The utility of oblique rib radiographs
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A retrospective study of 620 consecutive rib series examinations was conducted to determine their usefulness. A total of 546 examinations were performed for rib trauma or rib pain or tenderness. There was no difference in treatment between patients with radiographically confirmed fractures and those with focal rib pain/tenderness secondary to trauma but without confirmed rib fracture. The additional expense of obtaining radiographic confirmation of rib fractures is not justified. Only complications of rib fractures influence management and these are best seen on routine chest films. Rib radiographs are useful if patients have a malignancy and associated rib pain or an abnormal bone scan.
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