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spiral fracture of the femur

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  • spiral fracture of the femur

    Dear subscribers,

    While Biomch-L is primarily a forum for scientists, it is sometimes appropriate to have questions from the "real world". The attached message was submitted to the moderators for distribution.

    As in any acute injury scenario, there are two separate components to the question:

    (1) What is the failure load of the biological structure? (in this case: a 15-month old's femur in torsion)

    (2) Could such a load have been applied in the situation being described?

    You may respond directly to Ms. Gurley, or if you believe your information is of general interest, post to

    I am asking Ms. Gurley to then submit a follow-up posting with a summary of replies.


    Ton van den Bogert, Biomch-L co-moderator

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Rachel Gurley []
    Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:07 PM
    To: van den Bogert, Ton
    Subject: Any help you can give...PLEASE

    Dear Members,

    I am trying to find information about spiral fractures and the force
    or torque it would require to cause one. This relates to a situation
    where a 15 month old boy suffered an acute spiral fracture.
    Might such a fracture occur as a result of a parent picking up the
    child, holding under armpits and turning him 90 degrees to lie back down
    without knowing that the leg was poked through and restrained by sturdy
    wooden bars of a cot?
    Is there any information as to what torque might be generated at the
    site when picking up the child and turning this way? What typical
    forces are required to fracture a normal 15 month old femur?
    Could such a fracture occur if the leg was poking through the bars
    and an adult walked into it?

    Thank you for your time and information
    R Gurley

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