Study finds, the frequency, Reasoning, and Impact of Repeate
Patients presenting to an orthopaedic clinic with joint pain have often sought prior care and imaging prior to consultation. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency, reason, and impact of repeating radiographs in outpatient orthopaedic clinics.

Patients more than 18 years old presenting with hip and/or knee pain were prospectively enrolled at five arthroplasty surgeon clinics. Prior to the initial visit, surveys were distributed to patients regarding the reason for their visit, prior care, and prior diagnostic imaging. At the conclusion of the visit, surgeons reported if repeat radiographs were obtained, and if so, surgeons documented the views ordered, the reasoning for ordering new films, and if diagnosis or management changed as a result. Patients were grouped based on repeat imaging status, and of those with repeat imaging, subgroup analysis compared patients based on if management changed.

--Of 292 patients, 256 patients had radiographs prior to their office visit, and 167 patients obtained repeat radiographs.

--Radiographs were most commonly repeated if they were inaccessible (47%), followed by if they were nonweightbearing (40%).

--Repeated radiographs changed the diagnosis in 40% of patients and changed management in 22% of patients.

Conclusively, the majority of patients underwent repeat radiography at their orthopaedic visit. The primary reasons were due to accessibility or the patient being nonweightbearing. Repeat radiographs changed management in almost one-quarter of patients.