This scoping review explores the use of infrared thermography (IRT) in Orthopaedics to detect specific heat signatures associated with inflammatory conditions. The researchers conducted a search in the Medline database for relevant studies published in English, excluding animal studies, conference abstracts, and non-Orthopaedic patient studies. Out of 1380 hits, they included 43 studies that discussed the usage of thermography in Orthopaedics, covering various indications such as pain/arthritis, Charcot’s foot/neuropathic ulcers, infections, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports medicine, pediatric orthopaedics, spine, ergonomics, and compartment syndrome.
The results indicate that infrared thermography is effective in assessing and monitoring inflammatory processes and treatment responses in orthopaedic conditions. It can also pinpoint the exact location of the pathology, allowing for targeted interventions. This non-contact and precise technology shows promise for multiple medical subfields within Orthopaedics.