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Inability to fully extend the injured elbow: an indicator of significant injury.
  1. C R Hawksworth,
  2. P Freeland
  1. Accident & Emergency Department, St John's Hospital, Howden, West Lothian.


    Elbow injuries are commonly seen in accident departments. Patients with possible bony injuries to the elbow were assessed to see if inability to fully extend the elbow was a good indicator of bony injury and hence the need for X-ray. The sensitivity of this test was 90.7% (95% confidence limits 80.7-100.7) and the specificity 69.5% (95% confidence limits 60.3-78.7). Use of this simple test would reduce both radiography costs and unnecessary exposure to radiation.

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