Radiation exposure during the treatment of spinal deformities.

Mehta, Jwalant S, Hodgson, Kirsten, Yiping, Lu, Kho, James Swee Beng, Thimmaiah, Ravindra, Topiwala, Upasana, Sawlani, Vijay and Botchu, Rajesh (2021) Radiation exposure during the treatment of spinal deformities. The bone & joint journal. pp. 1-7. ISSN 2049-4408.

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Official URL: https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/full/10.130...



To benchmark the radiation dose to patients during the course of treatment for a spinal deformity.


Our radiation dose database identified 25,745 exposures of 6,017 children (under 18 years of age) and adults treated for a spinal deformity between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2016. Patients were divided into surgical (974 patients) and non-surgical (5,043 patients) cohorts. We documented the number and doses of ionizing radiation imaging events (radiographs, CT scans, or intraoperative fluoroscopy) for each patient. All the doses for plain radiographs, CT scans, and intraoperative fluoroscopy were combined into a single effective dose by a medical physicist (milliSivert (mSv)).


There were more ionizing radiation-based imaging events and higher radiation dose exposures in the surgical group than in the non-surgical group (p < 0.001). The difference in effective dose for children between the surgical and non-surgical groups was statistically significant, the surgical group being significantly higher (p < 0.001). This led to a higher estimated risk of cancer induction for the surgical group (1:222 surgical vs 1:1,418 non-surgical). However, the dose difference for adults was not statistically different between the surgical and non-surgical groups. In all cases the effective dose received by all cohorts was significantly higher than that from exposure to natural background radiation.


The treatment of spinal deformity is radiation-heavy. The dose exposure is several times higher when surgical treatment is undertaken. Clinicians should be aware of this and review their practices in order to reduce the radiation dose where possible.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WE Musculoskeletal. Orthopaedics
WN Medical imaging. Radiology
Divisions: Clinical Support > Radiology
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Depositing User: Mrs Caroline Tranter
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2021 10:54
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2021 10:54
URI: http://www.repository.uhblibrary.co.uk/id/eprint/4030

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