Radiation exposure to the orthopedic surgeon—a dosimetric comparison of two mini C-arm fluoroscopy models: a pilot study

Timothy H. Vernier Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Whitney D. Hinson Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Valentine D. Verpaalen Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Perform a cadaveric experimental pilot study to measure and compare potential radiation exposure to an orthopedic surgeon from 2 different-generation mini C-arm models during a simulated orthopedic surgery.

SAMPLE

16 radiation dosimeters.

METHODS

Mock surgery setups were constructed with a canine cadaver thoracic limb and 2 different-generation mini C-arm models. Four radiation dosimeters were placed near the mini C-arm to mimic common locations of radiation exposure during image acquisition. One mini C-arm was placed in auto technique mode, and 100 static images were acquired. The dosimeters were replaced, and a 5-minute-long dynamic image was acquired. The same protocols were repeated for the second mini C-arm. The dosimetry badges were then submitted for radiation exposure quantification.

RESULTS

All but 1 dosimeter had radiation exposure levels below the detectable limits of the dosimeter. The dosimeter closest to the primary x-ray beam of 1 mini C-arm during dynamic image acquisition had a reading of 1 mrem.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Intraoperative radiation exposure from the mini C-arm is low, specifically to areas not protected by lead and in close proximity to the primary x-ray beam. That being said, surgeons should always practice the principles of ALARA (ie, as low as reasonably achievable) to minimize radiation exposure in the workplace.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Perform a cadaveric experimental pilot study to measure and compare potential radiation exposure to an orthopedic surgeon from 2 different-generation mini C-arm models during a simulated orthopedic surgery.

SAMPLE

16 radiation dosimeters.

METHODS

Mock surgery setups were constructed with a canine cadaver thoracic limb and 2 different-generation mini C-arm models. Four radiation dosimeters were placed near the mini C-arm to mimic common locations of radiation exposure during image acquisition. One mini C-arm was placed in auto technique mode, and 100 static images were acquired. The dosimeters were replaced, and a 5-minute-long dynamic image was acquired. The same protocols were repeated for the second mini C-arm. The dosimetry badges were then submitted for radiation exposure quantification.

RESULTS

All but 1 dosimeter had radiation exposure levels below the detectable limits of the dosimeter. The dosimeter closest to the primary x-ray beam of 1 mini C-arm during dynamic image acquisition had a reading of 1 mrem.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Intraoperative radiation exposure from the mini C-arm is low, specifically to areas not protected by lead and in close proximity to the primary x-ray beam. That being said, surgeons should always practice the principles of ALARA (ie, as low as reasonably achievable) to minimize radiation exposure in the workplace.

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