Spiral Fracture: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Spiral Fracture - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - ER of Dallas

A spiral fracture involves a residual shattered bone formed in a circular head pattern. This form of fracture occurs when the bone is twisted during an injury. Spiral distortions are largely caused by long bones found primarily in your hands, feet, arms, and legs. The extent of injuries, consequent medical treatment, and required rehabilitation periods will differ from the least severe to the most serious.

The following piece talks about spiral fractures of bones, affected bone sections, the listed causes, the available treatments, and their recovery times.

What is a Spiral Fracture?

One kind of fractured bone is a spiral fracture. They occur when a twisting motion breaks one of your bones. They produce a fracture line resembling a corkscrew and spiral around your bone. Spiral fractures may also be called complete fractures. This indicates that the break’s line passes through your entire bone.

What is a Spiral Fracture - ER of Dallas

Spiral fractures usually affect long bones in your body. Some of the most common include

  • Spiral Femur Fracture (thigh).
  • Tibia (shin).
  • Fibula Spiral Fracture (calf).
  • Spiral Ankle Fracture (Talus).
  • Spiral Finger Fracture (Phalanges)
  • Spiral Fracture Hand (metacarpals)
  • Spiral Leg Fracture

Falls or other traumas are nearly always the cause of spinal fractures. To fix your broken bone, surgery might be required. Your recovery time will vary depending on which bones are broken and what caused them. Healing from a spiral fracture typically takes many months.

Spiral Fracture vs Toodler Fracture

A particular kind of spiral fracture typically affects toddlers under three years old is called a toddler fracture. The same twisting actions that create other spiral fractures also cause toddler fractures, although they almost always affect children’s shin bones (tibia).

Whatever the labels and vocabulary used to describe your fracture, the most crucial initial step is to have a medical professional evaluate your injury as quickly as possible.

Spiral Fracture vs Oblique Fracture

There are two forms of bone fractures: oblique fractures and spiral fractures. These phrases offer your healthcare professional particular information about the type of fracture you have and its shape.

Your bone might break at an angle, resulting in an oblique fracture. The fracture appears as an angled, straight line spanning the width of your bone. They are typically brought on by falling onto your bone at an angle or by an abrupt blow to it from an angle (such as in a car accident).

When a fracture loops around the length of your bone, resembling a spiral staircase, it is called a spiral fracture. Spiral fractures often happen in sports-related injuries when bones are severely bent (such as when tackling in football).

Who Gets Spiral Fractures?

Like all bone fractures, spiral fractures can happen to anyone. Spiral fracture is particularly true given that traumas or accidents are their causes. A spiral fracture may be more likely to occur if you are at risk for falls. All kinds of fractured bones, including spiral fractures, are more common in people with osteoporosis.

How Does a Spiral Fracture Occur?

Usually, a spiral fracture results from twisting or rotating the bone. Spiral fractures can occur in a car accident, when playing sports, or when you fall asleep. The impact breaks the bone in a spiral pattern due to its force. Spiral fractures may have serious consequences, particularly when the bone pierces the skin. To avoid infection, you must seek medical assistance right once if this occurs.

Spiral Fracture Causes

The most frequent causes of spiral fractures are high-energy impacts and rotational forces acting on the bone, which can happen in sports, car crashes, workplace mishaps, or falls. When one end of a bone is fixed while the other continues to move, the resultant twisting stress on the bone frequently results in spiral fractures. The majority of spiral fractures in the lower extremities occur while the foot is planted but the torso is still moving.

Spiral Fracture Causes - ER of Dallas

When small infants fall on an outstretched leg, they frequently sustain unintentional spiral fractures in their lower legs. Sadly, spiral fractures in kids don’t always happen by accident. A radiologist or other healthcare professional will search for additional indications of abuse if they notice a spiral fracture on an X-ray.

Spiral fractures can result from any impact that twists your bones. They are typically brought on by anything abruptly pulling your body or one of your limbs out of its natural alignment. Among the most typical causes are:

  • Falls.
  • Car accidents.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Workplace accidents.

Spiral Fracture Symptoms

The most prevalent and visible sign of a spiral fracture is localised discomfort in the affected area. The degree of the injury determines the type of pain. Individuals have described the discomfort as heavy, dull, and excruciating.

Spiral Fracture Symptoms - ER of Dallas

There may also be:

  • Bone stiffness
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Swelling and redness
  • Tenderness

In the case of an open fracture — a fracture where there is a break in the skin — you may see jagged bones and bone fragments, in addition to bleeding.

What Tests Are Done to Diagnose a Spiral Fracture?

After a physical exam, you’ll likely need at least one of a few imaging tests:

  • X-rays: An X-ray will confirm any spiral or other fractures and show how damaged your bones are.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Your healthcare provider might use an MRI to get a complete picture of the damage to your bones and the area around them. This’ll show them tissue around your bones, too. Injuries to muscles, connective tissue, and organs should be investigated.
  • CT scan: If you need surgery, your healthcare provider or surgeon must know precisely how damaged your bones are. A CT scan will give them a more detailed picture of your bones and the surrounding tissue than an X-ray.

Treatment for Spiral Fracture

Depending on which bone is shattered and how severe your initial break was, your spiral fracture may require different treatment. Your fractured bones must mend to become whole again. There are various therapies your healthcare professional might utilise, depending on how damaged they are and what broke them.

Treatment for Spiral Fracture - ER of Dallas

Because spiral fractures happen, the resulting fractured bone typically has sharp edges. This may make the healing process more difficult. Additionally, the injury can cause bone fragments to come loose, which could complicate therapy even more. For these reasons, the course of treatment will vary depending on the degree of fracture and whether the bone is stable or displaced.

Treatment for a Stable Spiral Fracture

Treatment for a stable spiral fracture often entails immobilising the bone with a cast for four to six weeks. Stable fractures are typically more common in youngsters.

Treatment for a Displaced Spiral Fracture

Due to the jagged bones that define a displaced spiral fracture, treatment almost always involves surgery. Your surgeon will carry out an open reduction procedure. You will be placed under general anaesthesia for this surgery. Your doctor will then incision in the afflicted location to realign the bone fragments.

Your doctor continues to evaluate the extent of the injury while it is being operated on. For instance, your doctor assesses and treats injuries if there is harm to the nearby blood vessels or muscles. After realigning the fractured bone, your doctor may use rods, pins, or screws to secure it in place. These devices might be temporary or permanent.

Recovery from Surgery

An open reduction procedure typically results in the limb being placed in a cast. It is going to be taken out in a few weeks. Recovery can be rather uncomfortable, particularly after surgery. It has been demonstrated that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, slow down the healing process. Acetaminophen with codeine is therefore more frequently prescribed.

It depends on the severity of your injury if you need physical therapy. You will experience some loss of strength and range of motion while wearing a cast. Exercise and other treatments can help you regain them in the damaged limb.

What Are the Symptoms of a Spiral Fracture Hand?

There are several methods for diagnosing a fractured hand. Pain is the most prevalent symptom and is frequently quite intense. There may also be redness, bruising, or swelling in the area of the injury. Hands can be unstable or weak, and you might have trouble moving your thumbs or fingers. If the fracture is severe, your hand may clearly show abnormalities. It’s critical to consult a qualified healthcare provider as soon as you suspect you may have a hand fracture so that the injury can be appropriately diagnosed and treated.

If you have a hand fracture, your hand therapists will likely recommend wearing a splint to immobilise the affected area and allow it to heal. In some cases, surgery to align the bones correctly may be necessary. With proper treatment, most people make a full recovery from a hand fracture. If you want the injury to heal, follow your hand therapist’s instructions carefully.

How Long Does it Take a Spiral Fracture to Heal?

Bones grow very slowly, so many spiral fractures take about four to six months to heal. Prompt treatment is essential for proper healing. If you suspect you have a spiral fracture, see your doctor right away to get evaluated.


Spiral fractures are scary-sounding injuries, but your healthcare provider and surgeon will get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Don’t rush your recovery. Take each step as it comes, and give yourself time to heal and go to the Orthopedic Care Dallas. Consult your healthcare provider about keeping your bones strong and healthy, and get regular bone density screenings if you’re older than 50 or have a family history of osteoporosis.


What is the amount of time a spiral fracture must be healed?

The recovery period for a spiral fracture may not be so uniform and relative to the extent of the fracture and the type of affected bone. In general, it would take six to twelve weeks to restore enough strength to bear the weight of a minor fracture. For instance, the more intricate and serious fractures might take a long time to set, for instance, several months.

Can an open fracture heal without surgery?

Even though quirky oblique fractures that heal properly when kept in place by immobilisation might not require medical assistance, having a medical professional supervise them can help ensure proper healing. Inappropriate trauma management or noncompliance with the provided medical care can lead to impairment in the healing process or pain in the long term.

What hazards do we face in case of spiral fracture?

Sometimes, this may lead to delayed union or non-union complications when the bone doesn’t unite or heal. In addition to the pain, there can be some nerve or blood vessel damage in the area adjacent to the wound too. Particularly, long-term conditions may be arthritis and decreased automation of limb functions.

What activities should be done, or, on the contrary, what must be avoided after the spiral fractures?

Yes, high-intensity exercises such as running, jumping, or any energetic sports involving pressure on the injured limb should be completely ruled out until the bone has regained its full weight and your doctor has given you clearance to resume these activities. Some low-impact and progressive activities should be included in a rehab program as instructed by the physician.

How can humanitarian groups work on the prevention of spiral fractures?

Robust measures to prevent spiral fractures may be taken even though accidents do occur. Using the correct athletic protection equipment, designing safe spaces with no obstacles to trip, and being careful during outdoor activities such as skiing or hiking on difficult landscapes can help result in these injuries. Furthermore, progressive workouts with weights or a weight machine to build bones and ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet plus regular exercise can also help.


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