ARRS Logo According to a study, radiographs i.e. standard X-rays are said to be frequently inconclusive in the diagnosing of hip and pelvic fractures in the emergency department.

The study was conducted at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC and encompassed roughly 92 patients who experienced X-rays followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the assessment of hip and pelvic pain.

“The diagnosis of traumatic fracture most often begins and ends with X-rays of the hip, pelvis, or both. In some cases though, the exclusion of a traumatic fracture is difficult,” commented, Charles Spritzer, MD, lead author of the study.

Spritzer added, “Thirteen patients with normal X-ray findings were found to collectively have 23 fractures at MRI. In 11 patients MRI showed no fracture after X-rays had suggested the presence of a fracture. In another 15 patients who had abnormal X-ray findings, MRI depicted 12 additional pelvic fractures not identified on X-rays. Accurate diagnosis of hip and pelvic fractures in the emergency department can speed patients to surgical management, if needed, and reduce the rate of hospital admissions among patients who do not have fractures. This distinction is important in terms of health care utilization, overall patient cost, and patient inconvenience.”

The expert mentioned that use of MRI in patients with a strong clinical suspicion of traumatic injury but unimpressive X-rays has a substantial advantage in the detection of pelvic and hip fractures, helping to steer patients to appropriate medical and surgical therapy.

The study was published in American Journal of Roentgenology.