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April 2006 Briefing - Orthopedics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Orthopedics for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Sudden Cardiac Death Main Cause of Firefighter Fatalities

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of fatalities for volunteer and career firefighters, and the second-leading cause is traumatic injury due to motor vehicle accidents, according to a report in the April 28 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Cause Found for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have discovered the genetic mutation that causes fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a rare and severely disabling autosomal dominant disorder characterized by episodic and progressive bone formation, according to a study published online April 23 in Nature Genetics.

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Low Compliance Hinders Calcium Therapy in Elderly

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Calcium supplements are not very effective for preventing bone fractures in elderly women, largely due to poor compliance, according to a report in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Weight Loss, Exercise Cut Frailty in Older Obese Adults

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate weight loss and exercise training improve fitness and reduce frailty in older obese adults, and should be standard therapy for such patients, according to a report in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Blocking Enzyme Curbs Spinal Cord Secondary Injury

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The free radical-generating family of enzymes known as phospholipase A2 (PLA2) play a key role in cell destruction that occurs after spinal cord injury and blocking their action may represent a novel repair strategy, according to a study in rats published in the April issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Antibody Detects, Predicts Rheumatoid Arthritis Outcome

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A second generation anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP2) antibody test is useful for early detection of rheumatoid arthritis and may predict radiographic and functional outcomes, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology.

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Collagen Changes Detected in Carpal Tunnel Tissue

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome have ultrastructural changes in their subsynovial collagen that may explain some of the pathological fibrotic changes associated with this disease, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Forearm Support Decreases Neck and Shoulder Work Woes

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A device that supports the forearm, when used in combination with ergonomic training, can significantly decrease neck and shoulder disorders in computer workers, according to a study published in the May issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Large Acromion Extension Linked to Rotator Cuff Tears

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A large lateral extension of the acromion is associated with full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Raloxifene Equals Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer Prevention

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Raloxifene is equal to tamoxifen at preventing invasive breast cancer and may offer some advantages over tamoxifen, including a lower risk of uterine cancer and blood clots, according to preliminary results of the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) trial released this week by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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U.S. Injuries Cost $80 Billion in Medical Bills A Year

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Physical injuries that are often preventable cost Americans about $80 billion a year in medical bills alone, according to an analysis of 2000 data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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CDC Reports U.S. Death Rate Has Fallen to Record Low

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The United States death rate has fallen to a record low, life expectancy is increasing and the life expectancy gender gap is narrowing, according to a summary report, issued April 19 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Lawnmower Injuries More Common in Teens, Elderly

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- People aged 60 to 69 are the most likely to be injured in a lawnmower accident, followed by adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, according to a study published online in April in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. There was a trend towards increased lawnmower injuries in the United States between 1996 and 2004, suggesting more should be done to prevent such injuries, the report indicates.

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Cancer Patients Have More Physical Limitations with Aging

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients experience a higher number of functional limitations as they age than those who have never been diagnosed with cancer, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Health care interventions are needed to help cancer patients regain or maintain physical activity as they age, the authors indicate.

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Foot Orthoses Help Foot Pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Foot orthoses may be useful in managing pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology. About 90 percent of such patients experience foot pain.

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Prior Pain, Function Predict Outcome for Hip Arthroplasty

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing revision hip arthroplasty who have less self-reported pain and better function scores than other patients before surgery tend to have better long-term postoperative outcomes, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Women May Feel Shut Out of Male 'Surgery Club'

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- While both men and women entering medicine may forgo a career in surgery because of perceptions about the lifestyle and workload, women are specifically deterred because of the perception that surgical culture is male-oriented, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Surgery.

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Study Finds Wrong-Site Surgery Is Rare

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of over 2.8 million surgeries at institutions in the United States finds that while wrong-site surgery is unacceptable, it is "exceedingly rare" and major injury from it is even rarer. The results are published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Fewer Post-Op Infections with Good Glycemic Control

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic patients who have good blood sugar control are less likely to have infections or other complications after non-cardiac surgical procedures, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Surgery.

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Homocysteine Not Tied to Peripheral Arterial Disease

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) --The apparent association between homocysteine and peripheral arterial disease can be explained by confounding factors such as smoking, lead and cadmium exposure, and renal function, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Twin Study Suggests Genetic Link to Fall Risk in Elderly

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors may play a role in whether or not older women are susceptible to falls, according to a study in twins published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Prescription Drug Prices Rose at Twice Inflation in 2005

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Average prices of brand-name prescription drugs used most often by older Americans rose at about twice the rate of inflation in 2005 compared with the previous year, while generic drug prices remained relatively constant, according to a report published online April 10 by the AARP.

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Tendon-Like Tissue Grown from Mesenchymal Stem Cells

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists in Israel and Germany have discovered a novel mechanism by which the signaling molecule Smad8 and another protein, BMP2, can be used to grow tendon-like cells from mesenchymal stem cells, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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U.S. Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity Rises Again

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The number of obese and overweight children and teens continues to rise, as does the number of obese men, according to data collected between 1999 and 2004 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and published in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. One in every three adults in the United States is now obese, although there was no increase in obesity in women in the six-year period.

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Factors Predict Osteoarthritis-Related Mobility Problems

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with lower extremity osteoarthritis are at risk of developing difficulties performing daily activities, however two potentially modifiable risk factors, high weight and lower knee extensor strength, contribute to the risk, according to a study in the April 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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