Common Femur Fracture Cast Problems
A femur fracture cast is one of the longest that someone might have. The cast typically covers the waist to the lower leg. It might even include a portion of the pelvis. Because the cast is so large, it is important for everyone to know how to take care of it. Those who have a cast on their femur need to make sure that they keep it both dry and clean. For someone who has their cast for six weeks or more, it can be arduous to continually clean it. On the other hand, there are serious complications that might develop as well.
Complications of a femur fracture cast can range from relatively minor to medical emergencies. It is a good idea for everyone to understand some of the most common complications of a cast on the femur. People recovering from a serious bone fracture need to know when to seek care for a cast complication.
Itchy Skin Present Beneath the Cast
This is perhaps the most common complication of having a long cast. Unfortunately, it is also hard for people to scratch this itch. With a firm, immobile cast in place, scratching the skin is an incredible challenge. Some people might think about using a hanger or a ruler to scratch their itch; however, this can break the skin under the cast, leading to an infection. These objects can also get stuck. Others might even think about pouring oil or lotion under the cast; however, this can lead to other problems because the cast will get wet.
Those who are trying to scratch underneath their cast should try blowing cool air down their cast. This will help to calm the irritated area. It’s also a good idea to place an icepack as close as possible to the itchy skin. Make sure to wrap the icepack in a towel to avoid damaging the skin. There are even special anti-itch sprays that will both calm irritated skin and kill odors, preventing femur fracture complications from developing.
Pressure Sores Can Develop
A more serious issue is the development of pressure sores. When the leg is wrapped in a femur fracture cast, people might not realize that there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on the hip or knee. These bony prominences can exacerbate the pressure applied to this area by the firm cast. Pressure sores are more common if the cast is fit too tightly.
Some of the most common symptoms of a pressure sore include foul odors from underneath the femur fracture cast, extreme pain that is made worse by physical contact, and drainage coming from the cast itself. A pressure sore can lead to a serious skin infection, which might lead to sepsis if not treated quickly.
Compartment Syndrome from a Femur Fracture Cast
Perhaps the most severe complication of a femur fracture cast is the development of compartment syndrome. This complication develops when the cast compresses the leg tightly, cutting off blood circulation and compressing the nerves. Compartment syndrome can develop either from swelling underneath the cast or from a cast that is too tight.
Symptoms of compartment syndrome include severe pain, numbness, tingling, problems moving the toes, and cold skin. If not addressed quickly, it can lead to tissue death in the thigh and lower leg. This is a medical emergency and must be treated as quickly as possible. If quickly identified, the prognosis is good.
Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Femur Fracture Lawyer in Sacramento. Some people might have problems with their femur fracture cast following a repair. If you or a loved one has had problems with a femur fracture due to the negligence of another person or entity, call me as soon as possible at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am humbled to be a lawyer in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and in the Top One Percent, which is a National Association of Distinguished Counsel. This group includes injury lawyers who have won verdicts and have negotiated settlements of greater than $1 million in worth.
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