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J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2009 Oct;34(5):627-30. doi: 10.1177/1753193409105322. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

Cost-effectiveness of MRI in managing suspected scaphoid fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Section of Hand Surgery, Unit Regional Hospital Holstebro, Holstebro, Denmark. tbhansen@dadlnet.dk


In a cost-effectiveness study, we compared a treatment algorithm using repeated radiological examination with an algorithm using subacute MRI in patients with clinical signs of scaphoid fracture but normal initial radiography. Twenty-seven patients were included in both groups, and MRI reduced the immobilisation time from 20 days (range, 6-54) to 4 days (range, 1-19) and sick leave from 27 days (1-92) to 11 days (0-28). Use of MRI increased hospital costs by 151 euro (P<0.05), but reduced non-hospital costs by 2869 euro (P<0.05), making MRI cost-effective in the treatment of suspected scaphoid fractures.

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