Drugs Commonly Used for Infected Fractured Femurs
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. When my firm represents a client with a fractured femur, I know that person is battling significant pain and will have to work hard for a long time to experience any meaningful healing.
Femur – The Longest Bone in the Human Body
As is commonly known, the femur is the human body’s longest bone – extending from where it connects with the pelvic bones, right down to where the femoral condyles help create the knee joint. The fibula and tibia also provide added support to each leg.
Fractured Femur Treatment
Long ago, when someone had a fractured femur, their leg was often placed in a cast and traction was used. Unfortunately, that approach sometimes created new risks like thrombosis – the abnormal clotting of blood that can restrict proper blood flow.
The following information briefly reviews how femur bones often become fractured, what can happen when infections set in – and the types of drugs often used to treat those infections.
How Does a Femur Bone Often Become Fractured?
Car accidents remain the most common culprit, along with motorcycle accidents and also recreational vehicle collisions. The femur bone can also be fractured by a gunshot wound – or when an elderly person suffers a bad fall.
There are several different types of fractured femurs. They include nondisplaced ones caused by unique stresses on the bone and serious comminuted fractures that involve a significant amount of soft tissue injuries. Nondisplaced stress fractures can also develop, often due to a femur weakened by some type of metastatic or metabolic bone disease.
The Danger of Fractured Femurs Becoming Infected
When the skin surrounding a fractured bone holds strong, threatening forms of bacteria can be often be kept out of the wounded area. However, when the femur breaks in such a way that fragments of it stick out through the skin – the fracture is called either a compound or open fracture. If the skin is punctured or torn, bacteria can quickly compromise the wound area and cause a potentially serious infection.
Should surgery be required to repair a broken femur, there may be an increased risk of infection. However, that risk is very low – especially since antibiotics are normally given to patients prior to surgery to minimize that risk.
Can Certain Conditions Increase the Risk of Fractured Femur Infections?
Yes, especially when the area surrounding the femur – including all nearby muscles, skin, veins, and arteries — have sustained serious damage. Furthermore, patients already suffering from major immune disorders like HIV and rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk of developing infections. The same holds true for those battling diabetes.
Personal habits can also increase infection risks. People who use any type of nicotine product or who fail to eat a well-balanced diet may also be more likely to develop broken femur bone infections. Finally, obese patients and those who maintain poor hygiene may also have a higher chance of developing infections surrounding a broken femur bone.
It’s usually easy to tell if the area surrounding a fractured femur is infected because there’s often increased pain, redness or a feeling of warmth in the region. When the infection is near the knee or shoulder area, it can become much harder to move the affected joint. Pus pockets can form and the patient may also complain of chills, fever and night sweats.
Which Types of Drugs Are Commonly Prescribed for Patients with Infected Bone Fractures?
The preferred medicines are often nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). When patients report only mild to moderate pain, their doctors will likely suggest ibuprofen, flurbiprofen, or ketoprofen. Naproxen may also be recommended, especially if the pain is somewhat stronger. The drug Flurbiprofen may also be prescribed since it offers special analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Doctors must always obtain a thorough medical history before prescribing any of these drugs, particularly when treating patients with osteoporosis. A small percentage of these patients are more likely to develop atypical femur fractures – especially when taking drugs like Fosamax, Boniva, Atelvia, and Actonel. In many cases, the benefits of these drugs will outweigh some of their added risks.
Sacramento Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. When you or someone you love has been injured or has passed away because of the negligent actions of another party, please telephone me right away at (916) 921-6400 or use my toll-free number to reach me: (800) 404-5400 to receive free and friendly advice.
I have worked exclusively as a personal injury lawyer and wrongful death lawyer for 35 years.
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