Semra Sivrikaya1, Ersin Aksay1, Basak Bayram1<&sup>, Nese Colak Oray1, Ahmet Karakasli2, Emel Altintas1

1Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Turkey
2Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Turkey

Keywords: Ultrasonography; Emergency departments; Forearm; Fracture


Objectives: Several studies focusing diagnosis of forearm fracture using Point-of-Care-Ultrasonography (POCUS) had been carried out in children. There is a lack of evidence for the utility of sonographic (US) examination for detecting of distal forearm fracture in adults. We aim to determine the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of POCUS examination for the fracture of the distal radius and ulna in adult patients presenting with blunt forearm trauma.

Material and Methods: Adult patients presenting with acute distal forearm trauma and suspicion of fracture were enrolled into study. POCUS had been performed by blinded emergency physicians, than anteroposterior and lateral x-rays was obtained. If inconsistency between x-rays and POCUS has been occurred, computed tomography were ordered. Assessment of orthopedic surgeon was accepted as a gold standard diagnosis.

Results: Ninety three POCUS were performed in 90 patients. Fifty nine radius and 19 ulna fracture had been diagnosed. POCUS detected all radius fracture, but missed 2 ulna fracture. There were 4 false positive results for both radius and ulna with POCUS. X-ray missed 4 radius, and 1 ulna fractures. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of POCUS for fracture of ulna were 89.5% (CI%95, 65.5–98.1) and 94.6 (CI%95, 86–98.2), for fracture of radius were 100% (CI%95, 92.4–100), and 88.2%. (CI%95, 71.6–96.1).

Conclusion: Emergency physician performed POCUS examination is very sensitive and specific the diagnosis of distal forearm fracture. Diagnostic sensitivity of POCUS for radius fracture is higher than x-ray.