The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 8, 1742 - 1745

Radiation Exposure During Fluoro-Assisted Direct Anterior Total Hip Arthroplasty

Pomeroy, Christopher L. et al.


Utilization of the direct anterior approach (DAA) for total hip arthroplasty (THA) has increased in the last decade with fluoroscopy often used to confirm implant position, leg length, and offset. Radiation exposure thresholds around 800 mGy are published for the risk of cataracts. We hypothesized that surgeon eye exposure during fluoro-assisted DAA total hip arthroplasty would be well below these published thresholds.


Three experienced orthopedic surgeons performed 30 consecutive fluoro-assisted DAA THAs. During each procedure, the surgeon wore a helmet-mounted dosimeter. After 30 consecutive cases, the dosimeters were analyzed. A chart review was then completed to obtain fluoroscopic data saved for each individual case including fluoroscopic time, total radiation dose, and radiation tech experience.


Fluoroscopic data were available for 89 of 90 cases (98.8%). Surgeon 1 had an average fluoroscopic time of 18.51 seconds, radiation dose of 2.396 mGy, and tech experience of 13.06 years. Surgeon 2 had an average fluoroscopic time of 15.63 seconds, radiation dose of 2.139 mGy, and tech experience of 23.69 years. Surgeon 3 had an average fluoroscopic time of 11.06 seconds, radiation dose of 1.462 mGy, and tech experience of 16.03 years. The dosimeter results were 8, 5, and <1 mrem, respectively, for each surgeon. The mean total radiation dose per case for all surgeons was 2.00 mGy (±1.31), and there was no correlation between radiation dose and radiologic tech experience (0.089, P > .05) or radiation dose and patients’ body mass index (0.260, P = .014).


Each surgeon would need to perform >300,000 DAA THAs to exceed the 800-mGy cataract threshold dose. The decision to wear protective glasses should be at the surgeon’s discretion; however, the findings in this study show a very low radiation dose to the surgeon’s eye regardless of radiologic tech experience or patient’s body mass index.

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