The camera has been a staple of family gatherings and reunions for generations. This isn’t the only way to use a digital camera anymore however. The lens not only gives you a perfect picture of your external features but can also capture any disharmony within you. High-resolution fiber optic cameras have completely revolutionised the surgical world by allowing us to view the insides of joints. From taking the pressure off a nerve trapped in the carpal tunnel on the wrist, to relieving the painful tingling numbness radiating from the spine, endoscopic decompression procedures have a lot to offer.
A common example of nerve compression is carpal tunnel syndrome. Here, the median nerve is compressed under the wrist ligaments causing painful tingling and/or numbness in the hands. Sports like cricket, weight lifting and games involving a racquet require excessive use of the wrists. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in their players. When a trial of conservative medical therapy fails, surgery remains the only option. Two incisions are taken over the palm and wrist where the surgeon, using an endoscope, will dissect the transverse carpal ligament to release the compressed median nerve. With the bandages coming off in a couple of days and complete recovery within two to three weeks, the player finds himself having a firm grip on his equipment as well as his game.
Chronic pain can be extremely debilitating for long-term pain sufferers. In such patients, when all varieties of treatment, from oral medicines such as NSAIDS (pain killers) and steroid injections to physiotherapy and surgical treatment fail, the role of digital pain management comes into play. The patients in whom pain persists even after a surgery are those who can benefit immensely by digital pain management. Digital pain management is one of the latest innovations in surgical technologies to treat chronic pain. Conditions which might benefit from digital pain management can include failed back surgery, neuropathies, radiculopathy, phantom limb, and other chronic pains.
Digital pain management consists of installing a small spinal stimulation device known as a Dorsal Column Stimulator or Spinal Column Stimulator into the epidural space which surrounds the spinal cord. Spinal cord stimulators deliver low voltage electrical currents to stimulate the spinal cord and block the sensation of pain. Electrical stimulation is delivered through an implanted lead in the epidural space superficial to the spinal cord; this lead is connected to the receiver that receives energy through an external source.
Have you seen "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", remastered in high definition? The Blu-ray reproduction maintains such excellent quality largely due to the condition of the original film. Ironically, old-fashioned film often provides much greater viewing resolution than fully digital productions. The reality is that a completely digital movie is shot in a fixed resolution (like 1080p or 4k). Such a limitation precludes future remasters from ever surpassing the detail of the original.
Like analog and digital movie film, a parallel exists in radiology. One of the few benefits of X-Rays produced directly on analog film include excellent resolution. These films could theoretically be scanned back into a computer and reproduced in a variety of resolutions (depending on storage limitations and quality goals). With newer digital systems, X-Ray images are produced directly from digital detectors and cassettes in a fixed resolution. Not all of these systems are created equal!