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    Fractured Femur

    Good evening everyone. Yesterday I fractured my femur on my right leg right below the knee. I was going from the house down the ramp and into the garage when the ramp fell down and lunged me forward and out of my chair.

    I have a few questions for everyone that I need help with. Right now I'm wearing an immobilizer (I believe it's called) to stable my right leg. I've been laying in bed since I got out of the ER mid afternoon yesterday. How long do you think I'll have to wear the immobilizer ? How quickly can these injuries heal ?

    I have called an orthopedic specialist and the doctor is supposed to look at my X-ray / CT scan tomorrow and then call me back. I wonder if he'll recommend that I continue wearing the brace or possibly surgery. I'm hoping that it just boils down to me needing to wear the brace.

    I was told by the ER Doctor that I could take showers and do a few other things. Do you think it's safe for me to go in the shower though ? I'll have to bend my leg and everything else. I'm just nervous about it.

    Thank you everyone !
    www.adventuresofcolinandheather.blogspot.com !

    #2
    If below your knee that would be tibia or fibula, femur would be above your knee.

    Most likely you will need to remain splinted and in knee extension for 10-12 weeks. Cover the splint with a plastic trash bag, taped to your skin above the splint to shower (don't remove splint or bend your knee). You should elevate your leg on pillows in bed to reduce swelling, and need to use a wheelchair with an elevating leg rest.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


      #3
      If the fracture is your femur above your knee I suggest you ask the orthopedic surgeon if it could be fixed with a rod. It would minimize your down time.
      You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
      http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

      See my personal webpage @
      http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

      Comment


        #4
        You said it *is* fractured, but the doctors will call you back. They may want to do some surgery depending on the severity of the fracture. When I fractured my femur I was told to keep it still after they placed screws to hold the crack in place. After one month in bed the new x-ray showed no healing and I was given no advice as to what to do. What I did do was to get an offending tooth removed, and I stopped soda pop as I'd read it hampers bone regrowth. I don't know about the truth to the soda. However at the end of the second month the x-ray showed I was healing. So be sure you have no gum disease going on like I did.
        But the next thing was DVT which caused PE due to the bed rest. If I have to go through this again I would be sure to be on warfarin or some other protection and suggest discussing it.
        I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you all for your responses. It is indeed above the knee. I really hope there's no surgery required because I'm afraid of surgeries. I have my bed elevated where my feet go with my termperpedic mattress. Hopefully that will, like you said, reduce swelling. I wonder if a One a Day men's vitamin would help out any.
          www.adventuresofcolinandheather.blogspot.com !

          Comment


            #6
            I spiral fractured tibia and fibula a number of years ago. The orthopedist was unable to use rods or screws because the extent of osteoporosis would not support the hardware. I was in a "ski boot" cast (see below) for about 10 weeks that I could take off in bed to inspect for skin irritation and have bed baths. Getting into some showers may be difficult with a leg in full extension. Bowel programs were probably the most difficult, getting into a commode chair and sitting with leg in full extension, hard to sit in a commode chair with leg elevated. NL altered a couple pair of pants and opened the leg up to pull over the cast. She sewed on snaps to close the leg and the pants almost looked like nothing was wrong which helped me maintain a nice work place appearance. Bone healing started in about 5 weeks, even with severe osteoporosis. Ask your doctor about taking additional nutritional supplements like calcium and vitamin D. Follow a balanced diet.

            All the best,
            GJ
            Attached Files

            Comment


              #7
              That's a really good idea to alter the pants ! I'm not sure that type of boot would cover the fractured area so I'm not sure if it would work. It sounds like I'll be staying in bed for quite a while. I'm definitely not looking forward to that but I have to do what I have to do.
              www.adventuresofcolinandheather.blogspot.com !

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Colin83 View Post
                Thank you all for your responses. It is indeed above the knee. I really hope there's no surgery required because I'm afraid of surgeries. I have my bed elevated where my feet go with my termperpedic mattress. Hopefully that will, like you said, reduce swelling. I wonder if a One a Day men's vitamin would help out any.
                I think they should advise you about vit D and Calcium. Do you have email access?
                I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Colin83 View Post
                  That's a really good idea to alter the pants ! I'm not sure that type of boot would cover the fractured area so I'm not sure if it would work. It sounds like I'll be staying in bed for quite a while. I'm definitely not looking forward to that but I have to do what I have to do.
                  I had a fractured distal femur in 2001. I had to talk the doctor / ortho in to doing a rod. ( I actually broke both legs in a forward fall, tib/fib on right leg) My femur was completely broken, the leg would have turned 360 degrees if I let it . Seems to me it would depend on what sort of fracture you have.

                  I ended up with a good honest ortho who told me, "I don't know spinal cord injury but I can fix long bones" so, I knew the SCI part was all up to me. I got an, "intramedullary rod" aka 'IM Nail procedure' and have no regrets 15 years down the road things are still stable . I am cautious not to torque it because I know the bones the rod connects to are osteoporotic . I had a couple tough weeks after surgery but really not a lot of time in bed. I would wear a cast / immobilizer that fit under my pants. I also had to get and put elevated footrest on an old Quickie GPV I had ( rigid but with removable footrest) to keep leg straight.

                  I could transfer into my car passenger side and would go get checked by ortho. Healing was going slow and we went with Electronic Bone growth stimulators, they jump started things and ultimately sealed the deal.

                  Again I think it will depend on what kind of fracture you have but this is what worked for me.

                  I will add too that I was 23 years post injury when I fractured I think how far along your bones are makes a difference in healing time, outcomes, etc.
                  Good luck with getting running again.

                  IM Nail procedure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intramedullary_rod
                  Last edited by ChesBay; 17 Aug 2016, 9:58 PM. Reason: eta / IM Nail link

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Colin83 View Post
                    That's a really good idea to alter the pants ! I'm not sure that type of boot would cover the fractured area so I'm not sure if it would work. It sounds like I'll be staying in bed for quite a while. I'm definitely not looking forward to that but I have to do what I have to do.
                    Below, a picture of the alterations with snaps that NL did on the inside leg of a couple pair of pants. Granted, she is a very talented seamstress.

                    Hope you heal quickly.

                    All the best,
                    GJ
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ChesBay View Post
                      I had a fractured distal femur in 2001. I had to talk the doctor / ortho in to doing a rod. ( I actually broke both legs in a forward fall, tib/fib on right leg) My femur was completely broken, the leg would have turned 360 degrees if I let it . Seems to me it would depend on what sort of fracture you have.

                      I ended up with a good honest ortho who told me, "I don't know spinal cord injury but I can fix long bones" so, I knew the SCI part was all up to me. I got an, "intramedullary rod" aka 'IM Nail procedure' and have no regrets 15 years down the road things are still stable . I am cautious not to torque it because I know the bones the rod connects to are osteoporotic . I had a couple tough weeks after surgery but really not a lot of time in bed. I would wear a cast / immobilizer that fit under my pants. I also had to get and put elevated footrest on an old Quickie GPV I had ( rigid but with removable footrest) to keep leg straight.

                      I could transfer into my car passenger side and would go get checked by ortho. Healing was going slow and we went with Electronic Bone growth stimulators, they jump started things and ultimately sealed the deal.

                      Again I think it will depend on what kind of fracture you have but this is what worked for me.

                      I will add too that I was 23 years post injury when I fractured I think how far along your bones are makes a difference in healing time, outcomes, etc.
                      Good luck with getting running again.

                      IM Nail procedure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intramedullary_rod
                      I agree.
                      Bone simulators are usually covered by insurance. They are easy to use at home. I urge consideration of a full length rod in the femur if suitable for the fracture. The deconditioning that will occur a when bedfast can really drag out recovery. Also, the rod will reinforce the femur and help strengthen it. With osteoporosis, that should not be overlooked.
                      You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                      http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                      See my personal webpage @
                      http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What kind of fracture? first, second, third degree? this should dictate the treatment.
                        i had a spiral fracture of my femur 30 years ago. dr put two plates and 26 screws to put it back together. Next day i was back in school, changed dressing everyday and it was fine. I'm against the rod down the bone deal. Seen many problems with that.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hey everyone ! I'm attaching a few X-ray pictures that I got from the hospital today.









                          Can anyone comment on these ? Do you think I'll need surgery ? I see the doctor tomorrow at 11.
                          www.adventuresofcolinandheather.blogspot.com !

                          Comment


                            #14
                            looks to me like a displaced fracture so yes i would think they would operate to get the alignment correct. However the doctor is going to be the best person at reading X-rays. good your seeing him tomorrow good luck.
                            T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

                            Comment


                              #15
                              March 2014 I fell and had a comminuted r distal fx. No rod due to many pieces so I Got plate and screws. I had spinal anesthesia with sedation. I took Vit D and calcium, spent a lot of time in bed with leg elevated. Have severe Osteo. On Forteo now. Over 1 year later still not completely healed . I try to do standing frame daily. Weight bearing stimulates bone growth. BP was difficult due to leg extension as well as bp fluctuation. Blood clot is s real risk but I still have my IVC filter from my injury. Good luck, it is a bummer. I did do pt mainly for knee strengthening.
                              C6/7 Incomplete

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