Your Treatment Options for a Femur Fracture

Fractures, especially in the femur (thigh bone), can occur at any time and can really throw a wrench in your everyday life. However, broken bones can be repaired, and after some time, you can get back to your normal activities.

No matter how you broke your femur, the skilled surgeons at Mehling Orthopedics can help you figure out the best treatment. No matter what option is best for you, Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit can help you get back on your feet after your injury.

Causes of a femur fracture

Your femur is the large bone that connects your knee to your hip. It's the strongest bone in your body, so you can imagine that it takes a lot of force for it to break.

There are several ways that you may end up with a broken femur including:

The main symptom that you'll most likely feel after your injury is sudden intense pain in your thigh area. There are several other symptoms you should be aware of including:

Our surgeons classify your type of fracture based on several factors, including the location of the fracture on your femur, the pattern of the fracture, and if the skin and muscles are torn by the broken bone. If your fracture punctures the skin, you have an open fracture and antibiotics may be started before surgery to decrease your risk for infection.

Your treatment options

There are several treatment options that are available to fix the fracture. Most are temporary, as this type of fracture almost always requires surgery for it to heal properly. Surgery should be performed within 24-48 hours after your initial injury. 

Some of the other treatments that may be offered to you include:

Long leg splints

You may be placed in a long leg cast or splint before surgery to help keep the broken femur aligned properly. This also helps maintain the normal length of your leg while you await surgical repair.

Traction 

In the hospital, it’s also possible that you may be put in traction. Traction is basically weights and counterweights that operate a pulley system. This keeps the pieces of the bone aligned and can also help with pain management by keeping your leg in a neutral position.

External fixation 

This type of treatment involves putting pins and screws in the femur above and below the fracture. A bar outside of your skin connects the two sites together and temporarily holds the fracture in place.

Intramedullary nailing

During this surgical fixation procedure, our surgeons insert a long titanium rod into the shaft of your femur. It can either be put into the canal at the hip or the knee, and the rod then goes past the site of your fracture to keep it in place. We place screws above and below the site of the fracture into the rod to keep the bone in alignment while it heals.

Plate and screw fixation

First we reduce your fracture, which means we move your bones back into their normal alignment. Then we place metal plates and screws into the bone at the fracture site to keep the bones in alignment while your leg heals.

Our surgeons determine which of these treatment options is best for you and your specific type of femur fracture. Recovery from surgery can take anywhere from 3-6 months. As part of your rehab, you’ll have physical therapy to rebuild muscle strength in your leg. 

If you're ready to go over your options for your femur fracture, make an appointment with one of our surgeons or physician assistants today. Contact Mehling Orthopedics at one of our two offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, or West Islip, New York.

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