Author: Sam Killian, M.D.
- Spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality (SCIWORA) is a diagnosis defined as traumatic injury to spine with clinical sx of traumatic myelopathy (paraplegia, paresthesias, FND) without radiographic abnormalities.
- Term was established in 1970’s before MRI and accounted for about 15% of injuries at the time (mainly children). Today SCIWORA accounts for about 10% of spinal injuries.
- Belief is that injury causes subtle movement of the spinal cord from its natural position with resultant contusion or ischemia with subsequent deficits.
- Treatment involves prolonged immobilization (up to 12 weeks).
Walecki, J. (2014). Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality (SCIWORA) ? Clinical and Radiological Aspects. Polish Journal of Radiology,79, 461-464. doi:10.12659/pjr.890944
Author: Michael Hunt, M.D.
- Rhabdomyolysis is caused by the destruction of skeletal muscle that leads to the release of myoglobin, which causes renal failure. It presents with pain and weakness in the affected muscle, as well as dark urine.
- Diagnosis is made with creatinine kinase levels
- It can happen to extreme athletes after competition, but the most common presentation is in people who fall and are immobilized for long periods of time.
- Other causes include burns, crush injuries, viral infections (influenza), bacterial infections (Legionella), and medications (statins in adults, propofol in kids)
- Treatment is aggressive fluids
References: Huerta-Alardín AL, Varon J, Marik PE. Bench-to-bedside review: Rhabdomyolysis ? an overview for clinicians. Critical Care. 2005;9(2):158-169. doi:10.1186/cc2978.
Author: Sam Killian, M.D.
- The tongue blade test is done for mandible fractures, which make up 40-60% of facial fractures.
- The test is done by having the patient bite down on a tongue depressor on one side of the mouth. The provider then tries to snap the tongue depressor. This is repeated on the other side of the mouth. The test is positive if the patient complains of pain before the depressor can be broken on either side.
- It has been compared to CT and X-ray and has a similar sensitivity and specificity (95% and 65%, respectively).
References: J. Neiner, et al. Tongue Blade Bite Test Predicts Mandible Fractures. Craniomaxillofac Trauma Reconstr. 2016
Author: Nick Hatch, M.D.
- The force required to break a clavicle is significant, so clavicle fracture may be associated with other injury (pneumothorax, vascular injury).
- Most fractures occur in the middle 1/3 of the clavicle.
- Traditionally, clavicle fractures have been managed without surgery. However, recent studies have shown that surgery may be beneficial in a larger population than previously thought.
Author: Donald Stader, M.D.
- The most common ankle injury mechanism is an inversion.
- Most common broken bone in the ankle is the fibula.
- During exam, it is important to palpate over the fibular head, medial and lateral malleoli, over the 5th metatarsal and over the cuboid bone. If no tenderness in these areas and the patient is walking – they have a sprain and can be sent home without imaging.
- In calcaneal fractures, make sure to image the lumbar spine since up to 30% of calcaneal fractures are associated with lumbar spine injury.
Author: Sam Killian, M.D.
- Defined as fracture of neck (distal segment) of 5th metacarpal.
- Intrinsic muscles of hand pull segment to palmar aspect of hand.
- 30 degrees of angulation is allowed. Any more increases risk of chronic pain, grip strength and grasping deficits, and rotational deformities.
- Reduce fracture if more than 30 degrees of angulation or if rotation is present.
- Splint fracture in “ulnar gutter” with goal being flexion at MCP and extension at DIP and PIP.
Author: Don Stader M.D.
- Non-traumatic back pain is a very common complaint in the Emergency Department.
- Conditions that can manifest with back pain include: ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, retroperitoneal bleeding, cauda equina syndrome, epidural abscess or cancer.
- Patients with cauda equina syndrome or epidural abscess prefer to sit forward, while people with disc issues tend to sit upright.
Author: Chris Holmes M.D.
- Mechanism of injury involves hyperextension/hyperflexion
- Pathophysiology: inside of the arteries in the neck becomes disrupted, similar to a dissection. This is thrombogenic and leads to cerebral infarction
- Neurologic deficit is common.
- Other risk factors include facial fracture and cervical-spine fracture.
- Treat with anticoagulation – aspirin or other antiplatelet agents are appropriate.
- Increase clinical suspicion when patient presents with neurological deficit and has a negative CT.
Run Time: 4 minutes
Author: Michael Hunt M.D.
- Stinger – a stretch of cervical nerves from a lateral blow to the head and causes immediate pain and numbness in the arm. There is no specific treatment, and symptoms last seconds to minutes or as long as a few days. A small percentage of stingers result in significant neurologic damage.
- Hip pointer – a contusion of the pelvis most commonly at the iliac crest.
- Sports hernia – a soft tissue injury (muscle, ligament, tendon) that is torn or damaged in the groin or pelvic area. Some more serious tears may require surgery.
- Turf toe – hyperextension of the great toe that puts stress on MTP joint and causes a strain or sprain of the tendons. Categorized into grades 1, 2, & 3 based on severity from least serious to most serious.
Link to Podcast: http://medicalminute.madewithopinion.com/football-injuries/