Protecting short frames using turbo coding is a challenging problem because of the short frame and the need for efficiency. In this paper, first, a scalable and easily implementable interleaver design is proposed since good random interleavers for long frame turbo codes are not guaranteed to perform well for short frames. Second, an efficient tail-biting encoding/decoding scheme is proposed, which does not sacrifice performance but significantly increases the throughput of the decoding process compared with existing methods. Finally, a novel error detection method, taking advantage a set of decoding metrics (DMs), is developed to reduce the number of cyclic redundancy check (CRC) bits used for error detection. The total savings is up to 12% for the transmission throughput and 21.5% for the energy consumption of the turbo decoder when a frame size of 49 is used.