broken femur

Broken Femur – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, And Aftercare!

A broken femur is a serious fracture of the thigh bone or femur. The femur is one of the strongest bones in the body and a fracture is usually caused by very significant trauma. Common causes of broken femurs include falls from a great height, high-impact car accidents and severe sporting injuries.

In addition to severe pain, those with a broken femur may also experience swelling and bruising near the fracture site or limited mobility of the affected leg. Diagnosis is typically made with the use of an x-ray, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. The best course of action for a broken femur will depend on the severity of the fracture, with treatments ranging from immobilizing the area with a brace or cast, to surgery. A long period of rehabilitation may be required following a broken femur, including physical therapy and exercises. In the most severe cases, a leg amputation may be required.

What is a Broken Femur?

A broken femur, also known as a fractured femur, is a break in the thigh bone, which is located between the hip and knee. The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the body, and a break in it is a serious injury. Typically, a fractured femur occurs as a result of a major trauma, such as a car accident or a fall from a significant height. It could also be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as bone cancer or osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Broken Femur:

The symptoms of a broken femur are as follows:

1. Severe pain:

A broken femur often causes severe pain that limits any type of movement. It has been described as one of the worst pains one can experience.

2. Loss of sensation:

Difficulty feeling the area around the fracture and decreased sensation of the lower leg and foot might be present.

3. Swelling and bruising:

Swelling and bruising around the fracture site are usually visible immediately or within a few hours of an injury.

4. Difficulty with weight-bearing:

Depending on the severity of the fracture, it may be difficult or impossible to put any weight at all on the affected leg.

5. Deformity:

Fractures can cause visible deformity of the leg. This can include the bone appearing in an unusual position or strange angles.

6. Hearing a cracking noise:

In some cases, a person may hear a snapping, cracking, or popping sound as the bone breaks.

7. Loss of muscle control:

Numbness, tingling, or a loss of muscle control can also occur along with a femur fracture.

8. Difficulty moving:

It can be very difficult for a person to move the affected leg, as the broken femur limits mobility.

Causes of Broken Femur:

There are various causes of broken femur and these are as follows:

1. High-Impact Falls:

High-impact falls, such as from a great height, can cause the femur to break.

2. Direct Blows:

Direct blows from an object such as a baseball bat or a baton can also cause the femur to break.

3. Motor Vehicle Accidents:

The impact of a collision between vehicles can be enough to cause a broken femur.

4. Sports Injuries:

Direct impacts sustained during certain sports, such as football or hockey, can lead to a broken femur.

5. Osteoporosis:

People suffering from osteoporosis are at an increased risk of breaking their femur due to weakened and brittle bones.

6. Tumors:

Tumors that weaken the bone structure can lead to a broken femur.

7. Birth Injuries:

In some cases, a baby’s femur can be broken during delivery as a result of too much pressure being exerted on the leg.

8. Overuse Injuries:

Repetitive and extreme stresses placed on the femur for extended periods of time can cause it to break.

Diagnosis of Broken Femur:

The diagnosing techniques in consideration for a broken femur are:


X-rays are an essential tool in modern medicine, used to diagnose and help treat a wide variety of medical problems. They are particularly well-suited to diagnose a broken femur, the largest and strongest bone in the body. Through the use of X-ray imaging, doctors can accurately assess the extent of injury to the femur. When an X-ray is taken to diagnose a broken femur, the image created will usually show a fracture of the bone, as well as any associated soft tissue damage such as bruises, swelling, or joint dislocation. These findings can then be used to determine the best course of treatment for the fracture.

CT Scan:

A CT Scan (Computed Tomography Scan) is a type of imaging test that uses X-rays and computer technology to create detailed images of the inside of the body. It can be used to diagnose a broken femur, or thighbone, by providing doctors with a detailed view of the bone’s structure and any abnormal alignment or fractures. During a CT Scan, the patient will lay on a table that slides into a doughnut-shaped machine that takes the X-ray pictures. The pictures are combined to create a detailed three-dimensional picture of the entire femur. This allows doctors to examine the bone and diagnose any fractures.

Treatment for Broken Femur:

For those who have broken their femur, the prognosis for a complete recovery is promising. With the right treatment plan and commitment to the rehabilitation process, many patients can make a full return to their pre-injury state. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to those who have broken their femur.


Surgery is often necessary when a person has a broken femur. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, a doctor may recommend open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), where metal plates, screws, and wires are inserted into the femur to realign the bone and hold it in place while it heals.

Casts and Splints:

Patients may be put in a cast or splint to stabilize the broken bone while it heals. These splints are typically made of plaster or plastic, and they keep the bone in place while allowing a range of movement at the joint.

Walking Aids:

Patients with a broken femur may be advised to use assistive devices such as crutches or a cane to help them walk. These walking aids provide support for the patient to make walking and other activities easier, as well as relieve pressure off the broken bone while it heals.

Physical Therapy:

It is also an important part of the treatment plan for a broken femur. Physical therapists work with patients to restore strength and mobility in the muscle and joints. Exercises may focus on improving range of motion, balance, posture, flexibility, and strength.

Each person’s injury and treatment plan is unique, and each treatment option for a broken femur should be discussed with a doctor. With the right care and dedication to recovery, a full recovery is possible.

Aftercare for Broken Femur:

The aftercare to a broken femur is as follows:

1. Follow your doctor’s instructions for exercise and physical therapy:

Following the instructions of your doctor is the most important aftercare guideline for a broken femur. Regular exercise and physical therapy can help you strengthen the femur bones, allowing for improved mobility over time. If your doctor has given you a physical therapy plan, it should be followed closely.

2. Elevate your leg:

Elevating the broken femur above heart level helps reduce swelling and pain. Use pillows to keep the leg and hip in a raised position while resting.

3. Apply cold compresses:

Use cold compresses to help reduce the swelling and alleviate pain and discomfort. Use over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen as advised by your physician.

4. Avoid activities that cause pain:

Limit activities that cause pain, such as climbing stairs and running, until your doctor grants you the go-ahead. Always perform gentle stretching exercises and walk as allowed.

5. Use a walking aide:

A walking aide, such as crutches, a cane, or a walker, should be used when one is not able to bear weight on their own. This will help provide stability and support to the broken femur bone, improving mobility.

6. Take adequate rest:

Rest is a vital part of the recovery process for those who have suffered a broken femur. Give your body all the rest it needs in order to get it to fully heal.

7. Follow a balanced diet:

Eating a balanced diet is essential for the healing and recovery process in those suffering from broken femurs. Make sure to get plenty of protein, as well as vitamins and minerals from eating foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Reach Dr. Lalit Modi

Reaching out to Dr. Lalit Modi for the treatment of a broken femur is a wise decision. Dr. Modi is a highly experienced orthopedic doctor in Jaipur and a joint replacement surgeon, who has been practicing for 15+ years. With his vast medical knowledge and expertise, he has helped many patients get back to enjoying their lives after overcoming serious musculoskeletal problems.

Also, Read:


1. What is a broken femur?

A broken femur is a bone fracture that occurs in the thigh bone near the hip joint. It is the longest and strongest bone in the body, and one of the most commonly broken bones.

2. What are the causes of a broken femur?

The most common cause of a broken femur is a direct and powerful impact to the thigh or hip area. This injury can be due to a car accident, a fall, or a sports-related injury.

3. How is a broken femur treated?

Treatment of a broken femur usually involves a combination of physical therapy, casts, or braces, as well as surgical repair. Surgery is usually recommended in cases where the bone is severely misaligned or there is evidence of a bone fragment.

4. What are the risks associated with a broken femur?

A broken femur can cause significant pain and disability due to the long healing time necessary for bones to heal. Additionally, there is a risk of increased incidence of infection that can lead to the need for further treatment.

5. How long does it take to heal from a broken femur?

The amount of time it takes for a broken femur to heal depends on the severity of the fracture and the patient’s age and health. In general, it may take anywhere from 6-8 weeks for the fracture to heal completely.

6. What physical therapy is necessary for a broken femur?

The physical therapy following a broken femur will vary depending on the severity of the fracture but typically involves strengthening and range-of-motion exercises, as well as balance and gait assessment and training.