We all know about x-rays, although they were accurate for bone fractures in the early days of medicine, where uses included viewing items that were swallowed or left in a patient, or to locate bullets, as in construction injuries where an item is viewed by x-ray, a clear view and accurate enough to set a broken arm or remove a foreign object.
An injury from the 60’s cannot be compared to an injury of the 21st Century. Several factors weigh in on that subject as in the types of injuries we see today were not seen or treated rarely in the 19th -20th Centuries. Cars are faster, as well as motorcycles, bikes in fact are more streamlined and made of materials that were not being used in manufacturing of futuristic materials, impacts on a bicycle are much more injurious than on a two wheeler in 1970.
More long term damage can be done internally to the human body than previously due to impact speeds. Air bags and padding have changed the number of consumers that perish. Some injuries don’t come to light until a patient complains and the doctor goes looking at why the patient is in pain. Today’s injuries are looked at with advanced new 3-D imaging.
PET, MR, CT scans, and Ultrasounds, and traditional X-ray technology are the arsenal for doctors and physical therapist to understand at an entirely new level what nerve damage looks like in a live scan. In an article posted on the Imagins website explaining medical imaging, at this address: http://www.imaginis.com/ct-scan/why-is-ct-performed-2, tells us why CT scans are performed and gives examples of why other types of scans are not done instead of the CT scan. Here is a quote from that page;
Among the various imaging techniques such as MR and x-ray, CT has the unique ability to image a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. For example, conventional x-ray imaging of the head can only show the dense bone structures of the skull. X-ray angiography of the head only depicts the blood vessels of the head and neck and not the soft brain-tissue. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging does an excellent job of showing soft tissue and blood vessels, but MR does not give as much detail of bony structures such as the skull. CT images of the head allow physicians to see soft-tissue anatomic structures like the brain’s ventricles or gray and white matter. Physician then can selectively “window” the digital CT images on the computer monitor to look at the soft tissue, then the bone and then the blood vessels, as needed.
Working has changed to the extreme as well. Typing on a typewriter is far different than keying information on a keyboard and the speeds have increased and makes typing not as laborious. The injuries that can form from speed typing can range from hairline fractures to full on nerve damage. In some cases now being reported of gamer wrist, or typist wrists, where the carpels are damaged due to the repetitive action of typing on a keyboard day after day. This type of injury is also in fields like meat cutters, roofers, carpet installers or mechanic’s that use tools to complete jobs tasks repetitively, they injury the same body part over and over.
A scan of a wrist that has never typed a word or used a wrench and then a scan of a thumbs/wrist of a gamer or a typist from the 21st Century, will reveal signs of degeneration from over usage, like carpal tunnel syndrome, where this medical condition comes with a range of conditions that limit usage or cause pain. In someone that are in fields that would recreate the same injury from computing or different tool to complete work related tasks they must either change fields or get repeated surgical procedures that may not work due to the nature of that persons repetitive work cycle. View this link to examine a wrist injury classcial called carpal tunnel syndrome because so many of us have it; http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=J11EIfiHMYw.
Injury to the knee parts like the patella can be replaced for carpet installers, shoulders, hip replacements are common in that field, as the repetitive motion of the hip and the slamming of the kneecap into a device that shoves the carpet tight across the floor and grabs the tack board as the workers lifts that device and moves across the carpet that motion is repeated over and over, using most if not all the muscle structure of the torso and legs and shoulder.
Roofers have feet issues as they stand on ladders, calf injuries, hamstring injuries, lower back and shoulder and hand injuries from using tools with little shoulder support. They work in bad weather and that further stresses out those body parts.
People that stand for a living, nurses, hairstyles, cooks, painters, teachers, what ever your field, if standing/sitting all day is your job description, then know that is not what the body is designed to do. We are designed for motion, the images we can get today are possible with motion, seeing the damage of the spine in 3-D is detection for internal bone injuries or disease where potential discovery leads to early treatments and longevity.
Doctors can now scan a body area with a hand held device with an ultrasound type illumination and in 2 minutes have results in their hands to perform immediate treatment to an ailing person. All the other imaging technology may not be the right type of image to see the injury in the laundry list of those that have the need to heal an injury that is hard to find.
Prostheses are being printed not taken from animals, we use a variety of pig elements to rebuilding joints and bone, heart valves, skin grafts explorations, but can be better explained in this article from JAMA http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1161692. Humans are resilient in the way we change what was into something that can be. Once we mastered taking organs from one human to another we gave new life to what it can mean for a family member that has to make that decision to donate a deceased family member’s organs. This article explains a different approach to swine to human part replacements. http://www.bukisa.com/articles/338808_swine-parts-used-for-human-body.
The new technology has this amazing way to illuminate the surgery area for a doctor in real time, they see in front of them how to fix the human body, please view the video that is attached to this article, for anyone you know that is injured or suffers in pain this technology may find what was not discovered on flat x-ray or 2-D imagery, where fewer choices before were available for some injuries, can now be seriously addressed for long term quality of life, again extending to humans the ability to stay active longer in turn living longer with more options to be at our best as long as we can.
The advancement in scanning technology will bring to the medical field the “inside look” to corrective surgery or just physical therapy. Where one method may have been tried and true for decades can be challenged and replaced by newer methodologies to alter views on what transplants mean human to human then extrapolate the desire to live, if you HAD to chose a pig part because there were no human substitutes, what would be your choice?
Additionally the technology in surgery to see the inside of the human surgical process, just like I can see the inside of this document while I type it, my work space is visible and complete, doctors now can perform the most incredible things because it isn’t as much of a guessing game by using endoscopes where resolution and the type of display would add to the experience, but I would want my pig part or surgery in general to be inserted by someone that can see where they are sewing, wouldn’t you?
Stay informed! Stay safe! Read your way to healthy decisions!