Background: The use of mobile fluoroscopic devices during
orthopaedic procedures is associated with substantial concern with regard to
the radiation exposure to surgeons and support staff. The perceived increased
risks associated with large c-arm devices have been well documented. However,
no study to date has documented the relative radiation risk associated with
the use of a mini-c-arm device. The purpose of the current study was to
determine the amount of radiation received by the surgeon during the use of a
mini-c-arm device and to compare this amount with documented measurements
associated with the large c-arm device.
Methods: With use of a radiation dosimeter, measurements were
carried out with tissue-equivalent anthropomorphic phantoms to quantitatively
determine exposure rates at various locations and distances from the
mini-c-arm for two common upper and lower extremity procedures.
Results: Regardless of position, distance, or relative duration of
exposure, exposure rates resulting from the use of the mini-c-arm device were
one to two orders of magnitude lower than those reported in the literature in
association with the use of the large c-arm device.
Conclusions: The mini-c-arm device should be utilized whenever
feasible in order to eliminate many of the concerns associated with use of the
large c-arm device, specifically those related to cumulative radiation
hazards, positioning considerations, relative distance from the beam, and the
need for protective shielding.