Assessing the adequacy of radiographs for hip fractures (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

*Mulrain J.; *Omar N.; *Burston B.

British Journal of Surgery; Jun 2020; vol. 107 ; p. 138

Aim: Radiographs for the assessment of femoral neck fractures are frequently inadequate for the visualisation of the proximal femur. A low centred radiograph of both hips offers enough information but is rarely achieved.We sought to determine the proportion of hip fractures where initial radiographs adequately visualised the femur to encompass the proposed surgical management.We also sought to find the proportion of patients who required repeat radiographs and whether this was affected by time of presentation. Method(s): A retrospective review of the radiographs of hip fractures presenting to our institution, over a three-month period was undertaken. The timings, number and adequacy of radiographs was assessed. Result(s): Radiographs of 89 patients were reviewed. Most radiographs were taken between 8am and 5pm. Radiographs of 58 patients were centred on the pelvis rather than the hips. Patients presenting overnight were more likely to have adequate radiographs. Despite a duplicate x-ray rate of 48%, most patients (55%) had inadequate visualisation of the proximal femur. The average excess radiation exposure by duplicate radiographs was 2.31mSv per patient. Conclusion(s): The majority of patients had inadequate visualisation of the fractured proximal femur on their radiographs.Many had excessive radiographs performed. This was not improved by increased staffing levels during daylight hours.

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