C-Arm orientation during back pain procedures


  • B. van der Merwe Private Diagnostic Radiographer
  • H. Friedrich-Nel School of Health Technology, Central University of Technology, Free State


This study attempted to determine radiation dose levels around the operating theatre table, on either side of the C-Arm, in order to establish if the radiation dose received by staff during back pain procedures fell within the limits set by the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP). The question that arose from this goal was whether the stance of staff, in relation to the x-ray tube side of the C-Arm, influenced radiation dose levels. In order to apply the ‘As-Low-As-Reasonably-Achievable’ (ALARA) principle, the possibility of lowering the radiation dose in the neurological operating theatre was explored. The methodology of the study was twofold: measurements were executed by means of thermoluminescent detectors (TLD) as well as with an ionisation chamber. The measurement values resulted in a proposed protocol in terms of positioning of staff and orientation of the C-Arm in order to apply the ALARA principle during back pain procedures. Constant revision of protocols is the responsibility of the radiographer in order to guarantee that the ALARA principle is implemented in every unique situation.

Author Biography

B. van der Merwe, Private Diagnostic Radiographer

Private Radiographer




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