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A Cartesian co-ordinate system for representing the second to fifth metacarpals in the human handPurpose The use of hand radiographs has both clinical and anthropometric applications. However, a method for converting standard bony points within the metacarpus to Cartesian co-ordinates does not exist. Methods A simple method for converting standard bony points of the second to fifth metacarpals to Cartesian co-ordinates is described for the first time. Results Using a small set of measurements and treating these with equations of known voracity, this method is accurate and allows the metacarpus to be interro¬gated via a much wider range of geometrical techniques than has so far been available. Conclusions This method allows naked-eye assessments to be supported or re¬placed by metrical evaluations. It is likely to have both clinical and anthropometric uses.
Some research possibilities in diagnostic radiographyAlthough scientific method is usually viewed as starting with hypotheses which must then be exposed to experimental test, there are situations where this rigid scenario is inappropriate. Fortunately, the alternatives provide avenues for valuable investigative work in radiographic research. Research questions may be addressed by collecting data from existing sources in a way that not only provides fundamental information about human biology, but may improve the efficacy of radiographic practice while avoiding ethical problems about the use of patients. Among those involved in osteology, it is radiographers who see and store the most bone images. Subsequently, they have access to more osteological information than anyone else. All that remains is for this information to be extracted and put into a more accessible form. Since they are closely involved with the patients from whom their radiographs stem, there are research questions which radiographers are uniquely situated to raise.