Femur Fracture Malunion
Like other injuries, bone fractures range in their scope and severity; however, any fracture that doesn’t heal correctly, termed malunion, is a serious problem. When femur fracture malunion takes place, the consequences can be severe. Unfortunately, bone fractures are an incredibly common injury, and their incidence is on the rise. As people continue to live longer, the rates of bone fractures are only going to increase. It is important for everyone to understand some of the factors that increase the risks of suffering a bone fracture. According to information published by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF):
- Those who have experienced a fracture in the past are 86 percent more likely to suffer a subsequent fracture than someone who has never broken a bone.
- One of the biggest risk factors that increase the risk of suffering a bone fracture is a low bone mineral density (BMD).
- Those who have suffered even a 10 percent reduction in their bone mass can double their risk of suffering a bone fracture.
- Across the world, about 200 million people have developed osteoporosis, the medical term for a low bone mineral density.
- Of these individuals, close to 9 million of them will suffer a fracture annually due to their low bone mineral density.
One of the major side effects of a low bone mineral density is that it also makes it more likely to suffer fractures in larger bones as well. One example is the femur, which is one of the thickest bones in the body. Making sure that the femur heals properly is essential. Otherwise, this could lead to malunion.
Setting the Femur Appropriately: Imaging is Often Required
If an individual presents with signs and symptoms that are consistent with a femur fracture, one of the first steps is to decide whether or not the femur has been displaced from its anatomically correct location. While this does involve a detailed physical examination, imaging is typically required. Often, the doctor will start with x-rays that are taken from multiple directions to assess the locations of the bones. Sometimes, CT scans or an MRI are necessary to look for any possible associated injuries. If the fracture is displaced, surgery could be required to correct the break. This involves:
- Opening up the skin to reveal the bone fracture.
- Moving the bones back into their proper anatomic location.
- Holding the bones in place using screws or plates.
- Closing the skin safely and thoroughly.
- Casting the leg to immobilize it, allowing the bones to heal appropriately.
Unfortunately, sometimes, malunion can occur. This can lead to severe complications that could add time to the recovery process. This can make an already stressful situation even more difficult.
Complications Stemming from Malunion of the Femur
While everyone wants their bone fractures to heal, it is just as important for the bones to heal correctly. The mobility provided by the extremities depends on the joints lining up properly, one on top of the other. If a bone has healed in a twisted manner, this inhibits the natural motion of the extremity. As a result, this also leads to a functional decline. Malunion of the femur can lead to serious complications such as:
- A severe reduction in the range of motion of the leg.
- Possible aesthetic issues related to a twisted knee or foot relative to the opposite extremity.
- Possible chronic pain that stems from a twisted bone or joint impacting the knee, hip, and nerves that run through the area.
- Possible limb-length discrepancies that lead to an awkward gait.
- Problems walking, running, or moving the leg at all.
Malunion can result from unrecognized displaced fractures, delays in seeking medical care, or even a missed bone fracture. The treatment of malunion in the femur, unfortunately, involves re-breaking the leg followed by setting it appropriately. This is typically done in the operating room but does require moving the recovery process back to square one. This is a long and involved process, and families deserve help during this challenging time.
Watch YouTube Video: Joseph Borrelli Discusses Malunions and Nonunions. In the following video, Dr. Borrelli, an orthopedic from Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital explains the difference between malunions and nonunions and how they are treated.
Contacting an Experienced Injury Lawyer
A femur fracture, particularly one that occurs after an auto accident, is severe. If this fracture heals incorrectly, the consequences could be dire. Those who have suffered malunion of the femur could have serious issues with chronic pain and mobility. During the treatment process, it is vital for loved ones to ask for help from a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. Some of the resources that an injury attorney can provide include:
- Assisting families in seeking damages that are tied to their injuries, any pain, and suffering.
- Helping families negotiate with insurance companies so that they can increase the payout provided under their policy.
- Acting as an objective adviser who can help families make decisions that can set them up for a successful recovery.
- Shifting a case to the court system when required.
Families need to know that they are not alone following such a serious injury. Reach out to a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer today. You and your family could be owed a significant financial reward.
Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento. Anyone who has a femur fracture that has healed improperly needs to seek medical care as quickly as possible. If someone you care about has suffered severe complications after a femur fracture, contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
All of my guests are welcome to review some of our verdicts or settlements here.
Image Attribution: Pixabay
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