Rib fracture (abdominal x-ray)

Case contributed by Dr Matthew Tse


Right upper quadrant pain, worse on inspiration, and constipation ?obstruction

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male

Abdominal x-ray


Normal bowel gas pattern. No plain radiographic evidence of obstruction, colitis or perforation.

Acute right 6th rib fracture.

Magnified view of original abdominal x-ray


Magnified view highlighting rib fracture from above study.

Case Discussion

Edge of film finding in a system that is not the predominant focus of the examination, in this instance a rib fracture on an abdominal examination. In the given history, this is likely to account for the patient's right upper quadrant pain.

This case highlights the importance of systematic review including edge of film and review of structures which are not the predominant focus of an exam.

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