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Journal: Journal of orthopaedics and traumatology : official journal of the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology


Bony defects in the spine are divided into three main types: spondylolysis, pediculolysis, and laminolysis. Lumbar spondylolysis is a well-known stress fracture that occurs frequently in adolescent athletes. Pediculolysis means stress fracture of the pedicle, which sometimes occurs subsequent to unilateral spondylolysis. Laminolysis is a rarely reported stress fracture similar to spondylolysis and pediculolysis that sometimes causes low back pain (LBP). However, its pathomechanism has not been elucidated. Recently, we encountered four adolescent athletes with symptomatic laminolysis. Mean age was 15.8 (range 15-17) years. All subjects reported severe LBP exacerbated by extension of the lumbar spine, and radiology revealed two types of laminolysis: hemilaminar type and intralaminar type. To elucidate the mechanisms of each type, we reviewed a biomechanical study, and found that the hemilaminar type was thought to be subsequent to contralateral spondylolysis, while the intralaminar type might be a result of a stress fracture due to repetitive extension loading.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Back pain, Lumbar vertebrae, Acupuncture, Massage, Spondylolysis


Among 101 feet that presented with symptoms and signs similar to Morton’s neuroma, intermetatarsal rheumatoid nodules were found in five feet (three patients). Two patients had bilateral involvement. Histology of the excised tissue showed the presence of a rheumatoid nodule and Morton’s neuroma in four feet and a rheumatoid nodule with unremarkable nerve bundles in one. A rheumatoid nodule can coexist with Morton’s neuroma, as seen in our patients, and the presentation is often similar to that of a Morton’s neuroma. Our patients were rendered asymptomatic with surgical treatment and went on to have appropriate management of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid nodule should be considered in the differential diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma in not only rheumatoid arthritis patients but also asymptomatic patients who have never been tested for rheumatoid antibodies.

Concepts: Medical terms, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Histopathology, Greek loanwords, Arthritis, Morton's neuroma, Rheumatoid nodule


With the increase of superspecialisation, there has been a recent trend for a rising number of operations for both trauma and orthopaedic ailments. This flies against the results of properly planned, well performed, adequately powered, with clinically relevant outcome measures and long enough follow-up level I studies which challenge the received wisdom that surgery is actually superior to conservative management or even supervised neglect. This editorial outlines some of these issues, and suggests that orthopaedic and trauma surgeons should actually think twice before operating on anything that comes our way.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, American College of Surgeons


The natural course of shoulder instability is still not entirely clear. We aimed in this review to analyse the current scientific evidence of the natural history of shoulder instability.

Concepts: Natural environment, Science, Nature, History of science, Natural science, Natural philosophy, Natural history, Big History


Clinical outcomes between the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), autologous blood (AB) and corticosteroid (CS) injection in lateral epicondylitis are still controversial.

Concepts: Blood, Systematic review, Meta-analysis, Tennis elbow


BACKGROUND: Flexor tendon rupture is a rare but major complication associated with volar plate fixation of distal radius fractures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a systematic review to evaluate the demographics, clinical profile, treatment and outcome of flexor tendon rupture following volar plate fixation of distal radius fracture. Electronic searches of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases for systematic reviews and conference proceedings were performed. Studies were included if they reported flexor tendon rupture (partial or complete) as a complication of distal radius fracture plating (all levels of evidence). RESULT: Our search yielded 21 studies. There were 12 case reports and 9 clinical studies. A total of 47 cases were reported. There were 11 males and 23 females (n = 16 studies). The mean age was 61 years old (range 30-85). The median interval between the surgery and flexor tendon rupture was 9 months (interquartile range, 6-26 months). Twenty-nine plates were locking and 15 were nonlocking (n = 20 studies). FPL was the most commonly ruptured tendon (n = 27 cases, 57 %), with FDP to index finger being the second most common (n = 7 cases, 15 %). Palmaris longus tendon graft and primary end-to-end repair were the most common surgical methods used in cases of FPL tendon rupture. CONCLUSION: Flexor tendon rupture is a recognised complication of volar plating of distal radius fracture. Positioning of the plate proximal to the “watershed” line and early removal of the plate in cases with plate prominence or warning symptoms can reduce the risk of this complication.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Fracture, Academic publishing, Wrist, Distal radius fracture, Bone fractures


BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) is commonly used to demonstrate injury to the labrum and hyaline cartilage in patients with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic correlation between MRA and findings at arthroscopic and open surgery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MRA reports of 41 hips with symptomatic FAI were reviewed and compared with subsequent intraoperative findings (n = 21 surgical dislocations and n = 20 therapeutic hip arthroscopies). Each case was assessed for the presence of a cam deformity, a cartilage lesion of the femoral head, an os acetabuli, an injury to the labrum and injury to the acetabular cartilage. Results were collected prospectively in a cross-table and analysed retrospectively for sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV). RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV in the presence of reported cam-type deformity or an os acetabuli were 100 %. In the presence of cartilage lesions of the femoral head, the values were 46, 81, 55 and 73 %, respectively. For labral tears, the values were 91, 86, 97 and 67 %. In the presence of acetabular cartilage injuries, the values were 69, 88, 78 and 81 %, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: MRA appears to be an efficacious imaging modality in the evaluation of labral tears, cam-type impingement lesions and os acetabuli of the hip. MRA is less efficacious in the diagnosis of cartilage abnormalities in the hip, both femoral and acetabular. Researchers should focus on further improvements in imaging techniques in order to give reliable preoperative information to the surgeon.

Concepts: Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Surgery, Sensitivity and specificity, Assessment, Injury, Sartorius muscle, Binary classification


Metastases are the most common malignancies involving bone; breast, prostate, lung and thyroid are the main sites of primary cancer. However, up to 30 % of patients present with bone metastases of unknown origin, where the site of the primary neoplasm cannot be identified at the time of diagnosis despite a thorough history, physical examination, appropriate laboratory testing and modern imaging technology (CT, MRI, PET). Sometimes only extensive histopathological investigations on bone specimens from biopsy can suggest the primary malignancy. At other times, a bone lesion can have such a highly undifferentiated histological appearance that a precise pathological classification on routine hematoxylin-eosin-stained section is not possible. The authors reviewed the relevant literature in an attempt to investigate the epidemiology of the histological primaries finally identified in patients with bone metastases from occult cancer, and a strategy of management and treatment of bone metastases from occult carcinomas is suggested. Lung, liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract are common sites for primary occult tumors. Adenocarcinoma is the main histological type, accounting for 70 % of all cases, while undifferentiated cancer accounts for 20 %. Over the past 30 years, lung cancer is the main causative occult primary for bone metastases and has a poor prognosis with an average survival of 4-8 months. Most relevant literature focuses on the need for standardized diagnostic workup, as surgery for bone lesions should be aggressive only when they are solitary and/or the occult primaries have a good prognosis; in these cases, identification of the primary tumor may be important and warrants special diagnostic efforts. However, in most cases, the primary site remains unknown, even after autopsy. Thus, orthopedic surgery has a mainly palliative role in preventing or stabilizing pathological fractures, relieving pain and facilitating the care of the patient in an attempt to provide the most appropriate therapy for the primary tumor as soon as possible.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lung cancer, Pathology, Anatomical pathology, Neoplasm, Carcinoma


BACKGROUND: This prospective study was created to evaluate the reliability of a new clinical test, which we termed the “loss of extension test” (LOE test). The LOE test investigates the loss of normal maximum passive extension (MPE) of the knee due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear in comparison to the normal MPE of the healthy knee. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was divided into two consecutive parts. Part 1 was designed to assess the side-to-side difference in normal MPE in a healthy population. In part 1, 100 healthy adults were enrolled. Part 2 was designed to evaluate the LOE test reliability in injured knees. In part 2, we included 196 selected patients. RESULTS: In part 1, the average side-to-side difference in MPE in the healthy population was not statistically significant. In part 2, the overall average side-to-side difference in MPE of the injured group was 10.1 mm ± 14.1 (min -20; max 60), which was not statistically significant (p = 0.52). An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear was found in 121 knees among 196 patients. The average side-to-side difference in MPE in the ACL-insufficient group was 16.9 mm ± 13.4 (min -20; max 60), which was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The accuracy of the loss of extension test was 83.7 %, its specificity was 93.3 %, its sensitivity was 77.7 %, its positive predictive value was 95 %, and its negative predictive value was 72.2 %. CONCLUSIONS: The reliability of the LOE test is comparable to those reported in the literature for the Lachman test and dynamic tests, so the LOE test could represent a useful tool for the diagnosis of the anterior cruciate ligament insufficient knee.

Concepts: Statistics, Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Sensitivity and specificity, Knee, Anterior cruciate ligament, Cruciate ligament, Lachman test


BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to compare the pain levels resulting from the use of a silicone ring tourniquet (SRT) to those resulting from the use of a classic pneumatic cuff tourniquet (PT) in patients undergoing carpal tunnel release under local anesthesia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty patients that underwent carpal tunnel release under local anesthesia were randomized using the technique of stratified randomization by minimization. A forearm tourniquet was applied: a standard PT was used in 25 patients, and an SRT was used in the other 25 patients (the model of SRT used was selected according to the standard systolic blood pressure). Patient demographics and complications were recorded. Pain levels were assessed with the visual analogue scale and were recorded (a) just after tourniquet application, (b) 5 min after tourniquet application, and © just before tourniquet removal. RESULTS: There was no statistical significant difference in patient demographics between the two groups. The mean tourniquet time was similar for both groups (p = 1.000). The difference between the mean final pain level and the mean initial pain level was statistically significant for the SRT group (p = 0.010) and highly statistically significant for the PT group (p < 0.001). The mean final pain level for the PT group was higher than that for the SRT group (p = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS: According to the findings of this study, in patients who underwent carpal tunnel release under local anesthesia, the pain levels at the end of the operation and those just before the removal of the tourniquet were higher in the PT group than in the SRT group of patients.

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Patient, Blood pressure, Statistical significance, Local anesthesia, Ronald Fisher, Carpal tunnel syndrome