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Occult Fracture

Complete list of fracture information

An occult fracture is one that does not show up on a standard X-ray immediately after a trauma to a bone. Many times in follow up X-rays the fracture will show up because of loss of bone around the fracture during the healing process.

Diagnosis of an Occult Fracture

Diagnosing an occult fracture can be frustrating. An occult fracture can be suspected when there are continuing symptoms of a fracture even though the initial X-rays did not show a fracture. If plain X-rays continue to be negative but clinical suspicion remains, further imaging should be pursued. Bone scan and computed tomography have been used with about equal accuracy to detect occult fractures. The most accurate diagnostic tool is the MRI because it demonstrates much more anatomy and is much more accurate.

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