Femur, the thighbone, is the strongest and longest bone in the human body. The straight part of femur is called femur shaft and any fracture in this shaft is known as femoral shaft fracture. Femur is a strong bone and it requires a lot of pressure to displace this bone. Only a high impact collision or accident can cause fracture.
Types of Femur Shaft Fractures
Depending upon the force and the cause of fracture, the femur shaft fracture may be of different types. The femur fractures are classified on the basis of the location of the fracture, pattern of the fracture, and whether the muscle and skin above the bone is damaged or not. Some types of femur shaft fracture are:
- Oblique fracture
- Transverse fracture
- Comminuted fracture
- Spiral fracture
- Open or compound fracture
Some of the common causes of femoral shaft fractures are:
- High-impact collision
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Fall from a height
- Fall on hard surface in old age, as the bone grows weak
Some of the symptoms that occur due to femur shaft fracture include
- Severe and sharp pain
- Inability to put weight on the injured leg
- Pain on touching the thigh hat worsens with movement
- Numbness in the thigh, lower leg, ankle, foot, knee
The orthopedic physician examines the injury and the fractured thigh. He tries to determine the cause of the injury, as it helps them decide the line of treatment and possibility of any other injuries. The doctor asks the patient about his medical history and other health problems that he has such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The doctor also asks about the medication that patient is already taking. He will examine bruises, wounds, bony pieces that stick out of skin, and deformity of the leg. He may also check sensation and movement in the leg. Some of the imaging tests that help the orthopedic physician confirm femoral shaft fracture include X-rays, CT scan, MRI, etc.
The femur shaft treatment includes both non-surgical and surgical treatment. Though the injury is so damaging that the patient has to undergo surgeries, which are unavoidable, but in children the physicians may use cast to heal the fracture. The open fractures expose the injured site to infections so it is essential to do surgery almost immediately. The orthopedic surgeon aligns the bone straight with the help of skeletal traction or long-leg splint. They may even use metal pins and screws into the bone. The pins are attached to a metal bar, which helps in keeping the leg in position. Besides this external fixation, the surgeons also use intramedullary nailing, which involves inserting a metal rod into the marrow of the femur. Plates and screws are also used.
Femoral shaft fractures can cause further injury and complications. Physical therapy can helps in returning the strength.