Plain film radiography remains the cornerstone in the assessment of joint fractures. Optimal technique permits visualization of soft tissue abnormalities as well as bone injury. The need for orthogonal and oblique views is discussed, along with specialized projections, postreduction films, and stress views.
Preoperative planning represents the primary role of sectional radiography. Scintigraphy is of value in the diagnosis of occult fractures, stress fractures, myositis, ossificans, and post-traumatic avascular necrosis.
Arthrography is most commonly used to study internal derangements of the knee, particularly meniscal pathology. However, it is also commonly combined with tomography or computed tomography in the diagnosis of shoulder instability.
Following trauma, angiography is indicated for the assessment of diminished or absent pulses in an extremity, especially in younger patients.
CT of spinal, pelvic, acetabular and hindfoot fractures is accepted practice in many trauma centers. In the future, magnetic resonance imaging may also become useful in the diagnosis of articular injuries.
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