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June 2006 Briefing - Orthopedics

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

Disability Prevalent in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

FRIDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis are unable to perform valued life activities (VLA), and their disability is more pronounced in committed and discretionary activities than in obligatory activities, according to a study in the June issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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New Tool Tracks Infant Brain Development, Disturbances

FRIDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new tool combining diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging -- which shows diffusion of water molecules -- with fiber tracking to construct a 3-D image of the brain's white matter, can track brain development and disturbances in infants, according to a study in the July issue of Radiology.

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Viagra Helps Cyclists' Exercise Performance at High Altitude

TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Sildenafil (Viagra) may improve exercise performance in men cycling at conditions similar to those found at high altitudes, but does not affect performance at sea level, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Vitamin K Supplements Can Cut Bone Loss, Fractures

TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Oral vitamin K supplements may reduce bone loss and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures, according to a review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the June 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Embryonic Stem Cells Partially Reverse Paralysis in Rats

TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Paralyzed rats treated with a combination of motor neurons derived from embryonic stem cells, inhibitors of myelin and a neurotrophic factor develop new nerve connections and achieve a partial recovery from paralysis, according to a study in the July issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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NEJM Issues Correction on 2005 Vioxx Study

MONDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- The New England Journal of Medicine has issued a correction to the Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on Vioxx (APPROVe) trial, a 2005 publication that suggested that thrombotic events in rofecoxib-treated patients only diverged from placebo after 18 months of treatment. However, an error in the analysis now indicates that adverse events diverged from the placebo group prior to 18 months, the authors report.

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Foot Orthoses for Plantar Fasciitis Can Help Pain

MONDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Foot orthoses can improve pain and function from plantar fasciitis in the short term, but the effects don't seem to last over the course of a year, according to a report in the June 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Concussion Has Long-Term Effect on Gait Stability

FRIDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Concussion can affect gait stability for at least a month after the injury occurs, according to a report in the June issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise published by the American College of Sports Medicine.

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Apparent Drop in U.K. Road Injuries Due to Poor Reporting

FRIDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although police statistics indicate that the rates of serious injury from traffic accidents in England have dropped, this is likely due to incomplete reporting, according to a report published online June 23 in BMJ.

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Acupuncture May Relieve Fibromyalgia Fatigue, Anxiety

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture may relieve fatigue and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients more so than a placebo acupuncture-like procedure, according to a report in the June issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Patient Expectations for Knee Replacement Vary By Country

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Expectations among total knee replacement patients can vary by location, with Australians expecting better knee function a year after surgery than British or U.S. patients, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Aseptic Loosening Forces Revised Metal Hip Surgeries

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Aseptic loosening is the primary reason for revisions of Sikomet metal-on-metal total hip replacement surgeries less than a decade after the procedures, according to a pair of reports in the June issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Ultramarathon Can Cause Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Prolonged, moderate intensity exercise experienced by ultramarathon runners may cause a significant rise in indicators of muscle and liver damage and cause serum enzyme activity changes similar to those which occur in an acute myocardial infarction, according to a report in the June issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. However, this rise in creatine kinase and other factors is not accompanied by severe symptoms that require hospitalization, they note.

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ACE Gene Variants Linked to Muscle Response to Training

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Polymorphisms in the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) gene predict muscle growth and strength response to resistance training but mostly in untrained muscles, according to a report in the June issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Cheap Pedometers Tend to Inaccurately Record Steps

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pedometers have become widely available, but many cheaper models are not useful for health purposes because they do not accurately monitor the steps taken, according to a study published online June 21 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Cyclophosphamide Has Modest Lung Effect in Scleroderma

WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with cyclophosphamide can produce significant but modest clinical gains in lung function for scleroderma patients, according to a study published in the June 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cherry Juice May Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Pain

WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking cherry juice may reduce the severity of exercise-induced pain, according to an industry-funded study published online June 21 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Tissue Sterilization Process Preserves Tissue Integrity

TUESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Pretreatment of soft-tissue allografts with a protective solution followed by high-dose irradiation may rid tissue of viral and bacterial contamination while maintaining tissue integrity, according to a report published in the May issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

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Scleroderma Microvascular Response Localized to Fingers

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), abnormal microvascular response is limited to the fingers, according to a study published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Dramatic Rise Predicted for Hip Fractures

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated number of hip fractures worldwide may increase from 1.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2050 if incidence rates remain stable, and may rise to 8.2 million if incidence rates increase by 1 percent per year, according to a report published in the June 17 issue of The Lancet.

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Spinal 'Pain Amplifier' May Enhance Pain Sensitivity

THURSDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- A "pain amplifier" in the spinal cord turned on by low-level, irregular pain inputs may be the origin of inflammation and hyperalgesia, according to a study in rats in the June 16 issue of Science.

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Fentanyl Patch Offers Relief from Osteoarthritis Pain

THURSDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with moderate to severe knee or hip osteoarthritis, transdermal fentanyl (TDF) may reduce pain and improve function compared with placebo, according to a study published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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In-Home Intervention Reduces Mortality in Older Adults

WEDNESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults with functional difficulties, mortality may be reduced by in-home occupational and physical therapy sessions, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Almost Half of Young Car Crash Patients Poorly Restrained

FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 45 percent of children who require emergency treatment after car accidents are insufficiently restrained or not strapped in at all, researchers report in the June 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Children aged 4 to 8 were the most likely to be restrained inappropriately with use of a seat belt without a booster seat.

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Off-Road Motorcycle Injuries May Be On the Rise in Children

FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 24,000 children and adolescents in the United States have been injured in recent years while riding motorcycles and dirt bikes off-road, and 70 percent of those injuries occurred in children under age 16, according to a report in the June 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Lipid Profile May Help Predict Future Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- As early as a decade before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms, RA patients have a significantly more atherogenic lipid profile than those who don't develop the disease, according to a study published online June 7 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Median Nerve Not Always Key in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- About 40 percent of patients with suspected carpal tunnel syndrome do not present with involvement of the median nerve, suggesting the importance of more awareness of all patterns of presentation, according to a study in the June issue of Pain.

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Overweight Children Have More Pain, Fractures

WEDNESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight children experience more bone fractures and weight-related musculoskeletal pain than their peers who are not overweight, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Restraint Systems Cut Risk of Child Death in Car Crashes

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with seat belts, child restraint systems can reduce the risk of children dying in a car accident by as much as 28 percent, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Meta-Analysis Finds COX-2 Inhibitors, NSAID Risk Similar

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Selective COX-2 inhibitors and high doses of some traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) carry similar risks of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, according to a meta-analysis published in the June 3 issue of BMJ.

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