Bones: Orthopaedic Pathologies in Roman Imperial Age by Andrea Piccioli, Valentina Gazzaniga, Paola Catalano

By Andrea Piccioli, Valentina Gazzaniga, Paola Catalano

This publication offers the result of a special macroscopic and radiological research, via X-ray and CT test, of the bone pathologies of approximately 1800 matters who lived on the time of the Roman Empire (first and moment centuries A.D.) and whose is still have been recovered in the course of the excavation of a suburban necropolis of Rome. The survey, which represents a collaboration among the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology and the designated Superintendent for the Archaeological history of Rome, has yielded terrific photos of alternative orthopaedic ailments in a interval whilst no surgical operation used to be to be had: there are situations of an infection (osteomyelitis), metabolic illness (gout), hematologic illness (multiple myeloma), anxious lesions and their issues and degenerative pathology (osteoarthritis, fairly secondary and overload). A multidisciplinary crew together with orthopaedists, paleopathologists, radiologists and clinical historians has evaluated the foremost teams of bone disorder within the inhabitants checking out magnificent situations and imagine of ortho-traumatologic pathologies in a pre-surgical period. The homogeneity of the pattern and the variety of matters make this a research of basic importance.

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Secondly, many different pathologies can affect the bones similarly, which makes the identification of harmful evidence even more difficult. Joint modifications that may first appear as resulting from osteoarthritis, might have other causes instead: traumas, osteomyelitis, gout, haemophilia, psoriasis. A tibial lesion, showing a syphilis-like pattern may well be osteomyelitis due to Staphylococcus Aureus, Paget’s disease or else [107]. Even a simple periodontal disease, with alveolar retraction, can be the consequence of diet deficiencies, as well as the direct result of poor hygiene [108].

Finally the whole genome of the Yersinia pestis bacterium, isolated from skeletal remains belonging to subjects died during the Plague in 1300 [122], has been lately examined. This research has that there have not been any significant changes in the bacterial sequence if compared with the modern pathogen, which did not explain the reason why the Black Death was so aggressive and virulent in 1300. This epidemic had its onset in Europe in 1347, maybe coming from Asia, and quickly spread over the whole European continent, obliging the governments to set specific burial areas for the numerous deaths.

Secondly, many different pathologies can affect the bones similarly, which makes the identification of harmful evidence even more difficult. Joint modifications that may first appear as resulting from osteoarthritis, might have other causes instead: traumas, osteomyelitis, gout, haemophilia, psoriasis. A tibial lesion, showing a syphilis-like pattern may well be osteomyelitis due to Staphylococcus Aureus, Paget’s disease or else [107]. Even a simple periodontal disease, with alveolar retraction, can be the consequence of diet deficiencies, as well as the direct result of poor hygiene [108].

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