Monday, February 13, 2012

Taking Off: The Impact of Spaceflight on Musculoskeletal Tissue

By: Mary Ann Porucznik

During the past two years, orthopaedic researchers have had a unique opportunity to study the impact of microgravity, such as that experienced during spaceflight, on musculoskeletal tissues. Over the course of three space shuttle missions, a NASA mouse-tissue Biospecimen Sharing Program looked at the effects of spaceflight not only on bone and muscle but also on cartilage and tendon. Three investigators involved in the program—Stavros Thomopoulos, PhD; Jeffrey C. Lotz, PhD; and Eduardo Almeida, PhD—presented “New Insights into the Effects of Spaceflight in Musculoskeletal Tissues” to members of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS).

“This is the dream of every animal studies committee,” noted Dr. Thomopoulos in his introduction; “it was probably the best utilization of animals that I’ve ever seen. The animals were dissected and every tissue was passed on to a different researcher for a specific study.” His studies covered the rotator cuff—from muscle to tendon to bone.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Female Soccer Players May Face Health Problems - Study

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Intense training combined with insufficient nutrition may threaten the health of young female soccer players, suggests a new study that finds menstrual irregularities and stress fractures are common among these athletes.
Nearly one in five elite female soccer players reported having irregular menstrual cycles, while 14 percent had a stress fracture in the past year, the study found.
Though the toll of so-called "aesthetic sports," such as dance and gymnastics, and endurance sports, such as running, on young women's bodies has been well studied, soccer has largely escaped scrutiny, said lead study author Dr. Heidi Prather, an associate professor and chief of the physical medicine and rehabilitation section at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

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Dr. Larry Lenke Discusses Frequently Asked Questions About Scoliosis

Why does scoliosis develop most often in late childhood? And why is it more common in girls? 
Scoliosis most often develops in late childhood because of the association between growth and progressive scoliosis curves. Although scoliosis can develop at any age, including infantile (age birth- 3), Juvenile (age 3-10), adolescent (age 10-18) and adult (> age 18), the most common time to detect curves are in late childhood/early teen years. Thus, the most common form seen, Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), is detected between ages 10 and 18, often just before or after puberty and the associated adolescent growth spurt. Small curves (10-20 degrees) are nearly equally found in boys and girls, but larger curves which often need treatment (those > 40 degrees) are seen in females to males in a 9:1 ratio. It is a bit unclear why that is the case, it may certainly be a genetic tendency, and/or something relating to hormonal alterations or connective tissue adaptations for the potential for childbirth in females.