The treatment of an occult fracture depends on where it is. Sometimes the combination of rest with splinting or casting is enough. If you have an occult fracture of your leg, ankle, or foot, you may need to use crutches to keep all of your weight off your injury. Or you can use crutches to limit the amount of weight you put on it. You may also need to wear a walking cast as it heals.
Your healthcare provider may refer you to a sports medicine doctor or an orthopedist for treatment. That’s especially the case if you have an occult fracture of the spine, hip, lower leg, ankle, or foot. Sometimes occult fractures need to be treated with surgery. The bone can then be fixed with pins, screws, or metal plates.
Bones heal through a process of knitting. Cells within the bone lay down new bone building blocks and remodel them until the bones become reconnected and strengthened. This healing process may take several weeks to several months. Even after the bones have started to heal, it still may be some time before they can handle the stresses they used to.
When you have your cast or splint removed, you will probably find that your muscles are weaker than they used to be. Once it is OK to resume activities, your healthcare provider may send you to rehabilitation specialists. They can help you learn exercises to rebuild your strength and flexibility and to prevent future fractures.