Minimising negative ankle and foot X-rays in the Emergency Department-Are the Ottawa ankle rules good enough? (2014)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Crosswell S, *Leaman A, *Phung W

Injury, 12 2014, vol./is. 45/12(2002-4), 0020-1383;1879-0267 (2014 Dec)

OBJECTIVES: To review fracture rates in patients who had X-rays of either the ankle or foot or both in the Emergency Department of a district hospital.METHOD: A retrospective review of 2589 Emergency Department patients who had X-rays of the ankle or foot or both over a 12-month period.RESULTS: There were 1199 ankle X-rays taken of which 193 (16%) showed a significant fracture. There were 1081 patients who had a foot X-rayed of which 165 (15%) showed a significant fracture. Younger patients had more X-rays but older patients were more likely to have a fracture. There were 309 patients who had an ipsilateral ankle and foot X-rayed at the same time, and of these 42 (14%) showed one fracture and just two (0.6%) showed a significant fracture of both ankle and foot.CONCLUSIONS: The approach to X-raying ankle and feet in this study is probably widespread, and Ottawa Ankle Rules still seem to be of limited use in diagnosing fractures. This low yield of positive X-ray could be accepted or a more sophisticated ankle rule introduced. Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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