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.
16 radiation dosimeters.
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.
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.
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.