When one of the bones present in the leg gets broken, the condition is known as leg fracture. A bone in the leg can break due to several reasons including trauma like a motor vehicle accident, sports injuries, fight, falling from a height, or certain diseases that result in the weakening of bones such as osteoporosis.
Adults are more prone to leg fracture due to high-energy trauma, while in the elderly, it could occur due to low-impact injuries like slight twisting of the leg.
The treatment of the broken bone completely depends upon the severity and location of the fracture. In the case of open & severe conditions, surgical fixation using Orthopaedic Implants may be required. Open leg fractures may also be fixed using the External Fixator System.
What are the Symptoms of Broken Bone?
Severe pain that gets worse with movement is most commonly seen in the case of leg fracture. Besides this, swelling near the injured area may be seen along with tenderness and/or bruising. In open fracture conditions, bleeding is seen.
In the case of closed displaced fractures, deformity around the fractured site may be noticed. A person with a leg fracture will be unable to bear weight on a leg with a fractured bone.
Types of Broken Leg Conditions
Our leg is made of three bones including femur, tibia, & fibula and the break could occur in any of these. Thus, the classification of different types of leg fracture will be based on the type of bone involved. Let us see them one by one:
The femur is the thigh bone and it is also the largest bone in the human body plus, is known to be one of the strongest as well. A femur fracture is generally seen in case of car accidents or after falling from a great height. Being a strong bone, the femur requires high force for the bone to get broken. This is why femur fracture is most commonly associated with high-energy trauma.
The maximum number of femur fracture cases have shown good and proper healing after the treatment & rehabilitation. It usually takes around 6 months for the femur fracture to heal but the time period may vary depending upon the patient and his/her healing ability. In elderly people with conditions like osteoporosis, there are high chances of getting repeat fractures.
The tibia can break either due to high-energy trauma or a direct impact on the bone. Like femur fracture, this tibia fracture is common in adults due to automobile accidents, whereas elderly people with bone-weakening conditions like osteoporosis are prone to this condition due to low-impact injuries.
In most of the cases, immobilization of the leg with a cast application is helpful in fracture fixation. While in severe cases, surgical fixation using Orthopedic Bone Plates and Bone Screws may be required.
Fibula generally gets broken along with the tibia, but in certain isolated fracture conditions, the bone could break due to a direct blow. The conditions where only fibula is involved are not serious, while in rare cases, one of the nerves to the foot may be damaged causing limping of the foot at the ankle. In non-serious cases, non-surgical treatment of the fracture is helpful.
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Physical examination is what the orthopedist will start the diagnosis with. This will help him/her identify the cause of the condition along with the symptoms and other involved complications. After physical examination, imaging tests like X-ray, MRI scan, or CT scan are performed depending upon the patient’s condition.