occult fracture


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oc·cult frac·ture

a condition with clinical signs of fracture but no radiographic evidence; after 2-4 weeks, radiographic imaging shows new bone formation; magnetic resonance imaging frequently confirms the fracture before changes are evident on radiography; commonly seen in the navicular bone of the wrist.

occult fracture

a fracture that cannot be detected by radiographic standard examination until several weeks after injury. The break is most likely to occur in the ribs, tibia, metatarsals, hip, or navicular. It is accompanied by the usual signs of pain and trauma and may produce soft tissue edema. Magnetic resonance imaging or a bone scan may be used to confirm a suspected occult fracture.

oc·cult frac·ture

(ŏ-kŭlt' frak'shŭr)
A condition in which there are clinical signs of fracture but no radiologic evidence; after 3-4 weeks, radiologic imaging shows new bone formation.

occult fracture

A fracture that is suspected based on clinical grounds (e.g., guarding, pain, and swelling) but not seen on x-rays. The fracture may be seen with bone scans or magnetic resonance imaging.
See also: fracture
References in periodicals archive ?
Covert or occult fractures that are not easily detected by preliminary x-rays.
As always, consider the unusual--such as occult fractures or osteochondritis--if a patient's ankle injuries aren't improving as expected.
Autopsy studies indicate that even when x-rays of the cervical spine are negative, there can be occult fractures and injury to the cord itself.
Although the use of imaging modalities beyond plain radiography has increased the detection of occult fractures and ligamentous injuries of the wrist and hand, (16,17) few reports of trapezoid fractures continue to exist in the English literature.
MRI is very sensitive for the detection of occult fractures (Figure 3), either in the marrow or physis.