Often patients with ankle fractures that are stable, and thus do not require surgery, are given follow-up x-rays because their orthopedists are concerned about possibly having misjudged the stability of the fracture. When a number of follow-up x-rays were reviewed, however, all the fractures that had initially been judged stable were found to have healed correctly. Therefore, it is a waste of money to order follow-up x-rays of ankle fracture initially judged stable.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

Doctors who are general practitioners rather than orthopedists are less likely than orthopedists to judge the stability of an ankle fracture correctly.

Many ankle injuries for which an initial x-ray is ordered are revealed by the x-ray not to involve any fracture of the ankle.

X-rays of patients of many different orthopedists working in several hospitals were reviewed.

The healing of ankle fractures that have been surgically repaired is always checked by means of a follow-up x-ray.

Orthopedists routinely order follow-up x-rays for fractures of bone other than ankle bones.


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