Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Radiology: appendicular skeleton - long bones

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Skeletal radiography allows assessment of bone and, to a limited extent, soft tissue.

For lamenesss examination radiology should follow clinical examination and localization of the site of lameness.

Screening radiographs of the entire limb are unrewarding and may lead to erroneous diagnosis. 

Radiographic considerations 

  • Detail screens and film combinations should be used for most examinations. 
  • A low kV high mAs technique maximizes contrast. 
  • Due to geometric effects of the diverging beam radiography should be centered at the point of interest.

For angular limb deformities separate radiographs of adjacent joints should be taken (in addition to the entire limb) to allow joint evaluation without geometric distortion.

  • Orthogonal views are required as significant pathology, eg fractures   Limb fracture  , luxation may be missed on a single view. 
  • In examination of suspected joint instability, eg ligament injury, 'stressed' views may be helpful.

Restraint 

  • Skeletal radiography usually requires sedation   Sedation   or general anesthesia   Anesthesia: general   to facilitate positioning and minimize stress. 
  • In trauma patients evaluation and treatment of concurrent thoracic, abdominal or CNS injury should be undertaken before skeletal radiography.

Indications

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Interpretation

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Pitfalls

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Additional studies

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Recent references fromPubMedpublished during the last 12 months.


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