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A technique for using an x-ray detectable radiopaque element from a surgical sponge to assess the adequacy of debridement of carpal bone cysts, Kienböck disease (lunate avascular necrosis), enchondroma of the digits, and scaphoid nonunions is described. The technique is simple to perform, inexpensive, and presents minimal additional risk to the patient. The technique has been used over the past 16 years and has enabled adequate debridement of these hand and wrist maladies by radiographically demonstrating the adequacy of the debridement to be bone grafted. It avoids the problems associated with liquid contrast dye and has proven to be very safe, effective, and inexpensive.