ScienceDaily (Mar. 31, 2010) — Radiographs (standard X-rays) are often inconclusive in the detection of hip and pelvic fractures in the emergency department, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
"The diagnosis of traumatic fracture most often begins and ends with X-rays of the hip, pelvis, or both," said Charles Spritzer, MD, lead author of the study. "In some cases though, the exclusion of a traumatic fracture is difficult," said Spritzer.
The study, performed at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, included 92 patients who underwent X-rays followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the evaluation of hip and pelvic pain. "Thirteen patients with normal X-ray findings were found to collectively have 23 fractures at MRI," said Spritzer. "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," he said.