Factors influencing radiation exposure during internal fixation of hip fractures

  • G. A. KellyEmail author
  • F. E. Rowan
  • C. Hurson
Original Article • HIP - IMAGING


The use of fluoroscopy is of great importance for operative fixation of fractures. Previous studies have shown an increased fluoroscopy time for intramedullary nails and with junior surgeons in comparison with more experienced surgeons. We examined the impact of operation length on fluoroscopy dose, cumulative fluoroscopy time between consultant and registrar surgeons and cumulative fluoroscopy time between dynamic hip screw and intramedullary nailing. We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients admitted to our centre over the period of 1 year. Patients who underwent dynamic hip screw (DHS) or intramedullary (IM) nailing were identified from our in-hospital hip fracture database. Intraoperative fluoroscopy images were then accessed through our hospital’s medical imaging software. A total of 137 patients were identified. Fluoroscopy reports were not available for 49 patients, resulting in a final total of 88 patients. Patients whose operation lasted longer than 1 h received a statistically significant higher dose of radiation (183.83 cGYM2 vs. 368.22 cGYM2; p value 0.0002). Operations performed by a consultant resulted in less cumulative fluoroscopy time in comparison with those performed by a registrar or specialist registrar although this was not statistically significant (00:00:53 vs. 00:00:45; p vaue 0.38). Cumulative fluoroscopy time was less in dynamic hip screw compared to long intramedullary nails (00:00:39 vs. 00:01:29; p value <0.001) and short intramedullary nails (00:00:39 vs. 00:01:52; p value 0.387). Studies, which had a cumulative fluoroscopy time exceeding 50 secs, delivered a higher radiation dose (434.34cGYM2 vs. 150.51cGYM2; p value <0.001). We concluded that there is no significant impact in cumulative fluoroscopy time in operations performed by either a registrar or consultant. Dynamic hip screws have a lower fluoroscopy time in comparison with long intramedullary nails.


Fluoroscopy Hip fracture Trainee Trainer Intraoperative Dynamic hip screw Intramedullary nail 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr Kelly, Dr Rowan and Dr Hurson declare that they have no conflict of information.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Trauma and OrthopaedicsSt. Vincents University HospitalDublinIreland

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