Occult fracture

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Occult fractures are those that are not visible on imaging, most commonly plain radiographs and sometimes CT, either due to lack of displacement or limitations of the imaging study. There may be clinical signs of a fracture without one actually being seen. MRI or nuclear medicine studies are sometimes required to make the diagnosis.

Technically any fracture may be occult, but classic examples include:

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Article information

rID: 40032
Section: Gamuts, Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Radiographically-occult fractures
  • Radiologically-occult fractures
  • Radiologically-occult fracture
  • Radiographically-occult fracture
  • Hidden fracture
  • Occult fractures
  • Hidden fractures

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: distal radius
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  • Case 2: radial head
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