When you’re involved in an automobile collision, one of the injuries you could suffer from is a broken bone. It’s common to see a spiral fracture, which is also known as a torsion fracture, in crashes when a person’s body was twisted during the impact.
In adults, this kind of injury may happen when a body part is pinned while the rest of the body moves. For example, if your foot is pinned while your body continues moving due to the impact, then you could have a spiral fracture as a result.
How do you treat a spiral fracture?
The treatment for a spiral fracture will depend on the severity of the break. To begin with, the medical team will need to order diagnostic tests such as:
- Blood tests
- CT scans
Once they understand how the break has damaged the bone and if veins, arteries, ligaments or other tissues are involved, they will be able to develop a treatment plan.
A typical treatment plan for an acute break will involve surgery. In fact, most spiral breaks do require the victim to be placed under general anesthesia while the fracture is investigated and surgery is completed.
In some less severe cases, surgery may still be needed but could be done under local anesthetic. Surgery is most often needed when the bones have separated or broken the skin, but it may also be needed to stabilize the wound.
After surgery, patients need to wear a splint or cast. Splints are commonly used since they can be adjusted for inflammation. Braces and casts might be used after the inflammation has gone down.
There are possible complications of spiral fractures to keep in mind
There are some complications that could occur due to spiral fractures, such as compartment syndrome, muscle damage, sepsis, malunions and embolisms. It is important for all patients with this kind of injury to have regular checkups and to know the signs of infection or blood clots.
A spiral fracture has the potential to cause chronic pain and dysfunction. Early treatment is helpful in managing the break, but it’s only after the wound begins to heal that the patient or others will be able to tell how well the recovery will go.