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March 4, 1961

Spiral Fracture

JAMA. 1961;175(9):823-824. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040090083027

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To the Editor:—  The recent symposium on fractures of the tibia and fibula (JAMA174:1191 [Oct. 29] 1960) challenges surgeons who grew up under the late Dr. Emmet Rixford's teachings on the mechanics of fracture, especially spiral fracture, to good, old bare-fisted combat.The fracture illustrated in the article is a spiral, not an oblique, fracture; it is still less an obliquespiral or a spiral-oblique fracture, as the caption on Figure 1 states, for a glance at Webster will show that spiral and oblique are two separate and distinct qualities. In spiral fracture the bone is twisted apart, like the bones in the same Figure 1; the figure clearly shows the twist and accentuates the spiral, which begins in the fibula and runs upward through the tibia. This common fracture of the leg bones is caused by the foot being held more or less fast on a floor or

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