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December 2007 Briefing - Orthopedics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Orthopedics for December 2007. 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.

Toremifene May Protect Bones During Cancer Treatment

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Toremifene, a second-generation selective estrogen receptor modulator, increased bone mineral density in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, suggesting that the drug may decrease fracture risk in this population, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Urology.

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COL4A1 Mutations Implicated in Proposed New Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the COL4A1 gene may be the cause of a proposed new syndrome: hereditary angiopathy with nephropathy, aneurysms and muscle cramps (HANAC), according to research published in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vertebral Fractures Predict Additional Fractures in Women

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Women with pre-existing vertebral fractures have a high risk of developing new vertebral fractures over the next 15 years, particularly if they have osteoporosis diagnosed by low bone mineral density, researchers report in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lumbar Lordosis Aids Balance in Pregnant Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women cope with the significant weight gain associated with pregnancy by adjusting the degree of lumbar lordosis, and the additional shearing forces this generates are mitigated by incorporating three vertebrae in the process of dorsal wedging, rather than the two that are used by men, according to a letter published in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.

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Technique Stabilizes Vertebra in Patients with C2 Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Transoral kyphoplasty, a technique involving injection of bone cement into a balloon-created space within a vertebral body, is safe and effective in restoring mobility and reducing pain in patients with tumors affecting the second cervical vertebra (C2), according to an article published in the November-December issue of the Spine Journal.

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High Mortality Follows Periprosthetic Femur Fractures

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients face a high risk of mortality in the year after surgery for a periprosthetic femoral fracture -- similar to the risk following treatment for a hip fracture, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Progression of Ossification Common After Spinal Fusion

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients treated with anterior cervical arthrodesis with plates, those developing degenerative changes in adjacent discs within one year after surgery have a high likelihood of progressing to advanced ossification by two years, reports a study published in the November-December issue of the Spine Journal.

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Steroids for Trigger Finger Less Effective in Diabetics

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Corticosteroid injections for trigger finger are not as effective in diabetics as in non-diabetics, and in fact, among diabetic patients, they may be no better than placebo, according to the results of a small study published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Surgeon Preferences in Scoliosis Treatment Explored

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic surgeons report greater satisfaction with Universal Spine System implants for surgical correction of scoliosis, despite the fact that patient outcomes do not differ between that system and the Moss Miami system, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Workers May Too Often Attribute Arm Pain to Their Job

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- People who report having arm pain are likely to overestimate the degree to which that pain is work-related, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 4 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Computer Tool Improves Spine X-Ray Interpretation

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Standard techniques for interpreting flexion-extension X-rays of the spine may be unreliable in characterizing spine stability, but use of computer-assisted methods dramatically improves agreement among physicians reading these X-rays, according to a report published in the Spine Journal in December.

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Head & Neck Movements of Whiplash Patients Studied

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with whiplash-associated disorders demonstrate normal control of head and neck movements, but they take more time to reach peak force during movements compared to controls, researchers report in the November/December issue of the Spine Journal.

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