Monthly Archives: December 2014

The difficulties of treating shoulder pain in baseball pitchers

Anesthesiology

Results of treating shoulder pain in baseball pitchers and other throwing athletes are not as predictable as doctors, patients and coaches would like to think, according to a report in the journal Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America.

Nickolas Garbis, MD, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder and elbow injuries at Loyola University Medical Center, is the primary author.

Shoulder pain occurs in athletes who play sports that require rapid acceleration and deceleration of the throwing arm. They include baseball pitchers, tennis players, softball pitchers and javelin throwers, as well as athletes who play handball and water polo.

Overhead throwing generates a large amount of stress on the shoulder, which is one of the most mobile joints in the body. This makes it vulnerable to injury.

It is difficult to diagnose the cause of shoulder pain. The shoulder is comprised of four joints, and a problem with any of them can cause pain and affect performance. Moreover, many of these structures are deep in the shoulder and therefore difficult to examine by touch. Also, the same kind of pain can be due to multiple causes. For example, pain in the front of the shoulder can be due to rotator cuff tendinitis, rotator cuff tears, biceps tendinitis, shoulder instability, shoulder stiffness and several other causes.

“A systemic approach, and some experience, can help the clinician become more familiar with which constellation of findings in these athletes is not normal,” Dr. Garbis and co-author Edward McFarland, MD, write.

Shoulder problems can begin during adolescence. Little League shoulder, an injury to the growth plate in the shoulder, is one of the most common. Adolescent pitchers most at risk for injuries are those who compete on traveling teams. Overuse injuries can lead to more serious mechanical injuries. Adhering to pitch counts should reduce injuries and decrease fatigue.

Treatment should be primarily nonsurgical. Nonsurgical options include icing the shoulder and judicial use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Rehabilitation can restore a normal muscular balance. Rest can help, but it should not be prolonged, because the shoulder could become deconditioned.

If nonsurgical options fail, arthroscopic surgery can be considered. For example, surgical repair or trimming of partial rotator cuff tears can be highly successful, returning as many as 89 percent of college and professional pitchers back to play. However, the type of surgery needed depends upon the patient’s shoulder problem.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/286793.php

 

 

 

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Pain relief for kids in the ER without a needle

Emergency Medicine_Pediatrics_Orthopedic Surgery_Anesthesiology

Children in emergency departments can safely be treated for pain from limb injuries using intranasal ketamine, a drug more typically used for sedation, according to the results of the first randomized, controlled trial comparing intranasal analgesics in children in the emergency department. The study was published online recently in Annals of Emergency Medicine (“The PICHFORK (Pain in Children Fentanyl OR Ketamine) Trial: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Intranasal Ketamine and Fentanyl for the Relief of Moderate to Severe Pain in Children with Limb Injuries”).

“This is great news for emergency physicians and their young patients, especially those who may not tolerate other intranasal pain medications such as fentanyl,” said lead study author Professor Andis Graudins, MD, of Monash University in Clayton, Victoria, Australia. “For children in pain and distress, the option of treating their pain without a needle is a huge benefit as well. The intranasal option using fentanyl is accepted already for children, but the safe use of ketamine is new.”

Researchers compared pain relief resulting from ketamine and fentanyl, both delivered intranasally, for children 3 to 13 years old whose pain from isolated limb injuries registered seven or higher on a 10 point scale. Median baseline pain rating was eight out of ten. After 30 minutes, the median reductions in pain for ketamine were 4.45 and for fentanyl were 4.0. The pain reduction was maintained in both groups at 60 minutes. Satisfaction for ketamine was slightly higher at 83 percent. Fentanyl had a 72 percent satisfaction rating.

Adverse events were reported more frequently for ketamine (78 percent of patient) than for fentanyl (40 percent of patients), but they were all mild (dizziness or drowsiness were common).

“Ketamine is a great alternative for injured children in the ER who may not be able to tolerate opiates, like fentanyl,” said Prof. Graudins. “And being able to deliver pain-relief with minimal upset, such as that triggered in some children by even the sight of needles, is a great boon to our youngest patients.”

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/286526.php