A spiral fracture is a type of bone fracture which is caused by the combination of torsion and impact. Spiral fractures are most common in the lower part of the body as due to a hard fall, one’s bone can twist (imagine it to be like twisting an ankle) however it takes a lot more force to get a spiral fracture in the arms. A spiral metacarpal fracture, for instance, is most commonly caused by a sport like rugby.
The symptoms of a spiral fracture are:
– a loud cracking sound when incident happened
– swelling/bruising around fracture (normally around all sides of the bone)
– discolouration normally comes with the swelling
– pain and discomfort (unless known to have a high pain threshold)
– sometimes the fracture will be visible (open fracture, deformity)
A spiral fracture is diagnosed by the use of an x-ray machine. The doctor and/or radiographer would then examine the images to determine whether or not a spiral fracture has occurred.
Spiral fractures can be treated in one of two ways depending on how serious the break is. Method:
1 – If the break isn’t too serious and the subject is in good health the fracture can be mended by simply casting it for a few months to let it mend on its own.
2 – If the break is more serious it may be misaligned so badly that in order for it to heal it needs to be pinned. This requires an operation on the bone to put in place metal pins which should re-enforce the bone and give it back its structure so it can mend properly.
The general prognosis of a spiral fracture is that within six months or less it should be back to how it was before.