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What are the signs and complications of a broken femur?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2021 | Car Accidents, Injuries |

To break your leg can severely impact your life. Breaking your femur is one of the most difficult leg breaks to heal from.

According to Healthline, your femur is your strongest and biggest bone. To break it takes a considerable force often found in car accidents.

Symptoms of a broken femur

If you suffer a broken femur, you will feel an immediate and severe onset of pain. If you try to walk, your leg cannot bear any weight on it. Physically, you may also notice that your leg appears shorter or has a crooked appearance.

To diagnose a fracture, the doctor takes an x-ray of your leg. In some cases, he or she may order a CT scan also. Common fractures include:

  • Transverse fractures: In this fracture, the bone breaks in a straight horizontal line.
  • Spiral fractures: Spiral fractures resemble a candy cane with lines that encircle the shaft.
  • Open fractures: In an open fracture, your wound penetrates to the bone.
  • Compound fractures: Compound fractures are sometimes easily identified because bone fragments pierce the skin.

The type of fracture determines the type of treatment you receive.

Complications of a broken femur

As with any injury, there is a potential for complications in a fractured femur. The first complication arises because of improper setting. If the physician does not set your leg properly, then the leg may become shorter than the other. This leads to pain in your hips and knees later on in life.

In some cases, you may also damage the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the leg. If you require surgery for the break, then your complications could include blood clots and infections.

Breaking your femur does have consequences. It takes up to six months to heal and you may require physical therapy.