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Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024

2024 Jun

J Am Coll Radiol




ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Chronic Hand and Wrist Pain: 2023 Update.


Stensby JD, Fox MG, Nacey N, Blankenbaker DG, Frick MA, Jawetz ST, Raizman NM, Said N, Stephens LA, Subhas N, Walker EA, Wright CL, Chang EY


Chronic hand and wrist pain is a common presenting complaint. The intricate anatomy results in a variety of pain generators-multiple bones, articular cartilage, intrinsic ligaments, triangular fibrocartilage complex, joint capsules and synovium, tendons and tendon sheaths, muscles, and nerves-in a compact space. The need for imaging and the choice of the appropriate imaging modality are best determined by the patient’s presentation, physical examination, and the clinician’s working differential diagnosis. Radiography is usually appropriate as the initial imaging study in the evaluation of chronic hand or wrist pain. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision process support the systematic analysis of the medical literature from peer reviewed journals. Established methodology principles such as Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE are adapted to evaluate the evidence. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method User Manual provides the methodology to determine the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where peer reviewed literature is lacking or equivocal, experts may be the primary evidentiary source available to formulate a recommendation.