Spiral tibial fractures of children: A commonly accidental spiral long bone fracture

Larry B. Mellick, Kenneth Reesor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Pediatric training in child abuse has consistently emphasized a strong association between nonaccidental injuries and spiral fractures of long bones. Isolated spiral tibial fractures of childhood have previously been recognized by the orthopedic specialty to most frequently be accidental in etiology. The authors present evidence that supports a predominantly accidental etiology for isolated spiral tibial fractures of young children. This article presents a series in which 9 of 10 such spiral fractures were most likely the result of an accident and not child abuse or gross neglect. Additionally, almost all of these fractures presented as a gait disturbance and should be included in the differential of this complaint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-237
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Children
  • child abuse
  • fractures
  • injuries
  • long bone
  • spiral
  • tibia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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