Complications of an Open Femur Fracture

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March 14, 2019
Edward Smith

Complications of an Open Femur Fracture

Bone fractures are some of the most commonly suffered injuries in a car accident and, unfortunately, complications can develop. When an individual sustains an open fracture of the femur, the complications can be even more severe. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS):

  • A study released in 2011 showed that the rate of fractures of the femoral shaft falls somewhere between 10 and 20 out of every 100,000 people yearly.
  • About 250,000 people suffer a femur fracture every year.
  • This number is estimated to increase by 100 percent in the next thirty years.
  • While the elderly are more prone to suffering stress fractures, younger individuals sustain femur fractures in high energy events such as auto accidents.
  • As people get older, their risk of suffering a broken leg increases.

Like other injuries, femur fractures come in many different types. One example is an open femur fracture which can lead to significant complications.

What is an Open Fracture?

Bone fractures can be closed or open. It is first necessary to distinguish between an open and a closed fracture.

Closed Fracture: A closed fracture takes place when a bone has been broken but has not protruded through the surface of the skin. Importantly, a closed fracture can be either displaced or non-displaced.

Open Fracture: In contrast, an open fracture involves a fragment of bone protruding through the surface of the skin. An open fracture is universally displaced.

An open fracture is almost always more serious than a closed fracture. Therefore, it is essential for people to understand how an open fracture of the femur might happen.

How Does an Open Femur Fracture Occur?

The femur is the bone that makes up the thigh. It is one of the largest bones in the body and, therefore, one of the strongest. This also means that the femur requires a significant amount of force to break. It needs even more force to create an open fracture. Some of the mechanisms by which someone might suffer an open fracture of the femur include:

A Fall Injury: While a slip and fall injury on a wet floor or icy sidewalk is unlikely to create an open femur fracture, a fall from a roof might. Any fall that comes from greater than a standing height might lead to an open femur fracture.

An Auto Accident: An auto accident is also capable of creating an open fracture of the femur. If the legs are pinned at the front of the vehicle in a front-end car accident, this can lead to multiple leg fractures. Furthermore, anyone who is ejected from a motor vehicle in a crash is also at great risk of suffering an open femur fracture.

Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents are particularly serious because there is no protection between the rider and the pavement. This means that motorcyclists who are struck by a car or who are thrown from their bike could suffer a femur fracture.

Pedestrian Injuries: Even an auto versus pedestrian accident at a slow speed could result in serious injuries. The thigh of an adult approximates the front of most cars. This places the femur in a prime location to suffer a serious break.

Numerous Complications Can Develop

If somebody suffers an open femur fracture, many different complications could develop. Some of these include:

  • The development of severe infection due to the break in the skin.
  • Hemorrhagic blood loss, particularly if large blood vessels in the leg are damaged.
  • Other associated injuries such as damage to nerves, blood vessels, hip, and knee.
  • Malunion stemming from a displaced fracture of the femur.
  • Severe chronic pain.

All of these complications will be addressed during the recovery process.

Watch YouTube Video: Complications of Fractures. This video provides an overview of some of the complications of bone fractures. Warning: the video contains graphic images of bone fractures.

Contacting an Experienced Bone Fracture Lawyer

Femur fractures are always serious, and the recovery process can be long and arduous. During this time, it is important for families to ask for help. Reaching out to a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer is a great way to start. Some of the ways that an injury attorney can make this process easier include:

  • Contacting accident professionals who can recreate what happened at the scene, ensuring that the mechanism is listed correctly.
  • Ensuring that none of the details have been overlooked by reviewing the records.
  • Helping families pursue damages that are related to their injuries, complications, and suffering.
  • Taking a case to trial when required.

No family should ever feel like they need to face this difficult situation by themselves. Trust in an experienced professional by contacting a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento today. You and your family may be owed a financial settlement.

Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento. The femur is one of the largest bones in the body and, when fractured, is prone to developing severe complications. If you or a loved one has sustained a femur fracture, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Top One Percent.

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Image Attribution: Pixabay.

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