Femur Fracture

Femur Fracture

Overview

A femur fracture is a crack in the femur or thigh bone, which is considered as one of the strongest bones in the body. The femur supports all the weight of the body as its length extends from the knee joint to the hip joint.

A femur can be fractured into three parts, i.e., the main shaft of the bone, the head or neck of the bone, and the lower end near the knee. Fracture in the thigh bone occurs when a high-force blow make impact with the femur. This often happens during a collision with an object such as car accident or falling from high places. Preexisting bone diseases such as a tumor on the femur, osteoporosis, infection in the bone structures can make the bone prone to fracture – these are known as pathologic femur fractures.

Femur Fracture

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Signs and Symptoms

The following are the symptoms of a femur fracture:

  • Severe pain in the upper leg area
  • Discoloration of the skin from red, blue to black
  • Tingling in the thigh
  • In case of the severely fractured femur, deformity (a change in the shape) occurs in the thigh bone area
  • Swelling on the affected part immediately after the high-force blow
  • Swelling in the hip area
  • Numbness in the leg
  • Inability to move the injured leg

Causes of Femur Fracture

One’s thighbone is very dense and is one of the toughest bones on the human body. A high-impact force is required to crack the femur. This can occur during a motorcycle or car accidents. Also, a heavy fall can result in the breakage of the femur bone. Apart from high-impact trauma, a preexisting bone disease that weakens the bone can also cause a femur fracture.

Type of Femur Fractures

Supracondylar Femur Fracture: It tends to occur in osteoporotic bones in the elderly due to low-energy trauma. In case of young people, it occurs due to high-energy trauma.

Femoral Shaft Fracture: This type of fracture is associated with the injuries of the pelvis, hip, and knee, and considered as the major crack in the thigh bone. It is a kind of severe fracture, which is caused by accidents such as traumatic falls or car collisions. The femoral shaft fractures can exhibit different complexities such as displaced, oblique, displaced, transverse, spiral, and open or compound fracture variants.

Proximal Femur Fracture: It is also called as hip fracture as it occurs in the femur in the hip region. They usually occur in the elderly and also in those who have osteoporosis. In these cases, it is often the result of low-impact trauma.

Femur Fracture

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Treatment

It is standard for a doctor to examine the affected part by taking X-rays from different angles. Once the doctor evaluates the injury, he will take on the procedure of casting. There are two kinds of treatment for femur fracture, i.e., surgical and non-surgical. Many femur fractures are treated non-surgically. But, in severe cases, surgical treatment needs to be done as metal screws will reattach the affected bone. If needed, the leg will then be put in a cast.

Prevention

In order to avoid femur fracture, one needs to take some precautions when one is involved in the high-impact sports. Therefore, one must wear protective gears while getting into high-risk activities. Moreover, one must wear seat belts while driving. Elderly people who have weak bones or those who have osteoporosis must consult their doctor regarding the precautionary measures so as to reduce risk.