UMEM Educational Pearls - Orthopedics

Axial neck pain is a dull aching “soreness” pain from the posterior neck muscles with radiation to the occiput, periscapular and shoulder regions.

Associated with headaches, stiffness and muscle spasm. 

Patients with cervical radiculopathy, however, usually present with unilateral pain discomfort.

Patients may complain of pain radiation into the ipsilateral arm. Though frequently difficult to describe, this may be in a dermatomal distribution. Patients may also report decreased sensation in a dermatomal distribution or weakness along the corresponding myotome.

The most affected nerve roots are C7 (C6-7 herniation), followed by C6 (C5-6 herniation) and C8 (C7-T1 herniation).

Cervical Spondylosis (degenerative change) is the most common ideology.

As discs breakdown with age and lose height, increased force loads are transmitted to bony regions of the spinal segment leading to bone hypertrophy which creates foraminal stenosis and resultant radiculopathy.

Cervical radiculopathy, like lumbar radiculopathy, is largely a self-limited condition. Several older studies following this diagnosis revealed that a majority of patients were either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic at time of follow-up. 

Improvement is seen over the initial four to six months following diagnosis.



Reducing musculoskeletal injury and concussion risk in schoolboy rugby players with a pre-activity movement control exercise programme: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Intro: Musculoskeletal injuries and concussion are prominent reasons for time loss from sport for adolescent rugby players.

Injury patterns in rugby differ from other team sports, 

-Greater frequency of concussion, upper body and contact-related injuries

Increased concussion risk is associated with lower neck strength, highlighting this characteristic as a potentially modifiable risk factor.

Enhancing neck muscle strength may prevent concussion by improving the dissipation of impact forces transmitted to the brain.

The aim of study was to determine the efficacy of a movement control exercise program in reducing injuries in youth rugby players.

Methods: In a cluster-randomized controlled trial, 40 independent schools (118 teams, 3188 players aged 14-18 years) were allocated to receive either the intervention or a reference program, both of which were to be delivered by school coaches. 

The intervention comprised balance training, whole-body resistance training, plyometric training, and controlled rehearsal of landing and cutting maneuvers. This also included a neck strengthening component. 

Time-loss (>24 hours) injuries arising from school rugby matches were recorded by coaches and medical staff.

Results: When trial arm comparisons were limited to teams who had completed three or more weekly program sessions on average, clear reductions in overall match injury incidence (RR=0.28) and concussion incidence (RR=0.41) were noted in the intervention group.

  • NMT inclusive of a neck strengthening component was associated with a 59% lower sport related concussion rate.
  • Completing the intervention program 3 times per week led to substantial reductions of 72% in overall match injury incidence and 72% in contact-related injury incidence compared with the control program.

Conclusion:

  • These findings provide encouraging evidence that a pre-activity preventive exercise program can substantially reduce injury risk in youth rugby, specifically a reduction in sport related concussion.

Show References



Wrist pain in golfers

70% of amateur golfers will experience a sport related injury in their lifetime.

The hand/wrist is the third most common body area injured by golfers after the back and elbow.

Studies fail to include multi trauma from golf cart accidents:)

Wrist injuries are 3x more frequent than hand injuries.

Wrist injury affects 13 to 20 percent of amateur golfers.

Injury is most likely to occur at the point of ball impact.

Injury most commonly affects the lead wrist rather than the trail wrist.

The lead wrist is left sided for right-handed players and right sided for lefties

Due to many differences in grip and wrist position there are several injury patterns.

Most causes of wrist pain in golfers are tendinopathies. 

            Due to impact stress and repetitive swinging movements

If pain is primarily radial, consider DeQuervain's tenosynovitis

Poor swing mechanics such as premature wrist uncocking in the early downswing places the wrist in ulnar deviation thereby stressing the first dorsal compartment.

Significant ulnar deviation of the lead wrist at time of ball impact may also stress the tendons of the first dorsal compartment.

If pain is primarily ulnar consider Extensor Carpi Ulnaris tendonitis & subluxation

A strong golf grip (more knuckle’s visible) is associated with greater ECU stress during the swing

The height of hand position can also stress the ECU tendon

Differential diagnosis:

TFCC injury

Hook of hamate fracture

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome



Estimating the size of knee effusions

  • Small effusions (5 to 10 mL) will fill the peripatellar dimples with the knees extended and quadriceps relaxed.
  • The ballottement sign is positive when there is at least 10 to 15 mL of intraarticular fluid.
  • Large effusions (20 to 30 mL) fill the suprapatellar space. 

While this size range is typically easily detectable on exam. This may not apply to patients who are either very muscular or obese.

If the detection of a small to moderate sized effusion would change patient management 

  • For example, ones confidence to successfully drain a knee effusion knee based on a physical exam

Consider ultrasound: 

As compared to MRI (sensitivity of 81.3 % and a specificity of 100 %)

Show References



Question

https://prod-images-static.radiopaedia.org/images/10520267/02680740bc93e7997528a865940506_big_gallery.jpeg

Show Answer



Question

https://prod-images-static.radiopaedia.org/images/626179/d58f35a8aa4a0a6750a6adce4087a4_gallery.jpg

"I was kicked in the inside of my knee while it was straight (extended). Look at the x-ray and tell me if its bad"

Show Answer



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Medical encounters in Iron Man Triathlons

Keywords: Race day event, medical tent, endurance athlete (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/28/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 2/28/2024)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

The objective of a recent study was to analyze the injury and illness characteristics in Iron Man distance triathletes. This information is important for emergency providers who may be asked to directly assist or help coordinate race day medical care.

Intro: The Iron Man distance triathlon is one of the most challenging ultra endurance competitions in the world. 80,000 Iron Man triathletes compete internationally each year to qualify for the Ironman world championship. The race totals 140.6 miles across three legs, beginning with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile cycle, and is completed with a 26.2 mile run.

Retrospective cross-sectional study of medical records from Iron Man distance championship races across a 30-year period (1989-2019). The study population (10,533) consisted of all triathletes treated at mobile medical units along the race route or who presented to the medical tent for evaluation during and immediately after the event.

Mean population age of 37 with a range of 18 to 87 years.

Results: Female athletes were found to present to the medical tent more than males (P < 0.001).

The total incidence of medical encounters by age was found to be higher in both younger athletes (18 to 34 years old) and older athletes (greater than 70 years old) versus middle-aged athletes (35-69 years old) (P < 0.001).

Professional athletes have similar overall medical encounters compared with other athletes.

The busiest hours of the medical tent were between approximately 9 and 14 hours after start time (afternoon and early evening) in which approximately 73% of athletes presented for evaluation and treatment.

Once inside the medical tent 71% of athletes were discharged within an hour and 87% were discharged within 1.5 hours. Athletes were dispatched to the hospital from the medical tent area at a rate of 17.1/1000 athletes (most athletes presenting to the medical tent finished the race and few required hospital transfer).

The most common medical complaints were dehydration and nausea followed by dizziness, exhaustion, muscle cramps, and vomiting.

Blood work was collected for 30% of athletes who entered the medical tent. Of these athletes, hyponatremia was the most prevalent diagnosis and most of whom were symptomatic with symptoms such as confusion, stupor, gait disturbance, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Beyond basic medical care, intravenous fluids were the most common medical treatment.

Conclusion: Medical events were more frequent among female athletes as well as both younger and older age categories. Gastrointestinal and exertional related symptoms were the most common complaints in the medical tent. Besides basic medical care, IV infusions were the most common treatment. Most athletes presenting to the medical tent finished the race and only a small percentage were transferred to the hospital.

 

 

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Exercise and asthma, still water and oil?

Keywords: asthma, reactive airway disease, lung function (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/24/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 2/28/2024)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

The role of exercise in patients with asthma is complicated.

Asthma symptoms can worsen or be triggered by physical activity. This can lead to avoidance response. Patients with asthma are less physically active than their matched controls.

Recently, however, the role of exercise and physical activity as an adjunct therapy for asthma management has received considerable attention. There is an emerging and promising role of physical activity as a non-pharmacologic treatment for asthma. Exercise reduces inflammatory cytokines and increases anti-inflammatory cytokines thereby reducing chronic airway inflammation.

Physical activity can help improve lung function and boost quality of life. As fitness improves, asthma patients report better sleep, reduced stress, improved weight control, and more days without symptoms.

The Global Initiative for Asthma recommends twice-weekly cardio and strength training. Strength training requires short periods of exertion allowing for periods of rest and recovery. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a promising option for people with asthma. These types of workouts allow ventilation to recover intermittently vs conventional cardio exercises.

A 2021 study in adults with mild-to-moderate asthma found that low volume HIIT classes (three 20-minute bouts/week) significantly improved asthma control.  Patients also had improved exertional dyspnea and enjoyment of exercise which will, in turn, increase the odds of further exercise.

A 2022 study compared constant-load exercise versus HIIT in adults with moderate-to-severe asthma. Exercise training lasted 12 weeks (twice/week, 40 minutes/session).  Both groups showed similar improvements in aerobic fitness however the HIIT group reported lower dyspnea and fatigue perception scores and higher physical activity levels.

Conclusion: Patients with asthma should be encouraged to safely incorporate exercise in their daily lives bother for overall health benefits but also as an effective non-pharmacologic asthma treatment.

 

 

 

Show References



Sport related concussion has been estimated to affect almost 2 million children and adolescents in the United states annually

Patients who take longer than four weeks to recover are considered to have persistent post concussive symptoms

This diagnosis is associated with poor educational, social and developmental outcomes in pediatric patients

Following sport related concussion, patients are recommended to have an individualized aerobic exercise program

Prior studies have found that sub symptom threshold aerobic exercise safely and significantly speeds recovery from sport related concussion.

Purpose: This study attempted to answer whether there is a direct relationship between adherence to a personalized exercise prescription and recovery or if initial symptom burden effects adherence to the prescription.

Design: Male and female adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old presenting within 10 days of injury and diagnosed with sport related concussion.

Almost all participants (94%) sustained concussion during interscholastic games or practices.

As it is known that physician encouragement can influence patient adherence to medical interventions, treating physicians in the study were blinded to study arm assignment.

Patients were given aerobic exercise prescriptions based on their heart rate threshold at the point of exercise intolerance on a graded treadmill test

Adherence to prescription was determined objectively with heart rate monitors. No participants exercised above their prescribed heart rate intensity.

Patients who completed at least 2/3 of their aerobic exercise prescription were considered to be adherent

Results: 61% of adolescents met the adherence criterion

Adherent patients were more symptomatic and were more exercise intolerant (worse initial exercise tolerance) at their initial visit.

These patients were also more adherent than those with fewer symptoms and with better exercise tolerance. This likely indicates a stronger motivation for those more symptomatic patients to engage in a potentially effective intervention.

Adherent patients recovered faster than those who were not adherent (median recovery time 12 days versus 21.5 days (P = 0.016)

Adherence during week one was inversely related to recovery time and to initial exercise tolerance but not to initial symptom severity

Conclusion: Adherence to individualized sub symptom threshold aerobic exercise within the first week of sport related concussion is associated with faster recovery. The initial degree of exercise intolerance (but not initial symptom severity) affects adherence to aerobic exercise prescription in an adolescent population with sport related concussion

 

 

 

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: 29 year old pitcher with elbow pain

Keywords: elbow, UCL, throwing injury (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/26/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 2/28/2024)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

29 yo baseball pitcher presents with right medial elbow pain. He felt a painful “pop” and could not continue to throw (due to loss of speed and control). Also notes mild paresthesias in 4th and 5th digits.

 

Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury

 

Sprain of the UCL of the elbow can occur either as an acute injury or as the result of chronic excessive valgus stress due to throwing. This injury is seen in javelin throwers and baseball pitchers. Most recently, Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani suffered a torn UCL.

 

While traditionally this injury pattern was thought to occur in older, high-level pitchers (high velocity throwing), we are increasingly seeing this in younger athletes.

 

The repeated valgus stress of pitching leads to micro tearing and inflammation of the ligament. Over time, this leads to scarring and calcification and then ligament rupture.

 

This injury is more likely to happen in pitchers who “open up too soon” in their throwing motion. Fatigue related changes seen first in leg and core mechanics cause pitchers to open up earlier, increasing stress to the shoulder and the UCL of the elbow. Other risk factors include high velocity pitching, insufficient recovery time, and chronic overuse. The importance of proper pitching mechanics is very important as players whose pitching motion produces  greater elbow valgus loads and shoulder external rotation torque are at increased risk for UCL tears.

 

Approximately one half of the torque generated during a fastball pitch is transmitted to the UCL.  Well developed muscles about the elbow can dissipate enough energy that acute tearing is rare.

 

https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/bones-joints-and-muscles/ulnar-collateral-ligament-injury/_jcr_content/tab-nav-component/tab-nav-parsys/imagewithcaption/image.img.full.high.jpg/1474753930432.jpg

The athlete with a UCL sprain will complain of medial elbow pain that increases during the acceleration phase of throwing.

On examination, there is localized tenderness directly over the UCL: 

http://www.texasshouldersurgeon.com/uploads/6/3/5/8/63580047/1446137856.png

 

Stress testing of the UCL causes both pain and demonstrates laxity.

Moving Valgus Stress Test:

https://www.drahmadsportsmedicine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Figure-4-moving-valgus-stress-test.jpg

Place elbow in the “90/90” position. Apply a valgus stress while ranging elbow through full arc of flexion and extension. A positive test will reproduce apprehension, pain or instability at the UCL origin between 70 and 120 degrees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnkkHpG3Dqg&ab_channel=RussHoff

 

 

 

 

 



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Bohler Angle

Keywords: Ortho, bohler angle, fracture. (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/27/2023 by Robert Flint, MD
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

"The normal value for the Böhler angle is between 25° and 40° 1. Although there is wide variation between individuals, there is relatively little variation between the left and right feet of a single individual 2. A reduced Böhler angle can be seen in displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures. The degree of reduction in the Böhler angle is an indicator of the severity of calcaneal injury, and the degree to which the Böhler angle is restored at surgery is correlated with functional outcome 3."

 

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Evaluation of SLAP tears

Keywords: shoulder pain, labrum tear (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/22/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 2/28/2024)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

SLAP tear/lesion – Superior labral tear oriented anterior to posterior

Glenoid labrum – A rim of fibrocartilaginous tissue surrounding the glenoid rim, deepening the “socket” joint.

Integral to shoulder stability.

https://aosm.in/storage/2019/05/ch-shoulder-slap.jpg

 

O’Brien’s test aka active compression test for superior labral pathology.

 

2 parts – generally performed with the patient standing.

 

The patient’s shoulder is raised to 90 degrees with full elbow extension and approximately 30 degrees of adduction across the midline.

Resistance is applied, using an isometric hold.

Test in both full internal and external rotation

         -This alters the position and rotation of the humerus against the glenoid

A positive test is when pain is elicited when the shoulder is in internal rotation with forearm pronation (thumb to floor) and much less or no pain when in external rotation (supination).

Note: AC joint pain may test similarly but will localize to different area of shoulder

The presence of similar, reproducible deep and diffuse glenohumeral joint pain is most indicative of a true positive test.

 

https://i0.wp.com/musculoskeletalkey.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/f50-02-9780323287845.jpg?w=960

 

 

 



Multiple vision disorders may occur after concussion including injury to the systems that control binocular vision including: Convergence insufficiency and Accommodation insufficiency

In order to obtain a single binocular vision, simultaneous movement of both eyes in opposite directions is required.

To look at an object close by such as when reading, the eyes must rotate towards each other (convergence).

Convergence insufficiency is the reduced ability to converge enough for near vision and is a common visual dysfunction seen after concussion.

One of both eyes may also turn outward.

May lead to complaints with reading such as diplopia, blurry vision, eyestrain, and skipping words or losing one's place.

Patient or parent may also report other difficulties such as becoming more easily fatigued when reading, needing to squint and/or having disinterest in reading.

Take home: consider testing convergence in patients with some of these complaints in setting of acute or subacute head trauma.

 

 

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Fascia Iliac Block for Hip Fractures

Keywords: POCUS, Hip Fractures, Nerve Blocks, Administration (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/26/2023 by Alexis Salerno, MD (Updated: 2/28/2024)
Click here to contact Alexis Salerno, MD

The use of a fascia iliaca compartment block has been shown to reduce pain, decrease length of stay and decrease the opiate requirements for patients with hip fractures.  

 

Check out this page on how to perform this procedure.  

 

Fascia iliac blocks can be challenging to implement routinely in the emergency department. Studies show that 2.5% of eligible patients, despite departmental implementation, receive a block.  

 

One recently published article showed that large scale multi-disciplinary implementation can increase the use of fascia iliac blocks. After implementation, the study team found that 54% of eligible patients received a fascia iliac block.  

 

This article is interesting as it provides helpful resources including physician and nursing protocols for performing this block. 

 

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Epidemiology of frozen shoulder

Keywords: shoulder, Adhesive capsulitis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/10/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Adhesive capsulitis aka frozen shoulder

Definition:  Gradual development of global limitation of both active and passive shoulder motion, characterized by severe pain and lack of radiographic findings

Idiopathic loss of BOTH active and passive motion (significant reduction of at least 50%)

               Motion is stiff and painful especially at the extremes.

Occurs due to thickening and contracture of the shoulder capsule.

Affects up to 8-10% of people of working age.

Affects patients between the ages of 40 and 60.

            Peak age mid 50s

Onset before 40 is rare (consider other diagnosis).

Affects women more than men.

Diabetes is the most common risk factor.

            Patients with DM, suffer a more prolonged course and are more resistant to therapy 

Also associated with thyroid disease and prolonged immobilization

Increased risk following trauma to shoulder region (rotator cuff tear, following shoulder surgery, fracture of proximal humerus)

Presents unilaterally (other shoulder may become involved in next 5 years)

Slight increased risk of non-dominant shoulder

 

 

 



Category: Orthopedics

Title: POCUS for Knee Pain

Keywords: POCUS, Knee Pain, Tendon Rupture (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/5/2023 by Alexis Salerno, MD
Click here to contact Alexis Salerno, MD

Question

Pt presents to the emergency department with knee pain.

You decide to ultrasound the proximal knee. You place your ultrasound probe in the midline of the knee with your probe marker towards the patient's head. 

What is the diagnosis?

-

--

---

--

-

The answer is a quadriceps tendon rupture with femur fracture.

 

Show Answer



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Dorsal wrist pain

Keywords: overuse injury, wrist (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/25/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD (Emailed: 5/27/2023)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Intersection syndrome

Intersection syndrome is an overuse injury of the forearm.

Pain is located approximately 2 finger breaths (4cm) proximal to the wrist joint.

  • Pathology occurs at the “intersection” of the 1st (APL and EPB) and 2nd (ECRL and ECRB) dorsal compartments.
  • Friction occurs at the muscle bellies of the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB), where they cross over the extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL) and brevis (ECRB)

https://www.sportsmedreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/intersectionsyndrome.png

Mechanism: friction is caused by repetitive wrist extension activities

Commonly: Rowing, skiing, tennis, canoeing and weightlifting 

Friction may cause crepitus with finger/wrist extension.

Tenderness, mild swelling may be present

  • Intersection syndrome is often confused with de Quervain’s tendinopathy. 

 

 

 



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Baker Baker Bake Me a Pie

Keywords: Baker's cyst, knee, effusion (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/13/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

A Baker's cyst is a common incidental finding on ultrasound reports and bedside physical exam.

Clinically, these cysts are commonly found in association with intra-articular knee disorders. Most commonly: osteoarthritis, RA and tears of the meniscus.

Sometimes Baker's cysts are a source of posterior knee pain.

In an orthopedic clinic setting, Baker’s cysts are frequently discovered on routine MRI in patients with symptomatic knee pain. They tend to occur in adults from ages 35 to 70.

Over 90% of Baker’s cysts are associated with an intraarticular knee disorder. While most frequently associated with OA and meniscal tears, other knee pathologies that have been associated include inflammatory arthritis and tears of the anterior cruciate ligament.

DDX:  DVT, cystic masses (synovial cyst), solid masses (sarcoma) and popliteal artery aneurysms.

Based on cadaveric studies, a valvular opening of the posterior capsule, proximal/medial and deep to the medial head of the gastrocnemius is present in approximately 50% of healthy adult knees.

Fluid flows in one way from knee joint to cyst and not in reverse. This valve allows flow only during knee flexion as it is compressed shut during extension due to muscle tension.

Most common patient complaint is that of the primary pathology, meniscal pain for example. At times, symptoms related to the cyst are likely due to increasing size as they may report fullness, achiness, stiffness.

In one small study, the most common symptoms were 1) popliteal swelling and 2) posterior aching. Patients may complain of loss of knee flexion from an enlarged cyst that can mechanically block full flexion.

If the Baker cyst is large enough the clinician will feel posterior medial fullness and mild tenderness to palpation. The cyst will be firm and full knee extension and softer during the flexion (Foucher’s sign).

This may help with differentiation from other popliteal masses (hematoma, soft tissue tumor, popliteal artery aneurysm).

With cyst rupture, severe pain can simulate thrombosis or calf muscle rupture, (warmth, tenderness, and erythema). A ruptured cyst can also produce bruising, which may involve the posterior calf starting from the popliteal fossa and extending distally towards the ankle.

 

Treatment: initial treatment for symptomatic Baker cysts is nonoperative unless vascular or neural compression is present (very unlikely)

Treatment involves physical therapy to maintain knee flexibility. A sports medicine physician may perform an intraarticular knee corticosteroid injection as this has been found to decrease size and symptoms of cysts in two-thirds of patients.

For patients that fail above, refer for surgical evaluation. Inform patients that they are not undergoing ED drainage of this symptomatic cyst due to the extremely high rate of recurrence which, as a result of the ongoing presence of the untreated intraarticular pathology, results in the recurrent effusion.

 



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Treatment of lower back pain without opioids

Keywords: lower back pain, analgesia, NSAIDs (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/8/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

 Acute lower back pain is a very common emergency department presenting complaint. Over the last several years there has been impetus to move away from opioids in the management of lower back pain.

A recent systematic review investigated the pharmacologic management of acute low back pain. This review looked at RCTs investigating the efficacy of muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, and acetaminophen for the treatment of acute nonspecific lower back pain of fewer than 12 weeks duration in patients > 18 years of age. Studies that investigated the use of opioids were not considered.

18 RCTs, totaling 3478 patients were included. 54% were women. The mean patient age was 42.5 ± 7.3 years. The mean length of follow-up was 8.0 ± 5.6 days. The mean duration of symptoms before treatment was 15.1 ± 10.3 days. 

Results:  Muscle relaxants and NSAIDs were effective in reducing pain and disability in acute LBP at approximately 1 week.

The combination of NSAIDs and acetaminophen was associated with a greater improvement than the sole administration of NSAIDs.

However, acetaminophen alone did not promote any significant improvement. Placebo administration was not effective.

Limitations: Most patients with acute LBP experience spontaneous recovery or at least reduction of symptoms, therefore, the real impact of most medications is uncertain. The present study wasn't able to distinguish among different classes of NSAIDs. A best practice treatment protocol cannot be extrapolated from this study.

Take home:  In my practice, patients are treated with NSAIDs and Acetaminophen first line. I also include Licocaine patches for all patients. If there is a contraindication to NSAIDs, I treat with muscle relaxants alone.

This study highlights the lack of benefit of acetaminophen as mono therapy (which has been noted in other studies).

 

 

 

 

 

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Patellofemoral anatomy and disease

Keywords: knee pain, running injury (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/25/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Patellofemoral anatomy and disease (part 1)

During normal knee flexion, the patella slides within the trochlear grove. Both (patella and the trochlear groove) are lined with articular cartilage at the patellofemoral articulation.

https://www.stvincentsboneandjoint.com.au/images/patellofemoral-joint2.jpg

Multiple forces act on the patella which can affect proper tracking:  Proximately, by the quadriceps tendon, distally, by the patellar tendon, medially, by the medial retinaculum/vastus medialis and laterally by the lateral retinaculum and the vastus lateralis.

Patellofemoral OA can occur when this cartilage starts to wear and can be seen in skyline/sunrise/notch or equivalent views. OA here rarely occurs in isolation (<10%) and is usually part of medial or lateral knee OA.

 

https://www.stvincentsboneandjoint.com.au/images/patellofemoral-joint3.jpg

 

Patellofemoral pain is usually from overuse/training overload or malalignment.

Contributors to overuse involve total joint load which may have influence from training volume (total miles), intensity (competitive sports) in addition to BMI (>25) in addition to overall fitness level.

Malalignment aka abnormal patellar tracking involves both static (leg length discrepancy, hamstring tightness, etc.) and dynamic components (hip weakness, gluteus medius weakness, excessive foot pronation, etc.).

 

Patients with anterior knee pain should have activity modification, ice, NSAIDs (not steroids) and long-term engagement in physical therapy (>6 months) with a focus on flexibility and strengthening of lower extremity kinetic chain including the vastus medialis, gluteus medius, hip external rotators and core.

 

Also, consider looking for hyper supination or pronation. Foot orthotics can be of help with this.