One of the goals of our medical practice is to provide the very best care yet save our patients money. Physicians often over-utilize expensive tests such as xrays to arrive at a diagnosis when a thorough, common-sense examination would suffice.
Routine ankle and/or foot films for all injuries to that extremity is a case in point. The Ottawa Rules are a well documented and studied set of guidelines that tell a physician, based on examination, whether a fracture is likely or not. In the case of positive findings, xrays are required to verify that a fracture is present and, if so, to assess the level of severity, helping determine whether surgery is necessary or not.
Patients can readily use these rules in the field to determine if they have a simple sprain or a more serious fracture following an injury. Tenderness over the outside of the foot, the top of the foot next to the ankle, the tip or back side of either ankle bone, or the inability to walk suggests a probable fracture. See your physician immediately for any of these findings, or if there is any doubt in the diagnosis. Contact our office at 208-772-5204 to schedule an appointment.
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