Pain Control Following a Bilateral Femur Fracture
Injuries and fatalities following car accidents are two of the biggest challenges facing this country. There is a lot of emphases placed on safety behind the wheel and accident prevention as people are learning how to drive. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to prevent countless families from feeling the pain of losing a loved one in a car accident every year. Furthermore, injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle accidents are much more common than many people realize. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:
- Teenagers who are either 16 and 17 years of age suffer motor vehicle collisions at nearly twice the rates of teenagers who are 18 or 19 years old.
- Teenage drivers are involved in accidents between four and five times the frequency of middle-aged drivers.
- Accidents rates are the lowest in middle-aged drivers but begin to increase again once people reach the age of 70.
- The risk of injuries in a motor vehicle collision mirrors the rates of accidents overall.
Some traumatic injuries that individuals could suffer in an accident, such as femur fractures, are severe.
The Mechanism of Femur Fractures in Motor Vehicle Accidents
The femur is one of the largest bones in the body. Its thickness means that it is hard to break. Unfortunately, this also means that when the femur is broken, the mechanism is often severe. There are a few common ways that someone could suffer a femur fracture in an auto accident. Some of these include:
- Being ejected from the vehicle on impact.
- Having the legs rolled up at the front of the car in a head-on collision.
- A situation where the leg is pinned between the door and the dashboard.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, an individual could suffer bilateral femur fractures. This indicates that an unusually severe force might have been involved. When this is the case, it often means that surgery is required to repair the injuries.
The Importance of Pain Control: Too Often Overlooked
If someone has been diagnosed with a femur fracture, a lot of attention is paid to the physical repair of the injury. This could include plates, screws, and advanced medical equipment. Unfortunately, pain control following a femur fracture is too often overlooked. In addition to being essential for patient comfort overall, there are actual medical consequences to having uncontrolled pain. Some of these include:
- If people are in pain, they have trouble taking deep breaths. This can lead to the collapse of airways inside of the lungs, called atelectasis, which increases the chances of complications occurring.
- Someone who is in pain often has higher blood pressure. A high blood pressure following a surgical procedure could increase the chances of a blood clot forming in the vessels.
- Experiencing high degrees of pain could make it hard for someone to sleep or relax. This leads to prolonged recovery times because the body doesn’t have the rest it needs to recover from such a serious injury.
Because of this, it is vital for everyone to have their pain well-controlled following the repair of a bilateral femur fracture. This is done using:
- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Tylenol and Motrin.
- Narcotic and opioid pain medications, such as Oxycodone or Hydrocodone.
- Intravenous pain medications, such as Morphine or Dilaudid.
If the pain is uncontrolled following such a major surgical repair, complications could develop.
Complications Following a Femur Fracture
Some different issues and complications could arise following the repair of a femur fracture. Some of the most common problems include:
- Nonunion or malunion of the femur fracture, which could require a repeat trip to an operating room.
- Blood clots that could form in the vessels of the legs, which might travel to the heart, lungs, or brain.
- Infections that could seed the bones, leading to osteomyelitis or infected surgical equipment.
- Muscle atrophy during the recovery process, which often necessitates physical therapy.
- Compartment Syndrome, which develops due to swelling in the repair site and constitutes a medical emergency.
Whenever possible, measures should be taken to try and keep these complications from arising. Ultimately, this entire process can be extremely stressful for families.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
When a family member is in the hospital recovering from injuries that have been sustained in an accident, this can lead to a tremendous amount of stress. A personal injury lawyer in Sacramento can provide assistance in numerous ways, including:
- Meeting with accident engineers to recreate the mechanism of the collision.
- Reviewing simulations and police reports to ensure that fault has been assigned appropriately.
- Assisting families in pursuing damages related to their pain, suffering, and traumatic injuries.
- Filing paperwork to take the case to court, if needed.
Families should never feel like they have to go through this stressful process alone. A femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento can help families through this difficult time.
Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento. While there are many different aspects to the repair of a broken bone, pain control is often overlooked. If you or a family member has a fracture of the femur in a car accident, 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.
You can see our verdicts or settlements here.
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Pixabay. The image has been reproduced here with permission/Pain Control Following a Bilateral Femur Fracture.
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