Broken leg causes, symptoms, X-ray, treatment, recovery
Bone fracture is the most common bone disease in our life. Another name of broken leg is femur fracture in medicine. femur fracture are most often seen in aged patient more than adult. In this article we will explain some general information about broken leg.
Broken leg causes
Most of the femur fracture caused by powerful direct violence. Some of them are caused by indirect forces. Most of direct forces are car crash, smashed by heavy things, crushing or firearm injuries. Usually direct forces cause comminuted fracture and transverse displacement fracture. For more types of bone fracture please check our another article named types of fracture. Therefore, soft tissue injury is more serious in direct forces femur fracture. Indirect forces like fall or machinery injury could cause oblique or spiral leg fracture. These are more common in children.
Femoral fracture in children usually may be are incomplete fracture or greenstick fracture. Some times femoral fracture will cause internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can lost blood up to 500-1000 ml. The most of broken leg may occur in a femoral lower 1/3 junction.
Broken leg symptoms
Patient generally have a traumatic injury history. they may also present severe limb pain, movement disability, local swelling and tenderness, abnormal activity, leg shortening. There are also common to see visceral injury (internal organ injury) or shock.
The broken leg significantly present severe pain, tenderness, swelling, deformity, fricative bone and short leg dysfunction. There may be some local hematoma, skin peeling, open injury and bleeding. Broken leg X-ray could show the fracture area, type of fracture and direction of displacement.
Broken leg X-ray
You may also check our previous article about type of bone fracture in bone fracture category.
Broken leg treatment
The treatment options are include conservative care, immobilization, traction, manual reduction, and internal fixation with surgery.
1.Manual reduction, external fixation with splint or plaster.
- Vertical suspension traction is suitable for children that under the age of three.
- Balance traction therapy is suitable for adult and children over the age of three till 15 with femoral shaft fracture. Patient can also use the splinter at the same time to correct fracture displacement.
- Suspension traction is suitable for adult who have femur shaft fracture.
- 90 degree traction is suitable for femoral shaft open fracture with infection.
3.Open reduction and internal fixation with surgery.
This method apply to the situation that reduction is not ideal or the broken end embedded with soft tissue. It also can apply to vascular nerves severe injured. The intramedullary nail or plate screw can be used in internal fixation. Doctor should consider to apply the external fixation to patient at the same time to achieve the reliable fixation.
If there are complication injury happen must be treat at first in open or closed femur fracture. If that complication is miss diagnosis or inappropriate treatment will often cause death.
So the observation and treatment are the most important point in treatment of femoral fracture which can not be ignored.
You may also learn some basic technique from First aid for bone fracture at home.
The clinical standard of broken leg recovery.
there are some standards of broken leg recovery as follow.
- There are no local pain or percussion pain.
- No abnormal activity on leg.
- The broken leg X-ray show the fracture line have blurred.
- Function test. Upper limb can raise 1 kg without external fixation for several minutes, the lower limbs can walk 3 minutes continuous unarmed and not less than 30 steps.
- Continuous observation for two weeks without deformation.