emergency medicine orthopedics

POCUS Cases 4 – Distal Radius Fracture Diagnosis and Reduction

In this month's POCUS Cases Dr. Rob Simard explains the role of POCUS in distal radius fracture diagnosis and reduction, how to troubleshoot finding the echogenic line that represents the shaft of the radius, and the limitations of using POCUS for distal radius fractures...

Ep 105 Commonly Missed Ankle Injuries

You probably can't remember the last time you worked a shift in the ED and didn’t see at least one patient with an ankle injury. While almost all of these patients are relatively straightforward to diagnose and manage a small but significant minority of these patients will have a more elusive diagnosis, that if not identified early, could lead to significant morbidity...

Episode 91 Occult Knee Injuries Pearls and Pitfalls

There are a whole slew of very important occult knee injuries - those that have a normal or near normal x-ray – that can cause serious morbidity if you miss them, and for the catchall soft tissue injuries there are some subtleties in diagnosis and management that will make a real difference to our patients. Arun Sayal and Hossein Mehdian answer questions such as: When should we suspect a spontaneously reduced knee dislocation? Do all patients suspected of a spontaneous knee dislocation require a CT angiogram to rule out vascular injury? Which patients with a low energy mechanism are at risk for knee dislocation and vascular complications? How can you increase the accuracy of the active straight leg raise in assessing for quadriceps and patella tendon rupture? What is an easy way to identify patella baja and patella alta on a knee x-ray? What are the indications for ultrasound of the knee? What are the true indications for a knee immobilizer and how can knee immobilizers kill our patients? and many more...

Episode 61 Whistler’s Update in EM Conference 2015 Highlights Part 1

This EM Cases episode is Part 1 of The Highlights of The University of Toronto, Divisions of Emergency Medicine, Update in EM Conference from Whistler 2015 with Paul Hannam on Pearls and Pitfalls of Intraosseus Line Placement, Anil Chopra on who is at risk and how to prevent Contrast Induced Nephropathy, and Joel Yaphe on the Best of EM Literature from 2014, including reduction of TMJ dislocations, the TRISS trial (on transfusion threshold in sepsis), PEITHO study for thrombolysis in submassive PE, Co-trimoxazole and Sudden Death in Patients Receiving ACE inhibitors or ARBs, the effectiveness and safety of outpatient Tetracaine for corneal abraisons, chronic effects of shift work on cognition and much more...

Episode 58: Tendons and Ligaments – Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries Part 2

In part 2 of our round-table discussion on EM Cases with sports medicine guru Dr. Ivy Cheng and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hossein Mehdian we elucidate some key commonly missed uncommon orthopedic injuries that if mismanaged, carry significant long term morbidity. Injuries of the tendons and ligaments are often overlooked by emergency providers as relatively benign injuries and generally are not well understood. Syndesmosis Injuries typically occur in impact sports. They are missed in about 20% of cases, as x-rays findings are often subtle or absent. The mechanism, physical exam findings, such as the Hopkin's Test, and associated injuries are important to understand to help make the diagnosis and provide appropriate ED care. Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture is almost exclusively a male injury and occurs in a younger age group compared to the Proximal Biceps Rupture. It is important to distinguish these injuries as their management and outcomes are different. The mechanism and physical exam findings of Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture, such as the Hook Test, are key in this respect. Quadriceps Tendon Rupture is often misdiagnosed as a simple ‘knee sprain’, but should be consideration for surgical intervention. Quadriceps tendon ruptures are more commonly seen in patients older than 40 years and are more common than patella tendon ruptures which are more commonly seen in patients under 40 years of age. Interestingly, up to 1/3 of patients present with bilateral quadriceps tendon ruptures, so comparing to the contralateral knee may be misleading. There is a spectrum of knee extensor injuries that should be understood in order to provide proper care, with the Straight-Leg-Raise Test being abnormal in all of them. This is of the most important physical exam maneuvers to perform on every ED patient with a knee injury. The x-ray findings of these injuries may be subtle or absent, and proper immobilization of these injuries is important to prevent recoil of the tendon. Patients with calf pain and Gastrocnemius Tears are often misdiagnosed as having a DVT. In fact, one small study showed that gastrocnemius tears were misattributed to DVT in 29% of patients. This confusion occurs because sometimes patients who suffer a gastrocnemius tear report a prodrome of calf tightness several days before the injury, suggesting a potential chronic predisposition. With a good history and physical, and POCUS if you’re skilled at it, needless work-ups for DVT can be avoided. For well thought out approaches, pearls and pitfalls, to these 4 Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries, listen to the podcast and read the rest of this blog post....

Episode 52: Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries

We rarely discuss medico-legal issues on EM Cases because it misguides us a bit from good patient centered care – which is what emergency medicine is really all about. Nonetheless, missed orthopedic injuries are the most common reason for an emergency doc to be sued in Canada. This is partly because missed orthopedic injuries are far more common than missed MIs for example, but it’s also because it’s easy to miss certain orthopedic injuries – especially the ones that aren’t super common. And orthopedics is difficult to learn and remember for the EM practitioner as there are so many injuries to remember. And so, you guessed it – on this episode we’re going to run through some key not-so-common, easy to miss orthopedic injuries, some of which I, personally had to learn about the hard way, if you know what I mean. After listening to this episode, try some cognitive forcing strategies – for every patient with a FOOSH that you see, look for and document a DRUJ injury. Wait, hold on….I don’t wanna give it all away at the top of the post. Let’s hear what EM doc and sports medicine guru Ivy Cheng, and the orthopedic surgeon who everyone at North York General turns to when they need help with a difficult ortho case, Hossein Medhian, have to say about Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries.

Episode 35: Pediatric Orthopedics Pearls and Pitfalls

Dr. Sanjay Mehta & Dr. Jonathan Pirie, two experienced Pediatric EM docs from The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto discuss their approach to a variety of common, occult, challenging and easy to miss pediatric orthopedics diagnoses including: differentiating Septic Arthritis from Transient Synovitis of the hip, Toddler's Fracture, Tillaux Fracture, Suprachondylar Fracture, ACL tear, tibial spine & Segond fractures. They also debate the value of the Ottawa Knee Rules in kids, non-accidental trauma, pediatric orthopedic pain management, the evidence for the best management of Buckle, Greenstick, Salter 1 and 2 distal radius fractures and lateral malleolus fractures.

Episode 31: LP, Spontaneous Pneumothorax and Ultrasound Guided Fracture Reduction

In this episode, Dr. Jordan Chenkin & Dr. Jamie Blicker discuss positioning, landmarking, and best technique for lumbar puncture, how to minimize post-LP headache and traumatic taps, as well as when CT head is not required prior to LP. They discuss the indications, contraindications, trouble-shooting and pros and cons of needle aspiration, small bore pleural catheter with Heimlich valve and large bore chest tube for the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax. Dr. Chenkin presents an intriguing argument for why he uses ultrasound-guided fracture reduction routinely in the ED, and we end with a few tips and tricks using skin adhesive for some unorthodox indications.

Episode 29: Hand Emergencies

Dr. Andrew Arcand & Dr. Laura Tate discuss the key clinical pearls and pitfalls in the recognition and management of many apparently benign hand emergencies that have serious morbidity, including high pressure injection injuries, flexor tenosynovitis, gamekeeper's thumb, fight bites, hook of the hammate fractures and many more important hand emergencies. Dr. Tate & Arcand answer such questions as: which lacerations require prophylactic antibiotics? Which hand lacerations do not require sutures? How is rotational deformity best tested for metacarpal fractures? What are the pearls of tendon repair? How do you test for instability when you suspect a Gamekeeper's thumb? How is compartment syndrome of the hand different to compartment syndrome in the leg? What are Kanavel's signs of tenosynovitis? How should felons be managed in the ED? What are the most common errors that plastic surgeons see ED docs make?