Digital photography in orthopaedics
Keywords:photography, cellphone, multimedia, orthopaedic surgery, patient privacy
Orthopaedic trauma surgery manages soft tissue damage with underlying bony injuries. As a part of the management, many surgeons use photographs to digitally capture the state of the soft tissues in order to plan further surgery. This area relies solely on individuals to regulate as to what is photographed and what happens to these images once they have served their purpose. This article reports a survey of orthopaedic surgeons in South Africa, both in state and private practice, regarding their current views and habits when obtaining digital images of clinical cases. The results demonstrate that digital images form an integral part of orthopaedic practice and are used to aid handovers, referrals and communication with patients and colleagues. The problematic areas identified were those relating to the obtaining and documenting of consent and the secure storage of images.