Discussion of Leprosy
- AKA Hansen's disease
- Uncommon condition in the United States.
- Mycobacterium leprae attacks the skin and peripheral nerves and has a predilection for the cooler appendages of the body with characteristic involvement of the small bones of the hands and feet.
- Bone lesions in patients with leprosy are usually due to trauma and secondary bacterial infection superimposed on denervated tissues.
- Bone lesions due to direct leprous infection are unusual, varying from 3% to 5% in one series, and these lesions exhibit radiologic findings of acute and chronic osteomyelitis similar to those of other granulomatous infectious agents.
 Imaging Findings for Leprosy
- The radiologic findings are similar to those caused by other conditions in which sensory impairment is complicated by traumatic injury and infection (charcot joint) such as diabetes mellitus, frostbite, pernicious anemia, scleroderma, syringomyelia, tabes dorsalis, and familial sensory neuropathy.
- Motor denervation due to leprous infection of peripheral nerves contributes to deformities such as claw hand and claw toes and is sometimes associated with the development of concentric bone atrophy.
- Absorption of bone in leprosy manifests as a decrease in bone length and width and results in a tapered appearance at the end of the bone, which has been likened to a licked candy stick.
- When complicated by repeated microtrauma, secondary bacterial infection, or both, digits may be resorbed.
 See Also
 External Links
 References for Leprosy
- Elizabeth A. Jones, B. J. Manaster, David A. May, and David G. Disler. Neuropathic Osteoarthropathy: Diagnostic Dilemmas and Differential Diagnosis. RadioGraphics 2000 20: 279S-293S.