Radiologists can help break the destructive cycle of intimate partner violence by understanding the imaging patterns of lower extremity injuries indicative of such abuse, according to an investigation published Wednesday.
A team of East Coast imaging experts looked back on more than 80 victims of domestic violence who received imaging at a large academic medical center, sharing their findings in Emergency Radiology. Foot injuries were most common, accounting for 49% of all cases and nearly half of all fractures.
But what radiologists really should look out for, the authors wrote, are recurrent patterns, as nearly three-quarters of patients with recurrent injuries suffered foot and ankle damage. Such trauma commonly occurs as victims attempt to protect themselves, leaving their lower legs and upper limbs vulnerable to attack.
“Once radiologists are able to recognize emerging injury patterns related to intimate partner violence [IPV] such as soft tissue injuries to the face; fractures of the nose…and repetitive soft tissue injuries or fractures involving the feet or ankle or forearm or hands, they can facilitate early identification of IPV and in turn save lives by breaking the cycle of violence,” first author Babina Gosangi, MD, of Yale New Haven Health System, and colleagues wrote.