Case Report: Knee Replacement for Serious Femur Fractures

Home » Case Report: Knee Replacement for Serious Femur Fractures
August 25, 2019
Edward Smith

Knee Replacement Femur Fracture Treatment

Recently, a case report was published describing a knee replacement as a possible treatment for a serious femur fracture. A distal femur fracture is an injury that takes place near the union of the femur and the knee. These injuries have the potential to cause devastating complications because of injuries to both the femur and the knee. Distal femur fractures often occur following a high-energy impact, such as an auto accident. Because these high-energy accidents often lead to polytrauma, it is critical to have the treatment plan in place when the individual arrives. Rapid medical treatment can result in an improved patient outcome. If someone has been diagnosed with a distal femoral fracture, one of the treatment options might be a knee replacement. That was the focus of a case report that described a knee replacement femur fracture treatment. This case report gives hope to individuals who have been diagnosed with a major femur injury.

A Case Report: A Serious Motor Vehicle Accident

A middle-aged man was driving down the road and was involved in a serious car accident. An observer witnessed the collision and immediately called 911. Emergency responders arrived on the scene quickly and extracted the individual. They noted that he was in shock due to blood loss stemming from an open fracture of the distal femur. Of note, he was diagnosed with polytrauma, as he had suffered multiple other injuries.

The patient was taken to the hospital and spent some time in the ICU before being taken to the operating room to repair his femur fracture. Imaging was performed and found that the fracture was comminuted as well, having been broken in numerous places. In the operating room, the physicians were able to stop the bleeding that had led to his initial shock. The doctors decided that the distal femur, particularly where it articulated with the knee, was too damaged to be repaired. They decided that the individual would achieve a better overall outcome with a knee replacement. Therefore, they inserted a device called a knee megaprosthesis, designed to be used in these situations.

A Positive Outcome with the Knee Replacement Femur Fracture Treatment

The individual was followed for an extended period of time after the operation. The individual did have to go back to the operating room. First, the individual was noted to have mild necrosis around a part of the device, so this dead tissue needed to be removed. Next, the patient also needed to have a graft procedure performed for one of his other injuries.

The individual was enrolled in daily physical therapy to help him restore his mobility. Several weeks after the operation, he was able to start bearing weight on his injured leg. He gradually progressed to walking with support. Several months after the injury, he was able to ambulate completely without support. Even though he had some mild discomfort initially, this was well-managed with the help of his medical team. He did end up having about a half-inch shortening of his left leg, a mild limb-length discrepancy.

Watch YouTube Video: Watch as Dr. Sanjay Pai, Director and Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon of Apollo Specialty Hospital explains the recovery process of a knee replacement and what to expect after your procedure.


Implications for the Future: A Distal Femur Fracture Treatment

In many situations, a distal femur fracture follows high-energy trauma, such as a car or a motorcycle accident. Because of this extreme impact, the bone fractures that result are often open and comminuted. This exposes individuals to serious complications such as nerve injuries, damage to blood vessels, and the development of major infections. Because of this, the medical team needs to be prepared to act quickly.

The use of a knee replacement as a treatment option for a distal femur fracture is a unique alternative. The medical team elected to do this because they believed it would offer the patient the ability to make a meaningful functional recovery, which some of the other treatment options may not provide. The medical team proved to be correct. This individual, with the help of physical therapy, was able to ambulate fully after the procedure. Of note, the medical team does state that this knee replacement should be implanted once all of the inflammation from the injury has disappeared. This minimizes swelling, the risk of infection, and the risks related to other complications. Overall, this individual ended up making almost a complete recovery.

Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. A knee replacement may play a crucial role in the treatment of a severe femur fracture. If your family member has experienced a femur fracture in a major accident, please phone me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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