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(1/835) Peripheral nerve injuries and repair in the upper extremity.

Peripheral nerve injuries are commonly seen as a result of domestic, industrial, or military trauma. Sharp objects usually cause these nerve injuries. When assessing these injuries, it is important to evaluate each nerves' motor and sensory function. One must be cognizant of associated injuries such as fractures, vascular damage, and musculotendinous lacerations. The time since the injury, level of injury, and age of the patient are important prognosticators impacting the return of function. Intraoperatively, one must assess the vascularity of the soft tissue bed and the nerve itself, the nerve gap, conduction, and the topography of the fascicles to insure proper orientation. Application of the principles of nerve repair (magnification, minimal tension, meticulous soft tissue handling, experienced surgeon and staff) can enhance the chances for a successful result. Additionally, to maximize functional recovery following peripheral nerve repair, a carefully planned program of postoperative occupational therapy and rehabilitation must be instituted.  (+info)

(2/835) Cervical myelopathy due to a "tight dural canal in flexion" with a posterior epidural cavity.

A 41-year-old man noticed weakness and atrophy in his right hand and forearm resembling the non-progressive juvenile muscular atrophy of unilateral upper extremity (Hirayama's disease). MRI showed an abnormal cavity in the posterior epidural space which appeared on neck flexion communicating with the subarachnoid space in addition to the flattening of the lower cervical spinal cord on neck flexion. When evaluating atypical cases of Hirayama's disease, the pathomechanism demonstrated in the present case should be taken into consideration.  (+info)

(3/835) A review of functional status measures for workers with upper extremity disorders.

In order to identify functional status measures for epidemiological studies among workers with mild to moderate disorders of the neck and upper extremity, a literature search was conducted for the years 1966 to 2001. Inclusion criteria were: (1) relevance to neck and upper extremity; (2) assessment among workers; and (3) relevance to mild to moderate disorders. Of 13 instruments reviewed, six measures were tested among workers. The three best measures, depending on the purpose of research, included the standardised Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, the Upper Extremity Questionnaire, and the Neck and Upper Limb Instrument. Development of a functional protocol is regarded as a realistic enhancement for research of neck and upper extremity disorders in the workplace. For research and clinical practice, measures of functional status, sensitive enough to measure the subtle conditions in mild to moderate disorders, may provide prognostic information about the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders in apparently healthy patients. Appropriate use of functional status questionnaires is imperative for a meaningful portrayal of health.  (+info)

(4/835) Peripheral mechanisms in tremor after traumatic neck injury.

Tremor is a rare manifestation after neck injury, and its physiological mechanism has not been elucidated. We studied the effects of torque loading and ischaemic nerve block on coarse postural tremor in the right upper extremity, which had developed in association with a C7-C8 radiculopathy after traumatic neck injury in a 55 year old man. Loading reduced the tremor frequency from 6.1 Hz to 4.2 Hz with corresponding electromyography (EMG) bursts at the same frequencies as the tremor. Ischaemic nerve block also reduced the tremor frequency from 6.2 Hz to 2.8 Hz, and the time course of the frequency was not in parallel with that of the size of the maximal M wave. A significant reduction of the tremor frequency by loading and ischaemic nerve block indicates a mechanical reflex mechanism underlying the tremor, and association of synchronous EMG bursts suggests an increase in gain in the stretch reflex loop. The stretch reflex loop plays an important role in generation of oscillation in tremor after neck injury.  (+info)

(5/835) The effects of a contoured foam seat on postural alignment and upper-extremity function in infants with neuromotor impairments.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Physical therapists and occupational therapists frequently use adaptive seating devices to improve stability in sitting for children with neuromotor impairments. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a contoured foam seat (CFS) on postural alignment and on the ability of infants with neuromotor impairments to engage with toys. Parental perceptions regarding the use and effects of the CFS also were assessed via semistructured interviews. SUBJECTS: Subjects were 4 infants, ages 9 to 18 months, who were unable to sit independently. METHOD: A time-series, alternating-treatments design was used, with data collected under 3 conditions: (1) a regular highchair, (2) a regular highchair with a thin foam liner, and (3) a CFS used as an insert in a regular highchair. The primary dependent measures were postural alignment and engagement with toys. Engagement with toys was defined as percentage of intervals with 2 hands on a toy and percentage of intervals with no hands on a highchair tray and 1 or 2 hands on a toy. RESULTS: Results showed a sustained effect of the CFS on improving postural alignment for all subjects. Effects of the CFS on increasing the number of intervals of bimanual play were not demonstrated for any subjects, although some improvement in the infant's ability to free the arms from support was observed for 2 subjects. Mothers reported acceptability of the CFS for everyday use and described benefits for themselves and their infants. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The results support the use of a CFS for improving postural alignment. Future research on adaptive seating should focus on interventions and outcomes that help children participate in functional activities relevant to them and their families.  (+info)

(6/835) Low-molecular-weight heparin (nadroparin) and very low doses of warfarin in the prevention of upper extremity thrombosis in cancer patients with indwelling long-term central venous catheters: a pilot randomized trial.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Upper extremity thrombosis is a major complication of central venous catheters implanted for chemotherapy in cancer patients. Vitamin K antagonists and low-molecular-weight heparins have been recommended in this setting, but their relative benefit-to-risk ratios have never been compared. DESIGN AND METHODS: A prospective, randomized, open, parallel-group, multicenter trial was performed comparing the antithrombotic efficacy and safety of warfarin and the low-molecular-weight heparin, nadroparin, in cancer patients who had undergone central venous catheter implantation. Warfarin was given orally at a fixed daily dose of 1 mg and nadroparin was injected subcutaneously at a fixed daily dose of 2,850 IU for 90 days, or until venographically-confirmed thrombosis occurred. The primary efficacy outcome was the occurrence of upper extremity thrombosis confirmed by venography performed 90 days after insertion of the catheter, or earlier if symptoms of thrombosis had appeared. Safety end-points were bleeding and thrombocytopenia. RESULTS: Fifty-nine patients were included in the study. A total of 21 and 24 patients in the nadroparin and warfarin groups, respectively, were evaluable for primary efficacy. Six out of the 21 patients in the nadroparin group (28.6%) and 4 out of the 24 patients in the warfarin group (16.7%) had venographically-documented upper extremity thrombosis at day 90 (p=0.48). Safety was satisfactory and similar with both treatments. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Warfarin at a fixed, very low dose and nadroparin at a fixed, prophylactic dose had comparable benefit-to-risk ratios in the prevention of thrombosis associated with central venous catheters in cancer patients.  (+info)

(7/835) Kinematics and kinetics of multijoint reaching in nonhuman primates.

The present study identifies the mechanics of planar reaching movements performed by monkeys (Macaca mulatta) wearing a robotic exoskeleton. This device maintained the limb in the horizontal plane such that hand motion was generated only by flexor and extensor motions at the shoulder and elbow. The study describes the kinematic and kinetic features of the shoulder, elbow, and hand during reaching movements from a central target to peripheral targets located on the circumference of a circle: the center-out task. While subjects made reaching movements with relatively straight smooth hand paths and little variation in peak hand velocity, there were large variations in joint motion, torque, and power for movements in different spatial directions. Unlike single-joint movements, joint kinematics and kinetics were not tightly coupled for these multijoint movements. For most movements, power generation was predominantly generated at only one of the two joints. The present analysis illustrates the complexities inherent in multijoint movements and forms the basis for understanding strategies used by the motor system to control reaching movements and for interpreting the response of neurons in different brain regions during this task.  (+info)

(8/835) Evidence for cortical functional changes in patients with migraine and white matter abnormalities on conventional and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging.

BACKGROUND: In this study, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to investigate the pattern of cortical activations after a simple motor task in patients with migraine and white matter (WM) abnormalities on conventional MRI scans of the brain. We also investigated whether the extent of brain activations was correlated with WM structural pathology measured using diffusion tensor (DT) MRI. METHODS: From 15 right-handed patients with migraine and 15 sex- and age-matched, right-handed healthy volunteers, we obtained the following: (1) fMRI (repetitive flexion-extension of the last 4 fingers of the right hand), (2) dual-echo turbo spin echo scans, and (3) pulsed-gradient spin-echo echo-planar sequence to calculate DT-MRI maps. fMRI analysis was performed using SPM99 and cluster detection. We measured the volume, the average mean diffusivity (), and the average fractional anisotropy of all lesions seen on the dual-echo scans. histograms of the normal-appearing WM were also produced. RESULTS: Compared with healthy volunteers, migraine patients had a larger relative activation of the contralateral primary sensorimotor cortex (P=0.01) and a rostral displacement of the supplementary motor area (P=0.03). The shapes of the curves reflecting the time course for fMRI signal intensity changes were similar between migraine patients and controls for all of the cortical areas we studied. Compared with healthy subjects, migraine patients had significantly lower histogram peak height of the normal-appearing WM histogram (P=0.02), which was found to be correlated with the extent of displacement of the supplementary motor area (r=-0.80, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that functional cortical changes occur in patients with migraine and brain MRI abnormalities and that they might be secondary to the extent of subcortical structural damage.  (+info)