A 25-year-old man is brought in by ambulance after being involved in a high-speed motor vehicle crash as an unrestrained driver. He is complaining of right hip pain and lower abdominal pain. During his primary trauma survey, you note that his right leg is shortened and internally rotated. You suspect a native hip dislocation and/or fracture and wonder which diagnostic studies you should obtain and whether you should attempt a reduction before consulting orthopedic surgery.
Later that evening, an elderly woman arrives with right hip pain, unable to ambulate. She states, “I was just bending over to put on my shoes when I felt a ‘pop,’ and then I fell to the ground.” She then informs you that she recently underwent right total hip arthroplasty. You notice her right leg appears internally rotated, adducted, and shortened. You suspect a dislocation of her prosthesis and wonder whether you should involve orthopedics or reduce it yourself and, if reduction is successful, whether she can be discharged home.
19-year-old man arrives by EMS, saying that while he was playing a pick-up game of football, he was tackled and felt a “pop” in his right knee. His friend told EMS that his knee looked like it “bent backwards.” His knee was immobilized by EMS, but it doesn’t look deformed. You are concerned that he may have dislocated and spontaneously reduced his knee and wonder if any diagnostic studies are needed.
A 27-year-old man presents to the ED with right ankle pain and obvious deformity. He has severe pain and cannot stand after landing awkwardly in a hole with his right foot when he jumped down from a tree branch. He is unable to bear weight or move his ankle due to severe pain. He appears to have an ankle dislocation and possible fracture; you wonder which takes priority: reduction or imaging?
A literature search was performed in PubMed, EMBase, Medline®, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, SportDiscus, and Google Scholar using the search terms hip dislocation, anterior hip dislocation, posterior hip dislocation, knee dislocation, ankle dislocation, talar dislocation, subtalar dislocation, hip reduction, knee reduction, and ankle reduction. A total of 163 articles were found regarding hip dislocations, 187 on knee dislocations, and 167 on ankle dislocations. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was searched, using the terms hip dislocation, knee dislocation, and ankle dislocation, resulting in 8 articles related primarily to knee dislocations. The American College of Emergency Physicians does not endorse any guidelines related to lower-extremity dislocations.
The majority of the applicable literature for lower-extremity dislocations is found in orthopedic and trauma surgery journals. ED-specific studies are limited, though the approach and initial management is the same, regardless of location or provider. Most of the articles in the literature are case reports, case series, and retrospective reviews; there are no large randomized trials assessing diagnosis or management strategies for lower-extremity dislocations.
Evidence-based medicine requires a critical appraisal of the literature based upon study methodology and number of subjects. Not all references are equally robust. The findings of a large, prospective, randomized, and blinded trial should carry more weight than a case report.
To help the reader judge the strength of each reference, pertinent information about the study is included in bold type following the reference, where available. In addition, the most informative references cited in this paper, as determined by the authors, are noted by an asterisk (*) next to the number of the reference.
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Why to Use
The Bastion Classification was developed as a classification system to comprehensively describe the injury pattern of lower extremities after blast injuries. It correlates with treatment need, such as the requirement for operative proximal vascular control or amputation level. The criteria are helpful for facilitating communication between clinicians and for operative management.
When to Use
Management depends on the injuries diagnosed. Using the Bastion Classification and its suffixes, emergency department physicians and trauma surgeons can anticipate the need for other surgical consultations and the resources required for treatment.
Jennie Kim, MD
Travis Polk, MD
A panel of military surgeons, Jacobs et al, developed the Bastion Classification and performed a prospective validation study with 103 patients who sustained 179 lower limb injuries caused by improvised explosive devices treated at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, from November 2010 to February 2011.
The primary aim of the proposed classification was to provide a pragmatic, comprehensive, and clinically relevant system to better facilitate the transfer of information. Currently existing lower limb injury classification systems fail to describe the complete injury pattern or correlate with management. The Internal Committee of the Red Cross classification is broad and does not provide information on the severity of injury. The Mangled Extremity Severity Score (MESS), Gustilo and Anderson, and Müller AO classifications do not provide information on injury level. The Müller AO classification also does not take into account soft tissue injury. The secondary aim of the study by Jacobs et al was to facilitate the assessment of interventions. The Bastion Classification did show a predictable association with the level of initial musculoskeletal debridement and/or amputation and the level of vascular control.
The original study was not designed to correlate class of injury with outcomes such as mortality, transfusion requirements, or definitive amputation level, and thus, this information is not provided in the publication nor in the conclusions made.
A study in 2013 by Lundy and Hobbs looked at 67 patients with 117 injured limbs caused by dismounted blast exposure. The authors noted that the Bastion Classification appeared to be predictive of initial musculoskeletal treatment but was less useful in predicting the need for proximal vascular control, especially in the most common Class 3 injuries. The original study by Jacobs et al showed that Class 3 injuries correlated with a higher rate of intra- or extraperitoneal iliac vessel control (23% of 83 Class 3 injured limbs without associated abdominal injuries) compared to the study by Lundy et al that only had 1 patient with a Class 3 injury without associated abdominal injury and 6 (5%) of all injured limbs requiring iliac vessel control. The 2013 study does not comment on correlation of the Bastion Classification to mortality rates.
Neal Jacobs, MD
Copyright © MDCalc • Reprinted with permission.
Caylyne Arnold, DO; Zane Fayos, MD; David Bruner, MD, FAAEM; Dylan Arnold, DO
December 1, 2017
December 31, 2020
Physician CME Information
Date of Original Release: December 1, 2017. Date of most recent review: November 10, 2017. Termination date: December 1, 2020.
Accreditation: EB Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the ACCME.
Credit Designation: EB Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
ACEP Accreditation: Emergency Medicine Practice is approved by the American College of Emergency Physicians for 48 hours of ACEP Category I credit per annual subscription.
AAFP Accreditation: This Enduring Material activity, Emergency Medicine Practice, has been reviewed and is acceptable for credit by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Term of approval begins 07/01/2017. Term of approval is for one year from this date. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Approved for 4 AAFP Prescribed credits.
AOA Accreditation: Emergency Medicine Practice is eligible for up to 48 American Osteopathic Association Category 2-A or 2-B credit hours per year.
Specialty CME: Included as part of the 4 credits, this CME activity is eligible for 4 Trauma CME credits, subject to your state and institutional approval.
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Goals: Upon completion of this activity, you should be able to: (1) demonstrate medical decision-making based on the strongest clinical evidence; (2) cost-effectively diagnose and treat the most critical presentations; and (3) describe the most common medicolegal pitfalls for each topic covered.
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