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Concept: Bone fractures


BACKGROUND: The most common mechanical failure in the internal fixation of trochanteric hip fractures is the cut-out of the sliding screw through the femoral head. Several factors that influence this complication have been suggested, but there is no consensus as to the relative importance of each factor.The purpose of this study was to analyse the cut-out complication with respect to the following variables: patients` age, fracture type, fracture reduction, implant positioning and implant design. METHODS: 3066 consecutive patients were treated for trochanteric fractures with Gamma Nails between 1990 and 2002 at the Centre de Traumatologie et de l`Orthopedie (CTO), Strasbourg, France. Cut-out complications were identified by reviewing all available case notes and radiographs. Subsequently, the data were analysed by a single reviewer (AJB) with focus on the studied factors. RESULTS: Seventy-one cut-out complications were found (2.3%) of the 3066 trochanteric fractures. Cut-out failure associated with avascular head necrosis, pathologic fracture, deep infection or secondary to prior failure of other implants were excluded from the study (14 cases). The remaining 57 cases (1.85 %, median age 82.6, 79% females) were believed to have a biomechanical explanation for the cut-out failure. 41 patients had a basicervical or complex fracture type. A majority of cut-outs (43 hips, 75%) had a combination of the critical factors studied; non-anatomical reduction, non-optimal lag screw position and the characteristic fracture pattern found. CONCLUSIONS: The primary cut-out rate of 1.85% was low compared with the literature. A typical cut-out complication in our study is represented by an unstable fracture involving the trochanteric and cervical regions or the combination of both, non-anatomical reduction and non-optimal screw position. Surgeons confronted with proximal femoral fractures should carefully scrutinize preoperative radiographs to assess the primary fracture geometry and fracture classification. To reduce the risk of a cut-out it is important to achieve both anatomical reduction and optimal lag screw position as these are the only two factors that can be controlled by the surgeon.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone fracture, Hip fracture, Hip replacement, Orthopedic surgery, Avascular necrosis, Cultural studies, Bone fractures


BACKGROUND: Several studies reported rib fractures following stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for peripheral lung tumors. We tried to investigate risk factors and grading system for rib fractures after SBRT. METHODS: Of 375 primary or metastatic lung tumors (296 patients) which were treated with SBRT at the Asan Medical Center (2006-2009), 126 lesions (118 patients) were adjacent to the chest-wall (<1cm) and followed-up with chest computed tomography (CT) for >6months; these were investigated in the present retrospective study. Three to four fractional doses of 10-20Gy were delivered to 85-90% iso-dose volume of the isocenter dose. Rib fracture grade was defined from follow-up CT scans as the appearance of a fracture line (Gr1), dislocation of the fractured rib by more than half the rib diameter (Gr2), or the appearance of adjacent soft tissue edema (Gr3). Chest wall pain was assessed according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v3.0. Correlations between dose-volume data and the development of rib fracture were then analyzed. The Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank tests, and chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 69years (range: 19-90). Over a median follow-up period of 22months (range: 7-62), 48 cases of rib fracture were confirmed. Median time to rib fracture was 17months (range: 4-52). The 2-year actuarial risk of rib fracture was 42.4%. Maximal grade was Gr1 (n=28), Gr2 (n=8), or Gr3 (n=15). The incidence of moderate to severe chest wall pain (CTCAE Gr≥2) increased with maximal fracture grade (17.5% for Gr0-1 and 60.9% for Gr2-3; p<0.001). Multivariate analysis identified female gender, lateral location, and the dose to the 8cc of the chest wall as significant prognostic factors. CONCLUSIONS: Female gender and lateral tumor location were clinical risk factors for rib fracture in the present study. Efforts to decrease chest wall dose should be made to reduce the risk of the rib fracture, particularly in high-risk patients.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Bone fracture, Fracture, Lung cancer, Bone fractures, Rib fracture


OBJECTIVES: To report on a series of dogs and cats with long bone fractures that occurred as a direct consequence of linear external skeletal fixation (ESF) application. METHODS: Retrospective study. Data from the medical records and radiographs of canine (n = 4) and feline (n = 7) cases were collected from three referral and three first opinion practices in the UK (1999 to 2011). RESULTS: Long bone fractures occurred following the application of linear ESF either while the ESF was in situ or after removal. All fractures occurred through either a pin tract or an empty drill hole. Pins associated with ESF-related fracture tended to be in the higher end of the recommended size range. The majority of cases had additional complicating factors such as multiple injuries, revision surgery, poor owner compliance with postoperative exercise restriction and the presence of empty drill holes. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: In cases with features that could complicate outcome, careful attention should be paid to recommendations for ESF application. Leaving empty drill holes is suboptimal. The retrospective nature of the study, low numbers of, and diversity amongst, cases should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results from this study.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Bone fracture, Fracture, Orthopedic surgery, Bone fractures, Bone healing, Fibrocartilage callus


Depressed skull fractures in neonates involve the inward buckling of the skull bones to resemble a cup shape or “ping-pong ball” shape. In the past, several methods have been used to treat these fractures for cosmetic effect, including the use of vacuum extraction. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the use of a novel treatment method for these skull fractures. All patients presented to Hershey Medical Center between May 2007 and March 2010. All underwent treatment of their ping-pong skull fracture using a novel technique of percutaneous screw elevation with self-tapping microscrews (4 or 5 mm) typically used in neurosurgery for cranial plating. Four patients were treated, all between the ages of 2 days and 4 months. Two of the patients were treated under general anesthesia and 2 with local anesthesia only. All patients had good cosmetic results and experienced no adverse events. Percutaneous screw elevation of the ping-pong type, simple depressed skull fracture in neonates is a feasible method of treatment with a low complication rate associated with the procedure and no risk from anesthesia.

Concepts: Bone, Skull, Anesthesia, Bone fractures, Skull fracture, Basilar skull fracture


BACKGROUND: Proximal humerus fracture is the third most common fracture type after hip and distal radius fracture in elderly patients. A comprehensive study by Palvanen et al. demonstrated an increase in the annual fracture rate of 13.7% per year over the past 33 years. Should this trend continue, the fracture rate would triple over the next three decades. The increasing incidence of low-energy fractures raises questions about the optimal treatment in terms of functional outcome, pain, and rehabilitation time, as well as the economical impact. Despite the high incidence and costs of proximal humerus fractures, there is currently no valid scientific evidence for the best treatment method. Several publications, including a Cochrane review outline the need for high-quality, well-designed randomized controlled trials. METHODS: The study is a prospective, randomized, national multi-center trial. The hypothesis of the trial is that surgical treatment of displaced proximal humerus fractures achieves better functional outcome, pain relief, and patient satisfaction compared to conservative treatment. The trial is designed to compare conservative and surgical treatment of proximal humerus fractures in patients 60 years and older. The trial includes two strata. Stratum I compares surgical treatment with locking plates to conservative treatment for two-part fractures. Stratum II compares multi-fragmented fractures, including three- and four-part fractures. The aim of Stratum II is to compare conservative treatment, surgical treatment with the Philos locking plate, and hemiarthroplasty with an Epoca prosthesis. The primary outcome measure will be the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score and the secondary outcome measures will be the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) value, OSS, Constant-Murley Score, VAS, and 15D.Recruiting time will be 3 years. The results will be analyzed after the 2-year follow-up period. DISCUSSION: This publication presents a prospective, randomized, national multi-center trial. It gives details of patient flow, randomization, aftercare and also ways of analysis of the material and ways to present and publish the results.Trial identifier: NCT01246167.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Randomized controlled trial, Humerus, The Trial, Humerus fracture, Distal radius fracture, Bone fractures, Arm


It is proposed that the external asymmetric formation of callus tissues that forms naturally about an oblique bone fracture can be predicted computationally. We present an analysis of callus formation for two cases of bone fracture healing: idealised and subject-specific oblique bone fractures. Plane strain finite element (FE) models of the oblique fractures were generated to calculate the compressive strain field experienced by the immature callus tissues due to interfragmentary motion. The external formations of the calluses were phenomenologically simulated using an optimisation style algorithm that iteratively removes tissue that experiences low strains from a large domain. The resultant simulated spatial formation of the healing tissues for the two bone fracture cases showed that the calluses tended to form at an angle equivalent to the angle of the oblique fracture line. The computational results qualitatively correlated with the callus formations found in vivo. Consequently, the proposed methods show potential as a means of predicting callus formation in pre-clinical testing.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone fracture, Orthopedic surgery, Bone fractures, Bone healing, Osteology, Fibrocartilage callus, Catagmatic


Tendon rupture as a complication of distal radius fractures has been documented; however, flexor tendon rupture associated with closed distal radius fractures is rare. We report a case of a 43-year-old man who suffered a closed distal radius fracture. Intraoperatively, it was discovered that the flexor carpi radialis tendon had ruptured. From the frayed ends of the tendon and review of the radiographs, it was determined that the sharp ends of the fractured radius had lacerated the tendon at the time of injury. After fixation of the fracture with locking plate, the severed tendon was repaired and the wrist immobilised with a splint. The patient has been pain free after 5 months of follow-up, with full range of motion. This outcome demonstrates that timely detection and treatment of concurrent flexor carpi radialis tendon rupture and a closed distal radius fracture can achieve good functional results and outcome.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone fracture, Fracture, Wrist, Tendon, Distal radius fracture, Bone fractures, Flexor carpi radialis muscle


This is a case study describing the finding of a depressed skull fracture in a neonate who was delivered without instrumentation and with no history of trauma. Depressed skull fractures are described as being associated with forceps delivery both vaginally and with caesarean section but are much rarer without instrumentation. This obvious abnormality was very concerning for the parents as it was not picked up on antenatal scans and there was no clear cause. There were both cosmetic and neurological concerns and we found no clear consensus on appropriate treatment and prognosis in the literature we had available.

Concepts: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Bone fractures, Skull fracture, Basilar skull fracture


Hip fractures are very common in older adults and result in serious health consequences. Early mobilization post-surgical intervention for hip fractures is very important. The purpose of this study was to determine physical activity levels during an acute inpatient admission of patients after surgery for hip fracture.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone fracture, Hip fracture, Fracture, Surgery, Weight loss, Bone fractures, Hip fracture treatment


Recent publications indicate increased mortality in patients admitted to hospital at the weekend, but these findings may be subject to inadequate adjustment for case-mix and the complexities of resource provision. Hip fractures generally occur in a frail comorbid population with a consistent diagnosis precipitating admission as an emergency. We therefore aimed to examine the association between the day of the week of milestones in the care pathway and 30-day mortality in this population.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone fracture, Hip fracture, Medical terms, Hospital, England, Wales, Bone fractures