Causes Of A Spiral Fracture: Its Symptoms And How To Treat It?

A spiral fracture or torsion fracture refers to the fracture that occurs due to force or pressure along the bone’s axis. When the torque is applied along the parallel axis, the planes that are perpendicular to it will not be affected. Tension is exerted on one section of bone, whilst compression occurs on the other. In case these forces exceed the limit that is endurable by the bone, the fracture is caused.

When it comes to spiral fracture, early detection and prompt treatment management are very crucial. When this is the case, the best treatment option is surgery in order to stabilize the bones and expedite complete healing. If the fracture is comparatively clean and the bones can be reduced, then the affected limb ought to be immobilized using a cast. The typical recovery time for a spiral fracture is about 6 weeks.

When a bone fractures in a helix form under a torsion force a spiral fracture develops. By and large, a spiral fracture produces jagged edges that are rather difficult to reduce or realign. What’s more, some bone fragments may break free making the treatment all the more difficult.

Symptoms Of A Spiral Fracture

Commonly seen symptoms and manifestations of a spiral fracture include:

  • Pain in the affected portion; it may be dull and heavy or agonizing, depending up on the severity of the fracture.
  • Stiffness in the bones.
  • Restricted movement and reduced range of motion.
  • Swelling, inflammation and redness.
  • Tenderness at the fracture site.
  • Jagged bones and bone fragments.
  • Bleeding and ruptures blood vessels.
  • Ruptures muscles.

How To Treat A Spiral Fracture?

Usually, the typical time interval for the healing of spiral fracture is approximately 4 to 6 weeks. However, two problems arise in the treatment of a spiral fracture. Firstly, it is rather difficult to reduce the jagged bones and fragments in order to make them immobilized. Secondly, the chips and splinters may tear blood vessels and muscles.

This is principally true if the bone was not correctly immobilized before medical treatment was given to the individual. Consequently, surgical intervention is a must and it is the most suitable treatment option for the management of a spiral fracture.

Surgery to reinstate the jagged, broken bones is known as open reduction surgery and it necessitates general anesthesia. During the surgery, the severity of damage is assessed and the region surrounding the fracture is examined for blood vessel or muscle lacerations and, if required, it is effectively tackled. Thereafter, the bone is realigned as much as possible; then it is secured using rods, screws or pins. Then the incision is sutured closed. The bone is immobilized and protected during the period of healing by using a cast or a splint.

Sometimes, (particularly in children), a spiral fracture will be fairly clean and a closed reduction is carried out to manage the case successfully, i.e. the bones are realigned without any surgical intervention. Closed reduction is conducted under local anesthesia, on the other hand, some doctors prefer general anesthesia.

In case of a clean spiral fracture, the disruption is diminished and then the bones are immobilized with a cast or splint. Generally, spiral fractures, whether they are managed with open or closed reduction, take about 4 to 6 weeks to heal.

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