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December 2008 Briefing - Orthopedics

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

Conditioning Program Benefits Lumbar Surgery Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo lumbar fusion and who are managed by workers' compensation, a sports performance-based work conditioning/hardening program can significantly increase strength determined by physical demand level job classification, according to research published in the January issue of The Spine Journal.

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Posterior Fusion Linked to Increased Complications

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diffuse cervical spondylosis, posterior fusion is associated with a significantly higher rate of complications and resource utilization than anterior fusion, according to a report published in the January issue of The Spine Journal.

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Added Measurement Improves Carpel Tunnel Diagnosis

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Accuracy of diagnosis of carpel tunnel syndrome is improved by calculating the difference between the carpel tunnel cross-sectional area and the proximal cross-sectional area, instead of just the carpel tunnel cross-sectional area alone, according to research published in the January issue of Radiology.

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Recurrence of Non-Specific Low Back Pain Not Likely

FRIDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- About one in four patients will have a recurrence of low back pain within one year following an acute episode, a much lower incidence than previously estimated, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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Non-Surgical Treatment of Some Spine Fractures Effective

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Most elderly patients with cervical spine fractures can be effectively treated non-operatively in cervical collars or halothoracic braces, according to a report in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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Odontoid Fractures Linked to Morbidity in Elderly

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of whether they're treated surgically or non-surgically, type II odontoid fractures in the elderly are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Surgery Can Improve Lumbar Nerve Root Injuries

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Techniques for repairing intradural nerve root injuries of the brachial plexus can be used on these injuries in the lumbar spine, according to a report in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Thromboembolic Prophylaxis Practices Vary by Surgeon

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Spinal surgeons vary widely in their practices for thromboembolic prophylaxis after high-risk surgery and often base their decisions on personal experience over scientific evidence, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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Imaging Tool Useful in Lumbar Stenosis

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance myelography (MRM) appears to be a useful way of improving the accuracy of MRI in assessing multiple lumbar stenosis, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Structured Warm-Up Before Exercise Prevents Injuries

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A structured warm-up routine can significantly reduce the risk of sport-related injury in young female soccer players, according to research published online Dec. 9 in BMJ.

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Radiographs Predict Spondylolisthesis Outcomes

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis, baseline radiographic findings may predict outcomes after operative or non-operative treatment, according to a report published in the December issue of Spine.

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Tranexamic Acid Reduces Blood Loss During Spinal Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Tranexamic acid is more effective than placebo in reducing blood loss and the need for transfusions during spinal surgery, and is also relatively inexpensive, researchers report in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Surgical Instrument Breakage Rare in Two-Year Review

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of orthopaedic instrument breakage over a two-year period in two hospitals was very low, and didn't pose a threat to patients, according to study results published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Lesion Size Points to Healing Outcome in Bone Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Lesion size in stable juvenile osteochondritis dissecans of the knee is a predictor of whether or not the lesion will heal with non-operative treatment, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Return to Driving Can Be Difficult Call for Doctors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many orthopaedic surgeons may lack a consistent return-to-driving policy for patients following musculoskeletal injury or surgery, and many patients may not consult with their doctors before resuming driving, according to an article in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Grape Component Could Help Alleviate Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A compound found in plants such as grapes can protect intervertebral disc cartilage and reverse cartilage damage, which may have implications for treating disc damage responsible for back pain, according to research published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Surgery Improves Quality of Life in Some Spine Diagnoses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to other types of elective orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery for spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and instability is associated with significantly greater improvements in health-related quality of life, researchers report in the December issue of Spine.

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Age, Pathology Affect Natural History of Disc Degeneration

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- New understandings in the natural history of age-related disc degeneration may be relevant to proposed strategies for replenishing disc cells, according to research published in the December issue of Spine.

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Adverse Events After Chiropractic Care Often Short-Term

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Benign adverse events following chiropractic care are associated with an increased risk of experiencing a worse short-term outcome, a correlation not observed in outcomes at three months, according to study findings published in the December issue of Spine.

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Gender May Affect Stem Cell Ability to Repair Cartilage

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) from male mice are more effective than those from female mice in their ability to differentiate into cartilage and repair damaged tissue, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Surgery Added No Benefit for Knee Ligament Injury

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with anterior cruciate ligament injury, there is no difference in muscle strength and functional performance after two to five years between those treated with training and reconstructive surgery and those treated with training alone, according to an article published in the Dec. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Physician's Briefing
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