The Perfect Lateral (Wrist)

Obtaining the perfect lateral view for any exam can always be a challenge. The x-ray technologist has a number a variables working against them. Some of these include, the patient’s condition, time constraint under which the technologist is working, and protocol which is particular to the physician. Efficiency is highly valued in every facility by both clinicians and patients. Therefore, consistently obtaining high quality images in a reasonable time on any patient is vital. One of the ways in which good technologist obtain this is by having little methods they can use on a regular basis. In regards to the lateral view of the wrist, place your index finger on the radius and your middle finger on the ulna. From there, rotate the wrist laterally with your fingers on the radius and ulna. You will know that you have a perfect lateral when your index and middle finger overlap (Fig. 1). In doing so, you should obtain a consistently perfect lateral of the wrist where the radius and ulna are superimposed (Fig. 2).

 (fig 1)     (fig 2)