What is an Occult Femur Fracture?

What is an Occult Femur Fracture?

Femur fractures are among the most painful and most serious injuries that someone can suffer. Many people believe that a broken leg is easy to spot. After all, if someone cannot walk on his or her leg, there is likely a serious injury. On the other hand, some fractures can be missed by routine imaging. These fractures are termed occult, meaning that they are not readily obvious. According to a study that was published in Acta Orthopedics:

  • A team of researchers reviewed a total of nine different studies with close to 200 individuals.
  • These individuals had suffered injuries; however, initial imaging did not show any fracture.
  • These patients returned later for repeat imaging which was either an x-ray or an MRI.
  • A fracture was subsequently diagnosed in about a quarter of these individuals.

This study shows that occult fractures are more common than many people realize.

Why do Occult Fractures Happen?

An occult fracture often occurs with an acute injury. This could take the form of:

Some of the most common locations that occult fractures occur include the hip, the femur, the humerus, the tibia, the fibula, the radius, the ulna, the hand, and the foot. Often, occult fractures are diagnosed later on repeat imaging. These fractures are picked up the second time around because the swelling has gone down, making the fracture lines easier to spot.

What is the Clinical Significance of an Occult Femur Fracture?

The biggest problem that an occult femur fracture presents is a delay in the diagnosis. If the fracture is not diagnosed immediately, this means that the injury could get worse. One study showed that those who had a delay in the diagnosis of their bone fracture were more likely to have a displaced injury. Bone fractures that are displaced are more likely to require surgery. Surgical procedures open the door for further complications, a prolonged hospital stay, and a longer recovery time.

Watch YouTube Video: What is an Occult Fracture? The short video below describes an occult fracture and explains how it can be missed on images.

Contacting an Injury Lawyer

If someone has been diagnosed with an occult fracture, this means that the initial injury was not detected on the initial scan. Therefore, people might have trouble connecting this new fracture diagnosis with an old accident that took place in the past. This can lead to some tough questions. There is where a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento can provide help. Some of the benefits that an injury attorney can provide include:

  • Reviewing records from the accident to make sure that all factors are considered.
  • Negotiating with financial institutions to make sure that bills are paid and benefits are rewarded.
  • Moving a case to the courtroom when necessary.

Families need to know that help is available following a serious accident. Speak with a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer today.

Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento. Not all femur fractures can be seen on an imaging scan, such as an x-ray; however, they are still very serious. If you or someone you care about has had a femur fracture diagnosed after a significant delay, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am an attorney in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and in the Top One Percent.

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