Are orthopaedic surgeons reading radiology reports? A Trans-Tasman Survey

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2019 Jun;63(3):324-328. doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12871. Epub 2019 Mar 12.


Introduction: The attitudes of orthopaedic surgeons regarding radiology reporting is not well-described in the literature. We surveyed Orthopaedic Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand to assess if they routinely review formal radiology reports.

Methods: An anonymized, 14 question online survey was distributed to consultant surgeons of the Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Associations (AOA, NZOA).

Results: Two hundred respondents completed the survey (Total number of Fellows: 283 NZOA, 1185 AOA). 18.5% of respondents always reviewed the formal Radiology report, 44.5% most of the time, 35% sometimes and 2% never. By imaging modality, MRI reports were the most frequently reviewed (92%), followed by ultrasound (74%) and nuclear medicine (63%). Only 10% of surgeons consulted formal reports for plain radiography. 55% of surgeons were still likely to disagree with the MRI report, followed by 46% for plain radiography. In cases of disagreement, only 21% of surgeons would always contact the reporting radiologist. The majority of Surgeons (85.5%) think there should be more collaboration between the disciplines, although only 50.5% had regular attendance of a Radiologist at their departmental audit.

Conclusions: This survey reveals that the majority of orthopaedic surgeons are not routinely reading radiology reports. This points towards a need for further interdisciplinary collaboration. To our knowledge, this is the first survey directly assessing attitudes of orthopaedic surgeons towards radiology reports.

Keywords: Surveys and Questionnaires; attitude; diagnostic imaging; orthopaedics; radiology.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Australia
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Orthopedic Surgeons*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires