Bumps and Bruises in the Trauma Bay: A Level One Trauma Center's Analysis of Dedicated Skeletal X-Ray Imaging.


South Atlantic


Memorial Health University Medical Center

Document Type


Publication Date



general surgery, trauma, x-rays, diagnostic imaging


Diagnosis | Surgery | Trauma


The Ottawa Ankle Rule and Canadian C-Spine Rule were created to guide the utility of radiographic studies. There are no guidelines to guide X-rays within trauma. Our objective was to evaluate which findings have the highest yield for determining fractures on skeletal x-ray. A retrospective study was performed on 5050 patients at a level one trauma center from January 2018 through October 2019. 2382 patients received X-Rays. Our analysis focused on five categories: limb deformity/obvious open fracture, abrasions, hematoma/contusion/sprain, laceration, and skin tear. Standard demographic and outcome variables were collected. While the cost burden on an overwhelmed system, time in the trauma bay prior to disposition and radiation exposure has not been fully evaluated, our evidence shows that X-Rays ordered for soft tissue defects are less sensitive at identifying fracture (0.0-6.9% fracture detection rate, P = 0.00) than when ordered for limb deformity or obvious fracture.

Publisher or Conference

The American Surgeon