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Femur Fracture

Femur Fracture

A femur fracture is a serious injury that usually causes immediate, severe pain. You will not be able to put weight on the injured leg, and it may look deformed—shorter than the other leg and no longer straight. The break may also injure the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves of the leg. When a femur fracture is untreated, it can mean that the bone won’t heal at all. As a result, swelling, tenderness, and pain will continue to worsen over time. That’s why you should seek help from the exceptional, experienced orthopedic specialists at OCC – Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Specialists in Denver, Parker, or Aurora, Colorado, not just for immediate treatment but to keep complications from occurring.

OVERVIEW

A broken femur, also known as a femoral fracture, is a break in the thighbone. Most adult femurs are around 18 inches long and can support as much as 30 times the weight of the body. The femur is not only the largest, strongest bone in the body, but it also has main arteries nearby that can be damaged as a result of the fracture, leading to severe bleeding or blood clots. A femur fracture can range in severity from a simple hairline crack to a complex injury that also involves damage to surrounding soft tissues. Approximately 250,000 femur fractures occur in the United States annually. The incidence peaks among the young, decreasing after age 20, and then increases again in older adults.  A marked increase occurs in those over the age of 75 years.  Despite the size and strength of the thigh bone, femur fractures in children are not uncommon.

ABOUT THE FEMUR

The leg has three long bones — the femur, tibia, and fibula — as well as a fourth bone, the patella, also known as the kneecap. The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the body. Located in the thigh, it extends from the hip joint to the knee joint and is crucial for supporting the body’s weight and facilitating movement. The femur consists of a shaft and two ends, called the proximal and distal ends. The proximal end articulates with the hip bone to form the hip joint, while the distal end articulates with the tibia and patella to form the knee joint. The femur plays a vital role in movement, stability, and overall structural support of the body.

WHAT IS A FEMUR FRACTURE?

A femur fracture is a break, crack, or crush injury of the thighbone. Femur fractures vary greatly, depending on what causes it to break. The pieces of bone may line up correctly (stable fracture) or be out of alignment (displaced fracture). The skin around the fracture may be intact (closed fracture) or the bone may puncture the skin (open fracture). An untreated open fracture can lead to life-threatening complications because the injury can damage the surrounding tissue and blood vessels. The tissue will become deficient in oxygen, resulting in a condition called gangrene. It may cause one to go into shock.

 There are different types of femur fractures:

  • A proximal femur fracture is a break in the uppermost part of the thigh bone, next to the hip joint
  • A femoral shaft fracture is a break in the middle or narrow part of the thighbone
  • A supracondylar femur fracture is a break just above the kneejoint
  • A distal femur fracture is a break in the top part of the kneejoint

A femur fracture can cause a broken hip which is a common problem for people with osteoporosis or people who have had a knee replacement.

Read more about a fractured femur on our new Orthopedic News Site – Colorado Orthopedic News. Schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist today.

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