A new study, presented in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, said that standard X-rays are usually not accurate in the diagnosis of hip and pelvic fractures in the emergency department. Dr. Charles Spritzer, MD, lead author of the study, said "The diagnosis of traumatic fracture most often begins and ends with X-rays of the hip, pelvis, or both," he added "In some cases though, the exclusion of a traumatic fracture is difficult,"
The study was carried out at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. It involved 92 patients who were asked to have an X-rays which was followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detection of hip and pelvic pain. Dr. Spritzer said "Thirteen patients with normal X-ray findings were found to collectively have 23 fractures at MRI," he added "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,"
Dr. Spritzer also commented saying "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," and he added "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,"