Ultrasound Assessment of Bone Healing after Root-end Surgery: Echoes Back to Patient's Safety

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Abstract

Introduction:

The aim of this study was to present ultrasound imaging (UI) techniques as promising and safe tools for the follow-up of root-end surgery (RES) in vivo.

Methods:

The study included 8 patients who underwent RES. All were followed up using UI at 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, and 6 months (if necessary) after RES. The bony crypt was defined on the ultrasound image, and the following observations were made during follow-up: cortical bone interruption and surface area measurement of the residual echoic bony crypt image.

Results:

In all cases, the hypoechoic image became hyperechoic, indicating gradual bone healing of the crypt. Compared with baseline, at 3 months a remaining cortical opening of 51.2% (±12.6%) and a bony crypt surface area of 24.3% (±10.8%) was detected for all patients. For 50% of the patients, the echographic follow-up ended at 3 months because the ultrasound waves could no longer enter the bony crypt. For 4 patients who attended the 6-month recall, a remaining cortical disruption of 43.2% (±9.9%) and a bony crypt surface area of 17.2% (±7%) compared with the baseline was noted.

Conclusions:

UI is a promising follow-up tool for RES. It helps clinicians understand the initial stages of bone healing, allows close healing monitoring, and is radiation free.

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