Advance Directive Status in >65yo ED Population

Advance directives are an important aspect of medical care for the elderly given the uncertainty of health and longevity. In their absence, family and physicians are often left with questions regarding what patient’s wishes would entail if they become incapacitated. Individuals >65 years presenting to the ED were surveyed during the months of June-September 2015 by study investigators regarding their knowledge and utilization of advance directives. 168 patient surveys were completed with a mean age of 77.2 (SD ±7.45 years; range 65-97). Of those, 91% were either ―very familiar‖ or ―somewhat familiar‖ with Advance Directives with 76.1% having some form of documented advance directives in place. Of those who felt family were aware of their wishes, 84.9% had assigned a Medical Durable Power of Attorney. Only a small minority had developed advance directives with their physician’s assistance (6.8%). The majority of patients stated that they had prepared their end of life documents with a Lawyer (72%). Only 35.8% of patients sampled had even mentioned the topic or their specific wishes with their primary care or ED physician. Overall rates of formalized advance directives would appear to be highly utilized in this patient population with little variation based upon respondents’ self-assessment of physical health. A surprising finding was how minor of a role physicians appear to play in the development of ADs. This provides an opportunity to enhance the physician-patient relationship and improve patient education regarding end of care discussions. Physicians should take initiative and begin having these conversations, in order to ensure that patients are making educated decisions and that proper documentation is occurring.

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Hardware Repair

Distal radius fractures are one of the most common fractures in the elderly. Falls and motor vehicle collisions lead to increased risk for this type of fracture. A seventy-three year-old female had a previous history of distal radius fracture with repair by open reduction and internal fixation. She was involved in a motor vehicle collision that re- fractured the distal radius. The plate was bent and required removal, which is a very rare but potentially serious complication. Surgery was done to fix the open reduction and internal fixation with volar locking plates while removing damaged hardware. Only a select few cases have reported hardware failure as a cause of complications. Among those cases, high-energy activities and maintained stress on the hardware were likely causes. Distal radius fractures are the most common upper extremity fracture in the elderly. We highlight a unique case of re-fracture in the setting of trauma with prior hardware failure and describe the strategy for hardware repair.

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Scrotal Rupture

Neonatal meconium periorchitis is a rare condition, with less than 60 cases described in the literature. Of the reported cases, only one describes the complication of a congenital rupture of the scrotum. We present a case of a Hispanic preterm neonate who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after scrotal rupture secondary to meconium periorchitis. The neonate was taken to the operating room for exploratory laparotomy and scrotal exploration. No calcification was noted and the patient’s left scrotum was surgically packed as well as creating a colostomy. The surgery proved successful and the patient was discharged home on day of life 79. This case of a neonate presenting with meconium periorchitis and scrotal rupture notes the varying degree of initial presentations for cystic fibrosis in a neonate. Successful outcomes for neonates presenting with a ruptured scrotum depend on early clinical assessment.

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Tonsillar Ectopia


Chiari Malformation Type I (CM I) is characterized by cerebellar tonsil ectopia and has varying symptomatology . Previous research has shown a relationship between tonsillar dominance and related conditions but few examined association with symptomatology. This study attempts to elucidate a relationship between cerebellar tonsil dominance, age, and symptomatology.


Data from CM I patients were extracted from the Conquer Chiari Patient Registry. Tonsillar dominance was determined using a ratio of right-to-left herniation length. Pearson’s correlation and one-tailed Student’s T-test were used for analysis.


Length of tonsillar descent appears to be negatively correlated to age of onset (r = -0.266; p < 0.001; n = 113) and diagnosis (r = -0.323; p < 0.001; n = 113). No correlation was found between tonsillar dominance and symptom location, nor between tonsillar dominance and symptom severity bilaterally (p > 0.05). Symptom location and severity ratios appear to be correlated (r = 0.666; p < 0.001). Tonsillar descent length appears to be strongly correlated bilaterally (r = 0.972; p < 0.001; n = 50). Conclusion Inconsistency between tonsillar dominance as related to symptomatology suggests a multifactorial contribution to clinical presentation. The inverse relationship between tonsillar herniation length and age of symptom onset and diagnosis suggests herniation length may be an important predictor for clinical outcomes. Further research is needed to elucidate additional contributing factors and tonsillar dominance and symptomatology association.

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Wallis Implant

Introduction: Degeneration of the lumbar motion segment is the primary cause of low back pain in many individuals. Therefore, new minimally invasive treatments are being sought.

Patient Profile: A 47-year old man presented with severe low back pain and radicular symptoms of several years duration. Lumbar MRI revealed severe desiccation, loss of disc height, and an annular tear with right lateral disc protrusion at L4-5.

Interventions/Outcomes: After conservative treatment failed, the patient received a Wallis® interspinous spacer at the affected level. 100% subjective pain relief was obtained at 3 months post-op. Nucleus pulposus rehydration on MRI was observed.

Discussion: Controversy exists over whether disc dehydration is a reliable indicator of low back pain; however, interspinous spacers seem to alter abnormal motion segment’s biomechanics in a way that results in alleviation of low back pain and increased range of motion. With the advent of biologic therapy, this may provide an intriguing minimally invasive treatment modality, although further research is needed.

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