February 22, 2013
Stress fractures of bones can be difficult to detect using traditional X-rays, but that doesn’t prevent them from cracking further and causing great displeasure to the patients. Early detection can lead to preventative rehab, so radiologists at the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital in Missouri have developed a better, though more expensive, way of finding small fractures.
They combined SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography), typically used for imaging soft tissue, with low dose CT to create fusion images that reveal fractures otherwise unseen. Now U.S. Army soldiers visiting the hospital after an injury have a much higher chance of going to therapy rather than back to work with an active fracture.