Spiral fracture

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An x-ray image of a spiral fracture to the left humerus of a 27-year-old male. The injury was sustained during a fall.

A spiral fracture (a.k.a. torsion fracture) is a bone fracture occurring when torque (a rotating force) is applied along the axis of a bone.[1] Spiral fractures often occur when the body is in motion while one extremity is planted. For example, a spiral fracture of the tibia, a bone in the lower leg, can occur in young children when they fall short on an extended leg while jumping. This occurrence is known as "toddler's fracture." Spiral fractures are also recognized as being suspicious in very young children since to obtain a fracture of this sort requires forceful twisting or jerking of the limbs. Child abuse (physical abuse) and certain conditions such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) are considered differentials when identifying spiral or torsion fractures. [2]

Notable persons with spiral fractures[edit]

  • Chad Billingsley, American baseball pitcher, slipped on ice and suffered a spiral fracture of the fibula.[3]
  • Ryan Bradley, American figure skater, suffered a spiral fracture in the humerus of his arm while playing dodge ball.[4]
  • Mick Doohan, Australian motorcycle racer, sustained spiral fractures of his right tibia and fibula in a crash where his right leg was trapped under his bike while the rest of his body rotated. [5]
  • Michael Russell, American tennis player, while serving suffered a spiral fracture of the humerus bone.[6]
  • Jeremy Ten, Canadian figure skater, sustained a spiral fracture of the fibula.[7]


  1. ^ "Spiral Fracture". Harvard University. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Lukefahr M.D., James. "Child Abuse and Neglect Fractures". www.utmb.edu. University of Texas Health Science Center. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (2008-11-23). "Dodgers ace Billingsley has surgery after breaking leg in fall at home". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  4. ^ Mittan, Barry (March 26, 2007). "From Bad Breaks to a Breakout for Bradley". SkateToday. 
  5. ^ http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-top-10s/top-10-hardest-rides-of-all-time/10957-11.html
  6. ^ Greg Garber (August 22, 2007). "Perseverance paying off for Michael Russell; The Roger Federers and Andy Roddicks win the titles and spend their careers in the international spotlight. However, as Greg Garber writes, their successes would not be possible without players like Michael Russell.". ESPN. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ice is Slippery - as told by Jeremy Ten". PJ Kwong. June 5, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011.