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Conservative Treatment for a Femur Fracture

Home » Conservative Treatment for a Femur Fracture
August 19, 2019
Edward Smith

Femur Fracture Treatment

Recently, a case report was published describing how conservative treatment of a femur fracture is possible. When someone has been diagnosed with a broken femur, one of the first decisions the doctor will have to make is whether or not the break will require surgical repair. If an individual sustains a break of the femoral shaft, the two ends of the bone are typically no longer aligned properly. As a result, the fracture usually requires surgery to repair. Unfortunately, this also means that the recovery process is prolonged and increases the risk of complications developing. On the other hand, a recent case report was published, demonstrating that it is also possible to recover from a femoral shaft fracture without needing a trip to the operating room.

The Typical Surgical Approach for a Femoral Shaft Fracture

According to the case report that was published, the typical treatment of a femoral shaft fracture is to use intramedullary nailing. This is the standard of care because the insertion of nails and rods into the shaft of the femur provides added support for the fracture site. This rod helps to share the load that the leg supports, preventing future fractures from occurring. The rods and nails are usually permanent and will remain in place for the rest of someone’s life.

The Risks of Intramedullary Nailing

There are several risks that come with using intramedullary nailing to repair a femur fracture. When this surgical operation is used to repair a femoral shaft fracture, some of the risks include:

Possible Infection: One of the main dangers that come with this surgical procedure is the development of a possible infection. When the thigh is opened up to place the nails and rod, bacteria may be introduced into the fracture site, leading to the development of osteomyelitis. This infection can be treated with IV antibiotics.

Blood Loss: Another possible risk is blood loss. Any surgical procedure can lead to significant bleeding that may require a blood transfusion. Blood transfusions are safe, and every precaution is taken to minimize the development of complications.

Allergic Reaction: An allergic reaction may also develop during a surgical procedure. Some people might be allergic to the anesthesia that is used. Other people might be allergic to the surgical equipment itself. The doctors will be prepared in case an allergic reaction does occur.

Now, a recent case report has been published showing that alternatives to intramedullary nailing are available.

Femur Fracture Repair via Conservative Treatment: A Case Report

A case report was published describing the case of a middle-aged man who was diagnosed with a femoral shaft fracture after a fall from a bicycle. On x-rays, his femoral shaft fracture was severely angulated and displaced. Typically, this would require surgical repair; however, he also had a health condition that would have made surgery a challenge.

Instead, the doctors decided to treat his bone fracture without surgery using conservative treatment. The doctors gave the patient pain medication and then, using image guidance, tried to reduce the breakage without surgery. They manipulated the bone fragments into the proper position and then applied a splint. After this, they placed the leg in traction.

After 10 weeks, the doctors removed the traction device. Then, they placed a cast over the right thigh. With the cast in place, the femur was immobilized. With the help of physical therapy, the patient gradually increased the amount of weight he was bearing on the leg. Also, physical therapists helped to increase the range of motion in his knee. After 5 months, the doctors repeated the imaging. The results showed that his femur had appropriately healed, and he was able to resume regular activity.

Discussing the Alternatives: Repair Without Surgery

Even though surgery is still the standard approach to the repair of a femoral shaft fracture, this case report shows that there are alternatives. This gentleman had a health condition which would have made surgery a challenge. Fortunately, the doctors were willing to try to conservative treatment of his fractured thighbone without surgery and were successful. By avoiding surgery, the patient was able to avoid the risks and complications that were discussed above. A good prognosis following a broken thighbone (femur fracture) is still possible in certain situations without surgical repair.

Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyer. If someone you love has suffered a broken bone in a car accident, this is a medical emergency. If the accident was due to the negligence of another person or entity, please contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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