The femur, or thighbone, does not break easily, but it often does so in high-impact car crashes. In fact, California drivers should know that car crashes are the leading cause of femur fractures, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Falls, typically among the elderly, whose bones are fragile, came in second.
The effects of a femur fracture
Crash victims who fracture their femur may wind up losing lots of blood because the blood vessels will be torn along with the muscles and ligaments. They may develop blood clots, too, like deep vein thrombosis. If the bone protrudes from the skin, the risk for infection presents itself. It goes without saying that such victims need immediate medical attention.
Location of the fracture
The fracture usually occurs along the length of the femur, called the shaft. It could also happen at the distal end, where the femur connects to the knee joint. At the opposite end are the head and neck, which link to the hip joint. Hip fractures, as they are called, are more common in those cases where elderly people fall.
The different ways to treat a fracture
When the bone is not displaced, victims may have the leg put in a cast and be told to get plenty of rest. Other times, the injury is more severe and will require surgery. For a femoral shaft fracture, the doctor will insert a metal rod into the center of the bone to realign it. For hip and knee fractures, the doctor may use metal plates.
After surgery, victims will most likely need to go through physical therapy and create an exercise regimen of their own. Pain medications may become necessary.
A lawyer to negotiate on your behalf
The femur fracture was just one of the injuries you incurred in your accident. Since you were not at fault or were only partially to blame, you may file a personal injury claim and be able to seek out compensation for your past and future medical bills and other losses. A lawyer may assist with negotiations and, if all else fails, litigation.