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Case Study in Thermal Monitoring of Physiotherapy Treatments to Ankle Sprains in Rugby Athletes

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18073/2358-4696/pajmt.v1n1p3-10

http://www.abraterm.com.br/revista/index.php/PAJTM/index 

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Ana S. Domingues1, Eduardo M. Pereira2, Joaquim Gabriel3 & Ricardo Vardasca3,4

  

Abstract: Actually, injuries are identified as persistent and serious problems in the sports activity. Ankle sprains compose a significant part of these injuries and present high frequency, which increases the associated costs. Among other issues, this condition is related to the common persistence of sequel and reoccurrences. The disregard for its severity and a reduced follow-up of the treatment may be pointed as associated causes. In this work, two Rugby athletes that were recovering from ankle sprains and receiving physiotherapeutic treatment were monitored. Infrared thermography, a non-contact, noninvasive, non-ionizing, precise and fast medical imaging modality, has been used for analyzing the skin surface temperature distribution of the affected area. The analysis of the collected thermograms has shown a positive evolution of treatment to the ankle sprain in both cases examined. From the statistical analysis of the data, it was possible to differentiate the two cases presented, evidencing different recoveries. In conclusion, by applying the developed and proposed methodology in these the two cases, it has been possible to confirm that infrared thermography may assume a relevant role in monitoring ankle sprains.

Key words: infrared thermography, ankle sprain, physiotherapy

 

Resumo: Atualmente, as lesões são vistas como um problema sério e persistente no desporto. As entorses do tornozelo constituem uma parte significativa destas lesões e apresentam elevada frequência e custos associados. Entre outras questões, esta condição está relacionada com a comum persistência de sequelas e reincidências. A baixa importância atribuía à gravidade destas lesões e o reduzido acompanhamento dos tratamentos prestados podem ser apontadas como causas associadas a este problema. Neste trabalho, dois atletas de Râguebi em recuperação de entorses do tornozelo que se encontravam a receber tratamento fisioterapêutico foram monitorizados. A termografia de infravermelhos, uma modalidade de imagiologia médica não-invasiva, não- ionizante rápida foi usada para analisar a distribuição da temperatura à superfície da pele área afetada. A análise dos termogramas recolhidos demonstrou uma evolução positiva da patologia em ambos os casos examinados. Através da análise estatística dos dados, foi possível diferenciar os dois casos apresentados, evidenciando diferentes recuperações. Em conclusão, aplicando a metodologia desenvolvida e proposta nestes dois casos, foi possível confirmar que a termografia pode assumir um papel relevante na monitorização de entorses do tornozelo.

Palavras-chave: termografia de infravermelhos, entorse do tornozelo, fisioterapia

 

1 Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
2 INESC TEC Porto, Porto, Portugal
3 LABIOMEP, IDMEC-Pólo FEUP, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
4 Medical Imaging Research Unit, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science, University of South Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom e-mail: ricardo.vardasca@fe.up.pt

 

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