Thousand shades of gray – The role of imaging display in diagnosis of occult scaphoid fractures – A pilot study

Viktor Feldman, Ran Atzmon, Jeremy Dubin, Orit Bein, Ezequiel Palmanovich, Nissim Ohana, Uri Farkash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Most hospitals and clinics utilize commercial grade displays for viewing wrist radiographs. There is no evidence regarding the role of the imaging display used to evaluate the radiographs. The aim of this study was to compare the rates of scaphoid fracture diagnosis by commercial grade and medical grade displays. Methods: Wrist radiographs of patients that had clinical signs of scaphoid fracture without findings on plain radiography (suspected scaphoid fractures) were retrospectively collected from ER department and interpreted for radiographic signs of fracture by four orthopedics seniors commercial grade and medical grade displays. The difference in fracture diagnosis rates were studied. Inter- and intra-observer variability were also studied. Results: Study population comprised of 175 high quality wrist radiographs were interpreted. Mean 48.25 (27%) scaphoid fractures were observed on commercial grade display compared to 66 (38.2%) on medical grade display (p = 0.076). The total inter-observer agreement could be defined as a moderate agreement (κ = 0.527, Accuracy = 0.77). Total agreement between all observers were observed in 86 (49.1%) cases compared to 89 (50.9%) cases when reviewing X-rays on commercial and medical displays, respectively. Discussion: The scaphoid fracture detection rate on medical grade display was not statistically higher compared to non-medical grade displays, but we did find a tendency toward medical grade display. We found that in a substantial number of cases, our observers recognize signs of fracture that were initially evaluated as “suspected fracture” by the ER physicians. As a pilot study, we found evidence that support the need for a prospective study designed to compare the observations to a gold standard modality, such as MRI. We believe utilizing medical grade displays can increase the rate of diagnosis in cases of clinically suspected scaphoid fractures and better manage the clinical scenario of a suspected scaphoid fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-330
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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