A femur fracture is no other than a fractured thigh bone. Any form of fracture involving the femur can be either be a stress fracture that occurs over time through constant strain or a traumatic fracture from direct impact or accident. An individual who is involved in a vehicular accident or falls from a height might end up with this type of fracture.
What are the symptoms of a femur fracture?
If an individual sustained a traumatic femur fracture, it is quite evident after a severe impact or accident. The individual will feel severe pain in the thigh. In most cases, there is evident deformity in the thigh in which the injured leg appears shorter than the other leg. In addition, substantial swelling is visible and the individual will find it difficult to move the affected leg.
You have to watch out for any signs of injury to other neighboring structures such as the nerves and the blood vessels. These include pale or cold lower leg or foot that might indicate disrupted circulation and even bruising. Numbness or tingling in the lower leg or foot can also indicate damage to the nerves.
What are the causes?
Cases of traumatic femur fractures tend to occur once an individual is subjected to a specific force. Remember that it takes a lot of force to damage the femur since it is a thick and strong bone. Due to this, femur fractures typically occur in vehicular accidents and falls from a significant height. Traumatic fractures on the femur do not usually occur in sports.
This type of fracture can occasionally occur among the elderly especially those who have osteoporosis. Due to the amount of force needed, a damaged thigh bone can be linked with other injuries and complications thus must be thoroughly assessed by a doctor.
Treatment for a femur fracture
With this type of fracture, the treatment usually depends on the extent of the damage sustained and the age of the individual.
Among young children, the affected leg is placed under a cast to immobilize it. As for adolescents and adults, a cast is not usually advised by the doctor unless the leg is placed in traction.
Since this form of treatment entails a certain length of hospitalization and requires early mobilization to improve the healing time as well as minimizing complications, this form of treatment is not commonly used. In most cases, surgical fixation is commonly used as form of treatment. This involves plating or pinning of two sections of bone together to facilitate healing and ensure proper alignment. Once the damaged bone has healed, the pins or plates are removed.
Essentially, a femur fracture will take up to 3-6 months to fully heal. A rehabilitation program must be undertaken by the individual in order to restore full movement, balance and strength.