Femoral Fracture: Denton Orthopedic

The femur or thigh bone is the longest bone in the human body which begins near the hip and extends straight to the knee. A break/crack or displacement along the straight part of the femur (known as femoral shaft) is termed as Femoral Fracture.
The injury can be classified into:

  • Displaced Fracture- It involves change in alignment of a part of the bone
  • Open Fracture- A bone may break and protrude out of the skin. Such fractures may cause damage to the surrounding muscles, ligaments, tendons etc. and can also lead to infections
  • Closed Fracture- It involves breaking of the femur into one or more pieces but the skin is not damaged

Causes

  • Direct hit/trauma or fall on the extended leg
  • Automobile accident
  • Bullet wound from a gunshot
  • Loss of bone density with age or due to malnutrition
  • Underlying bone condition such as Osteoporosis may render the femur prone to fractures

Symptoms

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to stand or bear body weight
  • Visible deformity in the inured leg which may lead to apparent change in limb length
  • Redness, bleeding, swelling and tenderness at the point of injury
  • Bone pieces may be seen protruding out of the skin in case of severe injuries

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination of the injured leg may be done by the orthopedic doctor to check for bruises, redness, swelling, or loss of motion
  • Analysis of the patient’s medical history and cause of injury
  • X-ray imaging may be required to view the damaged bone and assess the type of fracture that has occurred
  • CT scan helps in obtaining a cross sectional view of the leg and may also be required in case the fracture occurs as a thin line across the femur

Treatment

  • Most of the femoral fractures need surgical intervention. Only young children may be treated by using a leg cast
  • In case of open fractures, the wound or cut on the skin is cleansed and allowed to heal before surgery
  • Skeletal traction- It is a kind of pulley system with weights that holds the leg straight and keep the broken pieces of bones in place. It also provides relief from pain.
  • External fixation- the bone is attached to pins and screws to keep it stable. However, this is a temporary treatment and is used if the patient is not in a situation to undergo surgery immediately.
  • Surgical induction of a metal rod in the narrow cavity within the femur to keep it stable. It is inserted either by making a small incision through the hip or the knee joint
  • Metal plates and screws are used to position the femur in case the fracture extends to the hip/knee joint and metal rods cannot be inserted
  • Physical therapy is important during the recovery period to restore strength and mobility
  • The doctor may administer antibiotics in case bone infection develops

We, at OrthoTexas, provide effective treatment for femoral fractures and other hip injuries. To schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeons in Denton, TX, call at (940) 382 – 1577.

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