[Incomplete Paraplegia After Delayed Diagnostics of Motor Function Deficits : Severe Malpractice?].

[Incomplete paraplegia after delayed diagnostics of motor function deficits : Severe malpractice?].

Unfallchirurg. 2013 Mar; 116(3): 283-5
Regauer M, Neu J

A 72-year-old female patient was transferred to a rehabilitation centre after surgical stabilization of a subtrochanteric femoral fracture. However, adequate mobilization was not possible there and 5 days after transfer deficits in the motor function of both lower extremities were documented for the first time and an initial paraplegia was diagnosed the following day by a neurologist. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed the suspicion of an unstable fracture of the seventh thoracic vertebral body 8 days after the initial symptoms, which was confirmed by computed tomography after another 3 days. Surgical decompression and stabilization were performed at a department for neurosurgery 4 days later but incomplete paraplegia persisted permanently. The patient complained about insufficient diagnostic measures at the rehabilitation centre. The expert opinion concluded that it would have been mandatory to investigate the matter of the newly occurring neurological symptoms immediately but this had only been performed after undue delay, which had to be interpreted as a case of medical malpractice. The expert pointed out that it was not possible to provide clear evidence that emergent diagnosis and surgery would have enabled a significantly better outcome.The arbitration board ascertained a lack of examination and argued that prompt and adequate diagnostic measures would have revealed the relevant pathological finding and thus surgery would have been performed immediately. According to the reversal of evidence in favor of the patient it could be assumed that no permanent neurological damage existed when the first neurological symptoms occurred and that emergent surgery at least had the potential to prevent permanent paraplegia. This opinion of the arbitration board is supported by numerous references in the literature. HubMed – rehab


Postoperative Range of Motion Trends Following Total Ankle Arthroplasty.

Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Mar 11;
Ajis A, Henriquez H, Myerson M

BACKGROUND: It is still unknown how ankle range of motion changes following total ankle arthroplasty. This study was undertaken to more accurately address patient expectations, guide postoperative rehabilitation, and improve our understanding of how ankle range of motion changes with time. METHODS: 119 total ankle replacements of 3 different prosthetic designs from 1 surgeon were retrospectively examined and compared. Ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion ranges of motion were calculated and analyzed preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. The different ankle replacement systems were analyzed individually and together to determine whether trends were replicated. RESULTS: No significant increase in ankle range of motion was found 6 months postoperatively (P = .75). Mean combined postoperative range of motion did not change significantly from 24.3 degrees at 1 year versus a preoperative mean of 22.7 degrees (P = .75). Mean dorsiflexion improved significantly at the 6-week postoperative stage by 5.5 degrees (P < .001), whereas plantar flexion only improved by 2.9 degrees (P = .06). Mean dorsiflexion improved from preoperative levels by 5.4 degrees (P = .001), whereas mean plantar flexion decreased by 3.7 degrees (P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: We found no notable improvement in ankle range of motion after 6 months following total ankle arthroplasty. We also found a disproportionately higher increase in dorsiflexion compared with plantar flexion following surgery and an overall reduction in mean plantar flexion range compared with preoperative values. Notwithstanding this discrepancy, total mean ankle range of motion 1 year postoperatively was similar to preoperative values. Reasons for the discrepancy between dorsiflexion and plantar flexion are unclear. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, retrospective comparative study. HubMed – rehab


Outcomes of Cochlear Implantation in Children With Isolated Auditory Neuropathy Versus Cochlear Hearing Loss.

Otol Neurotol. 2013 Mar 8;
Budenz CL, Telian SA, Arnedt C, Starr K, Arts HA, El-Kashlan HK, Zwolan TA

OBJECTIVE: Auditory neuropathy (AN) is a heterogeneous clinical entity for which the optimal method of auditory rehabilitation has been a matter of some debate. Such patients often do not receive sufficient benefit from hearing aids. Previous studies have shown that select AN patients may benefit from cochlear implantation (CI), but reported outcomes are variable and likely are a reflection of the heterogeneous patient population included under the umbrella diagnosis of AN. This study compares CI outcomes in a subset of the pediatric AN population who do not have a confounding cognitive disorder with their cochlear hearing loss peers. Additionally, it examines the impact of a confounding cognitive or developmental disorder on CI outcomes within the AN population. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: Twenty-six pediatric patients with AN who received a CI were the subjects of this study. Seventeen of these children had a diagnosis of AN alone, and their CI outcomes were compared with those of a similar group of children with cochlear hearing loss. The remaining 9 children had a diagnosis of AN in association with a confounding cognitive or developmental disorder, and their CI outcomes were compared with those of children with isolated AN. INTERVENTION: Cochlear implantation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All subjects were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively with age-appropriate speech perception testing. RESULTS: Children with a diagnosis of AN alone performed comparably to their peers with cochlear hearing loss. The presence of a confounding cognitive or developmental disorder within the AN population was correlated with significantly poorer CI outcomes as compared with those of children with isolated AN. CONCLUSION: Children with a diagnosis of AN without associated cognitive or developmental disorders perform at a level comparable to other children requiring a CI. Children with a diagnosis of AN associated with other developmental anomalies derive some benefit from CI but are significantly more likely to continue to rely on nonoral/aural methods of communication after implantation. HubMed – rehab


Do Racial and Ethnic Group Differences in Performance on the MCAT Exam Reflect Test Bias?

Acad Med. 2013 Mar 8;
Davis D, Dorsey JK, Franks RD, Sackett PR, Searcy CA, Zhao X

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized examination that assesses fundamental knowledge of scientific concepts, critical reasoning ability, and written communication skills. Medical school admission officers use MCAT scores, along with other measures of academic preparation and personal attributes, to select the applicants they consider the most likely to succeed in medical school. In 2008-2011, the committee charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the MCAT exam examined four issues: (1) whether racial and ethnic groups differ in mean MCAT scores, (2) whether any score differences are due to test bias, (3) how group differences may be explained, and (4) whether the MCAT exam is a barrier to medical school admission for black or Latino applicants.This analysis showed that black and Latino examinees’ mean MCAT scores are lower than white examinees’, mirroring differences on other standardized admission tests and in the average undergraduate grades of medical school applicants. However, there was no evidence that the MCAT exam is biased against black and Latino applicants as determined by their subsequent performance on selected medical school performance indicators. Among other factors which could contribute to mean differences in MCAT performance, whites, blacks, and Latinos interested in medicine differ with respect to parents’ education and income. Admission data indicate that admission committees accept majority and minority applicants at similar rates, which suggests that medical students are selected on the basis of a combination of attributes and competencies rather than on MCAT scores alone. HubMed – rehab



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