Plain Radiography

Conventional radiographs represent the basic examination: they are important for the diagnosis, staging, and evaluation of progression of the infection [6] (Fig. 2).

Plain radiographs of the bone are of relatively little value during the first weeks; in this phase they often do not reveal the presence of infection in a nonunion [7].

The earliest alterations can be observed on radiographic images only some weeks after the septic process has started and consist of a radiotrans-parency area in relation to osteopenia, sometimes followed by a nonspecific periosteal reaction. In fact, the bone alterations depend on the inflammatory state during the early stages (with hyperemia and osteopenia) rather than on the bone tissue damage. In later phases, an impoverishment of bone matrix is clear, and the possible presence of sequestration can be detected.

Fig.2a,b. Radiographic evidence of infected nonunion of two tibial fractures (a) after repeated surgical procedures in an open fracture, (b) after internal fixation of a closed fracture

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment