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Diagnostic Tests for Fractures

Diagnostic Test list for Fractures:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Fractures includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Examine for signs of shock due to blood loss secondary to the fracture - e.g. pale skin and lips, cold clammy extremities, rapid pulse and low blood pressure.
    • Examine for associated damage to brain, spinal cord or internal organs secondary to the fracture
    • Examine for signs of a predisposing cause of the fracture - e.g. Paget's disease may have thickened bent lower legs with warm overlying skin, there may be bowing of the legs and enlarged skull.
    • Examine the affected bone by looking for swelling, bruising and deformity. If the overlying skin is broken the fracture is classed as an "open" fracture and care must be taken to ensure the fracture does not become infected
    • Palpate the pulses distal to the fracture to detect injury to blood vessels, which is a surgical emergency
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count and ESR to detect anemia and infection
    • Renal function, electrolytes and liver function tests especially to test for alkaline phosphatase, calcium and phosphorus. Bone metastases may cause elevated alkaline phosphatase and calcium. Multiple myeloma may have evidence of renal failure and may have elevated calcium, protein and uric acid. Paget's disease can have elevated alkaline phosphatase. Hyperparathyroidism may cause elevated calcium
    • PSA and serum acid phosphatase if suspect prostate cancer as cause for bone metastases and pathological bone fracture
    • Protein electrophoresis may diagnose Multiple myeloma
  • Urinary Bence Jones protein - is seen in some patients with multiple myeloma.
  • Radiological investigations
    • X-Ray of the affected bones and joints can diagnose fractures, bone tumors, Paget's disease and osteoporosis
    • With fractures, note how many bone fragments and displacement of the bones
    • CT Scan or MRI of spine if suspect a bone tumor or compression of spinal cord or nerve roots - e.g. radiation of pain down arms or legs.
    • Bone scan will help diagnose obscure fractures (such as stress fractures) and bone tumors. If bone metastases are diagnosed consider primary cancer in the lung, breast, kidneys, thyroid or prostate and investigate as appropriate
    • Bone densitometry can predict an increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Bone marrow aspirate - to diagnose Multiple myeloma.
  • Physical examination
  • X-rays

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Fractures causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Fractures:

The following list of conditions have 'Fractures' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Fractures or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Fractures:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Fractures' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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