Objective sound wave amplitude measurement generated by a tuning fork. An analysis of its use as a diagnostic tool in suspected femoral neck fractures

Injury, 05/18/2012

The findings suggest that this test may be used as a diagnostic test or screening tool in the assessment of occult hip fractures.

Methods

  • In the study, the authors used a tuning fork with frequency of 128Hz to objectively measure the reduction in sound amplitude in fractured and non–fractured hips.
  • They looked at the feasibility of using this test as a diagnostic tool for neck of femur fractures.

Results

  • A total of 20 patients was included in the study, using MRI scan as the standard for comparison of diagnostic findings.
  • Informed consent was obtained from the patients.
  • There was a significant difference in the amplitude reduction of the sound waves when comparing normal to fractured hips.
  • This was 0.9 in normal hips, compared to 0.31 and 0.18 in intra–capsular and extra–capsular fractures, respectively.
  • The test was 80% accurate at diagnosing neck of femur fractures.

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