Items in AFP with MESH term: Cumulative Trauma Disorders
ABSTRACT: There is a common misconception that symptomatic tendon injuries are inflammatory; because of this, these injuries often are mislabeled as tendonitis. Acute inflammatory tendinopathies exist, but most patients seen in primary care will have chronic symptoms suggesting a degenerative condition that should be labeled as "tendinosus" or "tendinopathy." Accurate diagnosis requires physicians to recognize the historical features, anatomy, and useful physical examination maneuvers for these common tendon problems. The natural history is gradually increasing load-related localized pain coinciding with increased activity. The most common overuse tendinopathies involve the rotator cuff, medial and lateral elbow epicondyles, patellar tendon, and Achilles tendon. Examination should include thorough inspection to assess for swelling, asymmetry, and erythema of involved tendons; range-of-motion testing; palpation for tenderness; and examination maneuvers that simulate tendon loading and reproduce pain. Plain radiography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging can be helpful if the diagnosis remains unclear. Most patients with overuse tendinopathies (about 80 percent) fully recover within three to six months, and outpatient treatment should consist of relative rest of the affected area, icing, and eccentric strengthening exercises. Although topical and systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective for acute pain relief, these cannot be recommended in favor of other analgesics. Injected corticosteroids also can relieve pain, but these drugs should be used with caution. Ultrasonography, shock wave therapy, orthotics, massage, and technique modification are treatment options, but few data exist to support their use at this time. Surgery is an effective treatment that should be reserved for patients who have failed conservative therapy.
ABSTRACT: Youth sports participation carries an inherent risk of injury, including overuse injuries. Little leaguer's shoulder, a stress fracture of the proximal humerus that presents as lateral shoulder pain, usually is self-limited. Little leaguer's elbow is a medial stress injury; treatment consists of complete rest from throwing for four to six weeks followed by rehabilitation and a gradual throwing program. Spondylolysis is a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis. Diagnostic modalities include plain film radiography, bone scan, computed tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment usually is conservative. Spondylolisthesis is the forward or anterior displacement of one vertebral body over another and may be related to a history of spondylolysis. Diagnosis is made with plain film radiography and graded according to the amount of displacement. Osgood-Schlatter disease presents as anterior knee pain localized to the tibial tubercle. Diagnosis is made clinically, and most patients respond to conservative measures. Calcaneal apophysitis (or Sever's disease) is a common cause of heel pain in young athletes, presenting as pain in the posterior aspect of the calcaneus.
Evaluation of Overuse Elbow Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: The evaluation of elbow pain can be challenging because of the complexity of the joint and its central location in the upper extremity. Diagnosing the injury correctly requires an understanding of the anatomy of the elbow, which includes three articulations, two ligament complexes, four muscle groups and three major nerves. The history should be directed at pinpointing the location of symptoms and the activities that cause the patient's pain. It is important to identify the specific musculotendinous structures that are at risk for overuse or have been injured through overuse. Mechanical symptoms are indicative of intra-articular pathology, whereas neurologic symptoms are characteristic of nerve entrapment syndromes. Physical examination of the elbow and related structures should confirm the diagnosis. Only a minority of patients require diagnostic studies. Basic treatment principles are described by the acronym PRICEMM: protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation, medication and modalities (physical therapy). Surgical consultation is warranted in selected patients.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common entrapment neuropathy, affecting approximately 3 to 6 percent of adults in the general population. Although the cause is not usually determined, it can include trauma, repetitive maneuvers, certain diseases, and pregnancy. Symptoms are related to compression of the median nerve, which results in pain, numbness, and tingling. Physical examination findings, such as hypalgesia, square wrist sign, and a classic or probable pattern on hand symptom diagram, are useful in making the diagnosis. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography can resolve diagnostic uncertainty and can be used to quantify and stratify disease severity. Treatment options are based on disease severity. Six weeks to three months of conservative treatment can be considered in patients with mild disease. Lifestyle modifications, including decreasing repetitive activity and using ergonomic devices, have been traditionally advocated, but have inconsistent evidence to support their effectiveness. Cock-up and neutral wrist splints and oral corticosteroids are considered first-line therapies, with local corticosteroid injections used for refractory symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) have been shown to be no more effective than placebo. Most conservative treatments provide short-term symptom relief, with little evidence supporting long-term benefits. Patients with moderate to severe disease should be considered for surgical evaluation. Open and endoscopic surgical approaches have similar five-year outcomes.
Adolescent with Knee Pain - Photo Quiz
Management of Chronic Tendon Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: Chronic tendon injuries present unique management challenges. The assumption that these injuries result from ongoing inflammation has caused physicians to rely on treatments demonstrated to be ineffective in the long term. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be limited in the treatment of these injuries. Corticosteroid injections should be considered for temporizing pain relief only for rotator cuff tendinopathy. For chronic Achilles tendinopathy (symptoms lasting longer than six weeks), an intense eccentric strengthening program of the gastrocnemius/ soleus complex improved pain and function between 60 and 90 percent in randomized trials. Evidence also supports eccentric exercise as a first-line option for chronic patellar tendon injuries. Other modalities such as prolotherapy, topical nitroglycerin, iontophoresis, phonophoresis, therapeutic ultrasound, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, and low-level laser therapy have less evidence of effectiveness but are reasonable second-line alternatives to surgery for patients who have persistent pain despite appropriate rehabilitative exercise.