Background: Pathological conditions with ongoing inflammatory processes result in specific heat signatures at the affected body parts; infrared thermography (IRT) detects these changes and can be utilied in screening such conditions. The modern devices are advanced and their non contact, convenient and precise readings can aid in multiple medical sub fields. Orthopaedics as a broad entity has witnessed utilisation of this technology for different indications and the present scoping review was done to assess these established indications and further scope of its utility.
Method: ology: A Medline search was done on April 26, 2021 with specific keywords for studies of any design in English language discussing the usage of thermography in Orthopaedics. Animal studies, conference abstracts, systematic reviews, e-posters, case reports, book chapters, and studies describing the use of thermography in non-Orthopaedic patients were excluded.
Results: Total number of hits were 1380. 43 studies including case series and case control studies were included in the review. The subfields or indications described were pain/arthritis, Charcot’s foot/neuropathic ulcers, infections associated with diabetic feet and arthroplasties, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports medicine, paediatric orthopaedics, spine, ergonomics and compartment syndrome.
Conclusion: IRT has been described to be effective in orthopaedic conditions with specific heat signatures and this can assess the trend of the ongoing inflammatory process as well as response to a particular treatment. Additionally, it can specifically determine the exact loci of the pathology for targeted interventions.
Keywords: Arthritis; IRT; Infrared thermography; Orthopaedics; Periprosthetic infection; Sports medicine, ortho, orthopeadics, orthopedie.