logo logo
Spinal Epidural Abscess: Diagnosis, Management, and Outcomes. Schwab Joseph H,Shah Akash A The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons An infection of the spinal epidural space, spinal epidural abscess (SEA) is a potentially devastating entity that is rising in incidence. Its insidious presentation, variable progression, and potential for precipitous neurologic decline make diagnosis and management of SEA challenging. Prompt diagnosis is key because treatment delay can lead to paralysis or death. Owing to the nonspecific symptoms and signs of SEA, misdiagnosis is alarmingly common. Risk factor assessment to determine the need for definitive MRI reduces diagnostic delays compared with relying on clinical or laboratory findings alone. Although decompression has long been considered the benchmark for SEA, considerable risk associated with spinal surgery is noted in an older cohort with multiple comorbidities. Nonoperative management may represent an alternative in select cases. Failure of nonoperative management is a feared outcome associated with motor deterioration and poor clinical outcomes. Recent studies have identified independent predictors of failure and residual neurologic dysfunction, recurrence, and mortality. Importantly, these studies provide tools that generate probabilities of these outcomes. Future directions of investigation should include external validation of existing algorithms through multi-institutional collaboration, prospective trials, and incorporation of powerful predictive statistics such as machine learning methods. 10.5435/JAAOS-D-19-00685
Musculoskeletal Infections in the Emergency Department. Kolinsky Daniel C,Liang Stephen Y Emergency medicine clinics of North America Bone and joint infections are potentially limb-threatening or even life-threatening diseases. Emergency physicians must consider infection when evaluating musculoskeletal complaints, as misdiagnosis can have significant consequences. Patients with bone and joint infections can have heterogeneous presentations with nonspecific signs and symptoms. Staphylococcus aureus is the most commonly implicated microorganism. Although diagnosis may be suggested by physical examination, laboratory testing, and imaging, tissue sampling for Gram stain and microbiologic culture is preferable, as pathogen identification and susceptibility testing help optimize long-term antibiotic therapy. A combination of medical and surgical interventions is often necessary to effectively manage these challenging infections. 10.1016/j.emc.2018.06.006