Monitoring Bone Fracture Recovery: A Scientific Review
Injury monitoring is one of the applications with the most evidence in the scientific literature, in this case bone fracture.
In this case, Tristan Castonguay, a ThermoHuman user, has recently published a review on the state of the art in monitoring bone fractures. As described by Sillero et al. 2015 in their research conducted at the CEMTRO clinic in Madrid, where screening for pathologies in emergencies was performed, bone fractures initially exhibit a hyperthermia pattern that generates an asymmetry of 0,9°C between the injured and healthy regions.
However, this is not the main application of thermography, as it serves as a valuable tool for screening and triage in various pathologies in emergencies, such as appendicitis. It is not a diagnostic tool in traumatology. Therefore, it can contribute to cost savings in screening but cannot precisely determine the extent of the condition.
What this technology does allow is the quantification of data, enabling tracking during the recovery process of the injury.
Tracking the recovery of a bone fracture.
For this reason, Tristan Castonguay from University of Concordia has conducted research on the state of the art in evaluating the bone consolidation process using thermography.
The authors identified three scientific studies with a level of evidence 2 (cohort studies) that analyzed this recovery process. Among the three studies, the first, conducted in 1985 on athletes, did not report the age, while in the second study conducted in 2015, the subjects had an average age of 65 years. In the third study, also conducted in 2015, the subjects had an average age of 9 years.
This is important because between the two 2015 studies, the degree of asymmetry normalization in the study involving children was much greater, reaching an asymmetry degree below 0.2°C within the first 4 weeks. In contrast, in older adults, the degree of normalization was not achieved until after 20 weeks.
The authors suggest that this difference may be attributed to children’s tissue’s greater ability to heal and remodel the bone callus earlier. This could be closely related to physiological recovery processes.
The authors’ main conclusion is that once a patient has been diagnosed with a fracture, thermography can be used to monitor the healing process.
Age is a factor to consider due to the difference in tissue healing.
The injured mode in ThermoHuman software.
This research, along with others on different injuries in the musculoskeletal system, serves as a reference for generating the injured mode in ThermoHuman software.
This mode allows you to visualize, based on the patient/athlete’s pathology, a reference graph for the course of the injury. The goal is to enable comparison with the normal evolution and track the patient/athlete’s pathology.
Castonguay, T., & Dover, G. (2023). Infrared Thermography—A Novel Tool for Monitoring Fracture Healing: A Critically Appraised Topic With Evidence-Based Recommendations for Clinical Practice. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 1(aop), 1-6.
Sillero-Quintana, M., Fernández-Jaén, T., Fernández-Cuevas, I., Gómez-Carmona, P. M., Arnaiz-Lastras, J., Pérez, M. D., & Guillén, P. (2015). Infrared thermography as a support tool for screening and early diagnosis in emergencies. Journal of Medical Imaging and Health Informatics, 5(6), 1223-1228.