Occult fracture

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 13 Jun 2020

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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Cases and figures

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