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Neu-Ulm, Germany

In the past 30 years, the use of a voice prosthesis has become the treatment of choice for the restoration of speech following laryngectomy. Not only is the placement of a voice prosthesis a simple surgical procedure, but it is also associated with a low rate of complications and an excellent success rate. Approximately, 20–30 % of all patients with voice prostheses, however, develop periprosthetic leakage with aspiration over time. Periprosthetic leakage is usually caused by an enlargement of the tracheo-oesophageal fistula and substantially affects the quality of life of the patients concerned. In a retrospective analysis of our patients, the incidence of periprosthetic leakage was 35.7 % in a total of 232 patients who underwent laryngectomy during a period of 20 years. Substantial enlargement of the tracheo-oesophageal fistula which required multiple treatments occurred in 12.5 % of the patients. In this review, the various causes of fistula enlargement are discussed on the basis of the literature and the experience that we have accumulated during the past 20 years in the management of patients with voice prostheses. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Freund W.,University of Ulm | Weber F.,German Armed Forces Hospital | Billich C.,University of Ulm | Schuetz U.H.,University of Ulm
BMJ Open

Objectives: 67 runners participated in the Trans Europe FootRace 2009 (TEFR09), a 4487 km (2789 mi) multistage ultra-marathon covering the south of Europe (Bari, Italy) to the North Cape. Reports on ultra-marathons are lacking, but the literature reports overuse injuries in athletes, especially to the Achilles tendon (AT), ankle or hind foot. Bone oedema may be related to exposure and is present in fatigue fractures. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine prospectively if sustained maximal load during an ultra-marathon leads to damage to the foot. Design and participants: In a cohort study, repeated scanning of the 22 athletes participating in the study was performed before and during (approximately every 1000 km) the race. Using the obtained fat saturated inversion recovery sequence, two experienced readers blinded to the clinical data rated the images regarding foot lesions. Statistical analysis included regression analysis and computation of the inter-rater reliability. Setting: The TEFR09 course. MRI scanning was performed according to prearranged schedules for every participant, using a mobile 1.5 Tesla MRI unit on a trailer following the race. Primary outcome measures: MRI data such as AT diameter, bone or tendon lesions, subcutaneous, plantar fascia or intraosseous oedema. Results: The 22 study participants did not differ significantly from the total of the 67 TEFR09 runners regarding height, weight and age. The AT diameter increased significantly from 6.8 to 7.8 mm as did intraosseous signal, bone lesions and subcutaneous oedema. However, finishers differed only regarding plantar aponeurosis and subcutaneous oedema from participants aborting the TEFR09. Inter-rater reliability was 0.88-0.98. Conclusion: Under the extreme stress of the TEFR09, an increase of the AT diameter as well as bone signal are thought to be adaptive since only subcutaneous oedema and plantar fascia oedema were related to abortion of the race. Trial registration number: University of Ulm, Germany Ethics Committee Number 78/08-UBB/se. Source

Freund W.,University of Ulm | Weber F.,German Armed Forces Hospital | Billich C.,University of Ulm | Birklein F.,University Medical Center Mainz | And 2 more authors.
Pain Practice

Introduction: Susceptibility to pain varies among individuals and may predispose to a higher risk for pain disorders. Thus, it is of interest to investigate subjects who exhibit higher resistance to pain. We therefore tested pain tolerance and assessed personality traits of ultra-marathon athletes who are able to run 4487 km (2789 mi) over 64 days without resting days and compare the results to controls. Methods: After approval of the local ethics committee and with informed consent, 11 participants of the TransEurope FootRace (TEFR09 participants) and 11 matched (age, sex, and ethnicity) controls without marathon experience in the last 5 years were enrolled. They were tested for cold pain tolerance (cold pressor [CP] test), and the 240 item trait and character inventory (TCI) as well as the general self-efficacy (GSE) test were obtained. Results: TransEurope FootRace participants had a highly significant greater cold pain tolerance in the CP test than controls (P = 0.0002). While the GSE test showed no differences, the TCI test provided TEFR09 participants to be less cooperative and reward dependent but more spiritually transcendent than the controls. Significant positive correlations were found between the CP test pain score at 180 seconds and several TCI subscales showing that higher pain scores correlate with higher reward dependence, dependence, cooperativeness, empathy, and pure-hearted conscience. Conclusions: Personality profiles as well as pain tolerance of our sample of TEFR09 participants differ from normal controls and-as obtained in previous studies-probably also from chronic pain patients. Low pain perception may predispose a person to become a long-distance runner. It remains unclear, however, whether low pain perception is cause or consequence of continuous extreme training. © 2013 World Institute of Pain. Source

Mauer U.M.,German Armed Forces Hospital
Neurosurgical focus

For many years, the experience of neurosurgeons from the German Armed Forces was limited to the peacetime care of patients in Germany. In 1995, German military neurosurgeons were deployed abroad for the first time. Since the beginning of the International Security Assistance Force mission, there has been a rapidly increasing number of opportunities for military neurosurgeons to broaden their experience during deployments abroad. Since the first deployment of a neurosurgeon to the German field hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, a total of 140 neurosurgical procedures have been performed there. Sixty-four surgeries were performed for cranial or spinal neurotrauma management. During the entire period, only 10 International Security Assistance Force members required acute or urgent neurosurgical interventions. The majority of neurosurgical procedures were performed in Afghan patients who received acute and elective treatment whenever the necessary infrastructure was available in the field hospital. Fifteen patients from the Afghan National Army and Police and 115 local patients underwent neurosurgery. Sixty-two procedures were carried out under acute or urgent conditions, and 78 operations were elective. Source

Lorenz K.J.,German Armed Forces Hospital | Maier H.,German Armed Forces Hospital
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

The functional and cosmetic reconstruction of the upper lip after a subtotal defect is a highly demanding challenge, especially when the columella is involved. In the majority of cases, the surgical techniques described in the literature are suitable only for restoring the function and appearance of the upper lip but not for reconstructing adjacent areas. In this article, we present the case of an 85-yearold female patient with an extensive, aggressive and highly invasive basal cell carcinoma of the upper lip and the columella. We describe a modification of the nasolabial flap technique using cheek tissue for the reconstruction of the defect. The modified flap is used for both the full-thickness reconstruction of the subtotal upper-lip defect and the restoration of the function and appearance of the columella. This technique allows excellent cosmetic and functional results to be obtained in a single-stage procedure. © Springer-Verlag 2009. Source

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