(See also Overview of Fractures Overview of Fractures A fracture is a crack or break in a bone. Most fractures result from force applied to a bone. Fractures usually result from injuries or overuse. The injured part hurts (especially when it is... read more .)
Fractures of the tibia or fibula next to the foot are considered ankle fractures Ankle Fractures Ankle fractures can involve the bump of bone on the outside of the ankle (lateral malleolus), which is the end of the smaller leg bone in the lower leg (fibula). Or they can involve the bump... read more .
Thighbone (Femur) Fractures
Thighbone fractures are usually caused by falls from a height, high-speed car crashes, or collision of a car with a pedestrian.
The thigh is swollen, the leg looks distorted, and people cannot stand or walk.
Although a fractured thighbone may be obvious, doctors take x-rays to confirm the diagnosis.
A splint or traction device is applied, followed by surgery to align and immobilize the fracture as soon as possible.
Fractures of the shaft usually result from great force because this bone is so strong.
Symptoms of Femur Fractures
When the shaft is broken, the thigh is swollen, and the leg looks distorted and often shorter. People cannot stand or walk. They may lose a substantial amount of blood, sometimes resulting in dangerously low blood pressure (shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition in which blood flow to the organs is low, decreasing delivery of oxygen and thus causing organ damage and sometimes death. Blood pressure is usually low... read more ).
Diagnosis of Femur Fractures
(See also Diagnosis of Fractures Diagnosis A fracture is a crack or break in a bone. Most fractures result from force applied to a bone. Fractures usually result from injuries or overuse. The injured part hurts (especially when it is... read more .)
Although fractures of the shaft may be obvious based on symptoms and the circumstances, doctors take x-rays to confirm the diagnosis.
Because these fractures usually result from great force, doctors also check for other injuries.
Treatment of Femur Fractures
A splint and traction
Surgery to realign the broken bones
A splint and usually traction with a traction splint or a special traction device are applied to immobilize the leg, usually before the person is transported to the hospital. Then, as soon as possible, surgery is done to align the broken pieces and hold them in place with metal rods or plates. This procedure is called open reduction and internal fixation Surgery (ORIF).
Soon after surgery, most people begin to walk with crutches.