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August 2008 Briefing - Orthopedics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Orthopedics for August 2008. 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.

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Bunion Patients Brake Faster Six Weeks After Surgery

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Six weeks after undergoing a unilateral first metatarsal osteotomy for bunion correction, patients showed similar emergency braking times as healthy individuals, suggesting that these patients can resume driving at six weeks, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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New Pain Guidelines Released

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has released new medical treatment guidelines for the care of workers with chronic pain syndromes, representing the latest chapter in Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, available online. A print version of the guidelines will be available in September.

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Orthopedic Surgery Can Help Stroke Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Although the first six months after a stroke should be devoted to allowing for a period of spontaneous recovery, orthopedic surgery then has a role to play in reducing deformity and improving range-of-motion in affected limbs, according to a report published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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Protein Leads to Defects in Bone Formation in Mice

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Mice overproducing connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a protein critical for skeletal development, have impaired bone formation and develop osteopenia, researchers report in the September issue of Endocrinology.

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Expenses Rising for Medicare Patients with Arthritis

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Out-of-pocket medical expenditures for Medicare-age patients with arthritis have risen sharply since 1998, and are likely to continue rising despite Medicare Part D drug coverage, according to a report published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Lumbar, Cervical X-Ray Radiation Exposure Studied

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo routine anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the lumbar spine are exposed to radiation doses that are a magnitude of order greater than patients who undergo comparable radiographs of the cervical spine, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Ramosetron Can Help Control Postsurgical Nausea

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Ramosetron may be superior to ondansetron in controlling the vomiting and nausea associated with opioid analgesia following surgery, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Effects of Rest Studied in Porcine Intervertebral Discs

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Twelve hours of rest is sufficient for an intervertebral disc to largely recover its dynamic properties following fatigue loading, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Case Reports on Twins May Shed Light on Scoliosis

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis seems to be multifactorial and the role of physical activity remains controversial, according to an article published in the August issue of Spine.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Zoledronic Acid May Protect Bones During Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Zoledronic acid is associated with preserved bone health in premenopausal women treated for breast cancer, according to the results of two studies, one published online Aug. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and another published online Aug. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Behavioral Counseling Technique Reduces Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching patients with chronic or recurrent back pain to improve their posture and neuromuscular coordination significantly reduces pain, in some cases without exercise, according to research published online Aug. 19 in BMJ.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Serum Vitamin D Status Linked to Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, low serum 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations are associated with a significantly higher risk for hip fracture, researchers report in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Dairy Intake Predicts Adolescent Bone Health

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Children with greater intakes of dairy products are likely to enjoy superior bone health in adolescence, according to a report published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Joint Pain Factors Identified in Postmenopausal Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole, joint pain in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer is associated with factors such as previous hormone replacement therapy, obesity, hormone receptor positivity and previous chemotherapy, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 13 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Soft Floor Covering May Prevent Spinal Fractures

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Using foam padding on floors may reduce the impact of falls enough to significantly reduce the risk of vertebral fractures in the elderly, researchers report in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Gene Therapy May Assist in Disc Regeneration

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy holds promise in treating intervertebral disc degeneration, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Chronic Widespread Pain Common in Spinal Disorders

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with disabling work-related spinal disorders met the criteria for the primary symptom of fibromyalgia, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Studies Needed for Minimally Invasive Decompression

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although direct decompression with minimally invasive surgery is widely used to treat lumbar disc herniation and lumbar stenosis, there is a lack of evidence to compare its effectiveness and possible superiority with traditional decompression, according to an article published in the August issue of Neurosurgical Focus.

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Age May Not Be Barrier for Total Hip Resurfacing

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although national registries suggest that older patients who undergo metal-on-metal total hip resurfacing arthroplasty may have an increased risk of femoral neck fracture, the success rate of the procedure is similar for both older and younger patients, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing Growing More Popular

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Since its introduction a decade ago, metal-on-metal hip resurfacing has become increasingly popular because it may conserve femoral bone, increase functional ability and be easier to revise than other procedures, according to an article published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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No Incentive Seen for Avoiding Isolated Decompression

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to some reports, there is not an undue financial incentive for spine surgeons to recommend a combined decompression and instrumented fusion procedure instead of an isolated decompression in patients with symptomatic lumbar degeneration, according to a report published in the August issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Radiographs Unnecessary After Neurosurgical Procedure

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo single-level anterior cervical discectomy, fusion and plate placement (ACDFP), the routine administration of postoperative radiographs may be unnecessary because pseudarthrosis and construct failure rarely occur and patients with new symptoms are as likely to have either normal or abnormal radiographic findings, according to a report published in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Percutaneous Vertebroplasty Fracture Risks Uncovered

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of subsequent fractures after percutaneous vertebroplasty can be divided into two types, each with their own predictive risk factors, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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