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Child Abuse

Distinguishing Between Spiral Fracture and Oblique Fracture

08/03/2006

Question:

could you also tell me how can you distinguish between spiral fracture from oblique fracture and does it take a great deal of twisting force to break the femur

Answer:

Oblique and spiral are ways to describe the fractured bone.  Both types of fractures involve the shaft or long portion of the bone.  Spiral fractures may be confused with oblique fractures on xray because special views are sometimes needed to differentiate between the two.

It is difficult to say how much force it takes to break a bone, and often depends on many factors.

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Response by:

Robert Shapiro, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati