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Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2013 Jul;133(7):941-6. doi: 10.1007/s00402-013-1739-0. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Influence of fracture type and surgeon experience on the emission of radiation in distal radius fractures.

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Institute of Research in Rehabilitation Medicine, Ulm University, Freihofgasse 14, 88422 Bad Buchau, Germany.



Ionising radiation is a potential risk for potentially exposed personnel. Only a few studies have examined the factors contributing to the emission of radiation in orthopaedic trauma procedures. We hypothesize that the experience of the surgeon and the fracture type influence the emission of radiation intraoperatively.


In a retrospective analysis, we examined 100 consecutive distal radius fractures receiving a volar plate osteosynthesis. The following parameters were documented: demographic data, plate system, fracture type, duration of the surgical procedure and duration of the emission of radiation, the experience level of the surgeon and the first assisting surgeon.


Of all included patients (74 female), 48 had a type A, 7 a type B and 45 a type C fracture. The duration of radiation was longer for type C fractures [1.04 min (min)] in comparison to type A fractures (0.88 min) (P = 0.8152). In the type C subgroup, the highest amount of radiation was required for type C3 fractures (1.6 min), which was significantly more in comparison to type A (P = 0.0460) and type C1 fractures (P = 0.0089). The intraoperative emission of radiation (P = 0.00141) and the procedure time (P = 0.0006) depended on the experience of the surgical team.


The emission of radiation during this procedure depends on the fracture type and the experience of the surgical team. Operating theatre personnel should be aware of the higher emission rates during the treatment of type C fractures and in teaching hospitals with inexperienced team members.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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