The Treatment of a Torus Fracture

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August 02, 2019
Edward Smith

The Treatment of a Torus Fracture

A torus fracture is an incomplete break; however, the treatment is still going to depend on the severity of the fracture. This break is a circumferential fracture that typically occurs in one of the long bones such as the fibula, radius, ulna, or tibia. This class of bone fracture often occurs in younger individuals who have bones that are more flexible. The more flexible the bone, the more prone it is to an incomplete break. Because the fracture is incomplete, it is also more challenging to spot on medical imaging, such as x-rays. For this reason, there is some basic information on torus fractures that everyone should know.

The Mechanism of a Torus Fracture

The first step in treating a torus fracture is to identify the mechanism. A torus break takes place when there is a significant load placed on the end of one of the long bones. This usually occurs during a slip and fall injury. When someone falls, they typically extend their arm to catch themselves and to protect their chest and abdomen from the force of the impact. This places an extreme load on the long axis of the arm and can lead to a torus break.

While a torus break can also occur in the leg, this is a bit more unusual. An extreme load on the long axis of the leg would require a fall from a significant height. This can occur if someone falls from a tree, a balcony, or off of a roof.

Diagnosing a Torus Break

Before the fracture can be treated, a diagnosis must be made. In order to diagnose a torus break, the doctor will order imaging which usually take the form of x-rays. Unfortunately, because a torus break is incomplete, it is also easy to miss. A distinct fracture line might not even be seen. This is where multiple angles of imaging are important. The doctor will look for a slight raise in the surface of the bone that indicates a disruption in the surface of the bone. This signals the presence of a fracture.

The Recovery Process Following a Fracture

Because a torus fracture is an incomplete break, this typically does not require surgical intervention. In some situations, the angulation seen on the x-ray can require a closed reduction. In this procedure, the doctor will move the bone slightly so that it lines up completely without making a surgical incision. With the bones properly lined up, the healing process is more complete.

Once the bones are lined up and the swelling has gone down, the fracture is immobilized in a brace or a cast. Over several weeks, the fracture will heal. Repeat x-rays might be ordered so that the doctor can make sure the angulation has been reduced.

When is Surgery Required?

In rare cases, surgery might be required to complete the repair of a torus break. The doctor will typically make this decision by looking at the imaging. If the angulation seen on the image is greater than 1 centimeter, surgery might be recommended. In this surgical procedure, the doctor will manually reduce the angulation, lining up the bones so that they can heal properly.

Even if the fracture does require surgery, most individuals will still make a full recovery. Because the majority of torus breaks occur in individuals who are relatively young, these individuals are also healthy. Healthy people are more resilient to injuries and often make a more complete recovery.

Sacramento Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Injury Lawyer. A torus fracture is easy to miss on imaging; however, most individuals will make a full recovery. If someone you know has broken a bone in a serious accident due to the negligence of another individual or entity, reach out to me at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Image Citation: The picture that accompanies this post was found first on Pixabay and has been reproduced here with permission.
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