Dx accuracy of POCUS in detecting upper and lower extremity
The present article appears in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Fractures are among the common traumatic musculoskeletal injuries in emergency department (ED) patients. Traditionally, fractures and other orthopedic injuries have been commonly assessed by radiography. However, Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) has been increasingly utilized in the ED for the diagnosis and management of these patients.

Ultrasound has benefits in the rapid initial detection of fractures to the upper and lower extremities. In addition, POCUS can also be used to detect associated soft tissue injuries such as ligament and tendon ruptures, which may be difficult to diagnose with plain radiographs. Therefore, POCUS may be used as a substantially advantageous modality over radiography with its lack of radiation, one-off cost, ease-of-use and its portability.

One additional benefit of POCUS is that unlike radiography, CT scan, and even MRI, POCUS allows for dynamic assessment of the joints and uses contralateral extremity for its comparison. POCUS has shown to be beneficial in situations where radiation limitation is imperative such as in pediatrics, pregnancy, and patients who require serial radiographs for closed reduction fractures.

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