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(Femur Fracture; Thigh Bone Fracture; Broken Leg)
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- Car, motorcycle, or pedestrian collisions
- Severe twists
- Gunshot wounds
- Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles or post- menopause
- Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
- Decreased muscle mass
Playing certain sports that may result in:
- Spiral fractures—associated with collisions or falls from sports such as football or skiing
- Stress fractures—associated with overuse or repetitive motion from sports such as distance running
- Immediate and severe pain
- Swelling and bruising around the area of the break
- Inability to walk or stand and/or limited range of motion of the knee or hip
- Deformity of the injured leg, such as shortening or abnormal twisting
- Without surgery—you will have anesthesia to decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
- With surgery—pins, screws, plates, or a rod may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
- Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Prescription pain medication
Rest and Recovery
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.
- Always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car.
- Do weight-bearing and strengthening exercises regularly to build strong bones.
- Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away.
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub.
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways.
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls.
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Cummings-Vaughn LA, Gammack JK. Falls, osteoporosis, and hip fractures. MedClin North Am. 2011 May;95(3):495-506.
Femoral shaft fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 25, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Femur shaft fractures (broken thighbone). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00521. Updated August 2011. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Femoral stress fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 3, 2012. Accessed September 25, 2014.
What are ways to prevent falls and related fractures? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/prevent%5Ffalls%5Fff.asp. Updated January 2011. Accessed September 25, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 09/25/2014