SLR - October 2017 - Christopher J. Forsbach

Tracking Cumulative Radiation Exposure in Orthopaedic Surgeons and Residents: What Dose Are We Getting?

Reference: Gausden EB, Christ AB, Zeldin R, Lane JM, McCarthy MM. Tracking Cumulative Radiation Exposure in Orthopaedic Surgeons and Residents: What Dose Are We Getting? J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017 Aug 2;99(15):1324–1329.

Scientific Literature Review

Reviewed By: Christopher J. Forsbach, DPM
Residency Program: SSM Health DePaul Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Podiatric Relevance: Throughout a three-year residency, residents are exposed to radiation from intraoperative fluoroscopy almost daily. The quantity of radiation is measured and discussed in this article. The data collected can shed light onto how much exposure residents are getting in comparison to the safe values set forth by the National Council on Radiation Protection and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Methods: The Landauer Luxel dosimeter was used to cumulate radiation exposure for residents and attendings over the course of one year. Exposure from residents as well as attendings was collected and compared to the national recommendations.

Results: Residents in orthopaedic surgery were exposed to a range of 0.2 to 79 mrem/month, which was less than the national recommendations from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of about 416 mrem/month. The highest level of radiation exposure was from the trauma specialty, 15 to 243 mrem/month, which was still below the monthly recommendations. Residents on their foot and ankle rotation were exposed to an average of 0.6 mrem/month.

Conclusion: This study shows the radiation exposure from orthopaedic surgery residents falls below the national recommendation. Additionally, residents on their foot and ankle rotation were exposed to one of the lowest levels among other rotations.

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