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Child Abuse

Spiral Fracture

02/14/2007

Question:

I placed my 4 month old child on my bed while I went to make her feed she rolled of the bed.As soon as I realised she had hurt her arm I took her to the hospital where they said she has a spiral fracture. They are saying that she did not get this injury due to her fall but I know she was fine before this accident is it possible she could have caught her arm while falling which caused this injury. I know she was in perfect health before this happened. They are now blaming me saying I have purposely caused her this injury I would never hurt any of my children.

Answer:

There have been many other questions to this forum about spiral fractures.  You may find some of these other questions and responses helpful to you.

No one fracture can differentiate child abuse from an accidental injury.   Fractures in a young infant, such as your child, are always concerning for abuse and a thorough investigation must be done to help better identify those children who have been injured from abuse and are therefore at risk for additional injury.

Spiral fractures usually occur when an extremity is twisted.  This can happen accidentally or through inflicted injury.

For more information:

Go to the Child Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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