There is a common misunderstanding that xrays show broken bones. They often do, but sometimes the image may not be clear enough for the radiologist to read, or the image may be at the wrong angle or wrong site on your body to adequately see a fracture. The best example I can give of this is a client of mine about 18 years ago was in a ‘t-bone’ type accident and hurt her neck.

She went to the hospital and had an xray done on her neck. The xray did not show any fracture. About a year and a half after the accident, my client’s family doctor described her neck injury as a ‘soft tissue’ injury. We continued to monitor her condition and I encouraged her to put off any settlement discussions until she had reached maximum medical improvement. About two and a half years after the accident, without any warning/trigger, the client had a big increase in pain symptoms in her neck and went back to the hospital for another xray. This time she was given a ‘ct scan’ which is a series of xrays around her neck. These showed that she had a fractured (broken) neck. The neurosurgeon that she saw immediately after the ct scan results were known, gave the opinion that the broken neck was from the car accident.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t accept that you have a ‘minor’ injury, just because the xray was negative for a fracture. If you have ongoing pain, push for further investigations and further imaging.