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Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Broken FEMUR NEED HELP!


 metall5468 - Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:35 pm

On Nov 21 2005 oops I meant 2004. I had a accident on my atv. I broke my right femur. It is now march 10, 2005 and my leg is barley healing. I go to the orthopedic surgeon monthly, after seeing the x-rays, he still wants me on toe touch weight bearing. I need to get better fast. What can I do at home to speed up the recovery process. I also must include that I have had an I.M. Rod surgically installed the day after the accident, along with 5 screws. 2 at the knee and 3 by the hip. I went to the doctor today and the x-rays look the same as 3 months ago, with minimal to no healing. What can I do? Also I have minimal to no pain at this time in the healing process.
:(
 Dr. A. Saif - Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:50 pm

User avatar Hi Metal..

Presumably the accident was November last year :-) otherwise we're looking to get healing before the fracture...sorry, couldn't help myself.

One of the earliest battlefield surgeons remarked "I dressed the wound. God healed it". And that's about it really. It sounds like you had quite a nasty fracture, and with high energy injuries, often there is sufficient damage to the soft tissues and vessels supplying the bone with nutrition that fracture healing is delayed. X-ray changes can take some considerable time, and sometimes, the bone fails t heal altogether (non-union). Non-union is declared after about 9 months of non progression of the fracture evolution.

There are things that can theoretically speed recovery (other than prayer). The best judge would be the surgon looking after you, but depending on the fracture configuration, one could remove some screws and allow some limited weight bearing.Tthis is called dynamisation. Exchange nailing with bone grafting can also be done,( removing and replacing the nail with another one with some bone applied to the fracture site). Some people claim that electrical impulses or ultrasound vibrations can also help.

What can you do? That's tough. Assuming that you are a helathy individual, eating a balanced western diet probably not much more my friend...

Saif


.
 metall5468 - Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:41 pm

Thanks for Replying! My orthopedic surgeon said the same thing( to remove the screws and alow some weight bearing), but I didn't think that it should be done. The actual surgeon told me to wait one year before the screws can come out.

Thanks for the info. I will feel a lot better if it comes to removing the screws, having heard that a second time.
 metall5468 - Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:18 pm

On June 1st I went into surgery for a process called dynamisation. They pulled out the two bottom screws and want me to use partial weight bearing. This is supposedly a little trick they use to spead up recovery. It has been Over 6 months now, almost 7 since I broke my femur. I am in a lot of pain once the hydrocodone wears off. I wasn't in much pain before the surgery. I will keep everyone posted on my recovery. I will be going back to the doctor on July 11. Well gotta go wish me luck.

See Ya,

~Steve~
 metall5468 - Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:17 pm

Well I went to see a trauma specialist at the end of July. He said that he did not like the way the rod and bone were sitting and is why it's probably not healing. He also measured my legs and my right leg is 1" smaller than the left. He said he wants to open me up again and pull out the old rod replace with a new, make my leg the same length and bone graft it. With a total "bone healing" time of 6 weeks.

August 12, 2005 Surgery Day. Went into manhattan for surgery, everything went well. A lot of pain, just as bad as when I had the first surgery if not more. It's now August 16 and the pain is still severe but not as intense. I go back to the orthopedic tomorrow. Hopefully this works. It has been a long time. Since November 21, 2004. Almost 9 months.

Well I'll Give You an Update Soon!

~Steve~
 metall5468 - Sun Dec 18, 2005 7:17 pm

Thanks to all who have wrote back. Today is december 18th 2005. I want to give you all an update on my situation. First I would like to say that this is too my first broken bone and very painful I might add. I will be going back to the doctor on dec 21st I have not had an x-ray in six weeks. I have been back to work since nov 21st. I am doing ok I guess. I still limp and after working for about 3 or four hours my leg stiffens up and I am no longer limping but dragging my leg. I start work at 3:30 and work till 11:30 I am a janitor so I am constantly on my feet. I too am a smoker and a lot of people told me to quit and a lot of doctors told me it shouldn't matter because I am young enough (25). Eventually I plan on quitting but we will see. I can say that everyday gets a little easier. I d still need to take pain medication only during working hours when I am constantly on my feet. Overall when I had my 3rd surgery on august 12 the doctor was suppose to straiten my leg out so it was the same length of the left leg. Unfortunatley due to a loss of a signifigant amount of blood and the fact that he did not want to chip away at my new bone growth (since it took so long to heal the little bit that it did.) he was unable to make my leg the exact length but pretty close. I don't know if the limp is from pain or the diffrence in leg sizes.

Well anyway I will give you guys an update soon. I promise I won't wait so long to get back to you. Thanks for all the support.

~steve~
 short hip - Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:50 pm

Metall5468, you didn't mention where in the femur the break was. Was it in the middle of the femur? Was the hip and femoral neck and/or greater trochanter involved at the point of the break?
 metall5468 - Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:46 am

It was high on the femur about 4 to 5 inches down from the hip.

P.s TO ALL. I missed my doctor appointment and I am rescheduled for Jan 10th 06. I'll give everyone an update as soon as get back from the doctor.

See Ya,

~Steve~
 metall5468 - Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:15 pm

1-12-06 Doctors Appointment.

Well everything went well the doctor said everything is making great progress. My leg is almost and inch shorter but should have ncomplications. He said it could always be lengthened down the road if I run into complications.

I am back to work and am working on becoming fully healed in a few months. This will be my last post. Thank you all for the advice and if anyone has any questions feel free to ask. I will still check the forum on occasion.

Thanks,

~Steve~
 shooter28 - Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:30 pm

Hi, I have had exactly the same problems you experienced!
I had a motorcycle accident 18 months ago 10th august 2007 broke my femur in a few places..had to have skin grafts etc..
I have had the screws taken out and the pain is soo much worse than before, I have been waiting three months for another op to have a new rod (pin) put in and small bone grafts. My leg is 1" shorter too! Its good to hear im not alone and was begining to think i would have a broken leg forever. People are stunned when i tell them its been so long. Every day is a struggle..i gave up smoking to help the healing but still no change, I was very worried about this next op, you have given me a little faith that what they are doing is going to work!
I hope so!
glad your doing well ..hope i get there soon !
PS are you still suffering with pain and a limp???
G
 metall5468 - Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:35 am

Shooter 28,

It has been quite some time now since I fractured my femur. I haven't visited this site since my last post, but they sent me an email saying someone replied.

To cut to the chase. I had the surgery redone where the pulled out the old rod and reemed out the bone marrow installed a new one and some new screws. Within 6 months my leg healed ok. It is still an inch short and on occasion it bothers me a little. As far as pain goes. Sometimes when the weather changes I can feel a dull ache, but nothing serious. Going to the gym (when you feel ready) and doing leg exercises helped a lot. I am looking to have the screws by the knee removed soon because it does still hurt near the knee where the screws are, when I try to run or go up and down stairs a lot within a short period of time. I really don't limp anymore except if I have been sitting down for a while and then stand up and walk around. I will limp for about 3 or 4 steps and then it goes away.

Over the past few years I have noticed that the leg is getting stronger and does not bother me as much as it used to. It's not to the point where I can say nothing happened, but I can walk normally 95% of the time.

I know what it's like to be laid up for a long period of time. It's not fun. Thats for sure. I too felt like my leg was never gonna heal and what it was like to just "walk". You'll get there soon.

Good Luck I hope you heal quickly. If you have any questions, let me know.
 shooter28 - Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:55 am

Thanks alot ! its nice knowing theres hope! when the surgeon said that it possible to loose my leg if there no healing i lost hope!! I've always loved bikes and still do cant wait to walk unaided and take my kids to the park!
cheers for the info ! gav
 Dr. Ramy M. El-Helw - Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:38 pm

I know I am replying to this post which is considered to be significantly old by now, but I wanted to just express some thoughts and ideas that may be helpful to people who have sustained this injury or know someone who has, and are looking to find out what to expect as well as what practices will speed up the healing and recovery process.

First off, it is important to note that femur fractures come in all shapes, sizes and severity. Fracture severity varies with the amount of breakage as well as how many breakages have occurred in the femur bone. As you may or may not know, the human femur is the strongest part of the human body and on the same note, will require a significant amount of time to heal.

Upon fracturing of the femur one should expect swelling or minor-major inflammation. A common practice for a person who has sustained this injury is doses of morphine to mitigate the pain to a bearable state. Surgery is almost the top choice in healing a femur fracture and is usually preformed with in 24-48 hours of the accident or injury. A cast is usually a secondary choice depending on once again severity of the injury.

In the case of surgery, metal rods are placed and screwed into the area of the fracture to aid in mending the injury. Surgeries of this nature are done relatively quickly, but sometimes require up to 3 hours to conclude. Note: Rods are almost always usually removed at a later time in a following surgery after bone starts to heal.

After surgery is completed casts are almost never usually used to support the fractured femur except in younger children. In terms of surgery risk, there is very little risk of complications. Statistics have shown that the most complication that has risen from a surgery of this nature is infection, which is a natural risk as with any other surgery.

After surgery is completed, one may expect to stay at the hospital for a minimum of 2 says to ensure that there is no infection and that the body has not rejected the metal rod.

Healing process from this point on takes between 4-6 months for a full recovery. Crutches are the main utensil used to aid in movement. People with this type of injury will experience chronic pain and will probably be on a regimen of percocet. It is important that patients take their pain medication exactly as directed to minimize pain.

In the following months of rehabilitation, your doctor will schedule you for biweekly xrays to asses the rate of your bone healing and fusing. You may also have a physical therapist to help rehabilitate your movement back to normal.

During the healing process you can do certain things to mitigate the pain such as placing ice on the affected area as well as elevating the affected limb which will help in minimizing pain.

After it has been determined that your bones are healing and fusing back together a second operation is done to remove the rod and screws and one may slowly start transitioning back into leading a normal life.
Good luck, I hope you found this useful.

Ramy Mohamed El-Helw
 fredjames - Mon May 18, 2009 10:57 am

ON Jan 10 2009 i broke my femur(thigh bone in middle) and got a rod placed d same nite with two nails on both sides. was advised bed rest for 6 weeks and i was doing leg raises 100 daily on bed, after 6 weeks doctor said der was no healing and non unions and had to take one screw out frm near knee.

feb 25 i consulted other Dr and he suggested nt necessary itz healing. he noticed my extra bone(ostochondroma) on the same leg(below knee whihc was quite big) and got it removed in d same week. i was again on bed rest for couple of weeks. he advised toe bearing partial walking using cruthes. at beginning d leg was very weak and lowly it started getting stronger.

on march25th i had taken x ray which showed d breaking bone was much closer where as side view showed little gap(den dr suggested put as much weight as u can on d leg without limping) and d extra bone reports wer normal.

on april 11 i had my x ray taken and he said its not uniting and had to take two screws out from top. i requested him to do it in july as m busy next month. M almost walking without crutches with little or no pain sometimes( thouh he didnt suggested, i use one crutch wen i have to walk a lot in clge for gud support). wat i have seen in x ray first the bone was not straight aligned and slowly it has moved to a straight position. but the latest x ray taken after four month still showed up a thin line at the breakage so its nt uniting.
I suppose i stressed up my leg in the recent few days before x ray was taken by trying fold my fractured leg completely with force(i guess). so i have stopped excercing (leg raises and folding it much force as m walking). i hope in july d bone heals and i dnt need a another surgery to take out proximal screws. ( by the way rite now my leg is much stronger now upto 60% and m walking without support with little pain or no pain sumtimes and m limp very very little :))

I hope it heals faster and i need only one surgery to remove my screws and rod at once.

(Wat i suggest for people with such fractures...

life gonna be back to 70% normal sooner ( max 4 month even if it doesn't heal much)
care should be taken to avoid injuries.( no too much stressing)
have calcium tabs and vitamin tabs.
exercise slowly and correct to make leg stronger.( leg raises and toe movement to stimulate blood supply)
Have abundant calcium intake in terms of MILK, eggs, even Vitamin D is IMP (oranges , also have a cup of goats unboiled milk in d morning-> escalated pain frm near knees screws in one week)) ( have less sugar, tea or coffee, smoking as it contains caffeine)
And thank god dat u still have ur leg with u . it cud have been worse without d leg...

and be confident and stop searching information abt broken femur :P atleats if its not more than a two month.

Best of luck. God Bless you
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun May 24, 2009 9:31 pm

User avatar Thanks for the post.

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