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A 29-year-old member asked:

how accurate are x-rays in detecting hairline fractures?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ahmad M Hadied
Orthopedic Surgery 49 years experience
It depend on : The time when x-ray are done, if it done after a week from the fracture 70% to 80%. Also depend on the reader if he have the experience, but if you have suspension you could always splint and follow or could cat scan for that area.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Varies: It varies a little based upon the area of the bone involved. But your implication is correct, there are times that you can have such a small fracture that it does not always show up on X-ray. Both MRI and ct scan are more sensitive in picking up a fracture than X-ray.

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Last updated May 22, 2017
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