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Rice bodies…

January 15, 2015

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Elderly gentleman came to the ED because he was wandering around the neighborhood.  A bystandard called 911.  He was pleasantly confused, had a mental status consistent with dementia.  The only other pertinent physical exam finding was some erythema, cellulitic appearance to his ankle.  We obtained a tibia and fibula xray looking for gas in the setting of cellulitis and this is what we found:


Rice bodies 2Rice bodies 1

 

The densities in the soft tissue of his legs are “Rice bodies.”  They are sometimes seen in systemic cysticercosis.  These bodies are calcified dead cysts from the organism Taenia Solium.  Typically this tapeworm is found in pork.  Taenia Solium is rare in the U.S., it is more prevalent in underdeveloped countries especially with a diet that has potential to include raw or undercooked pork.  This should also be on your differential with new onset seizures (1).

 

Multiple calcifications 1

 

He also had rice bodies on head CT.  Possibly the cause of his dementia?

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

References

(1) Parasites – Taeniasis.  http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/taeniasis/.  Accessed 1/2015.

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Maisonneuve Fx…

August 14, 2014

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This patient presented to the ED after twisting their ankle playing basketball.  Notably on clinical exam the patient also had pain to palpation near the proximal lower leg:

 

Massoneuve Fx 2

Massoneuve Fx 3

These radiographs show two clearly visible fractures on the proximal and distal fibula.  Also noted is some widening of the mortis on gravity stress view and if you look closely on the anterior tib/fib image (top) there is a comminuted proximal tibia fracture.  The injury pattern seen here is an example of a Maisonneuve type fracture.

A Maisonneuve fracture occurs when with disruption of the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis is associated with a proximal fibular fracture.  Often a medial malleolar fracture will be seen as well (not in this image).  This is an unstable fracture pattern that often needs operative intervention.  This image has an additional proximal tibia fracture that isn’t usually classic for a Maisonneuve fracture pattern.

In order not to miss this fracture one should always perform a proximal lower leg exam with all ankle injuries!  Image the entire fibula if there is pain.

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

 

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Bad orthopedics…

March 19, 2014

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A patient presents with foot pain after a fall from a ladder:

Foot fracture 1 Foot fracture 2

This foot X-ray shows a hindfoot dislocation at the talo-navicular and calcaneo-cuboid joints with varus angulation.  This pattern is suggestive of a Chopart’s fracture/dislocation.

What is a Chopart’s fracture/dislocation?  Glad you asked!  It is a dislocation at the specified joints above (talo-navicular and calcaneo-cuboid).  This hindfoot joint is commonly referred to as the Chopart joint.  Please see radiopaedia.org for further discussion and an even clearer X-ray for educational purposes:

Chopart’s Fracture/dislocation

It is important to understand that this is a HIGH energy mechanism.  With these high energy mechanisms it is also important to consider other injuries including proximal tibia, hip, and lumbar spine injuries.  This patient also had:

Tibial plateau fx 2 Tibial plateu fx 1

This is a quite comminuted fracture of the tibial plateau that may even make an orthopedic surgeon cringe.

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

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Osteochondroma

March 15, 2013

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This person presented to the ED with pain in the legs after an acute trauma.  Here are his tibia/fibula views:

Osteochondroma 2Osteochondroma 1

There is no fracture or dislocation.  However, on the proximal fibula you can see a mass…what is that?

This is an example of an osteochondroma.  Osteochondromas are benign tumors of the growth plate that account for roughly 10-15% of all bone tumors.  They are a common incidental finding and occur mostly on the lower extremity.  Less frequently they can be seen on an upper extremity, and uncommonly on the spine.  Osteochondromas very rarely (<1%) transform to malignant lesions.

A great summary of osteochondromas can be found at Radiopaedia.org.  Their plain film appearance is described as:

“An osteochondroma can be either sessile or pedunculated, and is seen in the metaphyseal region typically projecting away from the epiphysis. There is often associated broadening of the metaphysis from which it arises. The cartilage cap is variable in appearance. It may be thin and difficult to identify, or thick with rings and arcs calcification and irregular subchondral bone.

New cortical irregularity or continued growth after skeletal maturity has been reached, as well as frankly aggressive features (e.g. bony destruction, large soft tissue component, metastases) are all worrying for malignant transformation.”

Author:  Russell Jones, M.D.

References

1.  Niknejad MT, Gaillard F, et al.  Osteochondroma.  http://radiopaedia.org/articles/osteochondroma

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