deterioration. The improvement subject was 84% compliant and wore her brace above or in the target load range 62% of prescribed time. No change subjects were 70 ± 12.5% compliant and wore their braces above or in the target load range 40 ± 24% of prescribed time. Deterioration subjects were 64 ± 10% compliant and wore their braces above or in the target load range only 26 ± 9% of prescribed time.

Conclusions: It appears that tightening the straps to the prescribed level and wearing the brace as much as the prescribed time is important for successful brace treatment. Simply wearing a brace is not enough; it has to be worn tightly and often.


R. G. Burwell R. K. Aujla A. A. Cole A. S. Kirby R. K. Pratt J. K. Webb A. Moulton

Objective. To evaluate the relation of ribs to the spine in the transverse plane (TP) at the curve apex in preoperative AIS using a real-time ultrasound method and radiographs (Burwell et al 2002).

Design. With the subject in a prone position and head supported, readings of laminal rotation (LR) and rib rotation (RR) were made on the back by one of two observers (RKA, ASK) using an Aloka SSD 500 portable u/s machine with a veterinary long (172mm) 3.5 MHz linear array transducer. The maximal difference between LR and RR about the curve apex was calculated as the apical spine-minus-rib rotation difference (SRRD). The SRRD eliminates the effect of any anterior chest wall asymmetry on the ultrasound measurements and, assuming no movement of ribs in the TP at the costotransverse joints, is considered to be a measure of TP rib deformity. The radiographic Cobb angle (CA), apical Perdriolle rotation (AR), and apical vertebral translation (AVT) were measured by one observer (RGB). In an attempt to separate mechanical axial vertebral rotation from axial vertebral deformity a derivative was calculated as Perdriolle rotation minus ultrasound LR with the latter corrected for the positional effect of lying prone and termed the axial vertebral difference (AVD) The correction factor (CF) used is maximal Scoliometer angle of trunk rotation obtained in the standing forward bending position minus that in the prone position.

Subjects. Thirty-three preoperative patients with AIS were studied (thoracic curves 20, thoracolumbar curves 8, double curves 5).

Results. The mean figures in degrees or mm (AVT) are shown in the Table.

All curves combined. The LR is significantly greater than the RR (p< 0.001) and correlates with RR (r=0.358, p=0.041), SRRD (r=0.713, P< 0.001) but not with CA (p=0.088), AR (p=0.166), AVT or AVD. AR does not correlate significantly with CA.

Thoracolumbar and thoracic curves. In the thoracolumbar curves the SRRDs are significantly greater than those in the thoracic curves (p=0.031) implying more TP rib deformity in the thoracolumbar curves. In the thoracic curves the SRRDs correlate negatively with the AVDs (r= −0.470, p=0.036) suggesting that rib deformity and intravertebral deformity contribute reciprocally and together with axial spinal rotation to determine the overall spinal deformity of AIS.

Conclusions. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that in preoperative AIS the axial RR and TP rib deformities are adaptations to rotational and lateral forces imposed by the scoliotic spine (Wever et al 1999). Might surgical stiffening of the posterior ends of the apical convex ribs – in an attempt to prevent TP convex rib deformity – constrain axial spinal rotation, vertebral translation and intravertebral deformity and limit curve progression? #Supported by AO/ASIF Research Commission Project 96-W21


A Ahuja S Ahuja J Howes PR Davies

Objectives: Quantitative research methods have highlighted the psychological implications of spinal deformities in adolescence. However these methods are limited in exploring the adolescent’s perception of the illness and the expectations from treatment. Hence we carried out detailed qualitative interviews with these adolescents and where applicable with their families to examine these issues

Design: Individual contact was made with the adolescents attending the spinal deformity clinic in a specialist centre in Cardiff. Following their consent an interview was carried out using a qualitative semistructured format

Subjects: A total of 10 adolescents and their families attending the spinal clinic for treatment were interviewed

Results All the adolescents and their families had sufficient information and fairly good understanding of their condition and of the treatments available. The impact the deformity had on the individual’s life was variable. Social impairment was higher in these individuals and this was reflected in their interaction with their peers. Most of the families desired an expected timetable of treatemnt and sequence of events. They also felt the lack of buddy or self help gropus. It also gave a better understanding into these teenagers perception of their condition and their attitude towards treatment

Conclusions: These issues probably need to be understood while dealing with these individuals and their families and as health professionals we need to be sensitive to these issues.


GJ Bulthuis AG Veldhuizen Van Horn

Objective: The development of braces for the non-operative treatment of idiopathic scoliosis has been empirical, based on trial and error. Brace designs have changed periodically over the years, but most modifications have been attempts to improve efficacy and failed to acknowledge the importance, especially to teenagers, of physical appearance. This group resists acting or looking different from their peers, which obviously occurs when a visible brace is worn. Modern materials, lower profiles, and reduced wearing times have been tried, in attempts to reduce resistance and the emotional difficulties encountered with brace wear.

A transverse force system, consisting of an anterior progression force counteracted by a posterior force and torque, acts on the vertebrae of a scoliotic spine. The aim of the newly introduced TriaC brace is to reverse this transverse force pattern by externally applied and constantly present orthotic forces. In the frontal plane the force system is in accordance with the conventional braces. However, in the sagittal plane the force system acts only in the thoracic region. As a result, there is no pelvic tilt, and it provides flexibility without affecting the correction forces during body motion.

Design: In 1996, when we almost completed the design of the new orthosis, we started a prospective trial in our University Hospital, which we expanded in the year 2000 to a prospective multi-center trial.

Subjects: The study included 45 consecutive patients with idiopathic scoliosis treated since 1996 with the newly introduced brace. The group consisted of 40 female and 5 male patients with an average age at the initiation of treatment of 12,6 years. All patients were Risser zero to two and had verified progressive curves (an increase of 5 degrees or more Cobb angle).

Results: Three parameters were measured during treatment: the Cobb angle, lateral deviation and axial rotation of the apex of the scoliotic curve. These measurements were conducted on digital X-rays using the Philips Easy Vision Digital Radiographic technique.[2] Statistical analysis for differences in time for the three measured parameters was performed using the Friedman’s two-way analysis of variance test. Level of significance was reached when the p-value (two-tailed) was less than 0,05.

The new brace prevented further progression of the scoliotic curves, except for seven patients, who required surgery. The initial mean Cobb angle before brace treatment, was 26,5 degrees, the mean lateral displacement at the apex 18,5 millimetres, and the initial axial rotation of the apex was 12,3 degrees. Analysis of differences between each successive visit showed that the difference was not statistically significant for the Cobb angle (p=0,71), nor for the other parameters.

Conclusions: This presentation shows that the preliminary results of the TriaC brace are very promising, but we acknowledge that our patient number is too small to make definite claims. Our failure rate is comparable with the numbers in literature. But being efficacious is not enough; this brace is reasonable comfortable and cosmetically acceptable so that the teenagers who require this treatment will use it.


BJ Davis A Gadgil J Trivedi J Dove EB Ahmed

Objective The hypothesis of this study is that the flexibility of idiopathic scoliosis curves as measured by traction radiography performed under general anaesthetic (TUA) will be superior to supine bending radiography. Subsequently, this may aid in determining the surgical approach, sparing patients anterior release surgery, and show greater correlation with the postoperative result. This is a new technique, not previously reported in the literature.

Design A prospective comparison between TUA and supine bending radiography to determine curve flexibility, and examine their relationship with anterior release surgery and postoperative correction.

Subjects This study was based on 21 patients with a diagnosis of idiopathic scoliosis, admitted for corrective surgery at our unit.

Outcome measures The amount of correction achieved by each of the two methods on the preoperative curve was examined using a paired t-test. The influence of the TUA on the decision for anterior release surgery was noted, along with the correlation of each method with postoperative correction.

Results On statistical analysis with a paired t-test, TUA showed significantly greater curve flexibility than that shown by supine bending radiographs (p< 0.001) irrespective of curve classification or magnitude. Of the 11 patients planned for anterior release surgery with posterior fusion, the use of TUA obviated this in 9 (82%) by demonstrating greater preoperative curve flexibility. Excluding thoracolumbar curves, TUA showed significantly greater postoperative correlation than supine bending radiography (R=0.79, R=0.61 respectively).

Conclusion In our unit, traction radiography performed under general anaesthetic is superior to supine bending radiography in assessing curve mobility prior to surgery. Performing TUA has significant benefits to patients in avoiding unnecessary anterior release surgery, and has greater correlation with postoperative correction. In studying fulcrum bending radiographs, Cheung1 showed similar benefits in avoiding anterior release and we therefore recommend the use of these methods by other institutions.


P Heaton C C Ong J B Williamson

Objectives: 1. To assess the results of early intervention in patients with infantile idiopathic scoliosis. 2. To determine prognostic factors

Design: Retrospective cohort study

Subjects: 16 consecutive patients with infantile idiopathic scoliosis who have completed a serial casting programme

Outcome measures: Curve progression, rib asymmetry and the occurrence of surgery

Results Of 16 patients 6 were male, 5 had plagiocephaly and there were 9 left sided curves. The size of the curve of all except one patient improved by casting – 4 curves resolved completely and a further 4 improved by more than 50%. Sex, the presence of plagiocephaly and the size of the curve did not influence outcome. Rib asymmetry was a negative prognostic sign. Early treatment was associated with a significantly better outcome. One child has had surgical treatment.

Conclusions Most children with infantile idiopathic scoliosis can be improved by serial casting.

Rib asymmetry is confirmed as a negative prognostic sign. Early treatment gives better results.


A Saifuddin E MacSweeney S Blease MH Noordeen BA Taylor

Objective: Axially loaded MRI simulates imaging of the lumbar spine in the standing position and is useful in the assessment of spinal stenosis[1]. This study determines the ability of axially loaded spinal MRI to assess Cobb angle in patients with idiopathic scoliosis.

Design: Prospective study. Newly diagnosed patients with idiopathic scoliosis were referred for MRI of the whole spine. Cobb angle measurements were made from erect AP spinal radiographs prior to MRI. Coronal MR images of the thoracic and/or lumbar spine were obtained prior to and following loading of the spine in an MR compatible compression device (Dynawell). Cobb angle measurements were made on unloaded and loaded MRI studies using the same reference points as on radiographs. Radiographic and MRI Cobb angle measurements were compared. Informed consent was obtained from all patients and the study was approved by the local Ethics Committee.

Subjects: Five patients, all females with mean age 14 years (range 12–16 years) were included in the study. Outcome Measures: Six curves were compared on pre-referral erect radiographs, unloaded and loaded MRI studies, 2 in the thoracic region and 4 in the thoracolumbar region.

Results: Curve characteristics and Cobb angle measurement on radiographs vs. axial unloaded and loaded MRI were as follows: Curve 1; T4-T12, 45°, 36° and 41°. Curve 2; T10-L4, 52°, 22° and 30°. Curve 3; T10-L4, 45°, 36° and 38°. Curve 4; T6-T10, 42°, 22° and 22°. Curve 5; T11-L3, 43°, 32° and 43°. Curve 6; T11-L3, 34°, 11° and 31°

Conclusions: Axial loading increases MRI Cobb angle measurements compared to unloaded studies. Initial results suggest that axial loaded MRI using the Dynawell Compression device may allow comparative measurement of Cobb angle to erect radiographs in the thoracolumbar region, but not in the thoracic region. This is likely related to the loading characteristics of the compression device, which is designed to concentrate loading in the lumbar region. Modification to include loading of the thoracic spine may improve results. The technique has the potential to replace radiography and thus reduce radiation burden to young adolescents with some types of idiopathic scoliosis.


H. Behensky K. Giesinger M. Ogon M. Krismer

Objective: To compare multi surgeon reliability of the classification systems of H. A. King and R.W. Coonrad and to analyse controversial classified curve patterns.

Design: Three scoliosis surgeons and one orthopedic fellow were presented the AP radiographs of seventy adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients. All reviewers assigned a type to each curve according to the classification systems of H. A. King [1] and R. W. Coonrad [2].

Subjects: Interobserver agreement and intraobserver reproducibility were tested. Kappa coefficients were used to test reliability. Between the observers, the divergent assignments to curve patterns were analysed in quantitative as well as in qualitative terms. An error analysis was performed.

Results: For King’s classification, paired comparisons revealed a mean interobserver kappa coefficient of 0.45, and for Coonrad’s classification system 0.38, respectively. According to Svanholm et al., these values indicate poor reliability in terms of interobserver agreement. Error analyses for both classification systems revealed that the reason for poor reproducibility is disagreement on structural upper thoracic and structural lumbar curves among the observers.

Conclusion: Neither King’s nor Coonrad’s method appear to have sufficient interobserver reliabilty. In order to improve reliability we recommend unequivocal description of structural stigmata of upper thoracic and lumbar curves.


M. McCarthy A.A. Cole J.K. Webb

Objective: To assess the intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of a number of commonly used radiological measurements in pre- and post-operative patients with thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Reproducibility of measures other than Cobb angle and vertebral rotation have not been studied and particularly there are no reports of reproducibility in patients after instrumentation.

Design: Repeat measurement of radiographs before and after surgery by 2 observers.

Subjects: 30 patients with thoracic AIS were selected from a scoliosis database at random: 15 treated with posterior USS and 15 with anterior instrumentation (8 Zielke / 7 anterior USS).

Outcome measures: The pre-operative AP radiograph, supine lateral bending radiograph and the post-operative AP radiograph at 6 months were selected for each patient. Two observers (MM beginner, AAC experienced) obtained the following measurements from the radiographs: Cobb angle, apical vertebral rotation (AVR, Perdriolle), apical vertebral translation (AVT) to the T1-S1 line, and frontal plane imbalance (FPI). With all marks removed, the radiographs were re-measured by each observer at least one week later. Repeatability was calculated using the method described by Bland and Altman (BMJ 1996). This method is a widely accepted anthropometrical technique but has not previously been used for assessing scoliosis measurements. It was assessed as 95% reproducibility. The co-efficient of reliability (r) expresses the proportion of the observed variability that is not due to error, i.e. higher is better. This was calculated as a means of assessing the usefulness of our measurements and to enable us to compare them.

Results: Intra-observer repeatability (MM vs. AAC): Whether the instrumentation was anterior or posterior had no effect on Cobb angle, AVT or FPI repeatability. AVR however was worse for posterior instrumentation 19° vs. 12°. “r” was > 90% for Cobb angle, AVT and PFI. But, for AVR r measured pre-op 52-92% and post-op 3869%.

There was no relationship between repeatability and the measurement size.

Conclusions: Measurement reproducibility / error is slightly worse than previously suspected. E.g. a 56° curve progression is thought to be significant. We suggest that this could be due to measurement error and the figure should be 68°. There is no learning curve for the technique used to measure Cobb angle, AVT and FPI. AVR (Perdriolle) however requires experience. Cobb angle measurement error post-op is similar to pre-op. The Perdriolle method has greater error post-op especially in posterior instrumentation.


C R Weatherley W J Farrington G Lin Sin Chow M El Masry I M Emran

Objective: To evaluate the long term results of an operation developed to decompress the roots at the stenotic level, preserve the midline structures, and not use instrumentation or fusion.

Design: A retrospective clinical and radiological review of consecutive patients operated on for spinal stenosis secondary to lumbar spondylosis.

Subjects: One hundred and sixty patients (eighty seven female and seventy three male) with a mean age at operation of sixty eight (range 4090). Sixty one patients (38%) had a degenerative listhesis causing stenosis. The mean post operative follow-up was twenty two months (range two months to fourteen years).

Summary of background data: Lumbar spondylosis, commonly involving degenerative listhesis, is the commonest cause for spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine. Surgery offers the only permanent cure. The standard procedure remains a laminectomy with fixation and fusion in the presence of possible instability. The laminectomy destabilises the spine and the instrumented fusion makes it a much bigger operation in patients often not best placed to cope with it. There is a need, therefore, for an effective operation that does not compromise spinal stability.

Results: At six weeks one hundred and forty one patient (85%) reported relief of leg pain and a further nine patients were improved at three to six months. 52% of the patients reported a concomitant improvement in back pain. The results were sustained at follow-up.

The operation was not responsible for the development of a new spondylolisthesis. A minimal increase in an existing degenerative listhesis was seen in two patients only without compromise of their good results. There was no revision surgery at any of the operated levels.

Conclusions: The operation of segmental spinal decompression for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis has been found to be effective, safe, and give good long term results, without compromising the existing spinal stability. Patient selection and attention to operative technique are essential.


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A.A. Cole S.H. Mehdian

Objective: To report a new method for reduction and stabilisation of a high grade isthmic spondylolisthesis.

Design: Case study

Subjects: A 14 year old boy presented with persistent low back pain from an L5/S1 grade 3 isthmic spondylolisthesis. MRI scan confirmed the L5/S1 spondylolisthesis with a degenerative disc at this level and healthy discs above. After discussion with the patient and his family, it was decided to attempt to reduce the spondylolisthesis.

Operation: Surface SSEP and CMEP were performed throughout the procedure. The patient was positioned prone on a Montreal frame and a standard posterior, midline approach made from L4 to the sacrum with careful preservation of the L4/5 facet joints. Wide laminectomy at L5, with partial laminectomy of the superior aspect of S1 and the inferior aspect of L4 allowed visualisation of the L5, S1 and S2 nerve roots. The postero-superior aspect of S1 was removed with an osteotome from each side in preparation for the reduction of L5. An L5/S1 discectomy and end-plate preparation was performed in preparation for a PLIF. Reduction was not possible at this stage. The wound was closed and the patient re-positioned supine. A transperitoneal approach was made to L5/S1 allowing removal of the anterior disc protrusion and associated fibrosis. Following careful removal of this material, L5 could be translated posteriorly. The anterior approach was closed and the patient was repositioned prone with the posterior wound re-opened. Pedicle screws were inserted into S1 bilaterally but it was not possible to get pedicle screws into the deep seated and dysplastic L5 pedicles so screws were placed in the L4 pedicles. Contoured rods (5mm) were placed into the S1 screws. After very mild distraction, the screw in L4 on one side was reduced to the rod allowing placement of an L5 pedicle screw on the opposite side. This process was repeated to allow placement of a second L5 pedicle screw on the other side. The plan was to the remove the L4 pedicle screws to avoid fusing the L4/5 level. Unfortunately, due to the dysplastic pedicles, the L4/5 facet joints were destroyed by the pedicle screw insertion and an L4 to S1 fusion performed. Iliac crest bone graft was harvested for the posterolateral fusion and also used to fill two Rotafix cages inserted into the reduced L5/S1 disc space. A radiograph at this stage confirmed reduction of the L5/S1 spondylolisthesis. Total estimated blood loss was 4200ml and a cell saver system was used throughout the operation. The patient had no neurological deficit after surgery and made an uneventful recovery being discharged 4 days after surgery. There was a haematoma/seroma beneath a well healed wound noted at the six week clinic appointment but no other complications have been observed. He is delighted with his improved cosmetic appearance and his back pain has resolved.

Conclusions: We feel this single operation, three stage procedure is a safe way of reducing a high grade spondylolisthesis.


H. Wynn Jones G. Marsh

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of posterior lumbar interbody fusion using an intrasegmental pedicle screw device in a series of patients with symptomatic spondylolisthesis.

Design: Prospective Case Series.

Subjects: 34 consecutive patients underwent posterior lumbar fusion for symptomatic spondylolisthesis using an intrasegmental pedicle screw device between December 1998 and January 2002. The mean age was 48.6 (range 27–84) and 16 were male and 18 female. 22 patients had a spondylolisthesis at the L5/S1 level, 10 at the L4/5 level, 1 at the L3/4 level, 1 at the L2/3 level. 17 patients had a grade 1 slip, 16 grade 2, and 1 grade 3. 22 patients had a single intervertebral level fused, 10 two levels and 2 three levels.

Outcome Measures: Fusion status was assessed using radiographs (lateral, AP and in the plain if the intervertebral disc). To be judged as fused, there had to be an absence of metalwork failure, pedicle screw loosening and fusion at all levels if a multi-level fusion.

Patient outcome was assessed by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, SF36 health assessment questionnaire, a patient subjective outcome assessment, employment status and analgesic usage.

Results: Fusion was successfully achieved in 33 (97%) patients.

The mean VAS reduced by 3.2 points from 8.3 to 5.1 (p=0.0001). There was a significant improvement in all the physical component scores of the SF36. The subjective outcome was either excellent or good in 24 (71%) patients. Of the 26 patients working prior to surgery, 20 (77%) returned to work. Analgesia usage reduced in 21 (61%) patients.

One patient died in the post operative period.

Conclusions: Our study supports the view that good clinical outcomes can be achieved by posterior interbody fusion of symptomatic spondylolisthesis. This particular intrasegmental device enables a safe, simple technique for reduction and fusion of symptomatic spondylolisthesis.


H. Wynn Jones G. Marsh

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of posterior lumbar fusion performed using an intrasegmental pedicle screw device.

Design: Prospective Case Series.

Subjects: 83 consecutive patients underwent posterior lumbar fusion for the intrasegmental pedicle screw device between October 1998 and November 2001. The mean age was 46.8 (range 1786) and 46 were male and 37 female. 40 patients had a single intervertebral level fusion, 34 two level and 7 three level. 23 patients had undergone previous spinal surgery and 29 were smokers.

Outcome Measures: Fusion status was assessed using radiographs (lateral, AP and in the plain if the intervertebral disc). To be judged as fused, there had to be an absence of metalwork failure, no pedicle screw loosening and fusion at all levels if a multi-level fusion.

Patient outcome was assessed by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, SF36 health assessment questionnaire, a patient subjective outcome assessment, employment status and analgesic usage.

Results: Patients were followed up for a minimum of one year. Fusion was successfully achieved in 80 (96%) patients.

The mean VAS reduced by 2.2 points from 8.2 to 5.9 (p=0.007). There was a significant improvement in all the physical component scores of the SF36. The subjective outcome was either excellent or good in 65% of patients. Analgesia usage reduced in 71% of patients. 4 patients underwent further surgery. One patient died in the post operative period. There was no significant difference in the fusion rate in smokers compared to non smokers, or those that had undergone previous spinal surgery. The subjective outcome was either excellent or good in 59% of smokers, but only 37% in those that had undergone previous surgery.

Conclusions: We believe that our results demonstrate that the use of an intrasegmental pedicle screw device can facilitate high fusion rates with good clinical outcomes in most patients. The fusion rate does not appear to be effected by smoking, or previous spinal surgery.


M. Khatri M. Murray C.G. Greenough

Introduction : The ultimate aim of any treatment for low back ache is to improve the quality of life as perceived by the patient. Changes in the condition specific disability measures like the Low Back Outcome Score are used as a measure for this purpose and the results interpreted in terms of statistical significance. It is not known, however, if these changes are considered to be clinically significant by the patients.

Objective: To quantifies the Minimum Clinically Important Difference (MCID) of Low Back Outcome Score in patient’s treated conservatively for Mechanical Low Back Pain.

Design & Subject: Postal questionnaire was sent to a randomly selected cohort of 300 individuals who were treated in the Spinal Assessment Clinic (SAC) for low back pain.

Outcome measures: Patient’s perception of the outcome of the rehabilitation programme was compared with the changes in LBOS from the time of initial presentation to the postal questionnaire.

Results: 186 forms (62 % response rate) were returned. Data from 170 forms were analysed, as 16 forms were incomplete. An average improvement of 17.96(p=0.001) in 75-point LBOS was noticed in those (n = 61) who reported complete recovery. Those who reported Good but incomplete recovery ( n =61) improved their LBOS by 12.37 points( p=0.001). LBOS improvement of 7.52 points ( p = 0.002) was noticed in patients reporting a minimal improvement( n= 38). Ten patients had no change in their clinical condition ( LBOS change 2.8, p =0.485).Age and gender distribution of four groups remained same ( chi square = 1.39, df = 3,p > 0.5).

Conclusions: The Minimum Clinically Important Difference for patients with Low Back Pain is a 7.5 (10%) change in the 75 point LBOS. An average change of 12 (16%) and 18(24%) can be considered to be Good and Excellent responses respectively to the treatment as perceived by the patients. This data will help to determine whether a statistically significant result is clinically meaningful.


P Basu S L Papastefanou C G Greenough

Objective: Syrinx formation is estimated to occur in 20–25% patients after spinal cord injury. Aim of this study was to analyse the factors affecting the formation of post-traumatic syrinx.

Design: Retrospective study of 295 patients with spinal cord injury treated in a spinal injury centre with a minimum follow-up of two years since injury. Patient notes, x-rays and scans were reviewed.

Subjects: Two hundred and fifty-two men and 43 women were included in the study. The spinal injury was treated non-operatively in 172 (M 144, F28) patients and surgically in 123 (M 108, F 15) patients. Average age at the time of injury was 28.2 years. Mean follow-up was 6.4 years (2–34). There were 98 cervical, 134 thoracic and 73 lumbar and thoracolumbar injuries.

Outcome Measures: The incidence of post-traumatic syrinx in both groups and its relationship with level and type of skeletal injury, severity of spinal cord injury, sagittal angle at the injury level were assessed.

Results: In total 59 (20%) patients were identified with post-traumatic syrinx. Of the 123 patients managed operatively 15 (12.2%) had syrinx as did 44 (25.6%) of the 172 patients treated conservatively (p=0.001). Twenty-one (21.4%) cervical injuries, 29 (21.6%) thoracic injuries and nine (12.3%) lumbar injuries were found to have syrinx (p=0.023). Twenty-seven (46%) patients with syrinx had complete cord injury as did 130 (55%) patients who did not have syrinx (p=0.112). Fracture-dislocation was the injury most commonly associated with post-traumatic syrinx. Of the 40 `patients who had fracture dislocation as original injury, syrinx developed in 16 (40%). Eleven of the 18 patients with conservatively managed fracture dislocation, developed syrinx, compared to five of the 32 operatively treated fracture dislocations (p=0.0001). The mean sagittal angle at the level of injury was 25.2° in those syrinx formation, 20.4° in the conservatively treated patients without syrinx (p=0.1191) and 15.32° in the surgically treated patients without syrinx (p=0.016).

Conclusions: In a series of 295 patients, post-traumatic syrinx formation was found in 20% cases. It was significantly more common in patients treated conservatively, especially if the original injury was fracture dislocation. Syrinx formation was also significantly more common in cervical and thoracic cord injuries, but had no association with the completeness of cord injury. In the sagittal plane there was significantly more kyphotic deformity in those with syrinx formation.


YL Leung MP Grevitt LM Henderson NJ Smith

Objective: Recent reports have suggested a low incidence of neurological complications following anterior deformity surgery; however in patients with co-existing intra-spinal anomalies no quantification of this risk has been made. Also, whether SSEP monitoring and soft clamping of segmental vessels prior to their division is necessary for these anterior procedures is controversial.

The aims of this study were to determine the incidence of significant SSEP changes in patients undergoing anterior spinal deformity surgery; to ascertain whether the ‘at risk’ cord was more likely to demonstrate significant intraoperative SSEP changes and what proportion of these changes yielded post operative neurological deficit.

Design: Retrospective analysis of operative notes and somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) traces of patients who underwent anterior spinal deformity surgery between 1990–2001.

Subjects: All patients who underwent anterior spinal deformity surgery between 1990–2001, who had complete data sets (preoperative MRI scan, patient and procedural documentation and intraoperative SSEP traces) were included in the study.

Outcome measures: All post operative neurological deficits and significant SSEP changes were noted, whether or not patients had a ‘cord at risk’.

Results: In total, 871 patients had elective anterior spinal deformity surgery. Preoperative MRI revealed 95 patients (11%) demonstrated intraspinal anomalies on MRI but of these only 27 showed abnormal pre-operative SSEP i.e. cord at risk (CAR). Seventeen (2% of total) of this group developed abnormal intraoperative SSEP responses and ten (1.3%) occurred in the normal group. The incidence of post-operative paraparesis for the whole series was 0.6% (n=5): four in the CAR group, one in the normal cord group. Sensitivity of SSEPs in detecting potential neurological deficit was 100%; specificity 98.6%, positive predictive value 29.4% and negative predictive value 100%. Significant intraoperative SSEP changes occurred more frequently in the CAR group and were more likely to have post operative paraparesis.

Conclusions: SSEP monitoring is a sensitive and specific test, which in experienced hands yields no false positive results. Spinal cord monitoring and soft clamping of segmental vessels should be performed in patients with CAR undergoing anterior spinal deformity surgery to minimise the risk of post operative paraparesis.


LM Breakwell MP Revell DS Marks G Rao J Spilsbury AG Thompson

Objective To assess the validity of Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP) monitoring in identifying potential spinal cord vascular damage resulting from segmental artery ligation in anterior spinal deformity correction.

Design SSEP monitoring was undertaken in patients deemed at risk of spinal cord vascular injury during corrective surgery. The segmental vessels of the vertebral bodies to be instrumented were identified. Baseline SSEPs were obtained prior to application of non-crushing microvascular clamps. After ten minutes of occlusion, further SSEP recordings were made. Surgery proceeded with either, vessel ligation and division allowing anterior instrumentation, or vessel sparing anterior release.

Subjects 22 patients were included; 7 had Scheuermann’s hyperkyphosis and 15 had scoliosis (11 idiopathic, 3 syndromic, 1 neuromuscular). Perceived risk was defined by the presence of hyperkyphosis, abnormal neurological examination or radiologically identified spinal cord anomaly.

Outcome Measures A drop of 30% from baseline reading was taken as significant. Post-operative neurological outcome was correlated with intra-operative signal change and alteration in planned surgery.

Results There was no significant drop in post-clamping SSEPs in the hyperkyphotic patients. In 3 scoliosis patients anterior instrumentation was abandoned and a release was performed. Staged posterior instrumentation followed. In a further 2, anterior instrumentation proceeded but in a modified fashion. The remaining 10 patients had no significant drop and underwent the surgery as planned. No patient sustained a neurological injury.

Conclusions SSEP monitoring is safe in assessing the apparent contribution of segmental vessel blood supply to the spinal cord in spinal deformity surgery. It has allowed timely alteration of planned surgical procedures that potentially may have caused vascular spinal cord injury.


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E Davies G Bowden J Fairbank J Wilson MacDonald N Boeree D Newby

Objective: To assess the cardiology of continuous ECG of Spinal Surgeons performing complex spinal deformity surgery.

Design: Spinal surgeons were attached to 24 hour tape ECG monitors while performing spinal deformity surgery. Pre op, intra-op and immediate post op assessment were performed.

Subjects: 4 Consultants 1 Spinal Fellow

Outcome measures: ECG changes, Heart Rate variance and Heart Rate

Results: Variability in Heart rate was related to the experience of the surgeon and the case performed.

Heart rate variance was highest in the Consultant with the most recent appointment. Heart rate variance in the Trainee was the lowest. The highest heart rate was achieved when scrubbed supervising the surgical trainee. The surgeons with the highest deformity work load had the lowest intra-operative heart rate

Conclusions: Spinal deformity surgery is stressful to the Consultant performing the case. Experience and case mix affect these findings. The highest stress rate occurs with supervising trainees.


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C R Weatherley I M Emran

Objectives: To establish the side incidence of acute lumbar disc prolapse and to determine whether there is a correlation between the side of the prolapse and hand dominance.

Design: A retrospective study of consecutive cases of acute lumbar disc prolapse in which the diagnosis was confirmed at operation and the patients contacted about hand dominance.

Summary of background data: The side incidence of operatively confirmed disc herniation does not appear to have been reported.

Lifting and turning with the trunk in the flexed position is the commonest cause of an acute disc prolapse. Flexion and rotation of the lumbar spine, under load, may also give rise to unilateral fractures in the lumbar spine in fast bowlers in cricket and in eighty percent of these cases the fracture occurs on the opposite side to the bowling arm (ref 1.) Given that the majority of the population (eighty nine percent) are right handed it was speculated that the incidence of lumbar disc prolapse might not be equal and might be greater on the side opposite the dominant hand.

Methods: From a review of case notes one hundred and twenty six patients were identified in which a sequestrated disc fragment was confirmed at operation. The side of the prolapse was noted. These patients were contacted to determine their hand dominance.

Results: Fifty nine patients (47%) had a disc prolapse on the right side and sixty seven (55%) had a disc prolapse on the left side. There was no statistically significant difference in the numbers.

Ninety two of the one hundred and twenty six patients contacted about their hand dominance responded: eighty three patients (90.2%) were right handed, eight (8.7%) were left handed and one patient (1.1%) was ambidextrous. Of the eighty three right handed patients, forty (48.2%) had a left sided disc prolapse and forty three (51.8%) had a right sided disc prolapse.

Conclusion: This study revealed no difference in the side incidence of lumbar disc prolapse. There was no correlation either with the side of the prolapse and hand dominance.

The findings are considered to support the view that a disc prolapse, and the side on which it occurs, is not a consequence of a single unilateral action but an end product of pre-existing disc degeneration in a midline structure.


B. J. Freeman D.K. Sengupta S. H. Mehdian M.P. Grevitt J.K. Webb

Objective: To report on the long-term follow-up (mean 14.2 years) of patients with early onset idiopathic scoliosis treated with convex epiphysiodesis (CE) and Luque trolley instrumentation (LTI) without fusion. To evaluate factors influencing curve progression during the adolescent growth spurt in such patients.

Methods: Thirty-one cases of early onset idiopathic scoliosis with documented progression were surgically treated with CE and LTI without fusion between 1984 and 1992. Twenty-three (14 male, 9 female) of 31 cases had reached a minimum of 16 years of age at follow-up. These 23 cases were reviewed. The overlapped ‘L’ configuration of Luque trolley was used for the first 14 cases (prior to 1988), the overlapped ‘U’ configuration was used subsequently in the following 9 cases.

Results: Mean age at operation was 4.3 years (range, 1.5 – 9 years). Mean pre-operative Cobb angle was 65° (range 30° – 95°), and immediate post-operative Cobb angle was 28° (range 10° – 60°). Mean follow-up was 14.2 years (range, 7–19 years). Four cases required insertion of longer Luque rods (mean age of 7.5 years).

Definitive spinal fusion was required in thirteen cases at a mean age of 14.5 years (range 12–23 years), due to progression of scoliosis in 9 cases (mean Cobb angle 55°), and the development of junctional kyphosis in 4 cases. In ten cases the correction obtained was maintained through skeletal maturity (mean Cobb angle at final follow-up 33°). These cases did not require definitive spinal fusion.

The mean growth within the instrumented segment was 3.2 cm (42% of the expected growth). Progression of scoliosis was predicted by pre-operative apical convex rib-vertebra angle (RVA) (p=0.002). Excessive growth within the instrumented segment was predictive of junctional kyphosis but not of scoliosis progression. Age at operation and initial curve magnitude were not found to be significant predictive factors. 72% of overlapped ‘L’ rod construct (10 cases), and 33% of overlapped ‘U’ rod construct (3 cases) had documented curve progression within the adolescent growth spurt and required definitive spinal fusion.

Conclusions: CE and LTI was effective in controlling early onset idiopathic scoliosis, whilst still allowing significant growth. Pre-operative convex RVA was predictive of curve progression. The overlapped ‘U’ rod construct was more effective than the overlapped ‘L’ rod construct in preventing curve progression.


CJ Goldberg I Gillic O. Connaughton DP Moore EE Fogarty GJ Canny FE Dowling

Objective: To assess the treatment outcome at a minimum age of 15 years in patients who had presented with idiopathic scoliosis in infancy.

Design: Patients were recalled for full pulmonary function testing (spirometry, lung volumes and gas diffusion) and surface topography. Results were correlated with history and clinical radiographs.

Subjects: The records showed 32 patients, of whom 23 could be contacted and agreed to take part in the study. Thirteen had no other abnormality, and 9 had a variety of additional problems not thought to directly precipitate their spinal deformity. There were 13 female and 9 male and age at testing ranged from 15.2 to 30.2 years.

Outcome measures: Spirometry (forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one minute (FEV1)), lung volumes ( total lung capacity (TLC), residual volume (RV)) and gas diffusion (carbon monoxide diffusion (DLCO), and alveolar volume (VA)) were correlated with the most recent Cobb angle, surface topography and age at surgery where applicable.

Results: Those who were successfully managed without recourse to surgery (N=6) had normal cosmesis and pulmonary function (mean FEV1 = 98.7%, mean FVC = 96.6%). When surgery had been postponed until after age 10 (N=6, mean age at surgery 12.9 years) pulmonary function showed some restriction (mean FEV1 = 79%, mean FVC = 68.3%). Those who underwent corrective surgery before age 10 years (N=11, mean age at surgery 4.1 years) had significant recurrence of deformity and diminished respiratory function (mean FEV1= 41%, range 14 – 72%, mean FVC = 40.8%, range 12 – 67%). There was statistically significant correlation (p< 0.01 or less) between respiratory measures on the one hand and age at surgery (where applicable), surface topography measures and latest Cobb angle.

Conclusions: It has been reported that only in early-onset scoliosis is the growth of lung tissue and the multiplication of alveoli impeded[1,2] and treatment is directed at preserving both pulmonary function and cosmesis. Early surgery is recommended on the assumption that the Cobb angle can be controlled and normal pulmonary development enabled in those whose scoliosis did not respond to conservative methods. Methods have changed since the earlier cases in this series were treated, and it is hoped that later results will be different. However, caution requires that, in monitoring these patients, cosmesis and, more importantly, respiratory function be considered before a conclusion is drawn.


H Mehdian K Lam B.J.C. Freeman

Objective: To emphasize the need to provide a controlled method of intra-operative reduction to correct fixed cervical flexion deformities in ankylosing spondylitis and to describe the technique involved.

Design: The treatment of severe fixed cervical flexion deformity in ankylosing spondylitis represents a challenging problem that is traditionally managed by a corrective cervicothoracic osteotomy. The authors describe a method of controlled surgical reduction of the deformity, which eliminates saggital translation and reduces the risk of neurological injury.

Subjects: 2 male patients aged 39 and 45 years old with ankylosing spondylitis presented with severe fixed flexion deformity of the cervical spine. Both patients had previously undergone a lumbar extension osteotomy to correct a severe thoracolumbar kyphotic deformity. As a result of the fixed cervical flexion deformity, marked restriction in forward gaze with ‘chin on chest’ deformity, feeding difficulties and personal hygiene were encountered in both. Their respective chin-brow to vertical angle was 60 and 72°. Somatosensory and motor evoked potentials were used throughout surgery. A combination of cervical lateral mass screws and thoracic pedicle screws were used. Interconnecting malleable rods were then fixed at the cervical end, thereby allowing them to slide through the thoracic clamps thus achieving a safe method of controlled closure of the cericothoracic osteotomy. When reduction was achieved, definitive pre-contoured titanium rods were interchanged. Halo-jacket was not considered necessary in view of the segmental fixation used.

Results: Good anatomical reduction was achieved, with near complete correction of the deformities, restoration of saggital balances and forward gazes. There were no neurological deficits in either patient and the postoperative recoveries were uneventful. Both osteotomies united with no deterioration noted at 2 years.

Conclusions: We illustrate a controlled method of surgical reduction during corrective cervicothoracic osteotomy of fixed cervical kyphosis in ankylosing spondylitis. This has been achieved with the use of a combination of cervical lateral mass screws and thoracic pedicle screws with interconnecting malleable rods that were later replaced with titanium rods. The authors believe that the unique technique described remains a technically demanding but adequate and safe approach for correcting such challenging deformities.


M. Eagle J. S. Mehta K. M. Bushby M. J. Gibson

Objective: To assess the effect of spinal surgery and nocturnal ventilation on lung function and survival in patients with scoliosis secondary to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Study design: Prospective, observational study by a single observer (Research Physiotherapist).

Subjects: 80 patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy were treated between 1986 and 2002. During this period 40 patients underwent a spinal fusion at a mean age of 14.05y (95 % CI 13.6 – 14.6). Nocturnal ventilation was commenced when symptoms and signs of respiratory failure were evident. The mean FVC at commencement of nocturnal ventilation was 0.41 litres. The patients were divided into 2 groups based on whether they received nocturnal ventilation. A total of twenty eight patients received nocturnal ventilation and 52 did not. The groups were further sub-divided based on whether they had spinal fusion. There were fourteen patients in each sub-group of the ventilated group and 26 patients in each sub-group of those that were not ventilated.

Outcomes: Serial forced vital capacity (FVC) measurements and survival measured by Kaplan Meir survival analysis.

Results: The mean vital capacity dropped from 1.41 l (95 % CI 1.21 – 1.61) to 1.13 (95 % CI 0.893 – 1.37), a year post-operatively. This was not associated with the development of respiratory compromise. The vital capacity improved gradually, reaching the pre-operative level before it declined again. The shortest survival was seen in patients who received neither surgery nor ventilation (median survival 19.7y). The patients who received surgery but no ventilatory support were not as good as the patients that were ventilated but did not have surgery (median survival 24.3y). The best results were seen in the patients who had both surgery and ventilation (median survival 26.4y). The worst prognosis is in patients with early onset symptomatic cardiomyopathy (6 patients, with a median survival of 16.3y).

Conclusion: Nocturnal ventilation is the most important factor in the improvement in survival of patients with Duchennes muscular dystrophy. Spinal surgery is also beneficial and the best results are in those patients who have both.


P Basu J Mehta MJ Gibson

Objective: To describe Sniff Nasal Inspiratory Pressure (SNIP) a new way of assessing the global respiratory function in scoliosis patients and explain it’s particular relevance in neuromuscular scoliosis. To correlate of SNIP with conventional lung function tests in scoliosis patients. To compare SNIP values between patients with neuromuscular and idiopathic scoliosis.

Design: A prospective observational study of 36 scoliosis patients. All patients underwent conventional lung function tests and SNIP during their pre-operative assessment. The SNIP values were correlated with FVC and FEV1 values obtained by spirometry. The SNIP values of those with neuromuscular scoliosis were compared to those with idiopathic scoliosis and also with the normative data of general population.

Subjects: Thirty-six patients (13M, 23F) with scoliosis. Of them, 17 (1M, 16F) had idiopathic scoliosis and 19 (12M, 7F) had neuromuscular scoliosis. The mean age was 16.5 years (7–54).

Outcome Measures: Comparison of the mean SNIP, FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC between the idiopathic and neuromuscular group. Assessing the degree of correlation between SNIP and spirometry data for all patients.

Results: Overall mean SNIP was 50.22 cm H2O. Average SNIP in the neuromuscular group was 40.92±11.68 and 58.72±21.96 in the idiopathic group (p=0.0127). While the mean FEV1 (p=0.183), FVC (p=0.191) and FEV1/FVC (p=0.721) values were not significantly different between the two groups. The correlation coefficient for spirometry values and SNIP was −0.577 (mean x=−48.86, mean y=1.87) (p=0.0002), indicating very good correlation.

Conclusion: SNIP is the best measure of global inspiratory muscle strength and less subjective than spirometry. It is easier to administer to children. SNIP is better able to distinguish between idiopathic and neuromuscular scoliosis patients, than spirometry and shows good correlation with spirometry values. It can be a useful test in assessment and follow-up of breathing in neuromuscular scoliosis patients.


A.I Tsirikos W.N Chang K.W Dabney F Miller J Glutting

Objective: The aim of this study was to document rate of survival among 288 severely affected pediatric patients with spasticity and neuromuscular scoliosis who underwent spinal fusion and to identify exposure variables that could significantly predict survival times.

Methods: Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis was performed and Cox’s proportional hazards model was used to evaluate predictive efficacy of exposure variables such as gender, age at surgery, level of ambulation, mental ability, degree of coronal and sagittal plane spinal deformity, intraoperative blood loss, surgical time, days in the hospital, and days in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Results: The statistical analysis demonstrated a mean predicted survival of 134.3 months (11.2 years) after surgical correction of spinal deformities for this group of globally involved children with cerebral palsy. The number of days in the ICU after surgery and the presence of severe pre-operative thoracic hyperkyphosis were the only factors affecting survival rates. ICU stay of greater than five days, which was usually associated with respiratory problems, substantially increasing the risk of death. Thoracic hyperkyphosis of greater than 70° caused a considerable increase in the predicted mortality rate.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a relatively long mean predicted survivorship for pediatric patients with severe spastic cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis who underwent spinal surgery, which is consistent with the current concept of increased life expectancy even for the total-body involved patients. The most accurate determinants for survival rates among this population group were the number of days the patient had to spend postoperatively in the intensive care unit, and the presence of excessive preoperative thoracic hyperkyphosis.


J. S. Mehta M. J. Gibson

Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the accuracy of the push-pull radiographs in predicting the surgical correction in neuromuscular scoliosis.

Study Design: Retrospective radiographic review.

Subjects: Radiographs of 26 patients with neuromuscular scoliosis secondary to Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy were reviewed. All the patients had a posterior instrumented correction of the deformity by the same surgeon with the Universal Spinal System. Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy was chosen as a model for neuromuscular scoliosis since it represents a homogenous group with regards to the spinal deformity.

Outcome measures: The Cobb angle, the translation of the apex of the deformity from the central sacral line, pelvic tilt and the number of motion segments in the curve were compared between pre-operative erect, push-pull view and the post-operative radiographs. Results were analysed using student’s t test for significance and Pearson’s coefficient for correlation with the SPSS software.

Results: A correlation was seen in the form of an improvement in the Cobb angle, pelvic tilt and the apical translation when comparing the push-pull views and the post-operative radiographs. The improvement was statistically significant.

Conclusion: The push-pull view provides an adequate assessment of the fl exibility that guides a safe deformity correction.


A.I Tsirikos W.N Chang K.W Dabney F Miller

Objective: To evaluate the outcomes and complications of one-stage and two-stage combined anterior-posterior spine fusion, and to document which procedure is more efficacious and provides better results.

Study Design-Material: A retrospective study was performed including 45 pediatric patients with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis who underwent anterior-posterior spinal fusion.

Summary of Background Data: Circumferential spinal arthrodesis has been proven to achieve better scoliotic curve correction, decreasing significantly the risk of pseudarthrosis and progression of the deformity. There have been a few studies comparing same-day versus staged anterior-posterior spinal surgery in mixed populations with neuromuscular scoliosis, but not in an isolated group of pediatric patients with spastic cerebral palsy.

Methods: The medical records and radiographs of all patients were reviewed, and the results were statistically analyzed. The complications were divided into medical, subcategorized into major and minor, and technical.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference (p> .05) between one-stage (group 1) and two-stage (group 2) patients, considering age at surgery, preoperative scoliosis angle, pelvic obliquity, kyphosis angle, lordosis angle, levels of anterior release, percentage of scoliosis correction, radiographic follow-up, hospitalization time and intensive care unit stay. Sequentially performed spinal procedures (group 1) were associated with increased intraoperative blood loss, prolonged operative time, and a considerably higher incidence of medical and technical complications, including two perioperative deaths.

Conclusions: Two-stage anteroposterior spinal fusion provides safer and more consistent results with several advantages over the single-stage procedure in the management of patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis. Since this study cannot separate risk based on disease severity, staging the procedures on different days is likely more important in individuals with very large curves and concomitant medical illness.


A.I Tsirikos W.N Chang K.W Dabney F Miller

Objective: To evaluate the outcome of spinal fusion with unit rod in pediatric patients with cerebral palsy who were treated by the two senior authors using the same operative technique.

Study Design-Methods: This is a retrospective study of 288 patients with mean age at surgery 13.9 years (SD: 3.26), whose medical charts and radiographs were reviewed. A questionnaire including 14 questions assessing patients’ functional improvement was given to the caretakers.

Results: Mean radiographic follow up of 3.2 years (range: 1–9.9) was available in 213 patients. In 46 patients anterior-posterior fusion was performed and in 242 only posterior. The preop. Cobb angle was 74°(range: 6–176°) corrected by 68% to 23° (p< .01) and increased by 2° in the last follow-up (p< .01). The preop. pelvic obliquity was 17°(range: 0–57°), corrected by 73% to 4.7° (p< .01) and increased by 0.4° at follow-up. The preop. kyphosis angle was 56°(range: −44–130°), corrected by 37% to 35° (p< .01) and increased by 2° at follow-up. The preop. lordosis angle was 38°(range: −50–140°), corrected by 14% to 43° (p< .05) and increased by 1.4° at follow-up. There was a strong correlation between hyperlordosis and days of hospitalization, blood loss and surgical time (r= −.22, .23, .24). Patients with lordotic angle > 60° developed 15.1% technical problems related to pelvic fixation, whereas only 3.4% of those with < 60°. The mean days of hospitalization were 19.6, the mean blood loss 2.9lt (1.2BV), the mean surgical time 4.4h (Anterior-Posterior: 7h, Posterior only: 3.9h) and the mean ICU stay 5 days. There was a difference only in surgical time (p< .01) if an anterior procedure was required. The major complications included 3 perioperative deaths, 14 deep infections, 13 (4.5%) reoperations for mechanical problems and no detected pseudarthrosis. The answers received by the caretakers were 99% positive, emphasizing the improvement in child’s appearance, sitting ability and respiratory function.

Conclusions: Spine surgery in patients with cerebral palsy was accompanied by a considerable blood loss and multiple medical complications. A very satisfactory correction of spinal curvatures was achieved and maintained in follow up. Excessive lumbar lordosis was associated with a high incidence of technical problems and an increased morbidity. There were no pseudarthrosis and the overall number of reoperations for technical reasons was very low. The caretakers were extremely pleased with the outcome of this procedure. Unit rod is a very effective instrumentation system, providing excellent results and a low mechanical complication rate in the treatment of cerebral palsy patients with spinal deformities.


D P Tokala K S Lam A A Cole H Behensky J K Webb

Objective: To evaluate the subjective clinical outcomes, radiographic results and complications associated with single solid rod anterior instrumentation in neuromuscular scoliosis.

Design: Retrospective clinical case series with a mean follow up of 30 months (range 24 – 42 months).

Subjects: 9 consecutive cases (6F, 3M) with a mean age 15 years (range 11 – 24 years), underwent single solid rod anterior instrumentation of their neuromuscular thoracolumbar scoliosis between 1994 and 2000. The heterogeneous patient group consisted of 5 spinal dysraphism, and 1 each of prune belly syndrome, arthrogryposis, myotonic dystrophy and congenital myopathic dystrophy (muscle eye brain syndrome). All patients were ambulatory and had minimal pelvic obliquity (< 15 degrees).

Outcome measures: Pre-operative, post-operative and final follow up measurements were collected for 1) Cobb angles, 2) apical vertebral translation (AVT), 3) thoracic kyphosis (T5-12) and 4) lumbar lordosis (L1-5). Operative complications, pseudarthrosis, metalwork failure and loss of correction were also recorded.

Results: There was 1 each of rod breakage and upper thoracic curve progression requiring supplementary posterior surgery. For the remaining 7 patients, the average follow-up corrections for Cobb angle was 56% (49 to 22 degrees), AVT was 49% (5.1 to 2.6 cms), and both the thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis remained unchanged. No significant loss in correction occurred during the post-operative period to final follow-up in all the above parameters. No pseudarthrosis, vascular or neurological complications were encountered. Subjectively, there were 6 excellent and 1 good results.

Conclusions: In this limited case review, selective anterior instrumentation for neuromuscular scoliosis using a single solid rod system resulted in acceptable clinical and radiographic outcomes. Our results appear to compare favourably with those published for the recommended method of posterior instrumentation. Advantages include preservation of distal lumbar motion segments whilst maintaining segmental saggital and coronal alignment. We believe that this method of scoliosis correction has a definite yet select role in patients who are ambulatory, have minimal pelvic obliquity (< 15 degrees), non-progressive pathology and near normal mental function.


A.I Tsirikos W.N Chang S.A Shah K.W Dabney F Miller

Objective: To evaluate the effect of spinal fusion from T1, T2 to the sacrum with pelvic fixation using unit rod instrumentation on the ambulatory potential of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy.

Study Design: A retrospective study of 24 ambulatory pediatric patients with spastic cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis was performed.

Summary of Background Data: Spinal deformities, occurring in patients with cerebral palsy and good ambulatory capacity, are infrequently associated with pelvic obliquity, and so instrumented spinal fusions traditionally do not extend to the pelvis.

Methods: The medical charts and radiographs were reviewed, and the patients’ ambulatory ability was assessed clinically, with video tape or complete gait analysis. A questionnaire assessing patients` functional improvement was given to the caretakers.

Results: The study group included 17 female and 7 male patients, 19 quadriplegics and 5 diplegics. Follow-up evaluations for ambulatory function occurred at a mean of 2.86 years after surgery. Mean age at surgery was 15.4 years. Twenty patients underwent posterior spinal fusions and 4 patients combined anterior-posterior procedures. The patients were evaluated clinically pre-operatively, postoperatively and at follow-up with no alteration in their ambulatory status, except one patient who developed bilateral hip heterotopic ossification and gradually lost her ability to ambulate. Thirteen patients had both preoperative and postoperative gait analysis, showing no change in their ambulatory function. The surgical outcome survey demonstrated significant improvement in the child’s physical appearance, head and trunk balance, sitting ability, amount of back pain, respiration, and no change in ambulatory capacity.

Conclusions: Spine surgery with fusion extending to the pelvis in ambulatory patients with cerebral palsy provided excellent deformity correction and preserved their ambulatory function.


Dr Patrick Kluger

In spite of preventive treatment, particularly in young paraplegics with transverse lesions above T9, a high rate of neurogenic scoliosis must be expected. Due to the loss of sitting balance in the wheelchair, to increased risks of pressure sores, and to progressive restriction to the patient’s ventilatory function, surgical intervention often becomes necessary. A surgical method for successful application in SCI patients should meet specific demands:

High primary stability: External immobilisation in braces or casts would pose problems, long-lasting bed rest must be avoided and no muscular support is possible. Conversely, the instrumentation must resist against often very strong spinal spasticity.

High corrective capacity in all planes: Wheelchair dependent patients have fewer facilities for compensation of a remaining spinal deformity than ambulating patients. In sub-optimal correction, the sacrum has to be included into the fusion more frequently, with serious impact on the patient’s independence in ADL.

Avoidance of precedent procedures for anterior release: The ventilatory function in patients with mainly high thoracic or cervical transverse lesions is already impaired, let alone the effect of the scoliosis. Additional impacts by thoracotomy should be avoided if possible. The same aspect should also be considered, looking at the following.

Posterior procedure: Because neurogenic scoliosis deformities usually need long instrumentations, exclusively anterior procedures can rarely be used. Compared with the combination of anterior (e.g. thoracic VDS) procedures together with a posterior method, a purely posterior procedure would be beneficial, as long as it can achieve equal correction.

Since 1991 the author has worked on a concept using pedicle screws as cantilevers for 3-D correction, de-rotation being the core manoeuvre. The evolutive development of suitable, outrigged instruments for the reduction has now been finalised, allowing the presentation of the method.

Although more than 20 cases have demonstrated the method’s superior potential in 3-D correction of the deformity, and although the primary stability provided by the method meets the requirements of this patient group, neurogenic scoliosis in para- and tetraplegics still poses inherent problems:

• Insertion of pedicle screws in scoliosis is difficult, at least in the upper thoracic region. It will take time before sufficiently accurate and available modern navigation systems can resolve this.

• Once the lumbosacral junction is included in the fusion, negative impacts on the patient’s ADL, as well as on the fusion rate, must be anticipated.

In conclusion, a promising and effective method for surgical correction of neurogenic scoliosis is available.

The use of this method will become easier by further developments in computer assisted surgery. Having a tool at hand, which, by it’s corrective abilities, allows the sparing of the lumbosacral junction from fusion, as long as pelvic obliquity is not fixed, the detection of initial fixation by thorough follow up of the patients at risk becomes paramount.


J. Wilson-MacDonald M. Radford

Objective: To assess the Universal Spine System and Kaneda Anterior Scoliosis System. Does one system have particular advantages over another?

Design: A retrospective review of patients with idiopathic scoliosis undergoing anterior fusion and instrumentation. The patients undergoing USS instrumentation were treated between 1994–1998, KASS patients 1997–2001.

Subjects: Thirty two consecutive patients were reviewed. Seventeen patients were in the USS group and 15 in the KASS group, 28/32 were female.

Outcome measures: Preoperative and postoperative radiographs, ISIS scans, and patient review. The in-patient notes were assessed for duration of surgery, blood loss, hospital stay and complications. Correction of Cobb angle and union were assessed.

Results: The patients in the KASS group had less flexible curves (correctability 45% vs. 53%). Despite this correction of Cobb angle was better in patients undergoing KASS instrumentation (38.0 degrees vs. 27.8 degrees, P=< 0.05). The secondary curves also improved more in the KASS group (55% vs. 29%, p=< 0.05). Complications occurred in 30%, but there was no difference between the two groups. There were no non-unions. In every other respect there was no difference between the groups for surgery time, blood loss, loss of correction or progression of secondary curve.

Conclusions: KASS instrumentation has better ability to correct spinal deformity in the short term. Further follow-up is required to assess long term results.


A.A. Cole H. Behensky R.G. Burwell K.S. Lam P. Tokala R.K. Pratt J.K. Webb

Objective: To assess the radiological and back surface correction achieved following anterior USS in the treatment of thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Design: Prospective study of back surface correction, retrospective radiological review.

Subjects: 14 patients with thoracic AIS (age 11–18 yrs) were treated with anterior USS between 1995 and 2000. There are 12 females and 2 males, all with 2 year follow-up. 8 patients have complete surface data. Data from a further 6 patients will shortly be available as they reach 2 year follow-up.

Outcome measures: Cobb angle, apical vertebral rotation (AVR), apical vertebral translation (AVT), frontal plane imbalance, kyphosis and lordosis were measured from the radiographs. A Scoliometer was used to assess the maximal angle of trunk inclination (max ATI) in the thoracic region. All measurements were obtained before surgery and at 8 weeks, 1 year and 2 years after surgery. Complications were recorded.

Results: Significant initial corrections are observed for each of: Cobb angle (51%, p< 0.001), AVR (40%, p=0.003),AVT (64%,p< 0.001),maxATI (47%,p=0.001). There is no significant correction loss during the 2 year follow-up. Three patients had spinal imbalance (> 2cm) before surgery with one patient after surgery. The kyphosis significantly increased from 24° to 29° immediately after surgery with no significant change during follow-up. There was no change in lordosis. There were no neurological complications and no instrumentation failures were observed. In two cases the upper screw partially pulled out of T5 with some loss of correction.

Conclusions: Anterior scoliosis correction for thoracic AIS achieves good and stable radiological and particularly back surface corrections (max ATI – 47% compared with 22% correction after posterior surgery). Rigid anterior instrumentation has eliminated the 20% rod failure seen with Zielke. New techniques for preventing upper screw pull out will be discussed and new retractor systems allow smaller thoracotomies. There remains a small but significant increase in kyphosis which is less of a problem in the thoracic spine than at the thoracolumbar junction where anterior scoliosis correction is most commonly advocated.

Anterior instrumentation for thoracic AIS has advanced to a point where it can be widely adopted, particularly if the patient expresses concerns regarding the rib hump or is hypokyphotic.


J. Wilson-MacDonald J. Fairbank J. Monk M. Gibbons G. Kambouroglou

Objective: To assess whether Webb Morley Instrumentation had satisfactory long term results.

Design: A retrospective review of 52 patients who underwent fusion and instrumentation with Webb Morley Instrumentation between 1991–1997.

Subjects: 52 patients were reviewed, 32 patients with idiopathic scoliosis who underwent isolated anterior fusion, 19 patients with neuromuscular scoliosis who underwent anterior and posterior surgery.

Outcome measures: Preoperative and postoperative radiographs, ISIS scans, and patient review. The in-patient notes were assessed for duration of surgery, blood loss, hospital stay and complications. Correction of Cobb angle and union were assessed.

Results: In the idiopathic group Cobb angle improved by 57%, apical rotation by 36% and tilt angle by 56%. There were no major complications and all united. The implant has a tendency to kyphose the spine, and an average of 7 degrees of kyphosis was seen across the implant. In the neuromuscular group Cobb angle improved by 52%, apical rotation by 21% and tilt angle by 57%. There was one asymptomatic pseudarthrosis, two rod breakages and two posterior rod dissociations. Only one patient complained of significant back pain.

Conclusions: Webb Morley instrumentation offers results as good as most other anterior implant systems. The flexibility of the rods may be a relative advantage, with a high union rate. Although the implant tends to kyphose the spine this has not been a problem clinically at follow-up of 4-11 years. This may help in design of future implants.


C.I. Adams M. McMaster M.J. McMaster

Objective: Idiopathic scoliosis is a complex, three-dimensional deformity. Surgical correction has been assessed by radiographic measurements in the coronal and sagittal planes and vertebral rotation. However the primary concern for the patient is the transverse plane deformity at the skin surface. The purpose of this study was to correlate the surface and radiographic measurements of transverse plane deformity in idiopathic thoracolumbar scoliosis before and after single stage anterior fusion with instrumentation.

Design: A consecutive, prospective study of patients operated upon by a single surgeon.

Subjects: 24 patients (23 female) with idiopathic thoracolumbar scoliosis operated on between 1990 and 1999. Mean age at surgery 14.8 yrs (range 10.9 to 17.5). All had single stage surgery through an anterior thoraco-abdominal approach with anterior release of a mean of 4 discs (range 3 to 6). Anterior instrumentation was inserted using vertebral body screws secured to a single contoured rod with interbody bone grafting using strips of rib autograft.

Outcome measures: All patients were assessed both radiographically and by surface topography using the Integrated Shape Imaging System (ISIS) pre-operatively, post-operatively and during each follow-up visit for a mean 3.1 years (range 1.8–9.1).

Results: Radiographically the mean pre-operative coronal Cobb angle of 49 degrees (range 30 to 74) was reduced to 13 degrees (range 0 to 32) following surgery with a mean 2 degree loss (range −5 to 10) at final follow-up. The Perdriolle rotation was reduced by a mean of 19 degrees (range 5 to 30) with a mean 1 degree loss (range −6 to 6) of correction at final follow-up.

ISIS showed the mean pre-operative Standing Angle of Trunk Inclination (sATI) of 15 degrees (range 7 to 25) was reduced to 5 degrees (range 0 to 15) post-operatively with a further mean improvement of 2 degrees during the follow-up period. The final sATI was within the range of normality for 21 patients (87 percent). Spinal balance in the coronal plane improved from a mean of 24mm to 11mm. Spinal balance in the sagittal plane was unchanged.

Conclusions: Anterior surgery for idiopathic thoracolumbar scoliosis is effective in reducing transverse plane deformity. The Standing Angle of Trunk Inclination is returned to the normal range in 87% of cases. Coronal plane balance is improved by surgery. These corrections occur mainly due to surgery but also continue on follow up (growth).


A.H. Abdel-Magid

Objective: To assess the results of using multisegmental fixation with single rod for the treatment of scoliotic deformities.

Subjects: There were 120 patients treated in this study by single rod technique for scoliosis of different aetiologies. A group of 80 patients treated by double rod technique was used for comparison.

Outcome measures: Scoliosis is a complex 3-dimensional and segmental deformity of the spine. Surgical treatment is indicated mainly for a growing child with increasing curve or in already severe deformity. Multisegmental 3 dimensional correction gave better correction and fixation than the older systems. But it increased significantly the cost and difficulty of the procedure.(1,2)

Results: There were 120 patients (age: 3 to 19 years) treated by the single rod technique (group I) and compared with 80 patients treated by double rods (8 to 20 years) (group II). The preoperative curve for groups “I” ranged from 45 to 110 degrees with a mean of 61.4 degrees and 35 to 95 degrees with a mean of 54.7 degrees for group II. Group I curves showed flexibility range 21% to 78% with a mean of 47.8% and group II: 15% to 83% flexibility with a mean of 41.6%. The postoperative correction for group I ranged from 47.4% to 85.7% with a mean correction of 64.7% and for group II: 25% to 88.9% with a mean correction of 60.6%.

Conclusion: The use of a single rod for multisegmental fixation for scoliotic deformities reduced the operative time, blood loss and cost. The implant was less bulky with increased surface area available for grafting which gives a better fusion mass. The correction obtained was comparable with double rod technique.


T Huynh A.I Tsirikos S.K Tucker

Objective: To compare the surgical outcome of patients with right thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis undergoing: 1). Single-stage anterior spinal release and posterior instrumented fusion with costoplasty, 2). Staged anterior spinal release and posterior instrumented fusion with costoplasty.

Study Design-Material: A retrospective study was performed including 20 consecutive patients for each surgical group.

Summary of Background Data: Scoliosis surgery in our institution has evolved over the past decade with respect to the interval between the anterior and posterior procedure. It was typical in the 1980’s/early 1990’s for the patients who required combined anterior-posterior spinal fusion to have 2 weeks between stages. This interval has now been reduced to one week by all our scoliosis surgeons. The authors recently endeavor to perform single-stage anterior-posterior procedures with costoplasty for all right thoracic curves in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Methods: The medical records and radiographs of the 40 patients were reviewed.

Results: The patients in both groups have been assessed for: 1). Correction of spinal deformity achieved with the operation, 2). Incidence of perioperative complications, 3). In-patient stay, 4). Postoperative course. The results were comparative between the 2 groups. Considerable curve correction was obtained with the combined anteroposterior spinal surgery and maintained at follow-up in both groups. No difference in the incidence of complications was recorded between the same-day and the staged groups. Less hospitalization time and time spent in the intensive care unit were required for the patients who underwent same-stage sequentially performed anterior-posterior spinal procedures.

Conclusions: This study showed that single-stage anterior-posterior surgery for right thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliotic curvatures is a safe and efficacious procedure with no documented adverse effects for the patients. We believe that when a combined anteroposterior spinal approach is necessitated, the one-stage surgery could be considered the procedure of choice for the management of this type of scoliotic deformity.


H. Behensky K. Giesinger M. Krismer

Objective: To evaluate the long term radiological and clinical outcome after posterior correction of adolescent right thoracic idiopathic scoliosis with Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation (CDI) and Harrington rod instrumentation (HRI).

Design: Retrospective comparative analysis.

Subjects: Out of preoperative standing radiographs of 229 patients 30 pairs of female patients, one patient with Harrington rod instrumentation (HRI) and the other with Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation (CDI), could be identified. Curves within pairs were comparable with regard to curve magnitude (thoracic and lumbar) and level of stable and neutral vertebrae. Follow up examination included a clinical review, long cassette upright PA and lateral radiographs of the spine and two patient outcome questionnaires. Mean follow up time for CDI patients was 128 months and for HRI patients 198 months respectively.

Outcome measures: The pain questionnaire according to Moskowitz [1] was used to assess back pain. A customized questionnaire was used to assess whether patients were satisfied with their postoperative cosmetic appearance.

Results: In 92 per cent of the patients L2 was the lowest instrumented vertebra. The thoracic Cobb angle in the HRI group was corrected from 64° to 42° (34%) and in the CDI group from 66° to 24° (58%). Group differences were significant (p=0.004). The lumbar Cobb angle in the HRI group was corrected from 41° to 24° (41%) and in the CDI group from 44° to 21° (52%) respectively. Group differences were significant (p=0.03). The lumbar lordosis below the fusion could be improved postoperatively in CDI patients (L2–L5: 31° to 37°), whereas it remained unchanged in HRI patients (L2–L5: 32°). Group differences were significant (p=0.005). The overall cosmetic appearance was better in the CDI group (CDI 76% excellent and good, HRI 71%, p=0.04).

15% of the CDI patients and 24% of the HRI patients reported frequent low back pain episodes. Group differences were significant (p=0.008). A high correlation between incidence of low back pain and low degrees of lumbar lordosis below the fusion was revealed in HRI patients (p=0.02).

Conclusion: With Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation better correction of the thoracic and lumbar curves in the frontal plane and better restoration of the lumbar lordosis distal the fusion is achievable. The lack of restoration of lumbar lordosis below the fusion in HRI patients may have some impact on the higher incidence of low back pain episodes found in this group. The postoperative cosmetic result was better in patients with Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation.


H. Behensky A. Cole B.J. Freeman M.P. Grevitt S.H. Mehdian J.K. Webb

Objective: To identify radiographic parameters which could predict postoperative spinal decompensation in the frontal plane in King type II adolescent idiopathic scoliosis after posterior thoracic correction and fusion with third generation instrumentation systems.

Design: Retrospective radiographic analysis.

Subjects: The radiographs of 36 patients with King type II adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) who had had posterior thoracic correction and fusion, either with the Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation (CDI) or the Universal Spine System (USS), were evaluated in terms of frontal and sagittal plane balance, curve flexibility, and curve correction with a minimum follow up of two years. Postoperative spinal decompensation in the frontal plane was investigated with respect to preoperative radiolographic parameters on standing upright AP, thoracic and lumbar supine side-bending as well as lateral standing radiographs. Spinal decompensation in the frontal plane was defined as plumbline deviation of C7 of more than 2 cm with respect to the centre sacral line within two years postoperatively. Two groups of patients were analyzed.

Outcome measures: 26 patients (72%) showed satisfactory frontal plane alignement by means of C7 plumb line deviation (group A, 1.2 cm to the left), whereas 10 patients (28%) showed spinal decompensation (group B: 2.7 cm to the left). Group differences were significant (p=0003).

Results: The two groups were found statistically equivalent in terms of preoperative C7 plumbline deviation (p=0.112, group A: 0.8 cm, group B: 0.7 cm to the left), thoracic cobb angles (p=0.093, group A: 56°, group B: 62°), lumbar cobb angles (p=0.115, group A: 42°, group B: 47°), lumbar curve flexibility (p=0.153, group A: 78%, group B: 67%); thoracic kyphosis (p=0.153) and lumbar lordosis (p=0.534) and age at operation (p=0.195), Significant group differences, however could be revealed for thoracic curve flexibility (p=0.03, group A: 43%, groupB: 25%) and the percentage of derotation of lumbar apical vertebrae in lumbar supine side-bending films in comparison to AP upright standing radiographs (p=0.002, group A: 49%, group B: 27%). Average thoracic curve correction was 51% in group A and 41% in group B. Group differences were significant (p=0.05). Average lumbar curve correction was 34% in group A and 23% in group B (p=0.09). No group differences could be revealed for postoperative thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis measurements. Logistic regression analysis with C7 plumbline deviation of more than 2 cm postoperatively as the dependent variable yielded the amount of lumbar apical vertebral derotation in lumbar supine side-bending films as the only risk-factor (p=0.007).

Conclusion: Fixed lumbar rotation, measured in terms of the percentage of derotation of lumbar apical vertebrae in lumbar supine side-bending films in comparison to AP upright standing radiographs, provided the radiographic prediction of spinal decompensation in the frontal plane after posterior thoracic correction and fusion of King II type curves.


S Ahuja J Howes PR Davies

Objective: Surgical correction of scoliosis in small stature children is challenging due to the profile of the posterior instrumentation traditionally available. Concerns are also raised with the use of 5 mm rods for posterior correction. The Paediatric USS is a small stature System.

We studied the correction achieved and the maintenance of the correction at a minimum 15 months follow up using the Paediatric USS.

Design: 20 patients with a minimum 15 months follow up were included in the study. Measurements were made for the initial correction of the Cobb angle to assess correction. At 15 months follow up the cobb angle was measured to assess maintenance of correction.

Results: The average age of the patients was 12 ½ years. The average weight was 32 kgs. The commonest etiology was paralytic(40%) followed by congenital (30%), idiopathic (25%) and collagen disorder (5%). King type II (45%) and type IV (35%) were the commonest type of curves. Combined anterior release and posterior stabilization and fusion was the commonest procedure performed. The average pre op Cobb angle was 77.7°, which corrected to 37.6° i.e. 49%. There was no significant loss of correction at 15 months follow-up.

Conclusions: Thus the Paediatric USS allows adequate correction of the curve and does maintain the correction achieved at a minimum 15 months follow up


T McCarthy A Butt T Glynn G McCoy I. Kelly

Sciatic Nerve Palsy (SNP) is a recognised complication in Primary Total Hip Replacement after a transtrochanteric or a posterior approach (5). It is considered to be caused by direct trauma to the nerve during surgery. In our unit this complication was rare with an incidence of < 0.2% over the past ten years. However we know describe six cases of sciatic nerve palsy occurring in 355 consecutive primary THRs (incidence 1.60%) performed in our unit from June 2000 to June 2001. Each of these sciatic nerve palsies we believe was due to postoperative haematoma in the region of the sciatic nerve.

To our knowledge there are only five reported cases in the literature of sciatic nerve palsy secondary to postoperative haematoma (1). (Each of the six patients who developed SNP was receiving prophylactic anticoagulation).

Cases recognized early and drained promptly showed earlier and more complete recovery. Those in whom diagnosis was delayed and were therefore managed expectantly showed no or poor recovery. More than usual pain the buttock, significant swelling in the buttock region and sciatic nerve tenderness associated with signs of sciatic nerve irritation may suggest the presence of haematoma in the region of the sciatic nerve. It is therefore of prime importance to be vigilant for the signs and symptoms of sciatic nerve palsy in the early post operative period because if recognized and treated early the potential injury to the sciatic nerve may be reversible.


S Morris W Dar Kelly

Background: Interest is growing in minimally invasive techniques to treat fractures in the elderly population. Amongst the benefits mooted are relief of pain and prevention of deformity. However little background data is available concerning the long-term outcome of such patients treated by either conservative or surgical means.

Aim: To describe the natural history of a cohort of patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures treated conservatively with bed rest and a Taylor brace.

Patients & Methods: All patients admitted to our institution over a five-year period following a vertebral fracture were identified. A total of 223 patients were admitted over the study period. Of these, 61 were suitable for inclusion in the study. Following departmental approval, all patients were contacted by phone and invited to participate in the study. Patients were examined in the clinic, plain radiographs were performed and the Oswestry pain score, a visual analogue pain score (VAS), and SF36 questionnaire were completed.

Inclusion Criteria:

Patients over 65years at time of injury

Minor trauma e.g. minor fall

No neurological deficit

Exclusion Criteria:

Patients over 65 years who were involved in major trauma.

Non-Irish residents

Results: Mean patient age at time of injury was 72.1years. Mean duration of follow up was 8.2 years with a minimum follow up of 5 years. Seven patients were lost to follow up. Of the remaining fifty-four patients, five died since their admission. According to family members, none had any pain or neurological symptoms related to their spinal injuries. Forth patients attended the clinic for review while nine completed telephone questionnaires. On examination, two patients had a clinically evident kyphosis. The mean range of anterior flexion was 78.9 + 15. The mean VAS pain score was 2.2 + 2.0. No significant corrleation existed between the magnitude of the initial vertebral collapse and the Oswestry of SF36 scores. No significant further vertebral collapse was noted on radiographic follow up. A small cohort of patients did develop chronic back pain. These patients’ outcome could not be predicted on the basis of initial radiographs.

Discussion: Our study supports conservative management: most patients recovered normal function and suffered little long-term pain. It was not possible to predict which patients would develop chronic back pain on the basis of initial radiographs. This calls into question the indications for undertaking vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty in the treatment of such patients.


PM Kelly S Byrne P Fleming H Mullett T Shagu F Dowling

The Extensor Digitorum Brevis is an easily visualised superficial muscle present on the dorsolateral aspect of the foot. It is innervated by the terminal branches of L5. Wasting of this muscle has been described as a sign of L5 radiculopathy, however its specificity and sensitivity as a clinical sign in patients with disc disease has never been assessed to the best of our knowledge.

The purpose of our study was to determine the effectiveness of this sign in patients with a know L5 radiculopathy. We included three groups of patients, which were prospectively assessed by a blinded single examiner. Group A were patients with a clinical L5 radiculopathy confirmed on MRI, Group B were patients with a clinical a S1 radiculopathy confirmed on MRI and Group C were a control group. There were 20 patients in each group, 10 male and 10 female, mean age 38 years (range 19 – 57 years). Our inclusion criteria were leg pain greater than 6 weeks, we excluded and patient with a history of previous disc disease or foot surgery. A positive sign was defined as a gross clinical wasting of the extensor digitorum brevis compared to the opposite foot.

The sign was negative in all 20 patients in the control group. The sign was positive in 12 patients (60%) with L5 radiculopathy and only one patient (5%) with S1 radiculopathy. Fishers exact test confirmed statistical significance between the two groups with a p value of < 0.05.

We conclude that this easily performed objective clinical sign, when used inpatients with leg pain, is highly specific in determining the pressure of an L5 root involvement.


H Mullett R Brannigan D Fitzpatrick

Ulna Styloid Fractures have been historically dismissed as a relatively benign injury. However recent clinical and biomechanical research has suggested that primary repair of displaced ulna styloid avulsion fractures is advised as a means of stabilizing the radioulnar joint and preventing the disability associated with chronic radioulnar joint instability.

Optimum fixation method was examined in this study using a human cadaveric model. A custom jig was designed to allow testing in radial/ulna deviation in varying degrees of wrist flexion and extension. Universal materials testing device was used to apply a maximum load of 150 N. Eight pairs of cadaveric wrists were tested. Constructs tested were 1.6mm K-wire fixation, Tension Band wiring and Screw Fixation. Fracture displacement was measured using a venire micrometer.

Results: Displacement on forced radial deviation was maximum in neutral wrist position in all construct configurations. Displacement was minimized in 20 degrees wrist flexion. The optimum fixation method was 2 k-wires with tension band wiring. This study would suggest that the optimum fixation for ulna styloid fractures is a Tension band-wiring construct. If non-operative treatment is used we suggest that the wrist is immobilized in a position of wrist flexion to reduce tension on the ulna carpal ligament and prevent fracture displacement.


J McKenna S Kutty F Carthy F Maleki S O’Flanagan P Keogh

The conservative management if isolated humeral shaft fractures is a long, drawn out, painful process for the patient. For the clinician, it involves multiple clinic attendances and repeated radiographic assessment and brace alteration.

The primary reason for conservative management is the excellent results, but a very definite secondary consideration is the high incidence of shoulder pathology after I.M. nailing. This is thought to be due to rotator cuff pathology at the time of surgery. We question the validity of this second argument.

Ten consecutive humeral shaft fractures attending our unit had an MRI of both shoulders carried out during the initial stages of their injury. Two of the ten had retrograde nailing and the remainder was managed conservatively. While there was no patient with an occult coracoid fracture in association with the shaft fracture. We found eight out of ten to have significant signal changes in the subacromial space on the side of the fracture only.

We conclude that there is a significant occult injury to the shoulder at the time of humeral shaft fracture and this may in fact represent a cause for the high incidence of shoulder pain post fracture.


A Mahapatra N Awan P Murray

There have been multiple approaches described for internal fixation of acetabular fractures. We discuss the results of acetabular fractures treated in our institution via a Stoppa intrapelvic approach. Between July 1997 to October 2002, the senior author surgically treated 14 acetabular fractures using this approach. Indications for utilizing this approach include displaced anterior column fractures, transverse fractures, T shaped fractures, both column fractures and anterior column or wall fractures associated with a posterior hemi transverse component. The fractures were classified according to Letournel and Judet. There were 10 males, 4 females with a mean age of 34 years (20–57 years).

Patients were followed up for an average of 26 months (8–60 months). All fractures went on to union at an average of 12 weeks. There was one superficial wound infection, which was successfully treated with antibiotics. No patients suffered loss of fixation. There were no nerve or visceral injury in our series.

Clinical results evaluated were based on the Harris Hip Score (out of 100). Our results show 13 patients had good to excellent results (Score 80–100), whereas one patient had a fair result.

The Stoppa intrapelvic approach offers improved reduction and fixation techniques with a decrease in complications associated with extensile approaches.


PM Kelly KJ Mulhall T Higgins J Sparkes MG Walsh MM Stephens

Spinal injuries are among the most devastating injuries related to recreational sport. There are few studies specifically on spinal injuries in horseback riding. The purpose of our study was to determine the factors contributing to horse-riding accidents and to assess the usefulness of wearing protectors while horse riding.

All patients with spinal injuries admitted to our unit over a six-year period (1993–1998) were reviewed. Of 957 patients admitted to the National Spinal Injuries Unit from 1993–1998, 25 patients incurred spinal injury while horse riding. Age, sex, occupation and injury details were collected for all patients. All 25 patients were also contacted retrospectively to collect further details in relation to the specifics of the horse-riding event.

There were 16 male and 9 female patients with a mean age of 35 years (range 17–61). There were nine cervical fractures/dislocations, eleven thoracic fractures, and eight lumbar fractures. Four patient sustained injuries at more than one level. In relation to spinal cord injury, two patients had complete neurological deficit, a further ten had incomplete lesions. Thirteen patients had no neurological deficit. Surgical intervention was required in eleven patients.

Only six riders, all of who were either jockeys or horse trainers, wore back protectors. Of the 19 patients without a back protector there were 5 cervical, 10 thoracic and 6 lumbar injuries. Two patients sustained injuries at more than one level. However, of the six riders wearing a protective jacket there was a completely different fracture pattern level with 4 cervical injuries, only one thoracic injury and on e lumber injury.

The variation in injury level between the group wearing protective back supports and those without is noteworthy. While the numbers are too small to draw a significant conclusion it would appear that there is a trend for riders wearing a back protector to suffer less thoracic and lumbar injuries relative to cervical injuries.


R Kingston C Kelly P Murray

Introduction: The paradoxical further damage done to ischaemic tissue when blood flow and oxygenation are restored is termed ischaemia-reperfusion injury. The underlying mechanisms are complex but centre on oxidative damage to the cell membrane, which suggest a therapeutic role for antioxidants such as endogenous amino acid taurine.

Methods: In this study, 23 rats in 5 groups were subjected to right hind limb ischaemia-reperfusion injury. The right femoral vascular bundle was exposed and the femoral vein cannulated, and a tourniquet applied to the right hind limb. The left hind limb acted as a control in each animal. In group 1 there was no treatment administered, group 2 had normal saline injected into the femoral vein distal to the tourniquet, group 3 had turbine 200mg/Kg injected distal to the tourniquet, group 4 had taurine 200mg/Kg injected proximal to the tourniquet, and group 5 had taurine 100mg/Kg distally and 100mg/Kg proximally. After 4 hours of ischaemia and 30 minutes reperfusion, gastrocnemius biopsies were taken from right and left hind limbs and their contraction strength in response to a standardised electrical impulse was measured.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference in contraction strength between right and left hind limb samples in all groups. The difference in-group 4 was an order of magnitude less than that in groups 1, 2, and 3, with an intermediate value in-group 5. Histological examination confirmed inflammatory changes consistent with ischaemia-reperfusion injury and not simple necrosis.

Conclusion: These data suggest that taurine in the reperfusing blood, rather than in the ischaemic tissues, confers some protection against ischaemia-reperfusion injury mediated functional impairment in rat skeletal muscle.


N Dastgir M Hasan DA O’Farrell

The management of three or four-part fractures of proximal Humerus remains difficult. Controversy still persists concerning the preferred treatment of these fractures. The aim of our study was to review the functional outcome and factors influencing the outcome after shoulder hemi arthroplasty in acute fractures of proximal humerus.

Material and Methods: Retrospective review of a consecutive series of 23 patients with three/four-part proximal humerus fractures, treated with shoulder hemi-arthroplasty between 1999 – 2002. Nineteen patients (one bilateral) were available for study. The mean follow-up period was 12 months. All fractures, 16 cases were Neer’s four-part fractures, while one case was fracture with posterior dislocation. Post operative pain, range of motion and function evaluated using Visual analogue score, Pain scale and UCLA functional score. The average age was 64 years (range 50–85).

Results: At follow-up pain relief was satisfactory in 15 of 20 cases. Patient’s satisfaction was 75%. Functional evaluation was good/fair in 14 cases. One patient developed chronic inferior subluxation post-operatively. We have found that age (75 years +) at the time of surgery, securing of tuberosities t the implant and compliance with the post-operative rehabilitation program are significant factors affecting the outcome.

Conclusion: We recommend careful patient selection, proper positioning of patient during surgery, use of x-ray screening of the implant prior to cementing and meticulous surgical technique to achieve optimal results.


D Acton AR Perry P Stephens R Evans W Bruce Y Yu WR Walsh

Introduction: The realisation that the medical and lateral menisci of the knee have important load-bearing and stability functions has stimulated orthopaedic surgeons to aim for preservation rather than excision if at all possible. The absence of meniscal tissue has been shown to increase load through the articular cartilage and ultimately accelerate the process of osteoarthritic degeneration. A major limitation is the relative avascularity of a large portion of the normal meniscus. McAndrews and Arnoczky reported in 1996 that repair of the white-white and even red-white zone remains a challenge. Monobutyrin is an angiogenic factor that has been used in the stimulation of healing burns and we hypothesized that it may have a positive effect on the healing meniscus.

The aim of the study was to determine the effects of 0 Ticron suture soaked in polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) on the histological and mechanical properties of healing meniscal tears in the red-white zone in an established animal model.

Methods: A bilateral medical meniscal incision model was used in 21 adult sheep.

Results: We confirmed that the PHB had no deleterious effects on the mechanical properties of the suture prior to commencing the surgery. Mechanical testing of the menisci at the set time-points demonstrated a significantly stronger repair in the PHB-soaked group. Macroscopic appearances were graded and found to be improved with PHB soaked sutures. On histological examination there were features suggestive of a more intense healing response including angiogenesis.

Conclusions: We have concluded that the use of butyric acid has no deleterious effects on the mechanical properties of the suture used and has positive effects on meniscal healing. We recommend further examination of this exciting development.


T Doyle A Adair A Wilson I. Mawhinney

Aim: To assess the functional and radiological outcome of AO wrist Arthrodesis using the AO wrist fusion plate.

Method: An 8 year, independent, retrospective, radiological and functional review was performed using The DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire) and the Buck-Gramcko/Lohmann outcome scores.

Results: Twenty-eight patients were reviewed. The two scoring systems correlated consistently in regards to the functional outcome. However, patients with systemic disease experienced problems completing the DASH questionnaire. Mono-articular arthritis was associated with an excellent/good outcome in 95% of cases. Results for patients with systemic disease were markedly worse. There was one case of plate breakage associated with a delayed union of the second MCP joint. There was a 100% union rate, no significant post-operative infections and no tendon ruptures.

Conclusion: The short to mid term clinical outcomes for the AO wrist fusion plate are encouraging and its use can be recommended in a variety of wrist pathologies.


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JF Quinlan JA Harty JM O’Byrne

The thoracic spine has always been associated with a stability that is considerably augmented by the rib cage and associated ligaments. Fractures of the thoracic spine require great forces to be applied, causing high levels of other injuries. In addition, the narrow spinal canal dimensions result in high levels of neurological compromise when fractures occur.

Between February 2nd 1995 and March 21st 2001, 1249 patients were admitted to our spinal tertiary referral unit. Of these, 77 had suffered fractures to some part of their upper thoracic spine (T1–T6), of which, 32 required surgical procedures. Using patient case notes, we retrospectively studied this series.

Twenty-six of the 32 patients were male, with an average age of the group of 24.4 +/− 11.3 years and an average impatient stay of 17.5 +/− 10.5 days. 29 patients suffered fractures at more than one level and 23 patients suffered complete neurological compromise. Only 2 patients were neurologically intact. 90.7% sustained their injuries in road traffic accidents, with 53.9% of the male group being involved in motorcycle accidents. Multiple imaging (in addition to plain film radiography) was required in 30 cases with 20 patients suffering injuries apart from their spinal fracture. Of these, 15 had associated chest injuries. Cardiothoracic surgical consultants were required in 56.3% of cases, and from the general surgeons in 37.5% of patients. 59.4% of patients required intensive care unit therapy, with another 4 patients going to the high dependency unit.

Fractures to the upper thoracic spine are injuries with devastating consequences, both due to high levels of neurological compromise and concomitant injuries. This series would suggest that patients suffering from these injuries are best treated in a multi-disciplinary approach within a general setting, rather that in a specialist orthopaedic unit, where other medical and surgical services may not be readily available.


Khalid S. Khan Sherazi SAH T Rafiq M Dolan AT Devitt

Introduction: There is still controversy regarding the treatment of acute Lumbar Radicular pain. Most authorities recommend bed rest, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy (Riew et al JBJS 1982 and Tulder ET AL Spine 22–1997) Comparing the outcome of operative and conservative treatment in selected patients many authors (Weber et al, Hakelius et al) did not find any significant difference after first year and no difference after 4 years. However many patients treated conservatively complains of persistent pain and seek further intervention.

Aim: We did a prospective study to determine the effectiveness of selective nerve root injection in relieving pain in patients with Lumbar radicular pain.

Material and Methods: We included 27 consecutive patients in our study, who had selective nerve root block. Inclusion criteria were Degenerative Lumbar Radicular pain or spinal stenosis, MRI correlating with Lumbar radiculopathy and no benefit from 6 weeks Anti-inflammatory medication, Rest, Physical treatment and activity modification. Informed consent taken from all patients for this study. Each patient was given Low Back Pain outcome score questionnaire of Greenough and Fraser and Oswestry Disability index of Fairbank, to be filled pre and post injection in day ward and at regular intervals up to 3 months post-injection. Adcortyl 20mg with 1 ml of 1% Lignocaine were injected under image in theatre after confirming the site with radioculogram and pain replication.

Results: From the total of 27 patients, 25 (92%) showed improvement in their symptoms in first week. Out of these 25 patients, 18(66%) had long-term improvement and 7(26%) showed short-term relief. Statistically significant improvement at every stage of assessment was observed.

Conclusion: The selective nerve root block combined with careful history, physical examination and quality radiolographic studies, is an important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with predominant Lumbar radicular symptoms. It gives acceptable results in form of pain relief in 3 months. It has a role in lumbar Radicular pain largely in patients where surgery is not appropriate for whatever reasons.


AJ Laing JP Dillon ET Condon JH Wang JC Coffey J Street AJ McGuinness HP Redmond

Background: Circulating endothelial precursor cells (CEPS) are thought to play a role in postnatal angiogenesis. We investigated the angiogenic stress of musculoskeletal trauma on CEP kinetics in trauma patients and their bone marrow progenitor populations in a murine model.

Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PB-MNCs) were isolated from patients (n=12) on consecutive days following closed lower-limb diaphyseal fractures. CEP levels, defined by the surface expression patterns of VEGFR2, CD34 and AC133 were determined and cytokine analysis of collected serum was performed. Bone marrow precursors defined by Ly-6A/E and c-Kit expression were harvested following traumatic insult from the murine model and quantified on flow cytometry. Human and murine progenitor populations were cultured on fibronectin and examined for markers of endothelial cell linage (Ulexeuropaeus- agglutinin- 1 binding and acetylated-LDL uptake) and cell morphology. Statistical analysis was performed using variance analysis.

Results: A consistent increase in human CEPs levels was noted within 72 hours of the initial insult, the percentage increase over day 1 reaching 300%.

Conclusion: We propose that musculoskeletal trauma through the release of chemokines such as VEGF, promotes rapid mobilisation of CEP from born marrow, which have the potential to contribute to reparative neovascularisation. Strategies to enhance CEPs kinetics may accelerate this process and offer a therapeutic role in aberrant fracture healing.


S Sloan NW Thompson E Doran JG Brown

We report the result of 46 patients (30 female, 16 male) with periprosthetic femoral fractures who underwent insertion of the Kent Hip Prosthesis. Average age was 73 years (range 43–96years) and follow-up ranged from one to seven years (average, 4 years). The primary implants involved were as follows: Charnley (26), Austin Moore (6), Howse (5), Custom (4), Exeter (1), DHS (1), Thompson (1) and Richards (1). Average time to fracture from insertion of the primary implant ranged from 3 weeks to 20 years (average, 8 years). Forty cases were post-primary implant fractures (38 traumatic, 2 atraumatic) and 6 occurred intraoperatively. Using the Johanssen classification there were 12 type I, 30 type II and two type III fractures. Of the 46 cases, prior to fracture, 42 were living in their own home, 24 were mobile unaided and 20 had thigh and/or groin pain. Thirty-two had a loose stem and/or cup assessed at the time of surgery. Operating time was on average 143 mins (65–235mins). At latest follow-up, 43 were living in their own home, 5 were walking unaided and 10 had ongoing pain. In 34 cases complete union was achieved. There were no cases on non-union. Three patients required revision surgery for broken stems. Three patients sustained wound infections and there were six posterior dislocations. All of the complications were treated satisfactorily. We conclude that the Kent Hip Prosthesis is a useful option in the management of periprosthetic femoral fractures.


NW Thompson A Adair M Mohammed S O’Brien DE Beverland

Leg-length inequality is not uncommon following primary total hip arthroplasty and can be distressing to the patient. An excellent clinical result with respect to pain relief, function, component fixation, range of motion and radiographic appearance can be transformed into a surgical failure because of patient dissatisfaction due to leg-length inequality.

Postoperative leg-length discrepancy was determined radiographically for 200 patients who had had a primary custom total hip arthroplasty. In all cases the opposite hip was considered to have a normal joint center.

The femoral component was designed and manufactured individually for each patient using screened marker x-rays. A graduated calliper was used at the time of surgery to control depth of femoral component insertion. The transverse acetabular ligament was used to control placement of the acetabular component and therefore restore acetabular joint center.

Using this method 94% of subjects had a postoperative leg-length discrepancy that was 6mm or less when compared to the normal side (average, +0.38mm). The maximum value measured for leg-length discrepancy was +/−8mm.

We describe a simple technique for controlling leg length during primary total hip arthroplasty and propose an alternative radiographic method for measuring leg-length discrepancy.


M Vioreanu JF Quinlan JM O’Byrne

Introduction: Fractures of the sternum result from a direct blow or from an indirect mechanism with hyperflexion of the spine. The association between spinal injury and sternal fractures has been reported but is commonly overlooked and underestimated.

Aims: Our aim was to study the clinical and radiological effects of an attendant sternal fracture on vertebral fractures. Berg first described the extra stability afforded to the thoracic spine by the sternal-rib complex and the adverse effects of damage to this “4th column” apropos of 2 cases.

Materials and Methods: None patients were admitted to our unit from October 1996 to August 2001 suffering from vertebral fractures and concomitant sternal fractures. The clinical notes and plain film radiographs of these patients were studied.

Results: The average age of the 9 patients (5 males and 4 females) was 33 years (range 21–73). Seven had been involved in road traffic accidents and 2 had fallen from a height. Four patients had injuries to their cervical spine, 4 to their thoracic spine and one had a lumbar spine fracture. In terms of neurological compromise, only one of the cervical groups had a neurological deficit compared to all 4 in the thoracic group (2 complete and 2 incomplete). The patient with the lumbar spine fracture suffered incomplete neurological compromise. All 6 of the patients with neurological compromise underwent surgical management. The other 3 patients were treated conservatively.

Conclusion: It has been traditionally accepted that the sternum is injured only in association with upper thoracic spine. Our findings suggest that spinal injury at lower thoracic, upper lumbar or cervical level may also be associated with sternal injuries. However, the relative severity of the vertebral injury and neurological compromise in the thoracic spine subgroup offers clear support of Berg’s “4th column” theory of thoracic spine fractures when compared to fractures of the cervical or lumbar spine with sternal injuries.


RA Flavin MM Stephens

Arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) is the gold standard treatment of a wide range of pathologies involving the 1st MTPJ. Numerous methods of internal fixation and bone end preparation have been reported to perform this procedure, however there is no universal technique. Therefore in an effort to bring together the best features of the different surgical techniques, a low profile contoured titanium plate (Hallu-S plate), with a compression screw, with a ball and socket bone end preparation were designed. A prospective study was carried out to determine the efficacy of using the Hallu-S plate for 1st MTPJ arthrodesis.

1st MTPJ arthrodesis, using the Hallu-S plate, was carried out in 11 consecutive patients. The procedure was performed in isolation and with other forefoot procedures. Cast immobilization was not used in patients with an isolated 1st MTPJ arthrodesis and the patients were allowed to mobilize (heel walking – full weight bearing) between 2 and 6 weeks postoperatively. The changes in the level of pain and activities of daily living using the AOFAS Hallux score, pre-operatively and at the last assessment, and the time to bone union were assessed.

The mean follow-up time was 10 months (STD 6 months) and there was statistically significant increase in the AOFAS Hallux score. All radiographs at 6 weeks showed bone union and an appropriate degree of dorsiflexion in relation to 1st metatarsal (20–25). The combination of the Hallu-S plate and a ball and socket preparation has both operative and biomechanical advantages over previously described techniques. This combination ensures the biomechanics of the 1st ray are maintained and a better functional result is achieved.


RA Flavin B Thornes MM Stephens

The surgical treatment of chronic Achilles tendon ruptures is essential to restore the normal gait pattern. There are a variety of surgical techniques described, including primary repair, augmentation with tendon transfers, augmentation with aponeurosis flaps and bridging techniques. In recent times augmentation with tendon transfers or aponeurosis flaps are the most commonly performed procedures. Our study examined the biomechanical effect of using the flexor hallicus longus in an augmented chronic Achilles tendon repair on gait pattern and forefoot loading distribution using pedobaragraphical analysis.

We, pedobarographically examined the gait patterns of 10 patients who had undergone augmented chronic Achilles tendon repair using the flexor hallicus longus tendon. The mean age at the time of injury was 59 years of age (range 46–70). The mean follow-up time was 38 months. All patients reported good to excellent results. The mean AOFAS ankle score was 96.25 (range 90–100). There was no statistically significant difference between the loading distributions of the operated foot relative to the contralateral side.

While there is no comparative study examining the outcomes of the varying surgical techniques for chronic Achilles tendon repair, the use of the flexor hallicus longus tendon in augmented chronic Achilles tendon repair has been proven as an effective repair to restore normal function while not compromising the biomechanics of the 1st ray or the loading distribution of the forefoot.


PM Kelly R Flavin MM Stephens

Apert’s syndrome (or acrocephalosyndactyly type 1) is a rare condition characterized by anomalies of the skull (craniosynostosis) in conjunction with complex syndactyly of the hands and feet. There are many studies involving the description and management of hand deformities in Apert’s syndrome. The study of foot anomalies however in children with Apert’s syndrome has been limited to individual case reports and small series. Plain radiographic studies have shown that during childhood, progressive fusion of the bones of the feet occurs. The management of these children’s feet has never been addressed in the literature.

Seven patients with Apert’s syndrome were included in our study. The study group consisted of 2 girls and 5 boys, age range 4–16 years. We performed plain radiography, 3-D computed tomography and paedobarographic studies on all seven children based on our observation that some children with Apert’s had prominent metatarsal heads with symptomatic callosities under the first and second metatarsal heads. Five of the seven children studied demonstrated a specific pattern both on paedobarographic studies and 3D computed tomography of an excessively plantar flexed, fused first and second rays.

A corrective extension osteotomy of the fused first and second rays were then carried out in one patient with an excellent post-operative result. We propose that by early recognition and correction of the pattern of an excessively plantar flexed first and second ray would improve both function and footwear.


PD Kiely DB Borton

Introduction: Ankle inversion injuries are common, with an incidence of 1 per day per 10,000 of the population. Chronic instability is a frequent sequela, and has been estimated to occur after approximately 10 to 20% patients, regardless of the type of initial treatment. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become a routine diagnostic tool in investigating knee injuries, but little has been published concerning ankle injuries and ankle instability.

Aim: To compare the efficacy of conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and stress radiography in the detection of lateral collateral ligament abnormalities in patients with chronic ankle instability.

Materials and Methods: All patients presenting to the senior author’s OPD with clinical impression of ankle instability were investigated prospectively using MRI and stress x-rays (Telos). These films were officially reported and then, these reports were subsequently reviewed post-anatomical reconstruction.

Results: Over a two-year period, 18 patients underwent anatomical reconstruction using the modified Brostrom technique. MRI identified a tear of the anterior talofibular (AFT) ligament in 12 (66%) patients, and the calcaneofibular (CF) ligament was torn in 9 (50%) patients. Stress radiography identified instability of 14 of the 18 (77%) patients. Stress radiography identified instability of 14 of the 18 (77%) patients. Surgical exploration revealed either attenuation or rupture of either the AFT and/or CF ligaments in all 18 patients. MRI demonstrated concomitant injuries to the ankle and subtalar joints, including peroneal tenosynovitis (76%), anterolateral impingement syndrome (66%) and attenuated peroneal retinaculum (55%).

Conclusion: Ankle instability may be more reliably demonstrated using stress x-rays than MRI: however, lowfield MRI is a very useful diagnostic tool in the study of concomitant ankle injuries and we would suggest that both modalities be considered, especially if surgical intervention is anticipated.


N Awan A Hayanga A Mahapatra K O’Shea P Murray

Introduction: Hip arthroplasty is growing in importance and relevance in the detection and treatment of various pathologies affecting the hip joint. A growing number of indications exist including the diagnosis and treatment of synovial-based disease, extraction of loose bodies within the joint, and treating chondral flaps and labral tears. Hip arthroplasty represents a minimally invasive, joint preserving, effective and reproducible tool to achieve these. The literature cites few complications arising from the procedure.

Study: Retrospective study of the outcomes of 20 patients who underwent hip arthroplasty between March 1999 and October 2002.

Methods: All the patients were first clinically assessed and then underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging of their hips prior to undergoing arthroplasty. The indications for the MR arthrography included hip or groin pain, joint stiffness with associated impaired exercise tolerance. Arthroscopy was performed as a day case under general anaesthetic. The patients were placed supine on a fracture table and traction applied, under image control 30 and 70 degree arthoscopes were placed through an anterior and peritrochanteric portals. The patients followed up for an average of 20 months (6–44 months) and assessed for pain, mechanical symptoms, activity level, work status, sports ability and performance of activities of daily living. Data collected was retrospectively reviewed.

Results: The correlation between MR imaging and arthroscopy was approximately 80%. MR imaging detected all the labral tears present in 10 patients. This sensitivity was however reduced for the detection of small osteophytes (105), synovitis (5%), and minor labral radial fibrillation (5%). Four patients had loose bodies, which were successfully extracted. The patients whose symptoms were the result of mechanical pathology achieved complete resolution of their symptoms post operatively. No complications were seen.

Conclusion: Hip arthroplasty can be performed for a variety of conditions with reasonable expectations of success and minimal complication rate.


JA Harty K Soffe G O’Toole MM Stephens

Plantar faciitis is a repetitive microtrauma overload injury of the attachment of the plantar fascia at the inferior aspect of the valvaneus. Several aetiological factors have been implicated in the development of plantar faciitis, however the role of hamstring tightness has not previously been assessed.

Materials and Methods: 15 volunteers (mean age 25 years) were prospectively analysed for the difference in forefoot loading using a don-Joy brace applied to each knee simultaneously. The brace was locked at varying degrees of knee flexion (0°, 20°, 40°). Body weight was measured for each volunteer. 15 patients (mean age 41 years) with a diagnosis of plantar faciitis were similarly analysed on the pedobarograph, however they also had their hamstring tightness assessed by means of measuring the popliteal angle. The mean popliteal angle measured was 28.5°. 15 age and sex matched controls (mean age 42 years) then had their hamstring tightness assessed. The mean popliteal angle was 12.5°.

Increasing the angle of flexion from 0–20° at the knee joint led to statistically significant increase in pressure in the forefoot phase by an average of 0.08K/cm2s (p, 0.05,t-test). An increase from 20 – 40° led to increased forefoot phase pressure of 0.15 kg/cm2s (p0.05, t-test). The percentage time spent in contact phase reduced from 30 to 26.5 to 16 with increasing flexion (P< 0.05). However there was an inverse increase in the time spent in the forefoot phase 51–58–69 with increasing degrees of flexion (P< 0.05). Thus the authors feel that an increase in hamstring tightness may induce prolonged fore foot loading.


Khawar Waheed K Mulhall B Mwaura K Kaar

Percutaneous wiring is a successful technique for the management of distal radial fractures. Practice differs according to surgeon preference as to whether the wires used are buried or protruding. To assess patient satisfaction with wither technique, we prospectively randomised 52 consecutive patients undergoing percutaneous wiring for distal radius fractures with regard to whether the wires were buried or not.

Patients with a distal radial fracture managed with percutaneous wire fixation and casting only were randomly allocated to have the wires buried or protruding. The fractures were classified according to Frykmn’s classification of fractures of the distal radius, and there were no differences between the groups (p=0.9).

The total number of patients studied was 52, with a mean age of 56.6 years (range 19–84). The female: male ratio was 38:13. Twenty-five (48%) patients had percutaneous wiring of their fracture with the Kirschner wires buried and 27 (52%) had the wires protruding. Cast and wire fixation were removed at a mean duration of 5.8 weeks in an outpatient setting. Patients recorded whether they experienced pain during the period of wire fixation or pain during the removal of wires on a visual analogue scale. Fifteen patients reported pain during the period of fixation (55.5%), the severity ranged between 2–8 (mean 3.8) with no significant difference between the groups (p=0.8). All patients with buried wires compared with 10% of those protruding wires required local anaesthesia in the operating theatre for removal (p=0.03). Superficial infection was diagnosed in 4 patients with no significant difference between groups (p=0.14).

Buried wires are typically advocated to prevent pin site infections and to improve patient comfort and satisfaction. However, we found no difference between the study groups with regard to patient satisfaction, pain during the period of fixation or pin-site infections. Furthermore, all patients in the buried wire group required local anaesthesia for removal with some of these necessitating a visit to the operating theatre. We therefore feel that burying these wires confers no advantage while adding to the complexity, time and cost of removal and recommend leaving wires protruding through the skin.


C Hurson K Synnott M Ryan M O’Connell K Soffe S Eustace J O’Byrne

Introduction: The Ganz periacetabular osteotomy aims to improve femoral head coverage in dysplastic hips. It is joint preserving procedure and therefore is ideally preformed before significant articular cartilage degeneration. One proposed advantage of this procedure is that it partially preserves the posterior column and does not disrupt the vascular supply of the main fragment. This study aims to 1) assess the role of MR imaging in the perioperative evaluation of articular cartilage and labrial tissues prior to Ganz osteotomies and 2) to document any alteration in the vascularity of the acetabular fragment post operatively.

Patient and Methods: Twenty patients (all female, average age 18.2 years) under consideration for peracetabular osteotomy for hip dysplasia and MR Studies of the pelvis as part of the perioperative assessment. Sixteen patients had follow-up imaging at 4, 12 and 26 weeks post surgery, at which time evidence of healing, oedema, vascularity and femoral head coverage were assessed.

Discussion: MR imaging has proven to be a reliable method of assessing articular cartilage health before considering pelvic osteotomy. Hopefully this will allow more appropriate selection of patients likely to benefit from this procedure. In addition MRI scanning allows clearer assessment of other articular elements, such as labium and ligamentum teres, that are difficult to visualize with plain radiographs and CT scans. A further benefit of MR scanning is that, as this study has shown the vast majority of patients who are potential candidates are female of childbearing age and it voids the use of ionizing radiation in this sensitive group of patients. This study has shown that despite some early alterations in osteotomy fragment vascularity the ultimate outcome is that vascularity is substantively unharmed by periacetabular osteotomy.

Conclusion: MR imaging is extremely useful in the perioperative workup and postoperative follow-up in patients undergoing Ganz periacetabular osteotomies.


H Khan P Fleming J McElwain

Limb length discrepancy (LLD) is a complication of total hip arthroplasty (THR). We reviewed the x-rays of patients who underwent THR in our unit to establish the incidence and magnitude of LLD, and try to identify reasons why a length discrepancy arose. Patients with abnormalities of the opposite hip (previous THR, significant osteoarthritis) were excluded, to allow comparison with a normal contralateral side.

100 consecutive patients who fulfilled these criteria were included. There were 38 male and 62 female patients. The implants used were Charnley (89 cases), Elite (4 cases), and Exeter (7 cases). The following measurements were made on pre-and post-operative films on the hospital PACS system: centre of lesser trochanter to ischial tuberosity; tip of greater trochanter to centre of femoral head; centre of head to base of teardrop. The distance from the osteotomy in the femoral neck to the centre of the lesser trochanter was also measured. The interval from the greater trochanter to the closest margin of the pelvis, and the interval from the lesser trochanter to the base of the teardrop (compared to the normal side) were recorded as indices on adduction. Surgery was performed via a direct lateral (Hardinge) approach (95 cases) or through transtrochanteric approach (5 cases).

There was a radiographic difference between limbs of > 1cm in 43 cases; in 9 of these, the operated limb was longer, and in 34 cases it was shortened. In those cases where the operated side was lengthened, the cause was on the acetabular side in 2 patients, and on the femoral side in 25 cases, and on the femoral side in 9 cases. The shortened limb was noted to be adducted relative to the opposite side in 29 patients. There was difference noted in the incidence of discrepancy between different implants. The transtrochanteric approach was associated with significantly (p< 0.01) less length discrepancy.

Our findings suggest that shortening is much more common than lengthening following THR, and that incorrect positioning of the acetabulum is the more likely cause. Persistence of an adduction contracture may also contribute to an apparent shortening postoperatively. The transtrochanteric approach appeared to make LLD less likely. Surgeons should be aware of these findings when performing THR. The clinical effect of differing degrees of LLD is till debatable.


Harish K. Shanker B Canavan J Wong H McGee

Open tibial fractures have traditionally been treated as surgical emergencies. However, the “golden eight hour rule” for emergent treatment of these injuries is based more on historic principles and in-vitro data.

A substantial number of open tibial fractures referred to our hospital from the peripheral referral units have transport times in excess of eight hours. These circumstances provide the source for the present study of the effect of delay in initial treatment on the final outcome in terms of infection, delayed union, non-union, malalignment and failure of fixation.

Between January 1998 and June 2001, 53 open tibial fractures were treated at our institution. The fractures were classified using the Gustilo classification. All patient had a minimum of one year’s follow-up. Patients were categorized into 4 groups based on the time delay from injury to surgery, namely those treated within 6 hours of injury, 6 to 12 hours, 12 to 18 hours and > 18 hours following injury. Following recognized methods of surgical toilet and wound debridement, treatment modalities included intramedullar nailing, external fixation and cast application.

There were 22 Grade 1, 22 Grade II and 9 Grade 3 open fractures. Twenty-three received treatment within 6 hours of injury, 10 between 6 to 12 hours, 6 between 12 to 18 hours and 14 at more than 18 hours following injury.

Forty three percent of cases with complications were in the group of patients treated within 6 hours of injury, 29% were in those treated between 6 to 12 hours, 7% were in those treated between 12 to 18 hours and 21% were in those treated at > 18 hours following injury.

27% of Grade I open fractures, 14% of Grade II fractures and 55% of Grade III fractures developed complications.

Our experience indicates that the incidence of complications correlates more with the severity of the injury rather than with time from injury to treatment. In spite of early treatment, fractures treated within 6 hours of injury developed more complications in our series. Delays of 6 to 18 hours did not reflect a proportional increase in incidence of complications.


PM Kelly M Hussain FT Shannon

Clinical and radiographic data on 47 hips in 45 patients with Developmental Hip Dysplasia who underwent either a Salters Innominate Osteotomy or a Femoral Derotation Varus Osteotomy by a single operator were reviewed. The average age of patients at the time of osteotomy was 21 months (range 12–108 months). Clinical evaluation was performed with use of the lowa hip rating score and the Harris hip score. Radiographs were evaluated pre=operatively, post-operatively and at final review.

The mean duration of follow-up was 15 years 9 months (range 10–21 years). Thirty-five patients had a Salter innominate osteotomy, 11 a derotation varus osteotomies and one a Klisic.

Al last follow-up examination the Iowa hip rating averaged 96.6 (range 62 to 100) and the modified Harris Hip Score averaged 96.8 (range 48 to 100). Forty seven percent of patients reported abductor fatigue after sport. Forty-one patients had excellent result with a Severin class I hip on radiographic evaluation. All of these patients had an Iowa index > 95 and a mean Centre-Edge angle of 35.5 (range 25–40).

Six patients had a poor radiological outcome with 5 Severin class IV hips and one class V. Clinical outcome scores did not correlate with poor radiological outcome; Iowa hip score 92 (range 62–100). One patient required a Ganz periactabular osteotomy. The age at which primary osteotomy was performed was significantly higher in the poor outcome group with a mean of 50.8 months.

When the anatomy of the hip is restored to normality at an early age with out the development of avascular necrosis excellent long-term results can be expected.


S.M. Ali Prof. E. Masterson

Introduction: 4525 THRs and 1071 TKRs were performed in the eight-health board region of Ireland in the year 2001. The demand continues to increase and long waiting lists for surgery are common. In September 2002, 3258 public patients were waiting for orthopaedic surgery and many of these are joint replacement procedures.

We have developed a system of assessment and reassessment and for the patients who are on the waiting list for hi p and knee arthroplasty. We have evaluated the changes in hip and knee scores in cohort of patients while waiting for surgery.

Method: 153 patients who waited I excess of 6 months for surgery were assessed. Changes in Harris Hip Score and American Knee Society Score while waiting were analyzed. The range of scores for HHS is from 0 (severely disabled) to 100 (normal), and similarly for AKSS is 0 to 200, depending on the symptoms, disabilities and physical findings of the patient.

Result: Out of 153 patients for arthroplasty 105 (68.62%) were waiting for the THR and 48 (31.37%) were waiting for the TKR. Patients for THR (n=105) ranged in age from 30–90 years, with a mean age of 60 years. The average initial hip score was 63.70 and the average hip score in assessment clinic was 53.00 so the average scores deteriorated in score of 24.42 on reassessment.

Conclusion: Above result shows that there is significant deterioration in both hip (10.7) and knee (24.42) scores in patients waiting for hip and knee replacement over a six-month period. This emphasises the importance of regular review and reassessment of waiting list to allow reprioritisation according to changing clinical needs.


A Azhar N Hogan O Brady

Aseptic loosening of the acetabular component is the major long-term complication of cemented total hip arthroplasty (THA). Failure of the acetabular cup occurs two to three times more frequently than failure of the femoral component. Third generation cementing techniques have improved the longevity of cemented components in THA. Although suction venting of the femoral shaft is a well-recognised practice, venting of the acetabulum during the cementing process has been little studied. This prospective study sets out to evaluate the effect of iliac wing vacuum aspiration on cement penetration of the acetabulum. Forty patients (Male 18, Female 22) aged 19–82 years (average 67+12 years) undergoing primary THA were entered consecutively into two study groups (20 hips per group). Reasons for THA included osteoarthritis (35) acetabular Dysplasia (2), rheumatoid arthritis (1), perthes (1) and conversion THA post dynamic screw (1)> A single consultant surgeon performed all procedures in a standard operating room with laminar flow. A posterior approach was used in all hips. Third generation cementing techniques were used for acetabular component insertion. Twenty-six millimetres internal diameter Charnley ogee LPW polyethylene cups (Depuy) with varying external diameters [43 mm (9), 47 mm (24), 50 mm (5) and 53 mm (3)] were used and implanted with “Simplex” polymethylmethacrylate cement (Howmedica). Group 1 underwent acetabular cement pressurisation for sixty seconds prior to insertion of cup. Group 2 underwent pressurisation with simultaneous vacuum suction of the ipsilateral ilium using an Exeter iliac wing aspirator. Pre-and post-operative haemoglobin values were recorded for all patients. Standard post-operative radiographs were reviewed blindly to assess penetration of cement. A custom-made template facilitated measurement of depth (mm) of cement penetration in three areas corresponding with Delee-Charnley acetabular zones. Cement penetration was enhanced in all zones following iliac wing vacuum aspiration. The effect of venting was statistically significant (zone I 21.1+6.4mm v 12.8+2.8mm. zone II 7.0+2.4mm v 5.5+2.0mm, zone III 5.3+2.4mm v 4.2+1.4mm). The bone cement mantle interface was also completely obliterated following iliac wing aspiration.


M Ashraf S Soffi W Ali J O’Beirne T Glynn IP Kelly

Aim: To assess the blood loss in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty and to determine the effects of surgical technique, duration of surgery and use of tourniquet. To look at the value of patient factors including gender, age, weight, pre-operative haemoglobin as predictive factors for future transfusion. We assessed the complications of wound healing, regaining the range of motion and thromboembolic effects.

Patients and Methods: A prospective review of 150 patients undergoing knee arthroplasty, with a minimum follow-up of 2 years (2–8 years). We divided the patients into three groups (n=50). Group A had no tourniquet applied and haemostasis secured before skin closure, Group B had tourniquet released after cementation to secure haemostasis before skin closure and Group C had tourniquet applied until after the skin closure.

Patients were matched for age, gender, pathology, weight, implant type, pre operative haemoglobin and senior operator in all three groups. We assessed intra-operative and total blood loss, transfusions requirements, postoperative wound complication, regaining of the range of motion, incidence of systemic effects of tourniquet and duration of hospital stay. We also looked at the effects of NSAIDS on blood loss and compared the validity of various factors reported in the literature to be predictive of future transfusion after the surgery. Statistical analysis used were, student’s t-test, univariate and multivariate analysis and regression statistical analysis.

Results: Group A had maximum blood loss (mean 1374 mls.) followed by Group B (mean 774 mls.) The mean blood loss of Group C was 550 mls (p< 0.001, 95% confidence interval range of 527843 mls). Statistically the duration of operation was the most important factor in minimising the blood loss (p< . 0001 R2 =0.68). The association of pre operative haemoglobin and weight as predictors of future transfusions statistically did not show a strong relationship (R2 = 0.17, R2 = 0.13 respectively). Statistically no significant difference was found in wound complications, hospital stay, post operative pain and regaining the range of motion in three groups (R2 0.58). Patients on NSAIDS did not loose more bloods than patients not on NSAIDS.

Conclusions: The use of tourniquet until after the skin closure is statistically the best method for reducing blood loss in total knee arthroplasty. It does not cause significant wound problems and does not significantly affect the regaining of range of motion. Furthermore the usage of NSAIDS does not cause excessive postoperative bleeding.


J Street R Flavin E Bale P Murray

Pathological conditions of the hip joint may present with variable patterns of pain referral in the lower limb. Literature reports suggest that up to 35% of total hip arthroplasties are performed on patients whose primary compliant is obturator nerve referred “knee pain”. However the effect of varied pain patterns on patient outcome and satisfaction has not previously been examined. This prospective study was undertaken to determine the most common referral patterns of hip pain in patients scheduled to undergo primary total hip replacement and to examine whether initial pain referral pattern predicted ultimate patient outcome. Patients were assessed using the Harris Hip score, SF 36 and WOMAC scoring systems measured preoperatively, at 6 months, 1 and 2 years post operatively.

236 patients were identified with isolated single hip joint disease. Patients who demonstrated multi joint disease, and particularly ipsilateral knee pathology were excluded. Forty-five percent of patients with primary hip disease had pain primarily at or about the knee. There was no difference in preoperative demographics, physical function, social function, perceived general health, Harris Hip score (p=0.74), SF 36 (p=0.66) or WOMAC scores (p=0.81) between the pain pattern groups. Operator status and operative techniques were comparable. At 1 and 2 years postoperatively the groin and thigh pain groups were similar in all respects. However at 6 months, 12 months and 2 years, Harris hip scores (p=0.04, p=0.037, p=0.021) and SF 36 scores (p=0.035, p=0.027, p=0.01) were significantly lower in those patients presenting initially with knee pain. Multivariate regression analysis confirmed that no other confounding variables could account for the observed differences between the groups. These results indicate that, using current outcome measures, patients with “knee pain” who undergo total hip arthroplasty, and in whom ipsilateral knee disease has been excluded, have poorer long-term physical and social function and perceived general health. We believe this is the first report of its kind and suggest that patient and surgeon expectations of the results of total hip arthroplasty should be tailored according to the individual initial pain referral pattern.


C Hurson K Synnott P Nicholson J Rice J McElwain

Introduction: Articular fractures, especially in weight-bearing joints of the lower extremity, require anatomical reduction for good long-term function. If anatomic reduction is achieved 90% of patients have good results. Accurate anatomical reduction of acetabular fractures is made difficult y the complicated anatomy of the acetabulum and pelvis. Plain films and computerised tomography are very useful in the assessment, classification and planning for surgery of these fractures, but conventional imaging only provides two dimensional images of these fractures. While interpretation of traditional imaging techniques becomes better with experience novel techniques may assist in the understanding of these complex injuries. This project presents the use of three dimensional life size models which can be rapidly manufactured from CT scans to facilitate fracture classification and operative planning.

Patients and Methods: Standard 4 mm CT cuts were reformatted to 2 mm and saved as DICOM files for a series of 15 consecutive patients with complex acetabular fractures (not including isolated posterior wall injuries). These were imported into Mimic (Materialise) data conditioning software, which allowed manipulation and thresholding of images so that a three-dimensional computer model could be built. The data was exported to the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) system and a life size three-dimensional model constructed. Three consultant orthopaedic surgeons and three senior trainees were asked to classify, using the system of Letournel, each fracture using 1) conventional radiographs (AP pelvis, Judet views and CT scans). 2) Using a model. As no absolute of fracture type was available the Kappa statistic was used to evaluate inter and intraobserver agreement. This compared an observed level of agreement with the level of agreement that would be expected by chance alone.

Results: Interobserver agreement was not absolute using either conventional radiographs or the sintered model. For the consultants the kappa statistic using conventional radiographs was 0.61 while the kappa value using the model was 0.76 (p=< 0.05). For the trainees the kappa was 0.42, using conventional radiographs and 0.71 using the model (p=< 0.01)>

Discussion: The complex three-dimensional anatomy of the pelvis and acetabulum make assessment and classification of fractures of these structures notoriously difficult. The value of accurate fracture classification is well recognised particularly in the treatment of intra-articular injuries. The use of this real life model of a fractured pelvis has been shown in this study to significantly reduce the degree of interobserver variability in the classification of these injuries. This effect is particularly evident for less experienced surgeons.

Conclusion: The technique is available and relatively inexpensive. These models may be of great benefit for preoperative planning, classification and assessment of prognosis in acetabular fractures. Its use should prove invaluable as a tool to aid clinical practice.


N. Awan W. Robb K. O’Shea M. Noughton J. Colville

Introduction: Conservative treatment of humeral diaphyseal fractures yields reliable union rates with satisfactory clinical outcome. The high incidence of shoulder complications following intramedullary fixation of humeral fractures has led clinicians to consider other less invasive treatment modalities. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the role of functional bracing in the conservative management of these fractures.

Aims: To compare the outcome of patients with humeral fractures treated non-operatively using functional bracing and those treated by internal fixation.

Methods: Retrospective clinical and radiographic study of two groups of patients with humeral diaphyseal fractures matched for age, sex and mechanism of injury. The study group consisted of 46 patients who had presented to our institution between January 1999 and July 2002 with closed diaphyseal humeral fractures. Mean follow-up was 21 months 96–42 months). Patients were assessed for pain, range of motion, return to work and sporting activities. Group 1 comprised of patients who underwent functional bracing whereas Group 2 underwent internal fixation. There were 12 males and 10 females in Group 1, with a mean age of 42 (16–75 years). Group 2 comprised 13 males and 11 females, with a mean age of 37 years (20–80 years). Fourteen patients were treated with antegrade locked intramedullary nailing, whereas 10 patients underwent plate osteosynthesis. All functional braces were specifically moulded and customised for each patient by the senior upper limb occupational therapist. Three patients were lost to follow-up (Group 2).

Results: All patients treated with functional bracing went on to union at an average of 13 weeks (10–18 weeks). There were no major complications in this group. Two patients had residual loss of shoulder range of motion. Two patients had radial nerve palsies at presentation, which recovered fully. Of the twenty-one patients treated operatively, four required further procedures. Three patients had removal of IM nails with ORIF and bone grafting. One patient went on to non-union following ORIF, and had subsequent bone grafting. Eight patients developed restricted shoulder function, four requiring manipulations under anaesthesia.

Conclusion: Functional bracing of humeral diaphyseal fractures is a safe, non-invasive treatment providing reliable outcome and high rates of union. In this retrospective study, we found the results following functional bracing to be superior to that following internal fixation. Close supervision and patient compliance with treatment and rehabilitation is empiric to a satisfactory outcome in these patients.


SF Morris T Qamar IP Kelly

Background: The total cost of a joint arthroplasty is a matter of increasing interest to health economists. Patients who are admitted for elective procedures and subsequently cancelled incur significant additional costs and prevent admission of other patients.

Aim: We undertook a study to examine the incidence, causes and costs associated with pre-operative cancellation in an elective orthopaedic unit.

Patients and Methods: We reviewed all orthopaedic admissions over a twenty-month period, from March 2000 to June 2002. A total of 1,220 patients were admitted for arthroplasty. 62 patients (5.1%) were cancelled pre-operatively following admission. Detailed analysis of these cases was then undertaken, with details and costings of ancillary investigations obtained from relevant laboratory and radiology departments.

Results of Cancelled Patient Cohort: Mean patient age was 71.5 years (versus 75.3 yrs for non-cancellations) with a slight female preponderance. Almost three quarters of cancellations (72.5%, 45 patients) were avoidable, subsequently having their procedure at a later date. The remaining seventeen patients had chronic comorbidities and were judged permanently unfit for surgery following further work up. Of the 45 deferred patients, 16 patients were postponed to allow optimization of comorbid conditions. 19 patients had their surgery delayed for acute illnesses that had developed in the fortnight prior to admission. Infection was the commonest cause of cancellation in this group (n=18), with one patient cancelled due to a pre-operative DVT. The residual 10 patients were cancelled due to improvement of symptoms (4) unavailability of blood (3), anaesthetic equipment failure (2), and patient wishes (1). A comparison was performed using Student’s t test between patients temporarily deferred or permanently cancelled on the basis of age, comorbid conditions, ASA score and duration from in-patient assessment to admission. Only ASA scores demonstrated a significant difference between the two groups (Deferred 2.39, Cancelled 2.92; p< 0.01). The mean cost per admission was €10,187.26 with “Hotel” costs forming up to 75% of the total. While patients who were operated on inevitably incurred significantly higher costs (p< 0.01) it is noteworthy that the mean cost of admission per cancelled patient was €4,531, amounting to €77,010 over the study period. In addition, patient whose surgery was deferred incurred significant extra costs when compared with uncomplicated cases (mean excess €1,867). Therefore the additional costs of these 63 patients amounts to a total of €161,025.

Conclusion: Patients cancelled following admission incurred considerable costs. In order to minimize costs and maximize efficiency, we would recommend that the small cohort of patients with a high ASA score have a focused anaesthetic review pre-operatively. A program of education directed at patients and general practitioners would help eliminate minor illnesses, which necessitate cancellation, prior to admission.


R Gul D Conhyea A.J McGuinness

In late presenting developmental Dysplasia of hip there is controversy as to the most appropriate method of treatment. The purpose of study was to determine the outcome following the non-operative and operative treatment for late presenting developmental dysplasia of hip.

Retrospective study. Inclusion criteria – (1) Unilateral DH (2) Diagnosed 6 months or more after birth (3) Minimum follow up of 2 years after treatment. 41 patients matched the inclusion criteria. 32 patients attended the follow-up clinic. Patients were divided into non-operative and operative group. Outcome instruments used include activities scale for kids (ASK), physical component of SF36 v2, centre edge angle and severin classification system, all validated scoring systems.

32 patients with mean follow-up of 7 (2–12_ years. Mean age at the time of follow-up was 9 (range 2.7 – 15) years. In our series, 15 patients received non-operative and 17 patients received operative treatment. On ASK, conservatively treated hips scored 72% and surgically treated hips scored 69%. (P-Value = > 0.05). On SF36 v2, mean value of physical function score (PFS) for both non-operative and operative group were 57.58 respectively (P Value > 0.05). Centre edge angle (CEA) of non-operative and operative group were compared with their contra-lateral normal sides (P Value > 0.05). According to Severin classification system, 7 hips were grade I, 8 were grade II in the non operative group and in operative group, 10 were grade II, 5 were grade III and 2 were grade IV. There were no major complications and only one (3%) hip developed avascular necrosis of hip.

On a medium term follow-up, despite some radiological abnormalities, most of the patients achieved good functional results following both non-operative treatments for late presenting DDH. There was no statistically significant difference in the development of hips either treated conservatively or surgically. Long term follow up studies are required in order to establish the true outcome of late presenting DDH treated either conservatively or surgically.


SF Morris T Qamar IP Kelly

Introduction: Our institution is a stand-alone elective orthopaedic unit. The majority of prospective arthroplasty patients undergo in-patient pre-operative assessment.

Aim: We assessed the efficacy of a consultant physician delivered pre-operative assessment clinic for patients undergoing elective hip arthroplasty in terms of financial costs, duration of stay, cancellation rate and postoperative complications.

Patients and Methods: A study was undertaken over a six-month period comparing two age and sex matched patient cohorts. Group 1 consisted of 40 patients who were admitted directly for hip arthroplasty, while Group 2 patients were admitted for in-patient assessment prior to being readmitted for surgery. Data collected included patient age, presence of comorbidities. ASA score and the presence of post-operative complications.

Results: Group 1 comprised 40 patients with a mean age of 62.7 years (51–70), while Group 2 included 50 patients whose mean age was 63.78 years (51 – 70). A majority of patients in both groups were male. A significantly lower number of comorbid conditions and a lower ASA score were noted in group 1 patients, when compared with group 2. In addition, a shorter duration of hospital stay was noted in Group 1 patients with an associated decrease in costs.

Only one patient (2.5%) from Group 1 was cancelled pre-operatively; this for treatment of a chronic comorbidity. Five patients (10%) in Group 2 were cancelled on admission for surgery. Four of these patients were cancelled for acute illness that had developed following in-patient assessment, with one being discharged for treatment of a chronic illness.

Discussion: In-patient assessment prior to joint replacement placed a considerable burden on patients and healthcare resources. Patients referred to the assessment clinic were sicker, had a longer duration of hospital stay and had a higher incidence of cancellations than their peers in Group 1. It is important to note that the majority of all cancellations were due to the presence of acute medical problems not present at the time of assessment. Thus we feel that the current practice of in-patient assessment is financially inefficient and does not produce a notable decrease on pre-operative cancellations. In our opinion it is better replaced with an anaesthetic assessment on an out patient basis.


M Prem Mr. Aravidan Mr. Mowbray Dr. Newman-Sanders

The diagnosis and subsequent treatment of patients with “Anterior Knee Pain” remains a challenge and an enigma at times.

The 4 main parameters, which need to be assessed, are:

Bony anatomy of the PFJ

Cartilage structure within the PFJ

Tracking of the patella with active knee extension

Structure of the soft tissues in the extensor mechanism

While plain radiographs, CT scans and static MRI sans and arthroscopic assessments highlight some of the parameters none of them are comprehensive. The type of MRI scanning used in this study assesses all 4 parameters. The equipment required for resisted quadriceps contraction is inexpensive and readily available.

Material and Methods: 70 patients had dynamic MRI scans done over a period of 2 years. The study consisted of 3 parts:

Radiological diagnosis and grading of subluxation if present.

Clinical scoring of 26 patients who returned the questionnaires. Oxford, Lysholm and Tegner scores were used and correlated with the radiological scores.

Development of a Treatment Algorithm based o the scan results.

Conclusion: The Tibial Tubercle to Trochlear Groove Distance” (TTD) appears to be the single most significant parameter determining patellar tracking. Objective radiological assessment is possible under physiological loading, to differentiate tilt, subluxation and chondromalacia. We have proposed an algorithm for the surgical and non-surgical treatment of anterior knee pain. The pain scores did not show a significant correlation with the grading of subluxation.


P Fleming E Lawlor F McManus

Breech presentation is historically associated with an increased incidence of hip Dysplasia (6.6%–9.6%), but the effect of vaginal breech delivery on the development of hip dysplasia is unknown. In the Irish Republic, the proportion of breech presentations delivered by caesarean section is now over 90%. If the mechanical trauma of vaginal delivery is a significant event in the aetiology of DDH in breech presenters, caesarean section should be protective. We tested this hypothesis by a prospective study in infants presenting in the breech position who were delivered by caesarean section, during the 2002 calendar year.

There were 108 infants in the breech position at the time of delivery during this period; all but two of these (excluded from the study) were delivered by caesarean section. 50 were male and 56 were female. The mean duration of pregnancy at delivery was 37 weeks. An initial examination was performed in all cases within the first 48 hours postpartum, and treatment in a Pavlik harness commenced where there was clinical instability. Standardised AP and BIR views of the pelvis were taken at 4 months after birth, in all 106 cases. The acetabular index (AI) was measured on both sides.

There was only one case of hip dislocation at birth (bilateral dislocation in a first-born female infant). In 7 cases the initial examination was suspicious for instability, and patients were treated in Pavlik harness; in five of these cases another recognised risk factor (first-born female, family history) was also present. Two of these cases were found to have evidence of instability at 4 months, and underwent treatment by closed reduction and spica casting. For the entire group, the mean acetabular index (212 hips) was 23 degrees (range 17 to 36 degrees). Among those with signs suggestive of instability, the mean AI was 28 degrees. Only one patient had an AI > 30 degrees. Among those with no other risk factors, the mean AI was 22 degrees (range 17 to 28).

Our prospective study suggests that the incidence of DDH is markedly lower in breech presenters delivered by caesarean section (< 3%) that that reported for breech presenters as a whole. The three patients in our group with DDH had other risk factors present. We conclude that caesarean section may be protective for the development of DDH in infants who present in the breech position.


S Morris D Fitzpatrick D McCormack

Introduction: Outcome following intra-articular fractures is dependent on a myriad of variables, including the extent of the initial osteochondral and soft tissue injury. In the clinical setting it is impossible to control such variables, and studies are largely confined to radiographic and outcome based assessments. Therefore the effect of fracture line orientation has not been widely examined. Theoretically an incongruent intra-articular fracture results in a “low” side that is relatively unloaded, at the expense of a “high” side exposed to increased loads. Furthermore the orientation of the fracture may give rise to a narrow or broad swathe of wear on the opposing articular surface.

Aim: To evaluate the effect of an incongruent intra-articular fracture of the medial femoral condyle on subsequent loading and wear patterns, using an in vitro model.

Materials and Methods: 15 porcine stifle (knee) joints were harvested within three hours of death. Three groups of five joints were evaluated. Group S underwent a sagittal osteotomy of the medical femoral condyle that was then fixed in an incongruent position. In Group C the osteotomy was performed in the coronal plane. The third group acted as a control group and had no oseotomy performed. In all cases great care was taken to prevent injury to the menisci, articular surfaces and Ligamentous structures. The size of the step-off was documented using a contour-mapping machine (CMN). In addition the surface roughness of the femoral condyles was documented using a laser interferometry device (UBM, Germany). The specimen was mounted on a custom-made electro-pneumatic rig, and pressure mapping of the articular surfaces performed with pressure sensitive film (SPI, New Jersey, USA). Following mapping, each specimen underwent 10,000 cycles of flexion and extension over a three-hour period. When testing was complete, pressure mapping was again performed, the size of the step-off re-measured using the CNM, and surface roughness of the menisci, femoral condyles and tibial plateau assessed. Data was restored on a laptop for subsequent statistical analysis.

Results: Pressure mapping documented an unloaded area on the low side of the step-off in both Group C and S. This extended up to 8mm, and was mirrored by an area of increased load on the high side. Following testing, the area exposed to altered loads on both the high and low side of the osteotomy had diminished. On ANOVA testing the uncovered tibial articular surfaces in test subjects were significantly rougher than control specimens, though no difference was noted between Groups C and S (Mean Ra value GC: 101.83+22.78, GS: 93.52+17.89, ns. vs. Con 53.45+25.8,p< 0.05). Meniscal surface roughness was greater in the test groups, though this did not reach statistical significance. No significant difference in femoral condyle surface roughness was noted following testing. Nor was any difference noted in surface roughness in the submeniscal areas of the tibial articular surface.

Discussion: The displaced femoral osteotomy resulted in an area of increased wear on the opposing tibial articular surface. However no significant difference was noted between the coronal and sagittal group. It is probable that the menisci negated the effect of fracture line orientation. We suggest that they minimized secondary articular damage by decreasing the area of direct tibiofemoral contact. Furthermore the elasticity of the menisci, in addition to their ability to move in the anteroposterior plane further decreased stress transmission between joint surfaces. Further studies will be performed on the hip joint to determine the effect of articular incongruity in the absence of such a fibrocartilage buffer.


BJ Mockford DE Beverland

Objective: It is unknown whether routine physiotherapy is of benefit following total knee arthroplasty. Referrals are usually made by the inpatient physiotherapist or by the General Practitioners concerned about the patients range of knee motion. There have been no prospective, randomized, controlled studies in this area.

Design: One hundred and fifty patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty were recruited and randomly assigned into two groups. Ethical approval was given by the local ethics committee. Group 1 (n=55) received nine sessions of physiotherapy over a six-week period within 3 weeks of hospital discharge. Group 2 (n=76) received no outpatient physiotherapy. All patients received inpatient physiotherapy for the length of their hospital stay. Range of knee motion was measured using a goniometer by members of the outcome team blinded to the randomisation. Validated knee scores, Oxford knee, American knee society, and Bartlet patellar score were also collected. An SF-12 health questionnaire was used as a generic outcome measure.

Results: Both groups were equally matched in age, sex, diagnosis, and magnitude of deformity. Patients in Group 1 achieved an average loss in active range of motion of 2 degrees, whereas those in Group 2 achieved an average increase of 5 degrees. There is a significant difference in active range of motion between group 1 and group 2 (P=0.049). No difference in passive range of motion.

Conclusion: We concluded that the use of outpatient physiotherapy improves the range of knee motion to patients after total knee replacement at three months.


J Mulsow GC O’Toole F McManus

Introduction: Complete spinal cord injury patients demonstrate an initial rapid lower limb bone mineral density loss.1,2; Reports suggest an increase incidence of lower limb fractures in such patient.3 Such injuries place an additional burden on patients undergoing rehabilitation.

Aims: This prospective study was established to assess whether disuse osteopenia contributes to increased incidence of lower limb fractures in patients following complete spinal cord injury. We compare this cohort to patients who attained mobility after their spinal cord injury.

Methods: We prospectively reviewed 128 patients (107 male; 21 female) treated in our unit, a Tertiary Referral Spinal Trauma Unit. All patients presented between January 1994 and July 2002. There were 66 patients 958 male; 8 female) who initially presented to this unit and subsequently attained mobility either while in hospital or during rehabilitation. Both groups were comparable in age and sex profiles.

Results: The mean length of follow-up was 58 months for patients with complete neurology and 64 months for those who attained mobility. There were 4 lower limb fractures in the group of patient with complete neurology. Two patients sustained supracondylar femoral fractures with one requiring operative intervention, while 2 patients with mid-shaft tibia/fibula fractures were treated conservatively.

Conclusions: Previous papers have shown that patients with complete neurology after spinal injury undergo disuse osteopenia. We report an increase incidence of lower limb fractures in patients with complete neurology compared to patients initially presenting with neurology but attaining full mobility. This difference is statistically significant, (p< 0.05).


K O’Shea E Bale P Murray

Introduction: The majority of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee suffer from femorotibial pain with a smaller proportion suffering predominantly patello-femoral symptoms. No clear consensus exists as to the need for patellar resurfacing when performing total knee replacement for patients with symptomatic femorotibial osteoarthritis but without prominent patello-femoral symptomatic and radiographic disease.

Aims: To identify the advantages and disadvantages of both resurfacing and non-resurfacing of the patella during cemented total knee replacement performed for osteoarthritis predominantly of the femorotibial joint. To objectively clarify the rationale for the use of either procedure in clinical practice.

Methods: Prospective randomized double blinded clinical trail. Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and principally femorotibial symptoms were included. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, gross deformity of the knee and gross radiological or clinical patello-femoral arthritis were excluded. The implant used was a cemented posterior stabilized AMK (Depuy, Leeds UK) prosthesis. Pre-operative American Knee Society Score, SF-36 questionnaire and WOMAC scores were calculated for each patient. These instruments were repeated and combined with clinical and radiological follow up at 3 months, 6 months and one year.

Results: 58 patients were recruited into the study, 53 of whom completed follow-up and were included in the analysis. Baseline characteristics were similar in each group. Operating room time was less in the non-resurfaced group (p< 0.05). At one year, no patient in either group had needed to undergo a revision procedure. There was no difference between the resurfaced and non-resurfaced groups in terms of global functional outcome as measured by SF36 and WOMAC scores at one-year post operatively. The American Knee Society score showed no difference between the two groups (p=0.86) at one-year post surgery.

Conclusion: There is no significant difference in clinical outcome at one year following surgery vis-à-vis those who did and did not have patellar resurfacing performed during knee replacement for predominantly femorotibial symptomatic osteoarthritis. Patellar resurfacing as a procedure is not without complications. In patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and predominantly femorotibial disease based on clinical and radiographic findings, we do not advocate the routine use of patellar resurfacing.


C Hurson K Synnott W Quinlan

Introduction: The Sheehan total knee endoprosthesis has been widely used since 1971. It incorporates a semi-constrained hinge with intramedullary stems cemented into the femur and tibia for fixation. This gives a stable polycentric knee mechanism that allows axial rotation as well as stimulating other knee movements. This design has certain disadvantages including the large amount of bone resected for implantation and its constrained nature, which predisposes to loosening. While clinically excellent results have been reported in 95% of patient by some authors, other papers have reported much lower rates of successful outcome and revision rates of up to 30%. Few papers however report the difficulties encountered during revision or the techniques that need to be used to overcome these.

Patients and Methods: We reviewed the records of 21 patients who required revision of Sheehan TKR’s between 1987 and 2001. Reason for revision was recorded and all patients were scored using the Knee Society Index and Severity Instrument (Saleh et al CORR 2001). The operative details were examined and technical difficulties at the time of surgery recorded. Per-operative and early post-operative complications related to the revision procedure were also noted.

Results: The average age of patients requiring revision was 65 years old (range 39–79). The average time from primary surgery to revision was 16.2 years (range 8–20 years). The reasons for primary surgery were rheumatoid arthritis in 9 and osteoarthritis in 12. Revision surgery was required for pain associated with tibial subsidence and painful bone contact in 14. Five of these also had varus/valgus instability in excess on 30°. Two patients had dislocation of their tibial on femoral component. One patient had a one-stage revision for infection and one had revision for a fractures tibial intramedullary stem. Three patients had revision to anterior flanged femoral components to facilitate patellar resurfacing for patello-femoral pain. In 14 patients the knee was revised to a second Sheehan prosthesis as the degree of bone loss was insufficient to allow cement removal and bone stock reconstruction. Three patients were revised to stemmed Co-ordinate (DepuyTM) revision prostheses, one to a standard AMK surface replacing prosthesis and one to a hinged Finn prosthesis due to global instability. Seven patients required impaction bone grafting and required structural grafting for severe bone loss. The overall complication rate approached 80%! Two patients had wound breakdown, one required grafting. Five patients had persistent wound ooze successfully treated with antibiotics alone. To patients had cortical perforation, which was bypassed by the prosthetic stem, two suffered post-operative fractures, one requiring ORIF, one bracing. Four patient required re-revision, two to kinemax prostheses and two to further Sheehan prostheses.

Discussion: While the Sheehan TKR was of great benefit to a large number of patients it is not without its problems. These results show that prostheses coming to revision did not necessarily fail early and so with time we can expect more to present for revision. The high complication rate and the need for complex reconstructive techniques attest to the difficulty of revising these prostheses. Some of these problems are the legacy of the prosthetic design and should be borne in mind when taking on these cases.


Kearns M Gilmore JP McCabe K Kaar W Curtin

Hip fracture in the elderly is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Significant intra-operative blood loss and the subsequent need for transfusion significantly contribute to patient morbidity. Making a surgical incision with diathermy reduces wound related blood loss, by coagulating small vessels as tissue is incised, however no study to date has looked at the use of diathermy in making surgical incisions around the hip. In addition, the increasing prevalence of blood borne infections makes the exclusion of sharps from the operative field an attractive option. The aim of this study was to compare diathermy incision with traditional wound opening using a scalpel to incise all layers. 50 patient undergoing hemiarthroplasty for fractured neck of femur were recruited prospectively. Patients on warfarin were excluded from the study while those on aspirin were not. After informed consent was obtained patients were randomized to scalpel or diathermy incision by coin toss.

In the diathermy group the dermis was incised with the scalpel and all further layers with the diathermy, while in both groups diathermy as used for haemostasis. All patients received prophylactic antibiotics at induction and for 24 hours post-op. Wounds were closed in a standard fashion using absorbable sutures for closing fascia and fat layers and surgical staples for skin. Intra-operative parameters measured included: 1) Time to open wound – defined as time taken to open wound from skin incision to complete opening of the fascia lata and achieve haemostasis. 2) Wound length and depth. 3) Wound related blood loss – swabs used while creating and closing the wound were weighed separately. 4) Total operative blood loss. Post-operatively all wound related complications were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed using the un-paired Student t-test parametric data.

Both groups were similar in relation to age, sex and pre-operative aspirin use. Intra-operatively neither wound sizes nor time taken to create the wound were statistically significantly different. In the scalpel group wound related blood loss represented over 30% of the total operative blood loss as compared with only 18.5% in the diathermy group. Post-operatively there were no wound infections or dehiscences in either group, however 4 patients in the scalpel group developed significant wound ooze that responded to conservative treatment. There were no significant wound problems in the diathermy incision group.

This prospective study has shown that the use of diathermy incision for hip hemiarthroplasty significantly reduces wound related blood loss and the incidence of post-operative wound ooze. We conclude that the routine use of diathermy to make incisions around the hip is effective in reducing wound related bleeding without adverse effects on wound healing or infection rate.


J Street M Phillips J O’Byrne D McCormack

Management of symptomatic residual acetabular dysplasia in adolescence and early adulthood remains a major therapeutic challenge. At our unit the two senior authors review all patients preoperatively and simultaneously perform each procedure. In the four years from 1998 forty-three Bernese osteotomies were performed in 40 patients with residual acetabular dysplasia. The mean average age at surgery was 21 years (range 12 – 43 years) and there were 34 female patients. The indication for surgery was symptomatic hip dysplasia (all idiopathic but for one male with a history of slipped capital femoral epiphysis) presenting with pain and restricted ambulation. 4 patients had previous surgery on the affected hip (2 Salter’s osteotomy, one Shelf procedure and one proximal femoral osteotomy). 27.5% of patients had symptomatic bilateral disease. 42% of patients had Severin class IV or V dysplasia at presentation. 100% of patients had preservation of the hip joint at last follow-up evaluation (mean 2.4 years), with excellent results in 82%, an average post-operative Harris hip score of 96, and an average d’Aubigne hip score of 16.1. The mean post-operative improvements in radiographic measures were as follows: Anterior centre edge angle +19.4°, Lateral centre angle +25.8°, Acetabular Index – 10.7°. Head to Ischial distance – 7.3mm. Surgical operative time decreased from 128 minutes to 43 minutes from the first to the most recent case. Average blood loss has reduced from 1850mls to 420mls over the four years experience. Predonation of 2 units of blood requested from all patients with baseline hemoglobin of > 12g/dl. When combined with intraoperative cell salvage the need for transfusion of homologous blood has been eliminated. All complications occurred in the first 9 patients: (one major – iliac vein injury requiring no further treatment; four moderate – lateral cutaneous nerve injuries; four minor – asymptomatic heterotopic ossification). Our experience confirms that the Ganz peri-acetabular osteotomy is an efficacious procedure for the treatment of the residually dysplastic hip, providing excellent clinical results, where early intervention is the key to improved outcome. It is a technically demanding procedure with a significant early learning curve and we believe that a two-surgeon approach is invaluable to the management of these difficult cases.


GC Toole F Breatnach FED Dowling DM Moore EE Fogarty

Langerhans-cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a reactive proliferative disease characterized by the accumulation of abnormal histiocytes. The disease is broadly divided into two groups, unisystem and multisystem disease. The aetiology of LCH is unknown; the disease is currently accepted to be a reactive process rather than a malignancy. Localized LCH of bone is a benign tumour-like condition, which is characterized by a clonal proliferation of Langerhan’s-type histocytes, which infiltrate bone and cause osteolytic lesions. The common bones involved include – skull, pelvis, and diaphysis of long bones.

We wanted to determine whether patient demographics at the time of presentation could help determine the clinical course and eventual outcome of the disease. We prospectively reviewed 68 patients with a primary diagnosis of LCH.

Forty-six patients had unisystem disease, 22 had multisystem disease. There was a statistically significant difference in the age of presentation between the two groups. There were 6 deaths, all had multisystem disease. Of the 46 patients with unisystem disease, 31 (67.3%) underwent orthopaedic surgical intervention, 26 open biopsies and 5 curettage and bone grafting of lesions of the humeras (2), skin, clavicle and skull (1 each). There was a statistically significant difference in the average length of follow-up, between the 2 groups.

We recommend closed and prolonged multidisciplinary follow-up of patient initially presenting with multisystem disease. Patients with unisystem disease can safely be discharged after a short follow-up period.


BJ Mockford DE Beverland

Introduction: Patellar management and related complications remain a major concern in total knee arthroplasty. Multiple problems can ensue in both resurfaced (fracture, loosening) and non-resurfaced patellae (pain).

Objective: We aim to evaluate the impact of secondary patellar resurfacing in patients with patellar related anterior knee pain having undergone a mobile bearing primary total knee arthroplasty without resurfacing.

Materials and methods: 2950 primary LCS mobile bearing total knee arthroplasties without patellar resurfacing were carried out between March 1992 and March 22003 by the senior author. Twelve patients underwent secondary patellar resurfacing for patellar related anterior knee pain. There were equal numbers male and female with a mean age of 72.1 years. There was a mean time of 27.9 months to secondary resurfacing procedure. We evaluated both clinical and radiological outcomes of this procedure.

Results: 0.4% patients required a secondary procedure. Only 3 had an unequivocal improvement in their symptoms. No morbidity was noted from the procedure.

Conclusions: The success rate of secondary patellar resurfacing is poor and we feel if this is to be offered to the patient for ongoing patellar related anterior knee pain that they be counseled carefully.


M Cleary M Neligan MS Dudeney W Quinlan

Nosocomial infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is on the increase and is expensive to treat. MRSA surgical wound infection may have disastrous consequences, particularly in an orthopaedic setting. We studied the rate of MRSA colonization in an important subgroup of orthopaedic patients. 50 nursing home residents were retrospectively reviewed with regard to their MRSA status on admission to an orthopaedic ward with fractured neck of femur. As is policy in our institution, all patients from nursing homes or other institutions are screened for MRSA on admission.

Of the 50 nursing home patients requiring a hemi-arthroplasty, 16%(8) were MRSA positive. 2%(1/50) acquired MRSA infection while I hospital, while the remaining 14%(7/50) were carriers on admission. 4%(2/50) developed sepsis postoperatively, followed by multiorgan failure and death. 4% had their MRSA cleared prior to discharge, while 8% remained positive on discharge. All patients undergoing hemiarthroplasty received cefuroxime, unless allergic, as prophylaxis at induction. These findings of considerable MRSA carriage in nursing home patients is particularly relevant today, as the number of patients in nursing homes continues to grow as the population ages. The patient population in nursing homes is susceptible to infection because of the physiological changes that occur with ageing, the underlying chronic diseases of the patients and the institutional environment within which residents socialize and live.

Nursing home residents presenting to orthopaedic units for surgery are a unique group in repairing careful consideration.


K O’Shea M Sedhom A Mofidi A North J Stratton DP Moore

The management of long bone infected non-unions; posttraumatic chronic osteomyelitis and primary segmental bone defects constitute some of the most difficult reconstructive challenges encountered by orthopaedic surgeons. Measures employed to treat these conditions are tantamount to limb salvage with amputation a likely outcome if reconstructive endeavors prove unsuccessful. The Ilizarov method of distraction osteogenesis and bone transport, following radical debridement in the case of infection, is one potential management option in such cases.

Aim: To assess outcome in a cohort of patients with long bone defects treated with this technique.

Methods: Clinical review coupled with retrospective chart study and radiographic assessment.

Results: 24 patients (20 adults, 4 children) underwent treatment over a 6-year period. 21 had defects of a primary traumatic aetiology (18 tibial and 3 femoral fractures). The mean interval between injury and commencing bone transport was 41.6 months. The mean defect dimension requiring transport was 9cm (range 4.5 to 28cm). The mean external fixation time was 14.6 months. Union occurred in 21 cases. Autologous bone grafting of the docking site was performed in 6 cases in order to stimulate union. Following removal, frames were reapplied in 4 cases due to refracture or development of angular deformity. Two patients proceeded to below knee amputations. According to ASAMI* criteria, the bone result was excellent in 12 patients, good in 5 patients, fair in one patient and poor in 6 patients. Functional outcome was excellent in 7 patients, good in 12, fair in 2 and poor in 3.

Conclusion: The Ilizarov method of bone transport is a reliable procedure providing consistent results in complex cases when frequently alternative treatment options have been exhausted. Outcome compares favorably with other treatment modalities such as vascularised free tissue transfer or Papineau type grafting procedures. The treatment period is lengthy and both major and minor complications are common but limb salvage is successful in the main part. More aggressive treatment and appropriate fracture management in the early stages may have a role to play in improving the prognosis of these patients.

*Association for the Study and Application of the Methods of Ilizarov


R Thakral Mr. Uday B.R. Veluvolu F Condon A McGuinness

We retrospectively reviewed medical records and radiographs of 82 children who presented within 12 months of their birth, with unilateral dislocated/subluxed hips and required treatment in from of traction, closed/open reduction, pelvic osteotomy and maintenance. The purpose of the study was to assess if HE angle could be utilized as a prognostic indicator fro assessing reduction of the affected hip. Hilgenreiner epiphyseal angle was measured by two observers for the normal as well as the abnormal side and differences noted. The measurements of the primary presentation and follow-up films were then correlated. Two groups of patients emerged, those in who the difference between the normal and abnormal hips was less than 10 degrees and those in whom was greater than or equal to 10 degrees, on initial presentation. Their management transpired to be quite different (p=0.000), with open reduction/pelvic osteotomy being required in all cases in the latter group.


M Maqbool DP Reidy

Fractures of the mid-shaft of the clavicle have been treated conservatively with excellent results regarding functional outcome. Indeed some studies have indicated that open reduction and internal fixation of mid-shaft clavicle fractures by plating have superior union rates. Recent studies have indicated that early plating of the mid-shaft clavicle fractures is a stable and reliable procedure well tolerated by the patient and results in a rapid rehabilitation and better functional outcome of the shoulder. This study aims to examine the results at retrospective cases of mid-shaft clavicle fractures that underwent acute open reduction and internal fixation.

Case records and x-rays have been recorded for all the 60 patients. All patients have been informed for clinical and radiological examination. Up-to date 50% patients have attended. This gives us a mean follow-up of 9.5 years. Parameters assessed at clinical and radiological examination were Union/non-union rates, time to union, Shoulder function, time back to work and complications.

The shoulder function was assesses by using the Constant-Murley score, which has been recommended by the European Orthopaedic Association. All of the 60m mid-shaft clavicle fractures have plated with one-third tubular plate within 48 hours of the injury. All of them were immobilized in a sling for 72 hours and were the commenced physiotherapy. Skin sutures were removed on the 10th postoperative day. The mean time to radiographic union was 10 weeks. No non-union occurred. Four cases has superficial infection. Six patients had skin numbness over the incision. Average Constant-Murley score was 97% as compared to the contralateral shoulder.

In this study we analyzed our results with osteosynthesis of mid-shaft clavicle fractures using one-third tubular plate.


C G García-Fontecha M Aguirre-Canyadell J P García de la Fuente M Méndez-Méndez

Introduction and Objectives: Release of the A1 pulley in trigger finger can be done by an open method or by a percutaneous technique using an intramuscular needle. The percutaneous technique results in resolution of trigger finger. However, a higher recurrence rate has been reported in adults as compared to the conventional open technique. To our knowledge no one has shown the efficacy of the percutaneous technique for release of the A1 pulley in children. For this reason, we have decided to study the efficacy and safety of the procedure.

Materials and Methods: Since November 2002, two senior surgeons from the paediatric orthopaedic unit have treated 10 patients with trigger finger using the percutaneous technique. Study subjects were not selected. Rather, the study included the first 10 cases of fingers with this condition that presented for medical consultation. In all cases, the operation consisted of two surgical stages. The first stage consisted of percutaneous cutting of the pulley using the bevel of an intramuscular needle. The second stage immediately following involved open examination of the pulley, tendon, and adjacent neurovascular structures.

Results: In the first surgical stage (percutaneous surgery) we were able to resolve clinical locking or tendinous nodules in all cases. In the second surgical stage (surgical examination), we observed the following: incomplete release of the pulley in 70% of cases, one case of flexor tendon laceration, and one case of minor lacerations of the neurovascular bundle. The condition did not recur in any of the patients.

Discussion and Conclusions: In our hands, percutaneous surgery provides less control over release of the pulley and less control over possible iatrogenic damage to adjacent structures and does not allow us to forgo the use of general anaesthesia.


F Chana-Rodríguez D Lòpez-Capape J M Martínez-Gòmez J Pizones M del Cerro

Introduction and Objectives: Our aim is to describe the versatility of the Becker flap in different pathological conditions of the hand as treated in a orthopaedic trauma centre.

Materials and Methods: The Becker flap surgical technique is described as it is used in our centre as a means for coverage of injuries of the soft tissues in the palmar region of the hand. The procedure is described in three patients. One of these was a salvage procedure for recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome. The second was performed after an acute infection of the hypothenal eminence. The third involved coverage of a hand following trauma with a loss of tissue.

Results: In spite of the varied aetiologies of these cases, coverage was complete in all three cases, and there was no vascular compromise of the flap, nor dehiscence of sutures or acute infections. The use of the cubital flap was sufficient to resolve these conditions. On follow up, overall functional results for the hands were good, and the aesthetic results were acceptable for both the hand and the donor site.

Discussion and Conclusions: The Becker flap represents a good option for coverage of palmar cutaneous defects of the hand. Its versatility in the field of orthopaedic trauma makes it a practical and efficacious flap for use in acute and delayed cases.


M A Solano-Medina N Ventura-Gòmez A Ey-Batlle F J de Torres-Urrea J A Ruiz-Molina J L Jumilla-Carrasco

Introduction and Objectives: This is a retrospective clinical and radiographic study of 19 patients affected by paralytic scoliosis secondary to myelomeningocele who were treated surgically with double anterior fusion (without anterior instrumentation) and instrumented posterior fusion from T2 to the sacrum.

Materials and Methods: The study involved 19 patients with scoliosis secondary to myelomeningocele treated surgically by instrumented posterior fusion (3 cases) or double anterior fusion (non-instrumented) with instrumented posterior fusion from T2 to the sacrum (10 cases). Instrumentation consisted of two rods shaped in physiologic kyphosis and lordosis, sublaminar wiring, and anchoring to the pelvis using the classic Galveston technique (7 patients); two rods fixed to the spine by means of sublaminar wires and pedicle screws on the convexity of the curve in the lumbar region and an iliac screw in the pelvis (11 cases); and in one case, anchoring to the pelvis was achieved using an iliosacral screw.

Results: Age of the patients ranged from 9 to 16 years, with a mean of 12 years. There were 11 females and 8 males. Maximum time of patient review was 9 years, and minimum time was 2 years. The level of spinal cord involvement was thoracic in 1 case, upper lumber (L1–L2) in 6 cases, mid-lumbar (L3) in 7 cases, and lower lumber (L3–L4) in 5 cases. Curve patterns were thoracolumbar (apex at T12–L1) in 14 cases and lumbar in 5 cases. Pre-operative curve angles ranged from 60° to 133° with a mean of 93°. Postoperative curve ranged from 15° to 60° with a mean of 42°. There were 6 patients with thoracolumbar kyphosis ranging from 24° to 92° (mean 49°) and 15 patients with pelvic obliquity ranging from 14° to 42° (mean 28°). Decompensation of the trunk with respect to the pelvis ranged from 26 to 0 cm, and postoperatively ranged from 13 to 0 cm (mean 5.5 cm). Of the 19 patients, 9 (50%) experienced complications. One patient presented with non-union and a subsequent delayed infection requiring four operations and removal of material. There were 3 patients that experienced postoperative infections requiring surgical drainage, with 2 cases of leakage of CSF, which resolved with postural therapy. In 5 cases, there was necrosis of the vertex of the triradiate incision, and in one case there was failure of the iliac screw in the pelvis with no clinical consequences.

Discussion and Conclusions: The use of a triradiate incision avoiding a direct approach to the sacral dura, a double anterior and posterior approach in cases of rigid curve (radiographic examination in traction) and saggital deformities (thoracolumbar kyphosis), and the use of pedicle screws in the distal vertebrae and in the iliac wing allow the correction of frontal and sagital deformities and pelvic obliquity in patients with myelomeningocele.


A Doncel-Cabot I Gracia-Alegría J Majò-Buigas

Introduction and Objectives: Giant cell tumour (GCT) of the bone is an “aggressive tumor characterized by highly-vascularized tissue consisting of ovoid or fusiform cells and the presence of numerous gigantic osteoclast-like cells distributed uniformly throughout the tumor tissue” (WHO). The aim of this report is to present our experience over the past 19 years (1983–2002) with GCT of the bone treated in our unit.

Materials and Methods: From January 1983 to January 2002, we have treated 67 cases of GCT of the bone, excluding all cases with less than 12 months of follow up. Age at presentation ranged 10 to 17 years. There was a higher incidence from 20 to 40 years of age. There was a moderately higher rate in women compared to men (1.5:1). The most common locations were the distal epiphysis of the femur, proximal epiphysis of the tibia, and the distal end of the radius. This type of tumour generally localises to the epiphysis and subsequently invades the metaphysis. Localization to the axial skeleton is rare. Radiologic diagnosis was achieved by simple local radiology, CT scan, and MRI. Histopathologic diagnosis was done by means of biopsy using a trocar guided by an image intensifier. In cases of central localization, we obtained the sample by CT-guided biopsy. The treatment of choice is aggressive curettage (high-velocity burr) and filling with frozen cancellous chips. Radiation therapy is useful in cases of localization that are not accessible by surgery.

Results: GCT of the bone possesses several unique characteristics, which make it different from other intermediate tumors: a high rate of recurrence (up to 50%), the possibility of sarcomatous degeneration, and the possibility of pulmonary metastasis (even in non-malignant cases). We believe the ideal treatment is resection of the bone where the tumour is located (useful on the head of the fibula, distal end of the ulna, ribs, some bones of the hand and feet, and the patella). In view of its usual localization near the knee (50%), our usual treatment is aggressive curettage (high-speed burr) and filling with frozen cancellous chips. We have treated 26 recurrent cases out of 67 patients treated in our unit (38.8%). Of these, approximately 50% were referred from other centres. Treatment of recurrence has generally been aggressive curettage and addition of allografts. Sarcomatous degeneration occurred in 3 cases (4.5%), all of which were high grade sarcomas of the malignant fibrous histiocytoma type. One case survived following amputation of the extremity, and the other 2 cases died as a result of pulmonary metastasis.

Discussion and Conclusions: Alternative local treatment methods exist for GCT of the bone such as cryosurgery, phenolization, and cementing. However, we cannot comment on these methods due to a lack of experience with them. The aim of all these methods is to cauterize the tumour bed. We prefer aggressive curettage and filling with cancellous bone in an attempt to use a more biological treatment.


J Piñeiro-Mejuto L González-Massieu B Bencomo-Rodríguez H I Friend J Vázquez-Molini J L Pais-Brito

Introduction and Objectives: We analysed a series of 27 patients who underwent salvage total hip replacement and femoral packing with bone bank allograft for the treatment of femoral defects. We analyzed results clinically and radiographically.

Materials and Methods: This study involved 27 hip salvage surgeries in 27 patients. The patients were treated between March 1997 and April 1999 with a follow-up period of 4–6 years. Femoral defects were classified according to AAOS criteria. Clinical results were assessed using the Harris scale. Radiographic studies were performed postoperatively, at 6 months, at one year after treatment, at 4 years, and in 6 cases, at 6 years. We also analysed clinical complications, technical problems, and sinking of the prosthesis into the femoral canal.

Results: Of these patients, 80% did not present with pain one year after treatment, and 85% could walk without assistance. The graft was incorporated in 90% of cases. Sinking of the prosthesis without indications of loosening occurred in less than 50% of cases. In one patient is was necessary to repeat treatment due to sinking and loosening of the femoral component, and in another case it was necessary to remove the prosthesis due to infection.

Discussion and Conclusions: The method of impaction of morselised cancellous bone into the femoral canal as described by Ling et al. has been shown in recent years to be reliable and reproducible in cases of femoral canal defects resulting from osteolysis and significant losses of cortical bone. Bone stock is restored, thus paving the way for future revisions with distal diaphyseal attachment revision prosthesis. Continued evaluation of the allograft impaction technique in femoral component revision shows optimal results after 5 years of follow up.


T Serra-Porta P Camacho S Suso-Vergara

Introduction and Objectives: The disadvantages attributed to unreamed intramedullary nails in fractures of the femoral diaphysis include delayed fracture consolidation and fatigue of the material. The aim of our study is to describe the low incidence of these complications.

Materials and Methods: We present a series of 25 patients treated by means of 26 unreamed femoral nails (Synthes) and static locking in all cases and follow up until the time of bone healing (6 months). Mean age of the patients was 43 years (range 18–86 years). The most common cause of injury was automobile accident. All treated fractures were located in the diaphysis (32-A in 9 cases, 32-B in 15 cases, and 32-C in 2 cases) and were closed fractures, except in 4 cases (2 Gustillo type II and 2 of type IIIa). In only 6 patients was the femoral fracture the sole lesion. In the rest of the patients, it was accompanied by other skeletal (multiple fractures) or visceral (polytraumatic) lesions.

Results: We were able to achieve fracture consolidation within a period ranging from 2 to 6 months (mean 4.2 months). We did not experience any problems with material fatigue in any of the cases. In one case it was necessary to remove the static lock to allow for bone healing due to diastasis of the fracture site.

Discussion and Conclusions: Unreamed intramedullary nails allow for consolidation of fractures of the femoral diaphysis in a period of time of about 4 months, which we consider to be accurate. Furthermore, the absence of reaming is associated with a less severe local reaction, which we consider to be preferable.


E García-Elías R Fernández-Fernández E Gil-Garay

Introduction and Objectives: One of the complications of hip arthroplasty is intraoperative fractures of the femur. In this study, we reviewed the incidence of intraoperative fractures in 118 hip arthroplasty surgeries using a stem from Meridian Howmedica, Rutherford, New Jersey, in an attempt to analyse the risk factors for intra-operative fractures and their relationship to short-term radiographic characteristics of the prosthesis. Our aim is to determine if there are risk factors associated with a higher incidence of intraoperative fractures in the following categories: patient, shape and dimensions of the femur, and relative size of the implant with respect to the medullary cavity. We will also determine if short-term follow up of patients with fractures yields radiographic information to indicate early loosening of the prosthesis.

Materials and Methods: We studied 118 implants from consecutive operations performed from January 1997 to December 2000. The following variables were evaluated: general patient factors; local factors (characteristics of the femur); previous treatments, degree of femoral osteoporosis, type of femur, cervicodiaphyseal angle, femoral flring, “canal flare index”, cortical index, canal width 20mm proximal to the lesser trochanter, at the lesser trochanter, and 20mm distal to the lesser trochanter, pre-operative proximal and distal measurement of the stem, and if this coincides with the actual size of the stem; intraoperative factors: type of anaesthesia, patient positioning, surgical approach, experience of the surgeon, surgical time, the need for transfusion and number of units, the use of prophylactic cerclage, detection and localization of the intraoperative femoral fracture, and treatment of the same when they occurred; postoperative radiographic factors: level of cutting femoral neck, orientation of the stem (varus or valgus), proximal and distal stem size, proximal and distal packing of the canal, and length of the neck of the head of the prosthesis; radiographic factors 12 months postoperatively: stem orientation (varus or valgus), rounding of the calcar, cortical thickening, osteolysis, osteopenia, the presence of a ledge, the presence of lines of sclerosis, sinking of the stem, loosening of the ball, and the type of integration of the stem into the bone.

Results: Of the 118 cases that were studied, intraoperative fractures occurred in 13 cases, representing an incidence of 11.01%, a somewhat higher rate than others have reported. We analyzed the occurrence of fractures in relation to the different variables in our study. We found a higher incidence of fractures in type A femurs (p< 0.05) and in cases of greater proximal filling by the implant (p< 0.05).

Discussion and Conclusions: Though our study is limited in number of patients and length of follow-up time, it has demonstrated that the incidence of intraoperative fractures is associated with a narrow metaphyseal medullary cavity and predominately with a type A femur, which is a femur with low “canal flare index” values. Furthermore, since the risk of fracture is greater when we attempt to significantly adjust the size of the pros-thesis to the metaphysis, the incidence of fractures was higher when proximal filling was higher. However, cases of prosthesis with fractures did not present with radiographic appearance after 12 months that was worse than those femurs that were not fractured.


A Hernández-Martínez X Flores-Sánchez N Joshi-Jubert O Escudero-González F Soldado-Carrera

Introduction and Objectives: Arthrodesis of the knee is the method that most readily controls septic processes and results in a non-painful, stable knee joint. However, the disadvantages of this technique are shortening of the limb and a loss of joint function.

Materials and Methods: We present here our unit’s experience in the use of the Orthofíx ® transport system on the anterior surface to stabilise this type of arthrodesis. We used radiological techniques to evaluate the alignment and coaptation of the surfaces to be arthodesed. We also assessed functional capacity, postoperative patient satisfaction, rate of repeat arthrodesis, consolidation time, and complications associated with this method.

Results: According to our results, femorotibial arthrodesis with the bone transport system provides all the advantages of monolateral external fixation while allowing compression of the point of arthrodesis, achieving perfect coaptation, and providing extraordinary rigidity to the mounting.

Discussion and Conclusions: As with all other procedures, femorotibial arthrodesis has its complications. The complication directly related to knee arthrodesis is femorotibial non-union, which is correlated with a loss of bone stock, incomplete coaptation, poor alignment of the limb, persistent infection, and inadequate immobilisation. We believe this procedure produces a functional limb with significant relief of pain in most patients.


R Trapote-San Martín A Cimarra-Díaz J Fernández-Doral J Sardá-Gascòn M L Jiménez-González R García-Sorando

Introduction and Objectives: This rare disease (17 per million newborns) was described by Chatelaine in 1882 and is more prevalent in females compared to males (2.3:1). It is commonly accompanied by congenital or genetic malformations. Within the syndrome known as genu recurvatum, congenital knee dislocation (CKD) is the most extreme clinical form. In view of the scarcity of trials and reviews on the subject of CKD and results of therapy for the same, we determined to gather clinical case data from the hospital from 01–01-1964 to 01–01-2003 and evaluate therapeutic, orthopaedic, and surgical experience.

Materials and Methods: Of 28,753 patients treated in the aforementioned period, 55 were treated for genu recurvatum. We selected 22 with unilateral or bilateral CKD. We individualised the cases of 14 patients with 20 knees as patients diagnosed and treated since birth by this centre, excluding those with multi-malformation genetic syndromes (Larsen’s syndrome, arthrogryposis, etc.). In terms of treatment, 13 knees were treated orthopaedically by means of successive manipulations and splinting until 90° of flexion was achieved. At that point, physical therapy was initiated. There were 7 other knees that received at least one surgical treatment when results of the previously-described orthopaedic procedures were unsatisfactory. The clinical outcome for the treatment method used in each case was assessed by means of evaluation of range of mobility of the knee joint, stability upon examination, residual deviation from the axes, and ability of the patient to walk at time of release.

Results: Of the 65% of knees that were treated exclusively by orthopaedic methods, we observed ranges of flexion and stability such that splinting was not needed at an average of 55.2 days, with good to excellent clinical outcomes at an average of 42.4 days. Of the 35% of knees that required at least one surgical procedure, the procedure was performed between the ages of 30 and 176 days of life, with a mean of 90.8 days. As many as 75% of these knees required repeated surgical intervention during the treatment period, and good to excellent results were achieved in only 35% by 5 years of age.

Discussion and Conclusions: Orthopaedic treatment continues to be the foundation of managing these patients, and plays a vital role even in cases were surgical intervention is chosen. The existence of other genetic or non-genetic developmental anomalies concurrent with CKD will determine the therapeutic strategy that is indicated and when such action should take place. We do not recommend surgical treatment except in cases of a continued lack of response to orthopaedic treatment.


F Pérez-Ochagavia P Martín-Rodríguez I Persson A Ramírez-Barragán A Prieto-Prat M Terròn-Chaparro J Domínguez-Hernández J A de Pedro-Moro

Introduction and Objectives: Periprosthetic fractures are a common phenomenon in revision surgery and following trauma. Treatment strategies range from replacement with a larger stem, metal plates with Dall-Miles wires, and Partridge straps. Our objective is to evaluate the clinical use of Partridge osteosynthesis in periprosthetic femoral fractures.

Materials and Methods: In a period of 6 years (1997–2003), 45 patients presenting with femoral fractures with a hip prosthesis were treated with the Partridge system using nylon material for cerclage and flexible nylon plates (Stryker-Howmedica). Of these, 20 were localised proximal to the tip of the prosthesis (Whittaker Type I), 12 on the tip (Type II), and 13 distal to the tip of the prosthesis (Type III). The study group consisted of 25 females and 20 males, with a mean age of 79.5 years. Mean time between implantation and fracture was 4.5 years. In 78% of the patients (35 of 45), surgery was performed within 48 hours. Open reduction of the fracture was performed, and 6–8 nylon straps were used in most cases. Partridge plates were used in 5 cases. Mean surgical time was 55 minutes, with a mean blood loss volume of 500 milliliters.

Results: There were minor recovery complications in 8 patients (12.6%). There were no deep wound infections. Of the 45 patients, 60% regained their pre-fracture level of function within 6 months. Mean hospital stay duration was 19 days, and 93% of the fractures consolidated with an exuberant callus within the one-year follow-up period. A higher level of care was required by 25% of patients.

Discussion and Conclusions: This simple method of osteosynthesis is indicated for rapid recovery following stabilisation of a periprosthetic femoral fracture. Even with a mobilised prosthesis, the fracture often consolidates with an abundant callus, and the patient is then able to move.


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I Escribá-Urios D Roca I Gracia A Doncel J Majò

Introduction and Objectives: Half of primary tumors tend to disseminate to bones, and metastasis to bone is the third most common localisation for disseminated disease, after the lungs and liver. It is also the most common form of neoplasia in the skeleton. Treatment of bone metastasis is essentially palliative, and in select cases improves patient survival. We present results from the last 15 years in our centre.

Materials and Methods: Between the years 1988–2003, our surgical oncology unit has treated 451 patients with bone metastasis. Of these, 49% were male, and 51% were female. Average age was 64 years (19–98). The most common causes were metastatic breast cancer (34%), unknown tumours (17%), multiple myeloma (9%), prostate cancer (9%), lung cancer (7%), bladder cancer (6%), and others (18%). Tumours localised to the following locations: femur (31%), spine (27%), multiple locations (13%), pelvis (11.5%), humerus (9%), and other locations (8.5%). In 69% of cases the first symptom was pain, in 28% pathologic fracture, and in the remaining 3% medullary compression. Of the 125 pathologic fractures, 71% were on the femur, 18% on the humerus, and the remaining 11% in other locations.

Results: In 60% of cases (271 patients) conservative treatment was used, and in the remaining 40% (180 patients) surgical treatment was used. Of the 180 surgeries, 50.5% were for pathologic fractures, and 49.5% were prophylactic surgeries. Of the 125 pathologic fractures, 91 (73%) received surgical treatment, and the other 34 (27%) were treated conservatively. Intramedullary nailing was the most commonly used form of osteosynthesis (47%). Total resolution of pain was achieved in 86.5% of cases, and partial resolution in 13.5%. Mean time in bed from prophylactic surgery was 3 days. Mean time for recovery of function was 7 days for the arms and 11 days for the legs.

Discussion and Conclusions: The fundamental goal is to offer short-term individualized treatment to control pain and avoid bedrest and hospitalization of these patients. Prophylactic surgery does not increase life expectancy of these patients. However, it does alleviate pain, avoids bedrest, and improves functionality. It should be kept in mind that the least aggressive surgical technique possible should be used.


M A Ribau-Díez J González-Ustes J Pisa E Siles D Felipe J Riera M Andolz J Novell

Introduction and Objectives: The aim of this report is to present the complications that occur with percutaneous surgery for hallux valgus. Percutaneous surgery is based on a series of combined surgical procedures designed to resolve a deformity.

Materials and Methods: We have reviewed the first 200 cases of percutaneous surgery in our centre. In 136 cases, a diagnosis of hallux valgus was made in association with metatarsalgia and deformity of the toes. There were 40 cases of hallux valgus alone, 24 cases of metatarsal-gias with toe deformities, and 10 cases of toe deformities alone. Patients were treated between February 2001 and February 2002 with a mean follow-up time of 8 months. Complications were analysed clinically and radiographically.

Results: We found the following complications: 4 cases of insufficient bunionectomy, 5 cases of dysesthesia of the first digit, 12 cases of transfer metatarsalgia, 10 cases of asymptomatic metatarsal non-union, 20 cases of superficial infections, 50% of cases with prolonged edema of the foot, and 90% of cases with pain on the dorsum of the foot lasting 3–4 months in cases of meta-tarsalgia. Other less common complications included the following: 1 case of deep vein thrombosis, 1 case of cutaneous necrosis in the area of the anaesthetic block, and 1 case of anterior tibial dysesthesia at the level of the anesthetic block. Repeat treatment was required by 10% of patients.

Discussion and Conclusions: Percutaneous surgery is an alternative to conventional surgery. Advantages included decreased postoperative pain, a rapid return to daily activities, weight-bearing ability in the immediate postoperative period, and the fact that is it a standing surgery. However, it should be remembered that this method is not without its possible complications, which may require repeat treatment.


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I Gracia-Alegría F Pérez-Moreno A Peirò-Ibáñez A Doncel-Cabot J Majò-Buigas

Introduction and Objectives: Extraskeletal osseous sarcomas are very rare high-grade tumours. They include osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and Ewing’s soft tissue sarcoma and their respective variants. We present a retrospective study of 25 cases covering the period from December 2002 to January 2003.

Materials and Methods: This study of 25 cases shows that this heterogeneous group of soft tissue sarcomas primarily affects adults (mean age 50.68; range 17 to 70 years). The thigh (36.60%) and the elbow-forearm (18.18%) are the most common locations for these tumours. In these cases, 14 chondrosarcomas, 8 osteosarcomas, and 3 Ewing’s sarcomas were diagnosed. Mean follow-up time was 48.9 months with a range of 16 to 197 months. There were 16 surgeries performed with wide or compartmental margins, while in the 5 remaining cases, amputations were performed, and one case of Ewing’s sarcoma of the pelvis was treated by means of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as it was considered non-resectable. All cases of osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma were treated by means of pre- and postoperative chemotherapy and postoperative radiation therapy.

Results: The postoperative duration of symptoms ranged from 2 weeks to 6 years with a mean of 6 months. Local recurrence following surgery with wide or compartmental margens occurred in 8 cases, representing 35.45% (3 chondrosarcomas, 4 osteosarcomas, and 1 Ewing’s sarcoma). The total number of cases surviving without recurrence is 14 (63.6%), surviving cases with one or more recurrences is 5 (22.72%), one case is alive with metastasis (4.59%), and 3 sarcomas (2 ulcerated upon admission) had disseminated and the patients died (10.05%).

Discussion and Conclusions: All these tumours were high-grade sarcomas. The most common metastatic localizations were lungs, regional ganglia, and skeleton. The recommended treatment is surgery with wide or compartmental margins, if possible in the early stages, in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The worst prognosis corresponds to the osteosarcoma.


E García-Cimbrelo M Riera-Campillo A Murcia-Mazòn

Introduction and Objectives: This is a prospective analysis of clinical and radiographic outcomes of total hip prosthesis with alumina-on-alumina friction coupling implants performed at two hospitals.

Materials and Methods: This study analyzes 60 prostheses with alumina-on-alumina friction coupling (Ceraver-Osteal) (May 1999-May 2002). The Cerafit cup was used in association with 32 Multicone-HAC stems and 28 Anatomic-HAC. Of these cases, 36 were male, and 24 were female, with average age being 47.05+/−12.60 years. Mean follow-up time was 2.3 years. There were no lost or revised cases. Radiographic analysis was done according to Johnston et al., and wear was assessed using the Sychterz method in a special computer program (Auto-CAD R14).

Results: All cases had good clinical and radiographic outcomes. There were no revisions or loosening of the implants. There was one dislocation and one intraoperative fracture, which were both treated by conservative means. There were no infections. The distance between the centres of the femoral head and the cup on the initial radiograph (position zero) was 2.49+/−0.70mm. This measurement stayed constant with time, and no changes were observed associated with so-called early wear or initial seating. Mean wear with respect to a reference of position zero was 0.0184+/−0.0187. This figure is below the error level of the measuring system and thus is not measurable.

Discussion and Conclusions: The alumina-on-alumina prosthesis (Ceraver) yields positive clinical and radiographic results at 4 years. Even though the alumina partially distorts the radiographic image, no evidence of early wear due to seating of the components was observed at four years of follow up using the Sychterz digitalized method.


P De Lucas-Cadenas A Beano-Aragòn J A Almodòvar-Delgado S Pérez-Fernández J Cobo-Soriano

Introduction and Objectives: Non-unions of long bones represents a challenge for the orthopaedic surgeon due to the difficulty of treatment and high use of resources (human, surgical, etc.) which certainly raises health care costs. The development of morphogenetic proteins for the treatment of this clinical condition provides a powerful means of achieving the desired result: consolidation of the non-union.

Materials and Methods: From June 2002 to May 2003, we treated 5 cases of non-union of long bones (2 of the humerus, 1 femur, 1 tibia, and one knee arthrodesis). The group included 3 males and one female, ranging in age from 23 to 71 years (mean 47.2 years). Three of the subjects had previously undergone surgery between 1 and 7 times. One case presented with a bone defect in the distal third of the humerus. All cases were treated using mechanical stabilisation of the fracture. In one case, a bone bank graft was used, and in another, an autologous graft was used.

Results: Bone healing was achieved in all cases, except in one humerus.

Discussion and Conclusions: BMP-7 (OP-1) appears to be an advance in the treatment of long bone non-unions. Though it does not eliminate the need for adequate surgical treatment of non-unions (resection of the focus, exposure until bleeding bone, and mechanical stabilisation), this method does favor osteogenesis at the fracture site and avoids the morbidity associated with extraction of autologous bone from the iliac crest.


I Gracia-Alegría I Escribá-Urios D Roca-Romalde A Doncel-Cabot F Majò-Buigas

Introduction and Objectives: From January 1983 to December 2000 we treated a total of 542 intermediate to high-grade primary bone tumours. We present our experience in reconstruction following tumour resection from the hip, excluding cases of pelvic reconstruction and cases of localised benign bone tumours of the hip.

Materials and Methods: This study included 49 cases of primary bone tumours localised to the proximal humerus (9% of the total). Of all cases treated by means of massive structural allograft for femoral reconstruction (44), only 11 cases were in the hip region. We performed 28 hip tumour resections for high-grade bone tumors with the following diagnoses: osteosarcoma (7), chondrosarcoma (9), Ewing’s sarcoma (6), malignant fibrous histiocytoma (2), and selected cases of metastasis-myeloma (4). Limb salvage procedures (22) with reconstruction after the first surgery included: modular megaprosthesis (11), megaprosthesis associated with massive structural allograft of the proximal third of the femur (8), and osteoarticular allografts (3). The remaining cases (6) required immediate agressive surgery including coxofemoral disarticulation (4) and hemipelvectomy (2).

Results: Limb salvage cases treated by means of mega-prosthesis associated with a composite allograft presented the following complications: 1 case of deep infection with local recurrence and immediate postoperative dislocation (12.5%), 3 isolated coxofemoral dislocations (37.5%), and one case of homograft osteolysis (12.5%). Mean follow-up time was greater than 5 years, and two patients died due to dissemination of the primary tumour (1 chondrosarcoma and 1 osteosarcoma). Cases of limb salvage treatment using modular mega-prosthesis had the following complications: 2 isolated coxofemoral dislocations (18%) and 2 cases of recurrence or local tumour progression (18%). Mean follow-up time was greater than 3 years, and two patients died due to progression of the primary tumour. Cases of salvage treatment using osteoarticular allografts had a mean follow-up time of 2 years and showed no significant complications.

Discussion and Conclusions: 1) In cases of disease up to 12 years of age (primarily Ewing’s sarcomas) we prefer osteoarticular reconstruction. 2) In cases of young adults (from 12 to 60 years of age) we prefer reconstruction using a megaprosthesis (Wagner type) with massive structural allograft. 3) In cases of older adults (greater than 60 years of age) we perform reconstruction using a modular megaprosthesis for tumour treatment.


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P J Perol-Alcayde P Renovell-Ferrer R Arnau-Masanet V Gallar-Úbeda F Gomar-Sancho

Introduction and Objectives: Among the pathological conditions associated with the subacromial space is rupture of the rotator cuff. Patients affected by this injury have a poorer response to medical or rehabilitative treatment than do patients with subacromial injuries without concurrent tearing of the rotator cuff. For this reason, surgical treatment is more often needed. Surgical treatment includes the excision of subacromial osteophytes and repair of the affected tendon. Even though acromioplasty can be performed arthroscopically, cuff repair generally requires small incisions due to the technical complexity of the procedure.

Materials and Methods: We have carried out a prospective study of 36 patients with torn rotator cuffs diagnosed by MRI who underwent acromioplasty performed with an incision of approximately 4cm when necessary and cuff repair either by direct suturing or reinforcement with rotator cuff plasty performed by the same surgeon. The rehabilitation protocol included early mobilisation at 24–48 hours, passive assisted mobilisation until the 4th week, and active mobilization after the 5th week. Follow-up time was a minimum of one year with pre- and postoperative Constant scale evaluations. We compared various results including previous duration of symptoms, the severity of cuff tearing, and the surgical technique that was used.

Results: Favorable results were achieved in terms of pain relief and restoration of mobility compared to the preoperative period, even though strength was not equal to that of the contralateral shoulder.

Discussion and Conclusions: Open surgery for rotator cuff tear repair continues to be the best surgical option if a small incision is made, good technique used, and early rehabilitation is performed.


A Bartra-Ylla F Anglés-Crespo J Galí-Lòpez C Puig-Rosell I Sánchez-Navarro H Ferrer-Escobar

Introduction and Objectives: Fractures of the proximal third of the humerus represent 4–5% of all fractures in our area. About 80–85% can be treated conservatively, though there is controversy over the best method treatment for complex fractures. The aim of our study is to analyse the results of treatment of these fractures by means of biarticular arthroplasty.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of 29 patients: 17 females and 12 males, with a mean age of 73.5 years, all of whom suffered complex fractures of the head of the humerus and were treated between the years 1995 and 2002. Minimum clinical follow-up time was 1 year. Patients were evaluated radiographically and clinically using the test of Constant, Swanson, and UCLA.

Results: One case developed a deep infection, which required removal of the arthroplasty and one case require replacement due to recurrent dislocation. Mean pain values measured on the RVA scale were 1.7 out of 10. Range of motion was limited compared to the contra-lateral shoulder. Mean Constant function index was 61.6 points, with a mean weighted Constant value of 90.8%.

Discussion and Conclusions: Biarticular prosthetic replacement offers good results in treatment of complex fractures of the proximal humerus, resulting in a shoulder that is non-painful though somewhat limited in strength and mobility. Best results are achieved in younger patients.


X Bial-Vellvé M Manero-Ricart R Sánchez-Naves A González-Navarro C Barcons-Bellido P Fernández-Valderas J Giròs-Torres

Introduction and Objectives: In this retrospective study, we have evaluated the results of treatment of non-unions of the humeral diaphysis using plate osteosynthesis.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study covering the years 1997–2002, with a total of 135 fractures of the humeral shaft: 84% were treated orthopaedically and 16% surgically by means of plate osteosynthesis. We present 14 cases of humeral non-union, all of which occurred after orthopaedic treatment, and 12 of which were surgically treated by means of plate osteosynthesis (the other 2 declined surgical treatment). The most common cause of fracture was accidental fall, and of the 12 cases, 11 were female, and 1 was male. Mean age was 67.6 years. Initial orthopaedic treatments included the following: in 9 cases U-splint + sling, in 1 case U-splint + Velpeau sling, in 2 cases hanging cast + Poulipen. Of these, the initial bandaging was replaced with braces after 2.5-3 months. Definitive surgical treatment was delayed an average of 8.1 months. We used the Müller-AO fracture classification system. There were 4 cases with 12B12, 3 cases with 12A12, 1 case with 12A11, 1 case with 12B22, 1 case with 12B11, 1 case with 12B21, and 1 case with 12A21. Surgical treatment was performed in 7 cases with LD-DCP plates, in 3 cases with DCP plates, in 1 case with a T-plate, and in 1 case with a straight plate. Corticocancellous bone grafts were transferred from the iliac crest in 9 of 12 cases.

Results: Bone healing was achieved in 11 of 12 surgical cases (one case without radiographic consolidation due to detachment of the plate due to trauma). In 2 cases there was a limitation of shoulder abduction at 85° and elbow extension -10°. In one case, there was repeat treatment due to failure of osteosynthesis. In two of the surgical cases, definitive BA will be measured upon completion of rehabilitation. Complications included 2 temporary radial palsies that recovered both motor and sensory function, one distal detachment of the plate due to previous trauma that had borderline BA and was non-painful. There was one case in which consolidation did not occur and where the humeral artery was injured iatrogenically during surgery (the same one that required repeat surgical intervention). There was one case of infection of the site of osteosynthesis due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which responded well to initial antibiotic treatment, and no material needed to be removed.

Discussion and Conclusions: Plate osteosynthesis is an effective treatment for non-unions of the humeral shaft and yields good joint mobility and few complications (similar to the results of other treatment methods) and must be performed by experienced surgeons.


L Zúñiga-Gòmez F Sánchez-Mariscal J M González-Arroyo E Izquierdo-Núñez A Moreno-García A

Introduction and Objectives: This is a retrospective radiographic study of results of surgical correction of thoracolumbar and King I scoliosis using segmental instrumentation.

Materials and Methods: This study includes 44 patients (41 female, 3 male) with an average age of 16.8 years (12-40) and 5.9 years average progression. The number of instrumented levels was 5.1 (4–7). Curve magnitude, T1–S1 imbalance, and the angles of the instrumented zone were measured using teleradiographic studies with an anteroposterior view. Thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis were measured in the sagittal plane, and the thoracic and lumbar regions were measured in the instrumented area.

Results: On the anteroposterior view, average magnitude of principal preoperative curve, postoperative curve, and final result was 48°, 11.9°, and 14.7°, respectively. A final correction of 69.3% was obtained. T1–S1 imbalance improved from an initial 2.1cm to 1.9cm postoperatively and a final result of 0.5cm. On the lateral view, preoperative, postoperative, and final thoracic kyphosis were 29.5°, 27.8°, and 30.4°, respectively. Average figures for lumbar lordosis were 59.2°, 55.6°, and 61.1°. The instrumented thoracic zone went from 0.8° kyphosis preoperatively to 4.7° final kyphosis, and the lumbar area of instrumentation went from 9.7° preoperative lordosis to a final angle of 10.4°.

Discussion and Conclusions: In our experience, correction of thoracolumbar and King I scoliosis using anterior instrumentation has given good results, obtaining an initial 75% correction of the principal curve and an average loss of only 3° on follow-up. In the sagittal plane, there is no loss of kyphosis and lordosis, both of which are within normal physiological ranges. Thoracic kyphosis was increased 3.9° in the instrumented zone, and although instrumented lordosis did not improve, a kyphotic effect was observed.


G Cruceiro-Sánchez R Arriaza-Loureda C Sanpedro-Curbera J Aizpurua-Prada C Baamonde-Reigosa J C Fernández-Rodríguez

Introduction and Objectives: Approximately 30–50% of injuries to the ankle involve soft tissues.

Materials and Methods: Fifty-nine patients diagnosed with anterior capsular entrapment syndrome (ACES) of the ankle were treated using arthroscopic debridement from May 1993 to October 2002. All patients presented with chronic pain and limitation of dorsiflexion after more than 4–6 months of conservative treatment. The study included 34 males and 25 females with an average age of 25 years. The principal cause ACES was one or more forced supinations of the ankle. More than half of the patients participated regularly in sports activities. The study did not include patients with a previous history of ankle surgery, fractures, frank instability, arthrosis, significant cartilaginous lesions (osteochrondritis, osteonecrosis, etc.), arthrofibrosis, or systemic arthritis, patients older than 60 years, and those with less than 6 months of follow-up time. Diagnosis of ACES was generally based on clinical data. The most commonly-used supplemental modalities were ultrasound and MRI. Patients were evaluated using the Ogilvie-Harris scale. Changes in variable values were evaluated using the Wilcoxon test, and the threshold for statistical significance was set at p< 0.05.

Results: Patients experienced significant improvements both subjectively (100% would have the same intervention again even though in 2 cases results were only fair) and based on the Ogilvie-Harris scale. Pain and functional limitation showed the greatest improvement, as compared to inflammation, stiffness, or instability. In all cases, differences in pre- and postoperative values were statistically significant (p< 0.05). During arthroscopic surgery, anterior synovial thickening was noted in all cases (lateral, medial and/or central) associated in some cases with osteophytosis and tibiotalar chondromalacia. The main complications were paresthesia and dysesthesia. Average follow-up time was 43 months (6 months – 9 years).

Discussion and Conclusions: It may be concluded from our study that in a high percentage of cases of ACES of the ankle without degenerative changes or significant instability, good results are achieved with arthroscopic surgery.


A Dalmau-Coll J Omaña-García J M Aguilera-Vicario

Introduction and Objectives: Osteochondral lesions of the talus are difficult to treat due to difficult access, vascularisation, and because the head of the talus is a region with significant mechanical load. Among the therapeutic options for osteochondral lesions of the head of the talus, we present a treatment alternative using mosaicplasty with an autologous osteochondral graft taken from the knee.

Materials and Methods: We have treated 8 patients affected with osteochondral lesions of the head of the talus (7 medial and 1 lateral) of greater than 7mm diameter, younger than 45 years of age, and with no instability of the ligament. The talus was approached in all cases by means of osteotomy of the malleolus. Osteocartilaginous cores were collected from the ipsilateral lateral condyle of the ipsilateral knee with minimal arthrotomy. Rehabilitation began between days 3 and 5 with no weight bearing before the 6th week. Results were measured by means of CTscan, MRI, and pathology, and clinically using the Maryland scale.

Results: All patients presented with evidence of osteointegration of the osteochondral graft. All were classified as excellent or good on the Maryland scale. Functional results were good with flexion and extension movements of the ankle practically symmetrical with the healthy limb. There were no complications in the donor site or infections. None of the patients has required repeat treatment except in the cases in which material for osteosynthesis was removed from the malleolus.

Discussion and Conclusions: We believe that in view of the results of mosaicplasty with an autologous osteochondral graft taken from the knee, this provides a new therapeutic approach to treatment of grade III and IV osteochondral lesions of the talus. The most significant advantages of this technique include the repair of articular cartilage with type II collagen and an earlier discharge time due to osseous integration. The most important disadvantages were potential morbidity associated with the donor site and the technical difficulty in achieving convexity.


INTERVETERBRAL ARTHROPLASTY Pages 135 - 135
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A García-de Frutos E Cáceres-Palou M Ubierna-Garcés A Ruiz-Manrique P del Pozo-Manrique E Domínguez

Introduction and Objectives: This is a retrospective study on the treatment of lumbar degenerative disk disease (LDDD) using intervertebral arthroplasty. The lack of uniformity in the treatment of LDDD, persistence of pain even with solid fusion, and the possibility of changes over the fusion site have encouraged us to seek other solutions for this condition. Total intervertebral arthroplasty has been proposed as a possible alternative for selected cases of LDDD.

Materials and Methods: Between November 1999 and July 2002, 16 patients with LDDD were treated surgically using third-generation total intervertebral arthroplasty (Link SB Charité III) with a chromium-cobalt alloy and ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) poly-ethylene. Average follow-up time was 14 months (6-36 months), and average age was 42 years (35–52). There were 11 females and 5 males. All patients underwent radi-olographic studies, CT scan, MRI, and discography (minimum 2 levels). Indications included LDDD of one to three segments, absence of root tension signs, absence of complete disc collapse, and iconography including concordant discography. LDDD was primary in 11 cases and post-discectomy in 5 cases. Surgery was indicated when at least 6 months of conservative treatment failed to yield results. Blood loss and length of hospital stay were compared to a similar group that underwent posterolateral arthrodesis. Pain, function, and degree of disability were evaluated before and after surgery using GEER (1999) instruments for the evaluation of degenerative lumbar pathology. Increase in height of the posterior intervertebral space and segmentary lordosis were also measured.

Results: Preoperative VAS: 7.8; postoperative VAS: 2.3. Disability index (Oswestry) was 41.3% preoperative and 10.8% postoperative. Average increase in height of posterior intervertebral space was 2.4mm, and mean segmental lordosis was 19.5°, which remained constant through the end of the follow-up period. Average hospital stay was 4.8 days (3–15) compared with 7.5 (5–18) for a group of patients who underwent suspended arthrodesis of L4–L5 with a much smaller quantity of blood loss. No infections were found. Complications: One patient developed an epidural haematoma, which was treated conservatively. Another developed a postoperative retroperitoneal haematoma, which was also treated conservatively. In neither case was there an adverse effect on the outcome of the procedure. One patient showed malpositioning of the prosthetic components on follow-up radiographs, with poor clinical progression at one year postoperative. The patient was treated with posterolateral fusion and right L5 foraminotomy. No infections were seen.

Discussion and Conclusions: Treatment of LDDD with intervertrebral arthroplasty was shown to be effective in the short term, if strict guidelines are followed. Aggressive surgical management is highly inferior to conventional arthrodesis. A longer follow-up period is needed to confirm the validity of this treatment. Technical error in malpositioning of the components in one case caused a poor result.


J C De Lucas-Villarrubia M Lòpez-Franco N Lòpez-Martín I De Miguel-Herrero R Pascual J C De Lucas-García

Introduction and Objectives: Acetabular bone defects in hip replacement therapy present difficulties in terms of achieving stable, long-lasting fixation of the implant. Various surgical techniques exist to correct this problem. In this study we analysed the clinical and radiographic progression of a series of patients treated with fragmented grafts using the X-Change acetabular revision method.

Materials and Methods: From November 1988 to February 1998, 24 patients were treated, with an average age of 64.5 (±7) at the time of surgery. Patients were evaluated clinically preoperatively and were evaluated using the Harris scale at the end of the follow-up period. Defects were classified according to Paprosky’s classification of acetabular bone defects. Radiographic studies were used to evaluate upward and medial migration of the acetabular component and to look for signs of loosening. Follow-up time was a minimum of 12 months, with an average of 56.2 months.

Results: Average score on the Harris scale went from 49.7 points (±12.9) preoperatively to 88.2 points (±14.1) on follow-up. There was no graft incorporation in 5 patients (20%). There were 3 infections, 2 prosthetic dislocations, and one case of pulmonary thromboembolism. Upward migration of the cup (from the upper obturator line) was 0.48 cm (±0.72) postoperatively and 0.48 cm (±0.84) at follow-up. Medial migration (measured from Kohler’s line) was −0.16 cm (±0.50) postoperatively and −0.09 cm (±0.56) on follow-up. Cup angle (measured at the anteroposterior plate of the pelvis) changed from 48.9° (±5°) to 56° (±7°) at the conclusion of the follow-up period.

Discussion and Conclusions: This reconstructive technique provides stable, long-lasting fixation of the implant with complication rates similar to those described in the literature. We consider it a useful technique in the management of this type of defect, particularly in young patients who need to recover acetabular bone stock.


J Cuenca M Malillos A García-Erce A A Martínez L Herrero J Domingo

Introduction and Objectives: This study examines the need for transfusion in trauma surgery for subcapital fractures of the femur (SFF) in a tertiary hospital and analyzes possible predictive factors.

Materials and Methods: A prospective study was done using patients requiring surgical treatment for SFF in the year 1998. Patients younger than 65 years, those with hemopathies, and patients undergoing anticoagulant therapy were excluded from the study. The following variables were analysed: age, sex, haemogram at time of admission (haemoglobin [Hb], haematocrit [Hct], mean corpuscular volume [MCV], mean corpuscular haemoglobin [MCH], anisocytosis [area under the curve or AUC]; preoperative and postoperative Hb and Hct (preoperative values only if surgery did not take place within 48 hours of admission); time to surgical intervention, transfusions, and use of blood derivatives.

Results: The study included 75 patients operated on for SFF. These included 18 with B1 fractures, 8 with B2, and 49 with B3 based on AO classification. There were 12 males and 63 females, and average age was 81 years (standard deviation [SD]=8). Average values upon admission were as follows: Hb 128 (SD=23) g/l, Hct 39% (SD=6%), MCH 30.3 pg, MCV 91.4 fL, and AUC 14.3%. Average time to surgical intervention was 5 days (SD=2.8). Types of surgical intervention included 23 screws (31%) and 52 partial hip prostheses (69%). Preoperative average haemogram values were Hb 119 (SD=12) g/l and Hct 36% (SD=4%). Forty-one patients (55%) received transfusions of concentrated red cells. Of these, 8 (11%) were preoperative, 8 (11%) were perioperative, and 31 (41%) were in the immediate postoperative period. Gender, age, MCV, MCH, and time to surgery were not found to be related to the need for transfusion. On the other hand, correlations were found between Hb at time of admission, postoperative Hb, anisocytosis, type of fracture, and type of surgical intervention. The only variable independently-related to the need for transfusion was Hb at time of admission.

Discussion and Conclusions: In spite of the urgent nature of these cases, the results of this study suggest a need for further studies designed to improve the haematologic parameters for these elderly patients upon admission, such as the adoption of less aggressive measures and the establishment of a blood storage system for high-risk patients, with the aim of reducing the need for transfusions and the inherent risks of allogeneic blood transfusions.


R Dorotka R Kotz E Jiménez-Boj S Nehrer

Introduction and Objectives: Autologous chondrocyte suspension implantation (ACSI) has yielded good to excellent results in the treatment of cartilaginous defects of the knee. Thus far, studies on the ankle, analysing fewer subjects, offer promising results. Use of this technique in the ankle joint requires medial malleolar arthrotomy and osteotomy. Matrix-induced chondrocyte implantation (MICI) is a new technique involving the use of a hyaluronic acid-based matrix containing cultured chondrocytes.

Materials and Methods: Eight patients (4 male, 4 female) with an average age of 31 years (21–43) with defects in the talus were treated using ACSI and MICI. Average defect size was 1.9 cm. All patients had previously undergone surgery, and MRI showed Outerbridge grade IV osteochondral lesions on the talus. After clinical and radiological evaluation, arthroscopic surgery was performed to biopsy the articular cartilage of the talus. Later, a second surgery was performed with a mini-arthrotomy and debridement and cleaning of the defect. In ACSI, the defect is covered by suturing a periosteal graft to the cartilage, and the chondrocyte suspension is injected underneath. In MICI, a sheet of hyaluronic acid matrix with autologous chondrocytes of the same size as the defect is placed on the defect site and attached with fibrin glue. Patients were examined 28 months after implantation and evaluated using the Hannover Scoring system for the ankle.

Results: Follow-up results on the 8 patients verified an improvement of joint function and a reduction of pain in all cases. Hannover Scores increased in all patients. The osteotomy of the malleolus healed in all 8 cases. One patient was able to return to active competition in decathlon events.

Discussion and Conclusions: MICI requires a less complex surgical procedure and allows for a smaller incision. This technique therefore represents a broader application of tissue engineering in the treatment of cartilaginous defects of the ankle.


I Escribá-Urios J Majò D Roca I Gracia A Doncel

Introduction and Objectives: This study analyses the results of our experience in reconstruction of high-grade sarcomas of the proximal humerus.

Materials and Methods: A total of 37 patients were treated from March 1983 to December 2001. Average age was 24 years (19–38), with 21 males and 16 females, all presenting with high-grade sarcomas of the proximal humerus. The primary tumour was osteosarcoma in 49% (n=18) of cases, chondrosarcoma in 22% (n=8), Ewing’s sarcoma in 13% (n=5), parosteal sarcoma in 8% (n=3), malignant fibrous histiocytoma in 5% (n=2), and adamantinoma in 3% (n=1). All cases were classified as Type 1 Malawer resections (intraarticular resections of the proximal humerus).

Results: During this period, scapulohumeral or scapulothoracic disarticulation was performed in 32% of cases (12 patients). In the remaining 68% (25 cases), limb salvage surgery was performed (relative limb salvage rate: 67.5%). In terms of reconstruction type, 6 cases received megaprotheses, and the remaining 19 cases received osteoarticular allografts of the humerus. Four of the 25 patients had reconstructions with sufficient follow-up time to be considered survivors without recurrence. Results were “acceptable” based on the Enneking-MTS functional scale (overall movement arcs in all directions between 60–120° with tolerable subluxations.) From a subjective point of view, all the patients obtained good results in terms of physical health and mobility of distal joints. No analysis was done of survival due to the varied nature of the neoplasias and adjuvant therapies. The main complication was fracture of the osteoarticular allograft, which occurred in 4 of 19 cases (21%). Subluxation was practically constant throughout our series but was of relatively minor clinical significance.

Discussion and Conclusions: The results obtained in this study in terms of local and functional control are similar to those reported in the literature. In spite of the poor functional results for the shoulder joint, the functional results for distal joints and the cosmetic appearance of the extremity are satisfactory. However, the high rate of allograft fractures forces us to reconsider our reconstruction technique, placing priority on a mixed reconstruction using both allograft and mega-prosthesis.


J l Bataller-Alborch J J García-Abad A Agullò-Bonus N Cerrolaza B Cutillas-Ybarra A Fernández-Kang

Introduction and Objectives: The treatment of complex fractures of the humerus continues to be a challenge. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the results of hemiarthroplasty in the treatment of these kinds of fractures.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of 22 cases of fractures treated with hemiarthroplasty between 1998 and 2002 with a minimum follow-up time of one year. Neer’s classification was used. All fractures were in 3 or 4 fragments or were fracture/dislocations. Epidemiological, surgical, and rehabilitative data were recorded. Results were analyzed using Constant’s test and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon (ASES) criteria, which evaluate pain, mobility, strength, stability, and daily activities.

Results: Patients were predominantly female (63.6%), with an average age of 69.5 years, and the right side was affected in 54.5% of cases. Average Constant score was 49.2 points, with the primary problem being lack of strength. In 90.9% of patients, there was no pain or only slight pain on the ASES scale. Average active elevation was 92.8° with anteropulsion of 60°–90° in 45.5% and 90°–120° in 45.5% of patients. Average external rotation with the arm at 90° was 15°, and average passive internal rotation was 54.1%. There were 81.8% of patients that were able to raise their hand to the level of L5 or higher. In more than 85% of cases, patients were able to maintain perineal care, put a hand in a back pocket, use silverware, or dress themselves with little or no difficulty. Combing hair, sports, throwing, and raising objects presented the greatest problems.

Discussion and Conclusions: As in most other studies, results were modest in terms of mobility and strength, but in view of the great improvement in pain and the fact that the majority of patients regained the ability to engage in daily activities, we believe that this treatment is useful for complex fractures of the humerus.


C Torrens-Cánovas J M Mora-Guix

Introduction and Objectives: Treatment of arthrosis secondary to massive rupture of the rotator cuff using anatomical prostheses has offered limited results. The growing use of inverted prostheses, with biomechanics completely different from anatomical prostheses, have given promising results and offer an alternative treatment for this problem as well as other functionally-similar pathologies.

Materials and Methods: This multicentre study included 25 patients with Delta III inverted prostheses (IP) from Puy®, with a minimum follow-up period ranging from 3 to 22 months. There were 23 females and 2 males in the study. Average age was 71.04 years. Pre-operative diagnoses included arthrosis secondary to massive rupture of the rotator cuff (15), prosthesis revision (4), fracture sequelae (3) and acute fracture (3). Average preoperative Constant score with secondary arthrosis was 21.

Results: Evaluation using the Constant scoring system yielded the following mean results: secondary arthrosis of less than 6 months progression: 55.75; greater than 6 months progression: 58.14; prosthetic replacement at less than 6 months of progression: 32; and fracture sequelae of more than 6 months progression: 47.66. There was one postoperative dislocation, which required corrective surgery, and one infection that required surgical cleaning.

Discussion and Conclusions: 1). Good results were achieved using inverted prostheses in the treatment of arthrosis secondary to massive rupture of the rotator cuff (average 37 point improvement in Constant score.) 2). Limited results were attained for other conditions. The most significant result was reduction in pain.


J I Niubò-Ena J Iglesias-Marchite J Cruz-Arnedo N Zabalza-Hermoso de Mendoza R Sola-Rubio J Catalán-Andueza F Elía-Mañú A Mozota-Bernad J L Fatás-Vera

Introduction and Objectives: This study was designed to analyze the results of treatment of proximal humeral fractures using the Hoffman external fixator, evaluated using the Neer classification and Constant scale.

Materials and Methods: From January 1987 to June 1996, a total of 53 patients with proximal fractures of the humerus were treated using external fixation. Two of these cases had multiple injuries and died in the intensive care unit (ICU). For this reason, follow-up was done of the remaining 51 cases. There were 34 males (67%) and 17 females (33%). Average age was 52 years (range: 26–80). It is important to note that, of this group, 21 patients had multiple injuries in addition to the fracture of the humerus. There were 7 with craneoencephalic trauma, 11 with thoracic trauma, 3 with abdominal trauma, and 12 with fractures of other extremities. Eleven (20.7%) of the patients required admission to the ICU. Most frequent aetiologies were automobile accident in 31 cases (61%), accidental fall in 15 cases (29%), and other causes in 5 cases (10%). No significant difference was found based on the side that was affected. Fracture types in this study were as follows: Type III displaced fracture, 2 parts: 23 cases (45%); type IV displaced fractures, 3 and 4 parts: 15 cases (27%); type V displaced fractures of 3 and 4 parts: 10 cases (20%); type VI fractures of 3 and 4 parts with anterior luxation, 3 cases (8%) (Table 1). Three fractures were open Grade II or Grade III fractures (Couchoix), and 2 with associated comminuted fractures of the ipsilateral humerus.

Results: Clinical development was assessed in the 51 cases at an average of 20 months after removal of the external fixator (maximum 6 years).

* Pain: Average score 11.3 *Daily-life activities: Average score 14.7 points out of a maximum 20 points; 80% of patients achieved activity similar to pre-fracture levels. * Mobility: Average score was 24.6 out of 40. * Strength: Average score was 17 points. Overall average score for all patients out of 100 points on Constant’s scale was 67.7. Complications included local infection of the wound at the screw site in 4 cases, all of which were proximal screws. Algodystrophy was present in 3 patients. Three patients presented subacromial conflict after consolidation. No surgical iatrogenic injuries to vascular or nervous tissues were noted. Subjective results: Patients showed good acceptance of the external fixator due to the fact that it caused them little incapacity during treatment.

Discussion and Conclusions: External fixation is a quick and simple method which avoids entering the arm and affords similar results. As a minimally-invasive treatment technique, in case of failure, any other method may be used, including replacement arthroplasty, since passive movement of the shoulder is maintained from the beginning.


J L Leal-Helmling A Hernando-Sánchez J Sánchez-Benítez de Soto L Cuesta-Villa A Gòmez-de la Cámara P Borjano-Coquillat R Cruz-Conde

Introduction and Objectives: Indications for surgery in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation are still the subject of some controversy, in spite of previous systematic studies demonstrating its effectiveness. Many believe that this treatment should be avoided in working patients, in whom results of vertebral surgery tend to be poorer. Health-related quality of life indicators permit the objective measurement of the degree to which the health of the patient is improved by a particular type of procedure. They also permit a comparision of health improvement for patients with various types of treatment interventions. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of lumbar microdiscectomy on health-related quality of life in working patients.

Materials and Methods: A total of 105 patients of working age who underwent surgery at the Vertebral Surgery Unit of an On-the-Job Accident Cooperative were evaluated prospectively. Of these patients, 89 (84.8%) were male, and 51% were working in jobs that involved heavy lifting; 68.6% had high-school or less education or no education. Patients were evaluated before and 3 months after surgical intervention using a validated Spanish version of a questionnaire on the following clinical dimensions: Health-Related Quality of Life (SF-36), Lumbar Spine Function (Oswestry’s questionnaire), Lumbar and Radicular Pain (Visual Analogue Scale). Unvalidated versions of Work Situation and Satisfaction with results (GEER scales) were used.

Results: Statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement was observed in the following parameters: Intensity of lumbar pain (preoperative: 61.7; postoperative: 33.5; p< 0.001) and radicular pain (preoperative: 76.1; postoperative: 28.4; p< 0.001), specific lumbar spine function (preoperative: 44.3; postoperative, 18.3; p< 0.001), patient satisfaction and the SF 36 Physical Function items (preoperative: 38.1373; postoperative, 71.152; p< 0.001), physical role (preoperative,6.2092;postoperative,24.8366; p< 0.001), bodily pain (preoperative, 24.5196; postoperative, 51.0882; p< 0.001), general health (preoperative, 59.2607; postoperative, 62,901; p< 0.044), vitality (preoperative, 45.8333; postoperative, 58.2843; p< 0.001), social function (preoperative: 55.6373; postoperative: 73.8971; p< 0.001), and mental health (preoperative: 61.9706; postoperative, 70.9706; p< 0.001). A statistically significant improvement was not found in emotional role (preoperative: 65.6766; postoperative, 72.9373; p=0.182).

Discussion and Conclusions: Apart from the impact on their work situation, working patients who underwent microdiscetomy for lumbar disc herniation enjoyed significant short-term clinical improvement in multiple areas of their health.


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L J Alarcòn-García J Elorriaga-Vaquero R Hueso-Rieu J M García-Pesquera A Blanco-Pozo

Introduction and Objectives: The increase in hip replacement surgery in recent years as a consequence of the aging population and a greater demand placed on joints by our current lifestyle has caused an increase in related complications. The rate of intraoperative periprosthetic fractures is between 0.8 and 2.3%, and postoperative fracture rates reach 0.1% in some studies. This type of fracture is usually complex, and treatment is almost always quite difficult.

Materials and Methods: This study concentrates on peri-prosthetic hip fracture as a postoperative complication examining cases treated during the last 5 years. We have included cases of cemented and cementless partial and total arthroplasty. In this study, we did not include intra-operative fractures (secondary to surgical manipulation, as a result of reaming, cementing, or impaction of prosthetic components) because an irregular clinical history was associated with such cases, only reflecting those which required some type of synthesis, particularly cer-clage. The Johanson scale and the AAOS classification were used to classify fractures.

Results: Of 30 periprosthetic fractures recorded during the study period, 11 patients (36.7%) were males and 63.3% were female. Of fractures of the femoral diaphysis, more than half were Johanson Type II. Only one case involved the acetabulum. Nearly 17% required revision of some prosthetic component, and about one-third could be resolved orthopaedically. Of cases treated surgically, most complications were related to the surgical wound.

Discussion and Conclusions: The type of treatment used depends on various factors, such as type of fracture and fracture line, patient age, prosthetic loosening, etc. Individualised treatment is therefore the standard. We have observed no abnormalities in bone healing. Although this type of fracture is fortunately rare, we consider good preoperative planning and a thorough postoperative follow-up to be very important for the correct resolution of this difficult problem.


A Suárez-Vázquez M Cima-Suárez C Fernández-Corona J Díez-Alonso D Hernández-Vaquero

Introduction and Objectives: Posterior or posterolateral approaches to the hip joint have classically been associated with higher rates of dislocation. The goal of this study is to investigate the effect of reconstructive procedures of the posterior joint capsule and external rotator muscles in the short term on incidence of luxation and to compare these procedures with anterior or anterolateral approaches in which such procedures were not performed.

Materials and Methods: This is a prospective study of 605 total primary hip arthroplasties based on 2 models that have been widely used in our centre. The cases included 431 biological fixation prostheses coated with hydroxyapatite with 28mm heads and 174 low-friction cemented prostheses with 22.25 mm heads. These surgeries were performed consecutively in our centre, with a minimum follow-up of 6 months. Each patient was assigned to one of two groups based on the individual preference of the surgeon performing the operation: anterior or posterior. Only in the latter group was reconstruction of the capsule and external rotator musculature performed. Cases in which previous surgery had been performed on the hip were not included in this study in order to avoid skewing results, as previous surgery is the factor known to have the greatest impact on dislocation rate.

Results: A procedure involving reconstruction of both the posterior capsule and external rotator musculature significantly reduced the rate of early dislocation in primary total hip arthroplasties done using a posterior approach. Incidence of dislocation in these cases was lower than in cases with anterior approaches where a wider capsulectomy was performed without reconstruction.

Conclusion: The idea that the dislocation rate in total hip arthroplasties is higher with a posterior approach should be reconsidered.


R Sales-Fernández B J Vita-Berto M A Ruiz-Ibán P Crespo-Hernández J L Bernácer-Lòpez

Introduction and Objectives: Periprosthetic fractures are a complication seen with increasing frequency, owing in part to the growing number of patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty, older patient age, osteoporosis, revision surgeries, etc. Many classification systems have been described as a guide for optimal treatment in each situation. The aim of this study is to present our experience in recent years in the treatment of this pathology.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of clinical records and radiographic studies of patients diagnosed with periprosthetic fractures associated with both cemented and cementless total hip arthroplasty beginning in 1995. Intraoperative fractures were excluded from the study. We collected data on patient age, gender, type of total hiparthroplasty (THA), time to fracture, etiology, previous hip history, type of fracture, type of treatment, and complications.

Results: A total of 35 cases were reviewed, including 28 females (80%) and 7 males (20%). Average age was 73 years (33–93). Most common previous hip conditions were arthrosis, subcapital fracture, and revision THA. Of the fractures, 56% occurred with cementless THA and 44% with cemented. There was no history of trauma in 22% of the cases. Most common fractures were type B1 and B2. Conservative treatment was used in 10 cases with minimally-displaced fractures or in patients with a poor state of overall health. The remaining patients were treated with various surgical techniques. In 2 cases of postoperative fractures, intraoperative fractures or reaming defects were found which had previously been overlooked. Of fractures in patients who had undergone THA more than 10 years previously (5 cemented and 2 cementless), 5 patients required revision THA, and in 2 cases, surgical treatment was not elected due to high risk of medical complications. One patient required intervention for aseptic loosening of the femoral stem, and one patient underwent Girdlestone arthroplasty for an infected non-union.

Discussion and Conclusions: For optimal results, definitive treatment must be tailored to the individual and must be guided by the surgeon’s good judgement. Surgeons should balance the benefits and risks of aggressive and conservative treatments. Although there has been a low rate of non-union, we believe that cancellous or cortical allografts should be used more frequently to encourage bone healing.


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J Jiménez-Gonzalo J Massons-Albareda A Arcalis Arce G Pidemunt-Moli V Morego-García M García-Portabella

Introduction and Objectives: The goal of this study is to present results from a series of arthroplasties performed in our hospital in the past 3 years in terms of pain and mobility.

Materials and Methods: In this study, a total of 14 arthroplasties were performed on 12 patients (including 2 revisions). Follow-up was lost on 3 patients. Of the 9 remaining patients, 5 were females and 4 were male. Average age was 59 years (42–75) at time of surgery. Two prosthetic models were used: Coonrad-Morrey in 5 cases (including one revision) and GSB-III in 6 cases (including one revision). The following conditions were treated: 5 cases of post-traumatic arthrosis of the elbow, one haemophilic arthropathy of the elbow with the elbow as the target joint, one case of rheumatoid arthritis, one supracondylar fracture with nonunion in an elderly patient, and one humeral fracture with post-traumatic arthrosis of the elbow.

Results: At the functional level, a postoperative articular balance of 118° flexion and −20° extension and free pronosupination was obtained, with the exception of 2 cases. There was complete elimination or a significant decrease in pain except in 2 cases where a certain level of pain persisted. Radiographically, poor positioning was not seen, but there was one case of septic loosening (resulting in resective arthroplasty) and one peri-prosthetic fracture requiring revision, since it led to instability and repeated dislocation. Other complications included neurologic problems (2), extension deficit > 30° (2), and residual pain (2).

Discussion and Conclusions: Although this study is still in the early stages and follow-up time is short (the study was initiated in 2000), we are seeing promising results in terms of mobility and cessation of pain, similar to various other studies. In terms of the percentage of revisions, complications, and patient satisfaction, results are also comparable to other studies, even though our study thus far has the disadvantage of being shorter. Nonetheless, we wish to present this study to demonstrate that even though elbow arthroplasties are in their infancy, results are promising, and there is hope that they will improve further in future with improved selection criteria, as happened in the past with knee and hip arthroplasties.


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J A Alonso-Barrio S Sánchez-Herraez O Fernández-Hernández J Betegòn-Nicolás J J González-Fernández A Lòpez-Sastre

Introduction and Objectives: The coating of implants with biomaterials seems to be a step further toward the ideal biological integration of an inert implant in live recipient bone where it will be subjected to load and movement. The goal of this study is to present results from 70 hip prostheses with implantation of a bioglass-coated stem.

Materials and Methods: The “Grupo para el Estudio del Biovidrio” [Group for the Study of Bioglass] and the Stazione del Vetro de Murano experimented with a biocompatible, osteoconductive bioglass in 1992, creating the Biovetro patent as the first bioglass used for the coating of the CRM total hip prosthesis (Seipi-Bio-implant). In 1992, implantation of this prosthesis was begun in Italy and Spain. In 1994 and 1995, we implanted 70 TiAlva CRM stem total hip prostheses with the proximal two-thirds coated with an 80-micron thick layer of Biovetro. A Ceraver-Osteal impacted cup covered with a titanium mesh was used in all cases.

Results: Of the 70 CRM prostheses implanted, adequate clinical and radiographic examination was possible in 62 cases, with an 8-year follow-up time. Clinical evaluation was done using the Merle D’Aubigne Postel criteria: pain, mobility, and gait. In 77% of patients, results were excellent or good, while 23% had fair or poor results. Radiographic evaluation according to Engh’s criteria for cementless stems showed 56 (90%) stable stems, 1 (1.6%) unstable stem, and 5 (8%) stem revisions, in one case due to infection. Survival rate for this stem at 8 years was 91.4%.

Discussion and Conclusions: Based on these results, we believe Biovetro coating produces worse osteointegration than HA due to: 1) Appearance of a fibrous interface with a macrophage foreign body reaction. 2) Less new bone formation activity and a significant delay in maturation. 3) Insufficient mineralization of newly-formed bone.


A Ramírez-Barragán F Pérez-Ochagavia P Martín-Rodríguez I Persson F Devesa-Cabo J Hernández-Morales A San Juan-Vidal M Terròn-Chaparro J Domínguez-Hernández E Martín-Gòmez R Ruano-Pérez J R García-Talavera J A de Pedro-Moro

Introduction and Objectives: The goal of cementless endoprosthetic hip surgery is to improve bone attachment. The gold standard method for evaluating periprosthetic bone characteristics is densitometry. This study was designed to compare periprosthetic bone mass in 2 groups of patients: less than 3 years and more than 3 years after implantation.

Materials and Methods: A total of 195 type ABG-II total hip prostheses were implanted from November 1997 to March 2003. This implant is a hemispheric cup coated with hydroxyapatite, which can additionally be anchored with screws and a short anatomic stem with metaphyseal fixation. DeLee and Gruen zones were analysed.

Results: During the study period, patients with implants less than 3 years old showed no significant changes in bone mineral density around the stem or the cup. In area 7, a statistically significant reduction was noted after 3 years (0.5218g/cm3, p< 0.001). In Gruen’s zones 3 and 4 a non-significant gain was observed after 3 years (1.1618g/cm3).

Discussion and Conclusions: In cup studies, a statistically insignificant increase in density was observed in zone I after 3 years. Noteworthy findings included a loss of function in DeLee zone III and Gruen zones 1 and 7, which has not yet had clinical consequences (at a maximum 6 year follow-up time).


A Garabito-Cociña J Martínez-Miranda J Sánchez-Sotelo

Introduction and Objectives: Acute ruptures of the Achilles tendon are often treated surgically. The minimally-invasive technique of end-to-end suture has gained popularity in recent years. However, the use of reinforcing tendinous plasties can yield a more solid reconstruction, permit an earlier rehabilitation programme, and reduce the risk of re-rupture. The goal of this study is to determine the long-term results and complications of repairs using reinforcing plasties in the treatment of acute ruptures of the Achilles tendon.

Materials and Methods: Between 1995 and 2001, a total of 56 consecutive Achilles tendon ruptures were repaired using end-to-end suture and primary tendinous reinforcement. Average patient age was 35 years (range: 23–75), and 87% were males. Average time of postoperative immobilization was 4 weeks, and average time to discharge was 6 weeks. Average follow-up time was 4.7 years (range: 2–8 years).

Results: At the end of the follow-up period, 51 patients (89%) showed normal ankle function and had returned to their normal pre-injury activities. There were no complete re-ruptures. One patient presented with a partial traumatic re-rupture of the central area of the tendon, which did not require surgical treatment. There were 2 cases of deep infection, 10 patients with surgical wound problems, and 2 patients with transient paresthesia in the sural nerve area.

Discussion and Conclusions: Reconstruction of acute ruptures of the Achilles tendon using tendinous plasty for reinforcement gives satisfactory results in a high percentage of patients, permitting earlier rehabilitation with very low risk of subsequent re-rupture. However, the procedure is associated with a high rate of cutaneous complications and infection.


O Marín-Peña P González-Onandía F Trell-Lesmes D Murillo-Vizuete A Teijeira-Rodríguez J M Guijarro Galiano

Introduction and Objectives: Synovial osteochondromatosis (SOC) is a benign synovial metaplasia of unknown pathogenesis characterised by the formation of multiple cartilaginous nodules. It is classified in 2 broad groups: primary and secondary. Treatment includes both arthroscopic and open surgical techniques and is directly related to the symptoms caused by these loose bodies in the joints.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of cases of SOC treated between 1990 and 2002 analysing localisation, number of joints affected, clinical presentation, and radiographic images. Type of treatment used and pathological findings were evaluated. SPSS 10.0 software was used for statistical analysis.

Results: From 1990 to 2002, 25 cases of SOC were treated. Of these, 15 cases were completely followed-up. The most frequent localisation was the knee (8 cases), followed by the hip, shoulder, ankle, elbow, and distal radio-ulnar joint. There was no significant difference in distribution by gender. A predominance was noted of monoarticular over poliarticular occurence. The most common symptoms described were chronic pain and limitation of mobility. The most common treatment was removal of the loose bodies and synovectomy using open surgery.

Discussion and Conclusions: SOC is an uncommon condition that may go undetected for years. It is manifested as slow-evolving pain, limitation in movement, and joint locking. At this stage, it is necessary to remove the loose bodies and perform a complete synovectomy in order to avoid recurrence. This may be done arthroscopically or with open surgery, as long as complete removal of all cartilaginous nodules and the synovial tissue is confirmed.


J Baena-Tamargo L I Carrera-Calderer A Navarro-Quilis

Introduction and Objectives: Severe proximal femoral defects are a major problem in femoral stem revision surgery. Various surgical techniques have been described that aim to resolve the deficit of bone stock: the Exeter technique or impacted allograft bone, long porous surface distal fitting stems, stems coated with hydroxyapa-tite, and modular stems with metaphyseal fixation. In 1987, Wagner presented a revision technique using a long distal fitting conical stem with excellent proximal bone regeneration. However, the Wagner stem presents two fundamental problems: subsidence and dislocation. Furthermore, it is a demanding technique that requires preoperative planning. Conical fixation makes adjustment of length and anteversion more difficult, as it is dif-ficult to change these parameters after impaction.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of the first 86 Wagner prostheses implanted at our centre.

Results: The reason for revision was aseptic loosening in 81.8% of cases. A morselised bone graft was used in the femur in 22% of cases. Average follow-up period was 6.5 years. Complications occurred in 33% of cases. Half of these complications were perioperative fractures of the femur, which for the most part required no additional treatment besides intervention during the operation. Of the 6.8% of implants that were loose, only 3 cases required surgical treatment. Subsidence occurred in 40.9% of implants, with a median of 13.5mm. Of the 40.9% of implants that sank, two-thirds sank more than 0.5cm. Average metal-bone contact was 27.57mm postoperatively, 39.9mm at one year postoperatively, and 50.38mm at final evaluation.

Discussion and Conclusions: The Wagner prosthesis has yielded good results in revisions with proximal bone defects. However, it presents a high rate of dislocation and subsidence, in relation to the technical demands of the procedure.


P Torner-Pifarré X Gallart-Castany S García-Ramiro S Sastre-Solsona A Lázaro-Amoròs J M Segur-Vilalta J Riba-Ferret

Introduction and Objectives: Periprosthetic fractures present some difficult problems: the inability to use intramedullary implants, difficulty in inserting screws (since the cavity is occupied), bone fragility, great mechanical demands, elderly patients, and associated conditions. We have used two osteosynthesis reinforcement techniques in these cases: massive intramedullary cementation and implantation of bone allograph counterplates. Both techniques give a simple solution for complex peri-prosthetic fractures.

Materials and Methods: We used this technique to treat 9 periprosthetic fractures of the femur between 1999 and 2003. In 3 cases, massive intramedullary cementation was used (Johansson type III, distal to the prosthetic stem) and in 6 cases a bone allograft counterplate (Johansson type II, around the prosthesis), associated with the stem replacement in 2 cases. Allografts came from the Tissue Bank of the Institut Clinic de l’Aparell Locomotor (ICAL). There were 7 females and 2 males, with an average age of 76 years (range: 66–83). Average follow-up time was 14 months (range: 6 months to 3.5 years).

Results: In 8 of 9 cases (89%), fracture consolidation was achieved in 3.5 months, with patients regaining the same ability to walk as before the injury. In one case with intramedullary cementation, non-union developed with breakage of the plate at 10 months post-intervention. This case was treated with compression osteosynthesis with a new plate and bone allograft counterplate, and final outcome was satisfactory (consolidation at 4 months) with the patient walking with full weight bearing without crutches.

Discussion and Conclusions: We believe both techniques are useful in the resolution of periprosthetic fractures of the femur over porous bone. However, a very precise surgical technique is necessary, as well as respect for the classical principles of osteosynthesis: fracture fixation with anatomic reduction, interfragmentary compression, and maximum care afforded soft tissue.


J A Guillén-Álvaro A Luque-Sánchez A Yunta-Gallo

Introduction and Objectives: The goal of this study is to document radiographic changes occurring in patients with hydroxyapatite(HA)-coated total hip prostheses (THP).

Materials and Methods: From May 1990 to May 1993, 60 THP with complete (femoral and acetabular) HA-coating were implanted in 59 patients. Of these 59 patients, 36 were male and 23 female. Average age was 69.26 years. A retrospective study of these patients was done, with an average follow-up time of 11 years. Radiological follow-up was done at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and annually thereafter. Available imaging methods included conventional radiography, direct digital radiography, digital processing, CT scan, bone scintigra-phy, and tomodensitometry. We used the first 3 of these techniques. The acetabular cup and femoral stem have been divided based on DeLee-Charnley zones (cup) and Gruen zones (femur). The following variables were tracked for the acetabular component: subchondral sclerosis, radiolucent lines, resorption, remodeling, and the appearance of osteolyic lesions. For the femoral component, the following were tracked: radiolucent lines, calcar resorption, periprosthetic cortical thickness, appearance and progression of the pedestal, appearance of osteo-lytic lesions, new intramedullary bone formation, and state of cancellous bone, with particular emphasis on periprosthetic trabeculation. We also assessed prosthetic positioning (normal, varus, valgus), angle of the acetabular component, changes in the polyethylene, and heterotopic ossification (Brooker’s classification). Radiographic studies were performed by 2 independent observers, blinded as to the clinical situation.

Results: Of the 60 THP with HA coating in our study, 5 could not be reviewed due to incorrect personal data on their clinical records, and 6 were deceased. With the cups, DeLee-Charnley zone 1 showed bone remodeling with frequent sclerotic changes, and zone 3 showed radiolucent lines of less than 1 mm. Femoral stems had a typical pattern of poor endosteal apposition around Gruen’s zone 6. Calcar remodeling was slowly progressive, with thinning of the cortex. Minimal resorption of the femoral neck was also observed. A periosteal reaction was noted in eccentrically loaded stems. Pedestals were common and did not seem to reflect loosening of the prosthesis in our data. Image digitalisation permitted the examination of newly-formed trabeculae, particularly in Gruen’s zones 2–3 and 5–6, which appeared at 3 months.

Discussion and Conclusions: Radiographic progression in most of the patients with THP with HA coating was satisfactory. Digitalisation of radiographic images permitted better visualization of changes occurring at the bone-prosthesis interface.


J M Fernández-Fernández R Alegre-Mateo C Canteli-Velasco A Braña-Vigil V Fernández-Moral

Introduction and Objectives: Our aim is to study the effects of these two factors on functional recovery of patients undergoing surgery for extracapsular hip fracture.

Materials and Methods: A multi-centre study involving 3 hospitals was done on 163 patients presenting with extracapsular hip fractures who were treated using IMHS sliding nail/screws. Six months of postoperative follow-up was done to evaluate Charlson’s index comorbidity, pre-fracture functionality,and postoperative functionality at 3 and 6 months using Parker and Palmer’s test and the hospitalization index. Functional progression was evaluated in terms of comorbidity using comparison of means. To study the impact of hospitalisation, a comparision of mean scores for hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients was performed.

Results: The final analysis was done using data from 127 patients. Of this sample, 109 patients were not hospitalised before the fracture, and 18 had been hospitalised. There were no significant differences in average Charlson’s index scores between hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients. Functionality at 3 months was 3.97 for non-hospitalised patients and 2.0 for hospitalised patients; at 6 months scores were 4.56 for non- hospitalised patients and 2.38 for hospitalised (p< 0.005). Patients with a Charlson score greater than 2 had a loss of function of 2.16 points at 3 months and 1.58 at 6 months (p< 0.005). Patients with a Charlson score less than or equal to 2 had a functional loss of 1.82 points at 3 months and 1.26 at 6 months (p< 0.005).

Discussion and Conclusions: Hospitalised patients had greater loss of function than non-hospitalised patients, independent of their previous health status. Patients with greater comorbidity had greater loss of function compared to patients with less severe previous pathology.


P Álvarez-González J Martín-Guinea F Nieva-Navarro

Introduction and Objectives: At present, cementless stems offer a reliable alternative for survival of total hip prostheses (THP). This study analyzes the clinical and radiographic results obtained using the Zweymüller SL stem in patients with an average follow-up time of 10 years.

Materials and Methods: This is a study of 100 cement-less THP (Balgrist cups, SL stems) implanted between June 1991 and February 1995 in 93 patients (7 bilateral). Patients were 55% male and 45% female, with an average age of 58.5 years (20–74). Diagnoses were 72% coxarthrosis, 13% avascular necrosis, 5% fractures, 4% rheumatism, 2% Perthes disease, 2% dysplasia, and 2% post-infection sequelae. Two deaths occurred during the follow-up period (unrelated to THP). No cases were lost. Average follow-up time was 10 years (range: 8 to 12 years). Clinical evaluation was done using the Merle D’Aubigné scale as modified by Kramer and Maichl, to numerically evaluate degree of pain and walking capacity. Radiographic evaluation included determining radiolucent lines, sclerosis, osteolysis in the Gruen zones, stem subsidence, heterotopic ossification, and type of stem fixation. Survival analysis was done according to Kaplan-Meier at 10 years using prosthetic revision as the endpoint.

Results: Clinical evaluation based on the modified Merle D’Aubigné scale was as follows: 81% very good results, 2% good, 3% satisfactory, 2% fair, and 11% poor (this last group included revision THP). Radiographic evaluation showed 9% with radiolucent lines in zone 1, 6% in zone VII, and one case with osteolysis in zones II and VI, the latter in conjuction with aseptic loosening of the stem. There was heterotopic ossification in 28% of cases and subsidence in 2 cases (one asymptomatic and the other aseptic loosening, which is pending revision). Stem fixation was excellent in 67% of cases, good in 32%, and poor in 1%. There were 7 revisions in the survival analysis: 4 of the cup, 2 of the entire prosthesis due to septic loosening, and one of the head of the stem. All of this resulted in 10-year survival rates of 92% (0.92 +/− 0.06; p< 0.05) for the THP and 97% (0.97 +/− 0.03; p< 0.05) for the SL stem.

Discussion and Conclusions: Cementless Zweymüller SL stems offer excellent survival rates. In our series, only one stem failed (1%), and is currently awaiting revision.


M A García-Sandoval D Pérez-Hernández A Suárez-Vázquez D Hernández-Vaquero

Introduction and Objectives: The purpose of this study is to analyse the clinical and radiographic results of revision total hip prosthesis using femoral stems with diaph-yseal fixation.

Materials and Methods: We assessed failure of the primary prosthesis based on Paprosky’s classification to identify the femoral defect and determine the optimal component for revision, keeping in mind the difficulty of classifying bone defects based on radiographic parameters. The most commonly-used replacement models were KAR revision stems (wide, straight, long necks and hydroxyapatite-coated along the entire length) and Restoration-T3 stems (diaphyseal fixation, modular, fits different necks, Wagner model progression, particularly indicated to facilitate extraction of cement using a buried diaphyseal osteotomy). Clinical evaluation was done using the Merle D’Aubigné and Postel scales modified by Charnley. Radiographic evaluation of prosthetic stability and osseointegration was done using Engh’s criteria, checking for presence or absence of radiolucency, migration, pedestal, and increase or decrease of endosteal and periprosthetic density (calcar, diaphysis, and greater trochanter).

Results: We examined 47 KAR stems and 16 Restoration-T3 stems, with an average follow-up period of 4.1 years (range: 1–9 years) and an average patient age of 69.4 years (range: 40–79 years). Of these, 6 were Paprosky type 1, 36 were type II, 14 were type IIIA, 5 were type IIIB, and 2 were type IV. Average preoperative clinical score was 9.76 points. Aetiology in all cases was aseptic loosening of a primary prosthesis, with the exception of one case of a delayed Corynebacterium infection. There were 2 partial Monk prosthesis revisions and 3 periprosthetic fractures. Average postoperative clinical score was 15.83 points. There were no deep infections or dislocations. Radiolucency was noted in only one case, and no migrations of more than 2 mm were seen. No further stem revisions were required in this series, though we believe a future revision will be necessary in at least one case.

Discussion and Conclusions: The use of femoral stems with diaphyseal fixation is an acceptable alternative in revision surgery of the hip, even in cases of major bone deficit. Modular stems have the added advantage of versatility to adapt to a great variety of prosthetic salvage procedures.


J Casañas-Sintes

Introduction and Objectives: Muscular neurotisation is one of the reconstructive techniques used in peripheral nerve surgery. A funded study was designed to evaluate function and maturation of the motor endplate in reconstructions done using free and vascularized nerve grafts.

Materials and Methods: An experiment was designed with 3 groups of female Wistar rats: a control group which underwent heterotopic neurotization of the superior gastrocnemius through the peroneal nerve. Group A consisted of 25 animals (free nerve graft, FNG) which underwent neurotisation of the gastrocnemius using an autologous EPS nerve graft. Group B consisted of 25 animals (vascularised nerve grafts, VNG) which underwent neurotisation of the gastrocnemius using vascularized peroneal nerve grafts. Animals were sacrificed and studied in groups of 5 individuals at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks. Results were obtained using electromyographic and nervous conduction studies measuring graft conduction latency, motor action potential, and wave duration. Statistical analysis was done using Student’s t-test, Wilcoxon, Kruskal–Wallis, and Mann-Whitney U tests.

Results: Latency: There was no difference in latency between VNG and FNG groups except during the first and last month, although latencies tended to shorten and approach normal values. There was no difference in the control group. Amplitude: The FNG group never showed a normal amplitude, while the VNG group did only in the fifth month. No difference was noted between the control and VNG group in the first month. Potential duration: This parameter normalised in the VNG group in the fifth month but never normalised in the FNG group. In fact, during the fifth month there was no difference between the VNG and control groups, and by the second month, it was different from the FNG group.

Discussion and Conclusions: 1) There was no significant difference between FNG and VNG neurotisation in conduction latency as measured by nerve fiber conduction speed or motor unit excitement. 2) There was no significant difference in conduction amplitude between FNG and VNG as measured by the number of excited motor units. 3) There was a statistically significant difference in motor action potential duration between the FNG and VNG groups, with a shorter duration in the VNG group as measured by synchrony and maturation of motor unit conduction.


A Studer C Resines-Erasun P Caba-Dossoux J L Leòn-Baltasar M Vidart-Anchía M Aroca-Peinado

Introduction and Objectives: High-energy fractures of the pelvis carry a high mortality and pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge in modern orthopaedic trauma. A multidisciplinary approach has reduced mortality in the past two decades. In cooperation with the polytrauma ICU, we have developed a diagnostic-therapeutic algorithm to determine indications for laparotomy, external fixation, and angiography, in terms of clinical evolution and fracture type.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of 67 patients with pelvic fractures and persistent hae-modynamic instability who were treated in our centre between 1994 and 2002. The following parameters were analyzed: personal data, AIS, ISS, RTS, type of fracture (Young and Burgess classification), associated injuries, haematologic requirements, and degree of adherence to the algorithm in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic measures. The following results variables were examined: mortality, incidence of systemic complications associated with traumatic illness (MOF, ARDS, DIC), and length of hospital stay.

Results: The study involved a total of 67 patients, all with pelvic fractures and persistent haemodynamic instability. Average age was 37.7 years, and average time in the ICU was 13.8 days. In 53.7% of cases, patients were transported to the centre by ambulance, 41.8% by helicopter, and the remaining 4.5% by other means. Adjusted mortality was 25%. External fixation was used on 42 patients (62%) and angiography in 36 (53%). Both techniques were used in combination in 17 patients. Of the 36 patients who underwent angiography, 33 showed positive findings (91.7%). Exploratory laparotomy was required in 23 patients due to positive findings on abdominal ultrasound, which yielded positive results in 20 cases. Mortality in these patients was 45%. Average ISS was 29.

Discussion and Conclusions: Rapid evaluation and a multidisciplinary approach are necessary in handling patients with pelvic fracture and haemodynamic instability. External fixation is a rapid procedure that is safe and simple, permitting the control of haemody-namic instability, which should be considered more as an emergency stabilisation technique than a reconstructive procedure. Abdominal ultrasound is a very sensitive method when deciding whether or not to perform an exploratory laparotomy. In cases with rotational instability of the pelvis, laparatomy should be done only after pelvic fixation. A diagnostic-therapeutic algorithm has been designed for the management of pelvic instability, with particular emphasis on indicators of a poor prognosis.


I Escribá-Urios A Fidalgo M Embodas J Crusi

Introduction and Objectives: Our aim is to analyze results using an Albizzia® gradual lengthening intramedullary nail in the femur.

Materials and Methods: From October 1997 to November 2000, 7 femoral lengthenings were performed on 5 patients (2 were bilateral) in our unit, using an intramedullary lengthening nail. Average age was 19 years (15–22). Aetiologies included congenital deformity with symmetric shortening (1 case), fibrous cortical defects (1 case), iatrogenic shortening secondary to trauma (1 case), and 2 cases of symmetric dwarfism (idiopathic drawfism, Turner’s syndrome). Distraction was achieved at 15 cycles/day (1 mm/day). Clinical and radiographic results were evaluated using the Paley criteria, considering the indices of consolidation and distraction. Average follow-up time was 48 months (30–60 months).

Results: Average lengthening obtained was 5.7 cm (4–7 cm), with a distraction period of 99 days (45–214 days) and a distraction index of 0.71 mm/day (17 days/1 cm). In bilateral cases, the distraction index was 0.57 mm/day. Consolidation time was 187 days with a consolidation index of 33 days/cm. Complications included 3 mechanical (2 broken screws and one intramedullary saw failure); one involving bone (1 intraoperative fracture), and one case requiring spinal anaesthesia to achieve lengthening in the first few days. No nerve, joint, or infection-related complications were observed. Average duration of surgery was 2 hours 40 minutes.

Discussion and Conclusions: The use of a gradual intramedullary lengthening nail yields good results, since it is a more stable system which minimises complications compared to external fixators. It is also a more comfortable procedure for the patient.


M García-Gòmez R Martí-Ciruelos P Rubio-Pascual M de Miguel-Moya M Romero-Layos A Curto-de la Mano

Introduction and Objectives: Orthopaedic surgery is associated with significant pain in the immediate postoperative period. Management of this pain often requires the administration of opiates. The goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of analgaesic treatment with intravenous morphine hydrochloride in a nurse-controlled analgaesia (NCA) system during the first day postoperative in children in general hospital wards.

Materials and Methods: The study included 69 consecutive patients, all under 6 years of age, who underwent scheduled orthopedic surgery. All patients were treated postoperatively using intravenous morphine hydrochloride using the NCA system according to the following protocol: loading dose: 50–100 μg/kg; continuous infusion: 10–20 μg/kg/h; bolus dosage: 4- μg/kg: closure time: 20”; maximum dose: 400 μg/kg/4h. The following variables were evaluated: 1). Intensity of pain: none = 0 / mild = 1 / moderate = 2 / very intense = 3; 2). Side effects: a) nausea and vomiting: none =0 / 1 episode in 4 hours = 1 / more than 1 episode in 4 hours = 2. b) Urinary retention: none = 0 / spontaneous micturition after less than 8 h = 1/ draining catheter required = 2; 3). Average morphine chloride dose/kg of weight.

Results: Average age was 24.3 months (range: 4 months – 6 years). Average weight: 12.7 kg. Results showed no case of excessive sedation or respiratory depression. Average morphine hydrochloride dosage per kg body weight was 365.5 μg (± 402.5 μg).

Discussion and Conclusions: The guidelines of our I.V. morphine hydrochloride protocol for NCA yielded satisfactory control of post-operative pain after trauma surgery in children under 6 years old. No major side effects were noted in our patients, and the protocol may be safely used.


J A Navascués-del Río J Soleto-Martín J L González-Lòpez A Cubillo-Martín A Martínez-Serrano O Riquelme J L García-Trevijano

Introduction and Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate the results of the technique described by Ahlgren and Larsson in 1989, presenting our experience with 7 patients.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on the clinical records of 7 adolescents treated in our center beginning in 1991 using the technique described by Ahlgren and Larsson. There were 3 males and 4 females, ranging in age from 13 to 16.5 years (average: 14 years 10 months). All subjects had a history of repeated ankle sprains for 2 to 5 years before surgery. In all cases there was painful instability of the ankle which significantly limited physical activity. In 4 cases, symptoms were present even when walking on level ground. On clinical examination, 3 cases showed significant instability under varus stress, 3 others had moderate instability, and one case had mild instability. Surgical technique was similar in all cases and involved creating a periosteal flap with a distal anterior base, including the fibulotalar and fibulocalcaneal ligaments, which was sutured with tension to the fibula. In 3 cases, this was done with the help of Mitek metal hooks. In 5 of 7 cases, an ossicle of the fibular malleolus visible on the radiographs was removed. Duration of surgery ranged from 30 to 60 minutes, with a mean of 40 minutes. Postoperative immobilisation consisted of a plaster cast used for an average of 45 days, after which time patients progressively returned to normal physical activities. Patients were advised to use an ankle brace. Average follow-up time was 35 months, with a range of 13 to 72 months.

Results: In 5 patients, a subjective improvement in ankle stability was found on examination. Only in one case was there a significant reduction in radiographic instability when the tibiotalar joint was moved from 20° to 8°. One patient developed a superficial infection of the surgical wound which resolved with antibiotic treatment. Two patients suffered sprains within the first year after intervention, but there were no further sprains, and the injuries did not seem to affect the final outcome. However, the outcome of one of these was considered to be only fair due to occasional mild pain which did not limit physical activity. Two cases had poor outcomes due to frequent pain which limited physical activity postoperatively for 2 and 6 years, respectively. However, neither patient had repeat sprains during this period. The remaining 4 cases were considered to have had good results, as the patients were totally asymptomatic and without any limitation of physical activity.

Discussion and Conclusions: This simple, non-aggressive method is an attractive option for use in adolescents. We therefore conclude that more studies are needed to validate its effectiveness.


J Martín-Guinea P Álvarez-González F Nieva-Navarro

Introduction and Objectives: At present, cementless cups offer a reliable alternative for survival of total hip prostheses (THP). This study analyzes the clinical and radiographic results obtained using the Balgrist conical stem cup in patients with an average follow-up time of 10 years.

Materials and Methods: This is a study of 100 cement-less THP (Balgrist cups, SL stems) implanted between June 1991 and February 1995 in 93 patients (7 bilateral). Patients were 55% male and 45% female, with an average age of 58.5 years (20–74). Diagnoses were 72% coxarthrosis, 13% avascular necrosis, 5% fractures, 4% rheumatism, 2% Perthes disease, 2% dysplasia, and 2% post-infection sequelae. Two deaths occurred during the follow-up period (unrelated to THP). No cases were lost. Average follow-up time was 10 years (range: 8–12 years). Clinical evaluation was done using the Merle D’Aubigné scale as modified by Kramer and Maichl, to numerically evaluate degree of pain and walking capacity. Radiographic evaluation included determining radiolucent lines, sclerosis, osteolysis in the Lee and Chanley zones, stem subsidence, heterotopic ossification, and deterioration of polyethylene. Survival analysis was done according to Kaplan-Meier at 10 years using prosthetic revision as the endpoint.

Results: Clinical evaluation based on the modified Merle D’Aubigné scale was as follows: 81% very good results, 2% good, 3% satisfactory, 2% fair, and 11% poor (this last group included revision THP). Radiographic evaluation showed Zone I sclerotic lines in 4%, zone II lines in 1%, and zone I radiolucency in 2%. These lines did not correlate with cup migration. There were 28% of patients with heterotopic ossification, 3 cases with poly-ethylene deterioration, and 4 cases with migration. Survival analysis revealed 7 revisions: 4 of the cup, one due to pain from malpositioning (vertical cup), 2 for ring breakage and pain, one for ring breakage without pain, 2 THP due to septic loosening (Staphylococcus epider-midis), and one stem head revision. All of this resulted in 10–year survival rates of 92% (0.92 +/− 0.06; p< 0.05) for THP and 93% (0.93 +/−0.06; p< 0.05) for the Balgrist cup.

Discussion and Conclusions: Compared with other cementless cups, the Balgrist cup has a high survival rate. Both clinical and radiographic results obtained in this study are similar to other studies published on the use of this same type of cup.


D Bertrand-Álvarez S Álvarez-Parrondo A Solis-Gòmez J Pena-Vázquez I Fernández-Bances J Paz-Jiménez P Lòpez-Fernández

Introduction and Objectives: Though not a common disease, proximal femoral epiphysiolysis (PFE) is one cause of premature degeneration of the joint. The aetio-pathogenesis is unknown. The challenge with this disorder is making an early diagnosis. This study presents the experience of our center in surgical treatment of this condition.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of 27 cases of PFE in 25 patients treated between 1990 and 1998, analyzing therapeutic management at the time of presentation and clinical, radiographic, and subjective findings in the short and medium terms. Based on duration of symptoms, the disorder is classified as acute, chronic, or subacute. Degree of displacement is classified as mild (less than 30%), moderate (30–60%), and severe (great than 60%). Dunn and Angel’s criteria were used for clinical evaluation, as modified for this study. Radiographic follow-up was based on the capitodiaphyseal Southwick angle, measuring the amount of correction postoperatively and in the medium-term examination.

Results: There were 17 males (63%) and 10 females (37%). Average age was 12.5 years. The right side was affected in 10 cases (40%), the left in 13 (52%), and both sides in 2 (8%). The majority of patients presented with chronic epiphysiolysis (44%) with mild displacement (74%). In most cases, surgical intervention consisted of in situ fixation with or without a previous attempt at reduction, based on the degree of displacement on an orthopaedic table with scope guidance. Fixations were performed primarily with Kirschner wire or cannulated screws. Preoperative complications included incomplete reduction of the fracture, breakage of the Kirschner wire, and superficial infection of the surgical wound.

Discussion and Conclusions: The worst results were seen in patients with epiphysiolysis with severe initial displacement and in patients who developed aseptic necrosis of the femoral head or chondrolysis. Intra-articular penetration with this material and valgus positioning should be avoided. At present, we are doing the fixation of the epiphysis using a single cannulated screw. We believe early detection of the process is very important in cases featuring gradual displacement.


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P Díaz de Rada-Lorente B Florez-Álvarez R Dolz J L Beguiristain-Gurpide

Introduction and Objectives: Osteochondroma is the most common tumour of the bone. Treatment is necessary only in the case of pain, compression of adjacent structures, for aesthetic reasons, or in cases of suspected malignancy.

Materials and Methods: This study reviews a series of 119 patients with solitary osteochondroma tracked in our centre since 1975. Location, gender, reason for consultation, tumour and treatment-related complications, type of treatment, recurrence and malignant transformation, and final status of patients were tracked for a minimum of one year.

Results: Of the 119 patients in this study, 75 required surgical intervention, with tumor recurrence being the most common complication (15 cases). Seven patients suffered malignant transformation all of which resolved after surgical intervention.

Discussion and Conclusions: In our experience, simple resection is a satisfactory treatment for osteochon-droma in most cases. Periodic follow-up is necessary in these cases as they have the potential to become malignant.


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S Rodríguez S Cerdán

Introduction and Objectives: This study reviews the results of osteoarticular ultrasound of the hip in infants using the Graf method between 1992 and 2002 for the diagnosis and treatment of congenital hip dysplasia (CHD) and congenital hip dislocation in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of early diagnosis and treatment of infant hip pathologies related to CHD using a non-invasive, reproducible, and relatively easy-to-use method of clinical evaluation.

Materials and Methods: Between 1992 and 2002, 5,760 (18%) of a total 32,000 newborns in our province received an ultrasound examination using the Graf technique due to the presence of one or more risk factors. Graf methods and ultrasonographic criteria were used to conduct a systematic study with static ultrasonograms, dynamic studies, and/or stress studies of the hips. During the 10-year period, only 4 hips required surgical intervention after one year of age when orthopaedic treatment was not an option. This represents a significant reduction in the rate of surgery due to earlier treatment after ultrasonographic diagnosis.

Results: Risk factors associated with the appearance of congenital hip deformities diagnosed by ultrasound in the infant population of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in order of frequency, were as follows: female newborn, first pregnancy, first birth (36%), lax hip (30%), asymmetry (25%), positive Ortolani hip clunk (15%), family history (15%), reduced abduction (6%), associated osteoarticular pathology (5%), prematurity (3%), and others. Ultrasound made it possible to initiate early treatment and control. The wide pillow (including the Frejka abduction pillow) was used in 31.63% of cases, Pavlik harness in 10.87%, a DSS splint in one case, and the Kramer extension/repositioning technique requiring hospitalisation was used in 1.92% of cases. Average age to maturity of dysplastic hips (reaching type I) was 4 months.

Discussion and Conclusions: There are no significant differences between the results obtained in our study and those reported in the literature of other populations on the use of ultrasonographic hip screening using the Graf technique.


C Wang ML Ho G Lee W Hsu CH Yeh GJ Wang

Introduction: Core binding factor 1 (Cbfa1) is one of the most important transcription factors that direct the osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblastic functions. It is likely that the factors controlling Cbfa1 expression would trigger the early steps of osteoblast differentiation.

Materials and Methods: By using reporter gene assay for 4.5 kb Cbfa1 promoter, it was found that the first 320 bp of Cbfa1 promoter are active in D1 cells. Within this region, electromobility shift assays delineated a 6 bp of CACATG bound specifically by the proteins from D1 cell nuclear extract. Antibody super-shift and DNA-coupling magnetic bead pull-down assay indicated that the protein bound to this sequence is USF2. Site-specific mutagenesis revealed that this sequences contributed mainly to the activity of 320 bp Cbfa1 promoter.

Discussion: In conclusion, USF2 is the major regulator for the expression of Cbfa1 gene.


H Winet C Caulkins JY Bao

Introduction: Tissue engineered scaffolds require vascularization to 1) enhance nutrient exchange and 2) provide cells needed to build new tissue. Cell-seeded scaffolds; bioreactors-- require rapid penetration of vessels or enhanced fluid percolation to keep their contents alive until normal nutrient exchange can be established. Bone fluid flow depends on a pumping system which drives percolation through its own matrix. Recent interest in the pumping mechanism has resulted in bone fluid flow models, which link the pumps to bending of bone by muscle contraction and compression-tension cycles from weight-bearing during locomotion. The present authors have proposed that capillary filtration, the source of the percolating fluid, is sufficiently enhanced by soliton pressure waves in blood driven by the muscle pump during exercise to provide a significant hydraulic pressure component to bone fluid percolating through bone and any bone-implanted scaffold. A proposal and some preliminary results from a pilot project suggesting enhancement of capillary filtration by the muscle pump is presented.

Materials and Methods: Optical bone chambers were implanted in adult New Zealand White female rabbits. Chamber construction and implantation were as usual1. At the third week post-op, chamber ends were exposed and weekly intravital microscopy commenced. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation was administered with a ToneATronic® TENS at 85V, 80mA and 2Hz. The stimulator was applied externally over the gastrocnemius muscle. A fluorescence digital image was obtained before 30 minutes of application of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) after injection of FITC-D70. Blood samples were obtained from an aural vein in the ear opposite that being injected with the fluorescent dye after each injection. Blood concentration of dye was determined with a SPEX Fluoromax-3 spectrofluorometer for both serum (absolute concentration) and whole blood (to detect differences which would make fluorescence in vessels an inaccurate indicator of red blood cell color contamination). For analysis, four vessels were chosen and the average dye concentration profiles before and after 30 minutes of stimulation were obtained.

Results: Results are shown in Figure 1. Extravasated dye levels in TENS rabbits were markedly higher than those in controls. Analysis of profiles using an erfc-based diffusion-convection discrimination model2 showed that extravasation was convective.

Discussion: These data are consistent with significant contribution to convective percolation of bone fluid through implanted scaffolds by muscle pump-driven extravasating fluid. They do not, however, answer two critical questions: 1) Is the magnitude of this convection a major component of flow through the scaffold? 2) What are the relative contributions of skeletal muscle-generated intravascular pressure solitons and incompressible fluid transmission of bone bending pressure to the convective flow observed? Additional studies with released gastrocnemius muscles are in progress.


T Masada H Ohashi Y Kaneshiro K Takaoka

Introduction: Based on epidemiological results, steroid (glucocorticoid) hormone is accepted as a major causative agent of osteonecrosis, though its pathomechanism is not elucidated. However, not all patients who receive high doses of steroid develop osteonecrosis. This fact suggests risk factor(s) for steroid-induced osteonecrosis. In order to identify such risk factors, the association of CYP3A6 (a major enzyme metabolizing glucocorticoid in rabbit) level with the incidence and extent of osteonecrosis in a rabbit model was determined.

Materials and Methods: In this rabbit model, the CYP3A6 level was modulated by an inhibitory (Itraconazole, 150mg p.o. twice a day for 3 weeks) or inducing agent (rifampicin, 100mg/kg i.p. in first 3 days). Three weeks after modulation of CYP3A6, steroid-induced osteonecrosis was generated by i.m. injection of methyl-prednisolone (20mg/kg BW). Three weeks later, the animals were sacrificed and bilateral femurs were excised and examined histologically for bone and marrow necrosis.

Results: In control animals without modulation of CYP3A6, focal and/or extensive necrosis was noted in 5 of 7 animals. In Itraconazole-treated animals, all of 5 animals revealed extensive necrosis in femoral bone marrow. In rifampicin- treated animals, incidence of necrosis was similar to that of controls but necrotic foci were significantly smaller than those in controls.

Discussion: These experimental results indicated that low level of steroid-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A6 (CYP3A4 in humans) at the time of steroid treatment might be a risk factor for extension of steroid-induced bone necrosis, and that induction of CYP3A6 might prevent steroid-induced bone necrosis.


JS Chang JH Park HC Shon JH Kim

Introduction: Hyperlipidemia is related to hypercoagulability and hypofibrinolysis, which may cause a tendency to intravascular thrombosis and result in osteonecrosis (ON). Recently PPARs were confirmed to induce adipocyte differentiation, and fatty acids were identified as the transcriptional effectors for PPARs, which may cause the hyperlipidemia and fatty marrow. The aim of this study was to identify whether the adipocytic differentiation was increased in the bone marrow obtained from the femoral head in patients with osteonecrosis.

Materials and Methods: A lipid profile (cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, and free fatty acid) was performed for patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head. The PPARγ2 expression was checked as to whether the mesenchymal stem cells differentiate toward adipocytes rather than osteogenic cells. RT-PCRs were completed using the bone marrow stroma cells obtained during THA from 11 patients with osteonecrosis and 9 control patients. As not all of alcoholics and steroid users develop osteonecrosis, genetic differences may relate to susceptibility to the osteonecrosis. Therefore, we determined the polymorphism of the PPARγ2 gene for 34 osteonecrosis patients and 76 controls.

Results: Among 89 cases of osteonecrosis, increased free fatty acid (above 580mg%) was the most frequent finding (40.8%), and triglyceride was the next (29.6%). Cholesterol was increased in only 9.0%. Seven of the osteonecrosis cases (63.6%) and 4 of the control cases (44.4%) expressed PPARγ2. Pro/Ala (C/G) polymorphism was found in seven (20.6%) ON cases and four control cases (5.3%), and Ala/Ala (G/G) polymorphism was found in only 1 case in the control group. The numbers of patients with elevated triglyceride among osteonecrosis were much higher (71.4%) in polymorphism (C/G) than osteonecrosis (21.5%) without polymorphism.

Discussion: In conclusion, hyperlipidemia and higher expression of the PPARγ2 were found in ON, and Pro/Ala PPARγ2 polymorphism was more common in ON.


JK Chang ML Ho CH Yeh GJ Wang

Introduction: Our previous study found that glucocorticoids shifted the properties of osteogenesis to adipogenesis in murine marrow stem cells. These effects may be one of the important mechanisms in the pathogenesis of osteonecrosis. Statins prevented these steroid effects. In this study, we investigated the effects of dexamethasone and lovastatin on the expressions of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) in the bone marrow stroma cells cultured from osteonecrotic patients.

Materials and Methods: Bone marrow fluid aspiration from iliac crest was performed in osteonecrosis (ON) and non-ON patients after surgical treatment for their hip disorder. The mean age of the patients was 59 years in the ON group and 63 years in the non-ON group. Nucleated stroma cells were isolated from bone marrow fluid by percol separation. The third passage cultures were used for experiments. Drug treatments for cultures included dexamethasone (10−7M), lovastatin (10−6 M), and dexamethasone plus lovastatin for 4 days. BMP-2 mRNA expression was evaluated by RT-PCR. Different responses to drugs between the ON group and the non-ON group were compared.

Results: Bone marrow stroma cells of ON patients were found to be more susceptible to the suppressive effect of dexamethasone on BMP2 expression.

Discussion: Lovastatin stimulated the osteogenesis and reversed the steroid suppressive effect in bone marrow stroma cells in non-ON cases. However, this reverse effect was found to be mild in ON cases.


HJ Kim WS Song JJ Yoo KH Koo YM Kim

Introduction: Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH), a disease of unknown pathogenesis usually involves subchondral bone and shows an improper repair process. The temperature of the subchondral bone of the femoral head was found to increase by a maximum of 2.5 °C in a simulation of walking performed in cadavers. A greater increase in the temperature is expected in the necrotic bone in ONFH because there is no heat dissipation by blood flow. The purpose of this study was to confirm the possibility that hyperthermia is a cause of the poor regeneration of the necrotic bone in ONFH.

Materials and Methods: Necrotic and living bone extracts were prepared from the femoral heads of 4 ONFH patients. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured with endothelial cell growth media-2 (EGM-2), EGM-2 supplemented with necrotic bone extracts, and EGM-2 supplemented with living bone extracts. HUVECs were also cultured at temperatures of 40, 40.5, 41 and 42 °C, while controls were maintained at 37 °C. Viable cell numbers of HUVECs were determined by MTS assay at days 1, 4, 6, 8, and 11.

Results: The number of viable cells decreased in hyperthermic conditions of 40.5 to 42 °C (p< 0.05). The addition of living bone extracts induced a significant increase in the number of viable cells during the culture periods (p< 0.05). Necrotic bone extracts did not induce such a significant increase.

Discussion: Local subchondral hyperthermia might be a possible cause of the poor regeneration of the necrotic area in ONFH.


ML Ho JK Chang CJ Li GJ Wang

Introduction: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been reported to suppress bone repair and remodeling in vivo. Our previous studies showed that NSAIDs inhibited osteoblast proliferation and induced cell death in fetal rat osteoblast cultures. However, the NSAIDs effects on the functions of human osteoblasts remain unclear. Newly developed selective cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors, celecoxib and refecoxib, have been reported to have lower risk of gastrointestinal complications than traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A recent report showed that refecoxib decreased bone ingrowth in an animal study. However, the effects of COX-2 selective inhibitors on human osteoblasts have rarely been investigated. In this study, the effects of steroid, non-selective, and selective COX-2 inhibitors on proliferation, cell cycle kinetics, and cytotoxicity in cultured human osteoblasts were examined.

Materials and Methods: Indomethacin,ketorolac,piroxicam, and diclofenac (10−5 and 10−4M); dexamethasone (10−7 and 10−6M); Celecoxib and DFU, an analogue of rofecoxib, (10−7–10−4M) were tested for 24 or 48 hr in human osteoblast cultures.

Results: In this study, we found that a 24 hour treatment of COX-2 selective inhibitors, celecoxib and DFU, significantly inhibited proliferation, arrested cell cycle, and had cytotoxicity in cultured human osteoblasts. However, the inhibitory effect on proliferation could be reversed if these agents were withdrawn for 24 hours. Indomethacin, ketorolac, diclofenac, and piroxicam also significantly inhibited proliferation and arrested cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase, but had no cytotoxic effects on human osteoblasts.

Discussion: These results suggest that the COX-2 selective and non-selective NSAIDs may affect osteoblastic functions through different mechanisms.


G Motomura T Yamamoto K Miyanishi S Jingushi Y Iwamoto

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of combination treatments with anticoagulant (warfarin) and a lipid-lowering agent (probucol) on the prevention of steroid-associated osteonecrosis (ON) in rabbits.

Materials and Methods: Male adult Japanese white rabbits were intramuscularly injected once with 20mg/kg body weight of methylprednisolone acetate into the right gluteus medius muscle. These rabbits were divided into three groups: a warfarin plus probucol treatment group (WP Group, n=25), a probucol treatment group (PR Group, n=30), and a non-prophylactic treatment group (NP Group, n=20). Two weeks after the cortico-steroid injection, both femora and humeri were histopathologically examined for the presence of ON, and the sizes of bone marrow fat cells were morphologically examined.

Results: The incidence of ON in the WP Group (5%) was significantly lower than that in the NP Group (70%) (p < 0.0001). The incidence of ON in the PR Group (37%) was significantly lower than that in the NP Group (p < 0.05), but it was significantly higher than that in the WP Group (p < 0.01). The mean size of the bone marrow fat cells was significantly smaller in the WP Group (53.5 ± 4.1μm) than that in the NP Group (60.0 ± 4.0μm) (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in the size of bone marrow fat cells between the WP and the PR Groups (52.0 ± 5.0μm).

Discussion: This study experimentally confirmed that anticoagulant plus lipid-lowering agent treatment has a preventative effect on steroid-associated ON in rabbits.


JD Chang

Introduction: The purpose of this study was 1) to evaluate the relationship between osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) and alcohol abuse, 2) to define the patterns of the alcohol intake in the development of ONFH, and 3) to define the risk factors in alcohol induced ONFH.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred and fifty patients (333 hips) with ONFH diagnosed on the basis of histopathologic findings after total hip arthroplasty were analyzed. Among these patients, 169 patients who had a history of alcohol and idiopathic ONFH were selected as the case group. Two controls selected by a review of the orthopedic patient records were matched to each case (338 controls). From each patient and control, a detailed history of alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking, and herb medicine, weight, height, sGOT, sGPT and total cholesterol levels were obtained and analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Generalized Linear Model including Chi-Square test, Fisher’s exact test, ANOVA, and T-test. The adjusted relative odds ratio and 95 percent confidence interval (CI) were obtained using a conditional logistic regression model.

Results and Discussion: The authors could confirm a direct relationship between alcohol abuse and ONFH. The amount of alcohol intake was more significant than the duration of alcohol intake for the risk of the development of ONFH. The risk factors related with the patterns of alcohol consumption in the development of alcohol induced ONFH are as follows: 1) more than 4 times per week of alcohol intake, 2) more than 90 g of alcohol intake at one time, 3) more than 300 g of weekly alcohol intake, 4) more than 6000 drink-years, 5) no side dishes. The other risk factors are smoking, low body mass index, and abnormal liver function tests.


ML Ho JK Chang CH Yeh PY Chang GJ Wang

Introduction: Studies have shown steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) suppress bone remodeling. Previous results have indicated that NSAIDs suppress proliferation and induce cell death in cultured osteoblasts and pluripotent stem cells (D1-cells), suggesting these effects might be one of the mechanisms contributing to their inhibitory effects on bone remodeling in vivo. On the other hand, our previous results indicated that dexamethasone treatment shifts the characteristics of osteogenesis into adipogenesis in D1-cells. However, the influences of NSAID on adipogenesis in pluripotent stem cells have rarely been investigated. In this study, we tested the adipogenesis of D1-cells upon long-term treatment of NSAIDs. NSAID influence on the osteocalcin expressions of D1-cells was also examined.

Materials and Methods: The effects of treatments with indomethacin, ketorolac, diclofenac and piroxicam (10−5 and 10−4 M) for 2, 4 6 or 8 days were evaluated. Lipid droplets in cultures were detected by oil red staining. Adipsin and osteocalcin mRNA expressions were examined by RT-PCR.

Results: In this study, 10−4M of NSAID treatment for 4–8 days induced adipogenesis in D1-cells, while shorter duration and lower concentration did not. Mild adipogenesis also occurred in cultures treated with 10−5M of indomethacin for 6 or 8 days, revealing the strongest effect among the 4 NSAIDs. Piroxicam revealed less effects on adipogenesis in D1-cells. However, despite 2-days of treatment with 10−5M indomethacin, NSAIDs did not affect the expression of osteocalcin either at 10−5–10−4M or during 2–8 days of treatments.

Conclusion: These results suggest that high dose and long term administration of NSAIDs may induce adipogenesis in pluripotent stem cells.


HC Shon JS Chang

Introduction: Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) is a powerful non-invasive technique used to identify and quantify chemical compounds. In a recent study, the early histopathologic findings of osteonecrosis showed marrow edema and hemorrhage, and the late findings were fibrous marrow transformation with new bone formation. The purpose of this study was to apply 1H MRS to the bone marrow of osteonecrosis and bone marrow edema syndrome by measuring the amount of lipid relative to water of the femoral head and greater trochanter.

Materials and Methods: Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging and MR spectroscopy were performed in twenty-five patients (male: female = 17:8, age = 29–69 years) who were diagnosed with osteonecrosis and bone marrow edema syndrome and compared with three normal control patients. Twenty-three cases were osteonecrosis and two were bone marrow edema syndrome. Ficat stages of osteonecrosis in the femoral heads were 1 patient with stage I, 8 patients with stage II, and 14 patients with stage III disease. Osteonecrosis developed in 14 patients with steroid therapy after kidney transplantation, in 6 alcoholics, and 3 were idiopathic. After routine hip MRI, spectroscopy was obtained from T2 weighted images by the 3-dimensional localization technique. Locations of voxels were the center of the osteonecrotic zone verified by T2-weighted MR images and from the fat marrow in the greater trochanter of femur. The values of the [Lipid/Water] ratios were calculated for all patients.

Results: The average Lipid/Water ratio of the osteonecrotic area was 3.15, those of the greater trochanter was 6.45, compared with 10.28 in the normal control group. The MRS pattern for osteonecrosis could be divided into 4 patterns: A, Lipid/Water > 10 ; B, 3 < Lipid/Water ≤ 10; C, 0.3 ≤ Lipid/Water < 3; and D, Lipid/Water ≤ 0.3. The numbers of cases for each pattern were 1 in A, 6 in B, 10 in C, and 6 in D. Interestingly, in one patient with Ficat stage I osteonecrosis diagnosed by only bone scintigraphy, 1H MR spectroscopy revealed a much higher lipid/water peak ratio compared to the normal control group. The average Lipid/Water ratio of the bone marrow edema syndrome patients was 0.71.

Discussion: This study revealed the decreasing pattern of lipid content as osteonecrosis progresses, which correlates with histopathologic results. In bone marrow edema syndrome, a reverse pattern to the normal control group was found. Further study is needed for the change of Lipid/Water ratio in early change of osteonecrosis.


ILH Reichert PD Gatehouse KE Chappell J Holmes T He GM Bydder

Introduction: Normal adult periosteum and cortical and produces no signal with typical bone has a short T2 Magnetic Resonance pulse sequence echo times available in clinical practice. We wished to assess the value of using pulse sequences with a very short echo time to detect signal from periosteum and cortical bone.

Materials and Methods: Ultrashort echo time (UTE) pulse sequences (TE = 0.08 msec) were used with and without preceding fat suppression and/or long T2 component suppression pulses. Later echo images and difference images produced by subtracting these from the first echo image were also obtained. Two volunteers and ten patients were examined, four of whom had contrast enhancement with intravenous Gadodiamide. Two sheep tibiae were also examined before and after stripping of the periosteum. The separated periosteum was also examined.

Results: The periosteum was seen on the sheep tibiae before stripping but there was only a faint signal adjacent to cortical bone afterwards and the removed tissue produced a high signal when examined separately. High signal regions were observed adjacent to cortical bone in the femur, tibia, spine, calcaneus, radius, ulna and carpal bones. Fat suppression and long T2 suppression generally increased the conspicuity of these regions. The high signal regions were more obvious with contrast enhancement. Periosteum could generally be distinguished from susceptibility artifacts on difference images by its high signal on the initial image and its failure to increase in extent with images with increased TE’s. Signal in cortical bone was detected with UTE sequences in normal adults and patients. This signal was usually made more obvious by subtracting a later echo image from the first provided that the SNR was sufficiently high. Normal mean adult T1’s ranged from 140 msec to 260 msec, and mean T2’s ranged from 0.42 to 0.50 msec. Increased signal was observed after contrast enhancement in a normal volunteer and in all three patients in whom it was administered. Changes in signal in short T2 components were seen in acute fractures in cortical bone and after fracture malunion. In a case of osteoporosis, bone volume and signal were reduced. Furthermore, in fractures increased signal was seen in the periosteum and this showed marked enhancement. Three weeks after fracture, tissue with properties consistent with periosteum was seen displaced from the bone by callus.

Discussion: The normal adult periosteum and cortex can be visualized with ultrashort TE sequences. Conspicuity is usually improved by fat suppression and the use of difference images. Use of subtraction images was useful for selectively demonstrating periosteal and cortical contrast enhancement and separating this from enhancement of surrounding blood. Obvious periosteal and cortical enhancement was seen after fractures. This novel MRI sequence images for the first time the soft tissue component of cortical bone and enables visualization of different haemodynamic situations.


M Takao N Sugano T Nishii J Masumoto H Miki Y Sato S Tamura H Yoshikawa

Introduction: There is controversy over whether the lesions of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) will spontaneously decrease. This study reports a longitudinal study of lesion volume using high-resolution serial MRI and recently developed techniques for image registration to realign serial images.

Materials and Methods: Baseline and follow-up (minimum one year later) MRI scans were carried out on 15 patients (18 hips). Accurate subvoxel registration was performed and subtraction images were produced to reveal areas of regional necrotic lesion change. Volume-to-femoral head ratio (VFR) was calculated to normalize the measured volume to the total femoral head volume.

Results: Three of 18 hips showed spontaneous reductions in the size of the lesions. They were all related to steroid use and were within one year after initial steroid treatment The mean volume decrease of these 3 hips was 3.4 ± 2.0 cm3 (SD) and its VFR was 6.8 ± 3.1 % (SD). Mean necrotic lesion volumes at baseline of decreasing lesions and unchanged lesions were 4.6 ± 2.5 cm3 (VFR, 9.1 ± 3.9 %) and 7.5 ± 5.5 cm3 (VFR, 16.7 ± 12.4 %), respectively.

There was no statistically significant difference in baseline lesion volume between decreasing lesions and unchanged lesions.

Discussion: In conclusion, some early lesions within one year after onset can decrease in size on MRI, regardless their size at baseline.


T Sakai K Ohzono SB Lee N Sugano T Nishii H Miki M Takao T Koyama D Morimoto H Yoshikawa

Introduction: In order to investigate the relationship between the degeneration of the acetabular cartilage and the radiological staging of osteonecrosis of the femoral head, the following study was performed.

Materials and Methods: Acetabular cartilage with sub-chondral bone was taken from the superior dome from 34 hips from 30 patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty due to osteonecrosis of the femoral head. The specimens were stained with hematoxylineosin and safranin-O, and were evaluated as to the thinning of cartilage, fibrillation, clefts, and proliferation of chondrocytes. There were 18 females and 12 males with an average age of 49 years. We used the radiological staging system proposed by the working group of the Specific Disease Investigation Committee under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. There were eight hips in stage IIIA disease (collapse of the femoral head less than 3 mm), 19 hips in stage IIIB disease (collapse 3 mm or greater), and seven stage IV disease hips.

Results: All 34 specimens showed histological abnormalities. In eight stage IIIA hips, six hips were mild and two were moderate histological degeneration. In 19 stage IIIB hips, five hips were mild, six were moderate, and eight had severe arthrosis. Seven stage IV hips had severe arthrosis.

Discussion: Although the radiographs cannot demonstrate early degeneration of cartilage, degenerative changes were present in all stage III hips. Histological degenerative changes in stage IIIB hips were more severe than those in stage IIIA hips. These findings should be kept in mind in treating patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head.


Young-Hoo Kim JS Kim

Introduction: A potential cause of premature loosening of the total hip prosthesis in patients with osteonecrosis is abnormal cancellous bone in the acetabulum and proximal femur. The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the hypothesis that osteonecrosis is not confined to the femoral head but may extend proximally into acetabulum and distally into the proximal femoral bone. Also, the clinical and radiographic results of total hip arthroplasty with so-called third-generation cementless total hip prostheses were evaluated in sixty-three consecutive patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-five patients who had simultaneous bilateral total hip arthroplasty, and thirty-eight patients who had a unilateral total hip arthroplasty were included in the study. A cementless acetabular and femoral component were used in all hips. There were fifty-five men and eight women. The mean age at the time of the arthroplasty was 47 years (range, twenty-five to sixty-four years). We performed histological examination of the femoral heads and cancellous bone biopsies from five regions of the hip in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty. Clinical and radiographic evaluations were performed preoperatively; at six weeks; at three, six, and twelve months; and yearly thereafter. The average duration of follow-up was 4.9 years.

Results: The majority of patients with idiopathic or alcohol induced osteonecrosis had normal bone in the acetabulum and proximal femur. The average Harris hip scores in the group treated with unilateral arthroplasty (96 points) and the group treated with bilateral arthroplasty (94 points) were similar at the time of final follow-up. No component had aseptic loosening. In one hip (1%), an acetabular component and a femoral component were revised because of infection. No hip had detectable wear or osteolysis in the acetabulum or in the proximal femur.

Conclusions: Normal or nearly normal cancellous bone in the acetabulum and proximal femur and advancements in surgical technique and better designs have greatly improved the intermediate-term survival of cementless total hip implants in young patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head. An absence of osteolysis in these high-risk young patients is partly related to use of ceramic-on-ceramic bearing; solid fixation of the component; and short-term follow-up.


YY Won MH Beak WQ Cui HS Kim

Introduction: Avascular necrosis (AVN) of bone is a process that is characterized pathologically by bone marrow ischemia and eventual death of trabecular bone. Following the development of the disease with the remodeling process, the microstructure and corresponding mechanical properties of the trabecular bone changes in different regions with different intensities. Eventually, the lesion leads to collapse of the femoral head and destruction of the hip joint. The most striking finding is the direct relationship between mechanical stress and the progressive collapse of the necrotic region. This study investigated the differences in the mechanical properties from the trabecular bone of the different regions in AVN of the femoral head using microfinite element models.

Materials and Methods: A 20mm cylindrical core sample was obtained from the necrotic zone of the human femoral head with pre-collapse disease throughout the overall head under the fluoroscope and then was scanned using Micro-CT. Region of interest (ROI) was determined in the necrotic, the reactive, and the sub-reactive zone respectively, which were created with the hexahedron mesh model; finite element analysis was performed.

Results: The histomorphology and FE-analysis of three zones revealed that the parameters of Tb. Th, BV/TV, reaction force, ultimated stress, and elastic modulus increase obviously in the reactive zone.

Discussion: The authors conclude that obvious increases of the parameters and the stress concentration in the reactive zone are due to the adaptive remodeling of trabeculae in the boundary zone between the necrotic and the normal zone.


I Thongtrangan A Laorr KJ Saleh EY Cheng

Introduction: Whether or not to surgically treat osteonecrosis of femoral head (ONFH) when patients are asymptomatic is controversial. The goal of this study was to determine: 1) if spontaneous resolution of ONFH does occur, 2) how long does it take for resolution to occur, and 3) if there are predictors of spontaneous resolution.

Materials and Methods: For this prospective study, patients with asymptomatic ONFH were identified from two National Institute of Health funded, Institutional Review Board approved screening studies. A prospective screening study for ONFH after organ transplantation was begun in 1997 by performing routine MRI examinations after transplantation. In a second prospective study on surgical treatment for symptomatic ONFH, the contralateral hip was screened for asymptomatic disease. A cohort of patients having hips with asymptomatic ONFH was then analyzed.

Results: As of December 2000, 13 asymptomatic hips in 10 patients were identified from the prospective screening study after organ transplantation and 17 hips in 17 patients were identified from the contralateral hip screening study. There were 3 hips with ARCO stage I disease showing evidence of spontaneous resolution. The modified index of necrotic extent measured 11.10, 12.72, and 20.83, with the estimated femoral head involvement being 15–30% in 2 of the hips and less than 15% in the third. Resolution on MRI was complete in 2 of the 3 hips, and nearly complete in the third.

Discussion: Spontaneous resolution of ONFH does occur. Factors associated with resolution are early, asymptomatic disease (ARCO stage I), small lesion size (modified index of necrotic extent < 25), and the absence of symptomatic disease in the contralateral hip. Initial signs of resolution may take up to one year to occur. For patients fitting these criteria, we recommend withholding surgery and monitoring hips with serial MRI observation to monitor the course of their disease.


HJ Kim WS Song JJ Yoo KH Koo YM Kim

Introduction: Some patients with collapsed osteonecrosis of the femoral head do not need any specific treatment because of mild symptoms or disability. The general features of this patient population were evaluated.

Materials and Methods: Forty-five cases of collapsed osteonecrosis of the femoral head in 38 patients were included in this study. These patients visited outpatient clinics for the first time from January 1996 to December 2002. In all cases, pain developed at least 3 years before the last follow-up, but no specific treatment was necessary. There were 27 men and 11 women. The mean age at the onset of pain was 41 years (range, 17 to 72 years). The duration from the onset of pain to the last follow-up was 36 to 167 months (mean, 73 months). The general and radiological features were evaluated.

Results: Risk factors included steroid therapy in 18, alcoholism in 16, other in 1 case; 10 cases had no risk factors (idiopathic). In 29 patients, both femoral heads were involved. Extent of the necrosis was 37 to 89 percent (mean, 62 percent). The amount of depression was 0.5 to 17 mm (mean, 2.2 mm).

Discussion: Steroid therapy was the most frequent risk factor in this patient population. In most cases, the amount of depression was less than 3 mm. Most patients remembered that the pain was most severe at its onset and improved over the next several months.


S Tamaoki T Atsumi Y Hiranuma T Kajiwara Y Asakura J Suzuki

Introduction: The progression of the collapse is influenced by the extent and location of the necrotic focus of the necrotic femoral head. The authors studied the extent of the necrotic focus on the joint surface by conventional antero-posterior radiographs in neutral position, and antero-posterior radiographs at the 45 degrees flexion position. The differences of the lesions in these two types of radiographs were analyzed.

Materials and Methods: The conventional antero-posterior radiographs of the neutral position, and the antero-posterior radiographs at the 45 degrees flexion positions in 115 hip joints of 86 patients with non-traumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head were obtained for this study. These 115 hips showed extensive lesions and could be divided into two groups: Type C-1 or C-2 by classification of the Specific Disease Investigation Committee under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Health Labor and Welf