Friday March 7, 2014
One of the fathers of sports medicine, Dr. Frank Jobe, has died. Dr. Jobe is one of the physicians responsible for developing the specialty of sports medicine. Today, not only do professional athletes seek sports medicine assistance for injury recovery, but recreational athletes, weekend warriors, and those of us wanting to stretch our limits a little further, often use the services of a sports medicine physician.
Dr. Jobe is best known for his work developing surgical techniques used for the treatment of medial collateral ligament injuries of the elbow in throwing athletes. So-called 'Tommy John surgery" has allowed countless baseball players to continue pitching despite having sustain a once career-ending injury.
Dr. Jobe was 88 years old when he died this week.
Wednesday March 5, 2014
Doctors continue to debate if PRP is an effective treatment for chronic tendon problems, including tennis elbow.
A recent study looked at PRP injections for tennis elbow, and compared PRP to a 'sham' injection where the needle was used but no PRP was injected. The results found that while patients in both groups were doing about the same 3 months after the injection, the group that had the PRP was doing better 6 months after the injection.
Critics of the study point out that while there was a difference in groups, this was only seen at the 6-month time, and the improvement was about 72% for the PRP patients, and 55% for the sham injections. That said, any chance for improvement is positive for patients who struggle to find relief from this condition. One of the major criticisms of PRP has been the lack of good scientific data to support their use. This is one of the best studies, in terms of study design, to show benefits of PRP.
Sources: "Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Chronic Tennis Elbow"
Sunday March 2, 2014
Meniscus transplant is a possible surgical option for people with damage to the meniscus cartilage in their knee. The success of meniscus transplants has been a debated subject.
A recent study found that about 1/3 of patients who undergo a meniscus transplant require additional surgery, often within the first few years after their transplant. That said, the vast majority of these patients did have transplanted grafts that survived, with about 90% of patients having grafts that survived the duration of the study.
Source: "Survival and Reoperation Rates After Meniscal Allograft Transplantation"
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Former CNN news anchor, and current science journalist, Miles O'Brien required amputation of his arm after being diagnosed with acute compartment syndrome.
Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that requires prompt recognition and emergency treatment. Even when the condition is diagnosed, the treatment often requires aggressive surgery, and may be life threatening.
Miles tells his story of a seemingly small injury that developed into this serious problem in a compelling blog post.