Spiral fractures


Dr. Salam here, I am a full time practicing orthopedic consultant in One Care Medical Center which is a premier orthopedic hospital in Coimbatore. In this amazing article, we are going to discuss everything about Spiral fractures and its management

A spiral fracture is a type of fracture that results when a major twisting force is applied to a long bone. The twisting force usually tears the bone in half. Most spiral fractures usually occur in the leg or the arm. All said and done, spiral fractures are serious injuries since the broken ends of the bone have rough edges and are quite difficult to align.

Spiral Fracture Causes

Symptoms of Spiral fractures

Spiral fractures cause excruciating pain. Common symptoms associated with the injury include

Losing consciousness

Inability to bear weight on the affected bone

Tenting of the bone, where the fractured bone is ready to come through the skin

Inflammation, redness, and swelling.

Sometimes a loss of the pulse in the ankle or the wrist.


Imaging techniques like X-Ray, MRI and blood tests are usually the first line of management. Spiral fractures can be frequently confused with Oblique fractures

Treatment strategies

The treatment of a spiral fracture depends on the severity of the said injury and associated damage to the surrounding vessels and nerves.

Post an injury, weight bearing is to be strictly avoided. Where possible immobilization should be done immediately. Ice must be applied immediately where possible to reduce swelling. All spiral fractures will invariably require surgery with general anesthesia. Broken stray shards have to be removed before the bone can be fixed and aligned. Use of appropriate screws, rods or pins is definitely required.

Post surgery, splints or casts may be applied depending on the nature of the injury. Use of medication, ice, and antibiotics combined with full rest will facilitate excellent healing.

Weight-bearing is usually started only after 8 to 12 full weeks post the injury. Some severe injuries may take months to completely heal.

Complications of spiral fracture:-

Spiral fractures can be life-threatening and definitely require aggressive management

Commonly reported complications of spiral fracture include,

A. Blood vessel and nerve damage

B. Muscle Tears

C. Compartment syndrome, where the blood flow to the leg gets cut off due to inflammation

D. Osteomyelitis, which is an infection of the bone

E. Pulmonary embolus wherein a blood clot can get loose and go to the lung

F. Lastly shock and sepsis.

G. Spiral fractures can be quite traumatic, visiting the right doctor and getting the right treatment can go a long way in helping you recover completely.