Appendicular films (early clinical)

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 3 Apr 2023
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Appendicular films are x-rays taken of the bones and joints of the arms and legs. I have used this term to separate the x-rays taken as part of an assessment of non-acute disease from trauma films which represent x-rays taken at the time of an accident.

Appendicular films are commonly requested in orthopedic and rheumatology clinics. In orthopedic clinics, films are used for the assessment of joint alignment and state (e.g. is there evidence of degenerative joint disease in osteoarthritis?). In rheumatology, x-rays are used to make an assessment of joint disease in a systemic process. Appendicular films are also used by physiotherapists and general practitioners who usually request them to rule out bony pathology causing symptoms before continuing with other treatments.

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