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]
  • Ben Ross, Australian rugby league player, sustained a spiral fracture of the right humerus while participating in a charity Arm wrestling match.[8]
  • Ali Krieger, American soccer player, sustained a spiral fracture in the fall of 2004 at Pennsylvania State University during a scrimmage with the men's club soccer team.