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Diagnostic 'Divining Rod' For Diagnosing Limb-threatening Bone Infection: Reliable Or Relic?

Date:
February 7, 2007
Source:
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Summary:
A transatlantic team of researchers determines that the commonly used "probe to bone" test for assessing bone infections is not always a reliable diagnostic tool.
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An often-used tool to diagnose very common and sometimes limb-threatening bone infections in persons with diabetes may not be as reliable as many once believed, based on a recent study by a transatlantic team of researchers.

The study, published to the Web ahead of print in February's edition of the journal Diabetes Care, longitudinally evaluated a large sample of persons with diabetes with wounds, and tested the commonly performed "probe to bone" test. The test, which uses a sterile instrument to feel for bone inside a wound, has been thought by many to be highly predictive of bone infection.

"It certainly makes sense that if you can feel bone, then it must be infected," noted David G. Armstrong, DPM, PhD, Professor of Surgery at Scholl's Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and a co-investigator on the study. "Unfortunately, though, this doesn't always seem to be the case. The test, if used by itself in a normal clinical setting, isn't much better than flipping a coin. We therefore recommend it be used with other aids, such as biopsy or appropriate imaging tools."

The two-year longitudinal study was the result of partnerships from Texas A&M University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, the Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands) and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science educates medical doctors, health professionals and biomedical scientists in a personalized atmosphere. The University is located at 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, and encompasses Chicago Medical School, College of Health Professions, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Visit at http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu and http://www.lifeindiscovery.com.


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Cite This Page:

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. "Diagnostic 'Divining Rod' For Diagnosing Limb-threatening Bone Infection: Reliable Or Relic?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205132859.htm>.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. (2007, February 7). Diagnostic 'Divining Rod' For Diagnosing Limb-threatening Bone Infection: Reliable Or Relic?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205132859.htm
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. "Diagnostic 'Divining Rod' For Diagnosing Limb-threatening Bone Infection: Reliable Or Relic?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205132859.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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