New X-ray Technique for Disabled Patients

Getting a good X-ray image of the shoulder in a patient who can't stand or walk just got easier. The new wheelchair axillary view is reported on in this article.

The patient can remain seated in a wheelchair or standard chair. The X-ray cassette is placed on the arm of the wheelchair. The patient's arm is slightly abducted (moved away from the body). The X-ray beam is positioned just above the shoulder.

This technique has been used successfully since 2002. Shoulder posterior dislocations, fractures, and joint surfaces can be seen with this view. For the trauma patient, it is an easy and comfortable position to assume.

The previously used standard position called the Velpeau axillary view requires patients to stand up and lean back slightly or to lie down. The wheelchair axillary view does not require either of these positions. It can be used with frail older adults, injured patients, or the disabled.

The authors report this view is easy to obtain with good technical quality right in the doctor's office. Photographs of the patient in position and the X-ray results are provided.

Reference: 

Howard Routman, DO. The Wheelchair Axillary View of the Shoulder. In Orthopedics. April 2007. Vol. 30. No. 4. Pp. 265-266.

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