The Complications of Femur Fractures in Children
Some bone fractures in children are more severe than others. Femur fractures that occur in children could be accompanied by serious complications that might last for the rest of their lives. There are several ways in which children might suffer a femur fracture. Some of the most common mechanisms include:
- A severe injury that occurs while playing sports.
- Slip and fall injuries that might take place on a wet floor or an icy sidewalk.
- A severe car or bicycle collision.
- Pedestrian injuries that might occur while crossing the street.
When children sustain a femur fracture, the complications could be severe. These complications could end up having long-term impacts on their growth and development.
Problems with Growth
One of the biggest concerns related to femur fractures in children is related to growth. Femur fractures are staged using the Salter-Harris system. This system helps doctors determine whether or not the fracture is going to have long-term impacts. Some fractures go through an area of the bone called the epiphyseal plate. Also called the growth plate, fractures at this location can disrupt the cartilage of the bone. This cartilage is essential for growth. If the cartilage in the growth plate is disrupted, the limb may prematurely stop growing. This means that one leg might end up shorter than the other. This can lead to:
- An unequal gait
- Issues walking and running
- Spinal cord damage
- Mental health issues related to bullying at school
Potential problems related to limb-length discrepancy need to be caught early so that they can be corrected.
Damage to Nerves and Blood Vessels
Femur fractures in children can also lead to damage to the nerves and blood vessels that reside in the area. Some of the potential associated injuries include:
- Damage to the femoral artery or vein.
- Nerve compression that might occur with thigh compartment syndrome.
- Nerve damage to the femoral and common peroneal nerves.
Nerve damage can lead to numbness and tingling of the leg. Children might also have trouble regaining strength and mobility in the affected limb. Damage to the blood vessels could lead to a complication called avascular necrosis where the bone tissue dies. This might lead to an emergency surgical procedure that could involve a hip replacement or a knee replacement.
Recovery from Femur Fractures in Children
Like other femur fractures, the doctor will need to figure out whether or not the injury requires surgery. If imaging scans show that the fracture has been displaced from its typical anatomic location, an orthopedic surgeon might use plates and screws to put the femur back together. After this, the recovery process will consist of:
- Medications such as Tylenol and Motrin to control pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy, which can help individuals restore strength, mobility, and flexibility to their leg.
- Occupational therapy, which can help children return to school.
A comprehensive approach is required to help children return to their pre-injury level of functioning. Unfortunately, this process could take months.
Watch YouTube Video: Complications with Pediatric Femur Fractures. This educational video explains the complications of fractures in children.
Contacting a Femur Fracture Lawyer
Even though parents might expect their children to pick up a few bumps and bruises along the way to adulthood, femur fractures are severe. Complications could develop following the fracture that might have long-lasting health impacts. This can place the parents under a tremendous amount of stress, leaving them searching for answers. Consulting with a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento can help families during the recovery process. Some of the resources that an experienced injury attorney could share include:
- Serving as an objective professional who can help families make challenging decisions.
- Guiding families as they seek damages related to the accident, the fracture, and even emotional pain and suffering.
- Speaking with financial institutions to ensure that all benefits are paid out on time.
- Transitioning a case to the courts when required.
Finally, families should remember that they don’t need to face these challenges alone. Count on the support of a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. You may be entitled to a financial award.
Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. If a femur fracture occurs in a child, there are serious complications that could lead to lasting health impacts. If your child has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and subsequently suffered a serious femur fracture, please reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
A selection of our earlier verdicts or settlements is available for review.
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay
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