How is a fracture diagnosed?
- X-ray: X-ray imaging produces a picture of internal tissues, bones, and organs. Most fractures are diagnosed by using an X-ray.
- Other tests (usually not needed if the fracture is obvious on X-ray)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI is a procedure that produces a more detailed image. It is usually used for smaller fractures or stress fractures.
- Bone scan: An agent is injected that binds in the area of the fracture where bone turnover is higher than normal.
- Computed tomography scan (CT, or CAT scan): a three-dimensional imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce slices, (cross-sectional images), horizontally and vertically, of the body.