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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Computerized X-ray Interpretation to Evaluate Spinal Ligamentous Injuries

Diagnosing and quantifying spinal ligament pain in workers' compensation claims has historically been a challenge to both the medical and legal communities. Now a recently published study reports that through computer assisted analysis  a computerized measurement can be obtained that can assist in accurately diagnosing and grading of ligament injuries.

"Spinal Ligament injury is well documented to be one the most common injuries in a trauma. It is also well documented that, depending upon the grade (seriousness) of the injury, they can take up to 2 years to heal and have different treatment protocols. Yet it seems few doctors attempt to accurately grade the injury according to medical guidelines even where specific guidelines exist. The crude and varying methods to assess the injury provided little consensus. This study shows that precise accurate grading of spinal ligament injury can be best obtained by advanced computerized methods for measuring x-rays, while conforming to current AMA injury guidelines. One Hundred random cases of spinal injury were assessed by usual visual inspection of stress x-rays by radiologists, then re-assessed by computer measurement.  
"Significant spinal ligament injury was accurately revealed by computer measurement that was missed by the standard radiological reads. 
"Assessing spinal ligament injury by computer measurement significantly improves diagnosis and grading of ligament injury.