Leg Fractures: Symptoms, Types, Tests, and Treatments
A fracture is a medical term for a broken bone, and various types of fractures can occur within the leg. A leg facture may affect the thighbone (femur), the kneecap (patella), the shinbone (tibia), or the fibula. Broken bones may not be uncommon, but they are extremely painful and, if left untreated, may lead to further injury. Leg fractures are serious injuries that require the immediate attention of a medical professional and may ultimately involve the care of an orthopedic specialist.
The physicians at West Medical are highly respected doctors and specialists who have extensive experience treating leg fractures of all kinds. Because these injuries are serious and greatly impair mobility, it is essential that you are administered advanced and specialized care by doctors at the top of their field.
Contact us at (855) 690-0565 to discover your treatment options and to make an appointment with one of our experienced physicians. Our skilled staff of orthopedic specialists, physicians, and surgeons guarantees that you will receive the highest level of care available in order to put you on the right road to recovery.
Though fractures can occur at different parts of the leg—like the thighbone, shinbone, or the knee—typically the symptoms for a break/fracture present similarly:
- Pain that increases with movement
- Swelling, bruising, and tenderness
- Limited movement
- Visible deformities or displacements
Types of Leg Fractures
There are several types of fractures that can occur to the three bones in the leg, but physicians typically categorize bone fractures in a few standard ways: non-displaced fractures, displaced fractures, and open fractures. The differences in these fracture types ultimately affect the treatment and recovery processes.
A leg fracture that is non-displaced means that the affected bone has cracked or broken but has stayed in its proper placement otherwise.
A displaced fracture of the leg means that the injured bone has broken into two or more pieces and may require realignment.
An open fracture is typically the most serious type of break because it indicates that the bone broke and pierced through the skin, which puts victims at risk for additional infection.
Diagnosing Leg Fractures
Depending on the severity of the fracture, a doctor may be able to determine that a break has occurred by a simple examination, especially if you have suffered an open fracture that caused the bone to break through the skin. However, if any fracture is suspected, no matter the intensity of the break, a doctor typically orders an x-ray or a scan to determine the severity of the injury and to inform your treatment plan. If you have sustained a more minor fracture, it may not appear on the x-ray and a MRI may be ordered. Other tests may be ordered to determine if the areas surrounding the affected bone were compromised—like the blood vessels, soft tissue, nerves, or ligaments.
Leg Fracture Treatment
Each case is unique and the severity of your injury affects the treatment plan that your physicians implements, but there are basics treatment standards typically followed in the event of a leg fracture.
Bones that have been fractured—whether it’s your thighbone, knee, or shinbone—must be correctly realigned then set in order to heal properly. Sometimes this process can be achieved without resorting to a surgical method and a doctor will set the bone, cast it, and provide pain relief. In instances where surgery is necessary to set the bone, an orthopedic surgeon may incorporate pins, screws, or rods in order to ensure that the bone fracture is properly adjusted. In both instances, the affected area of the leg is immobilized so that further injury doesn’t occur while the weakened bone begins to heal. Physical therapy is promoted to ensure that the bone and surrounding muscles rebuild and maintain proper blood flow and strength.
Leg fractures always require the attention of an experienced physician and treatment from an orthopedic specialist is often necessary. The staff at West Medical has a successful history treating patients suffering from leg breaks—from the onset of the injury, during the treatment process, through any surgical intervention, and on to recovery. Because of the serious nature of leg fractures and their significant impact on mobility, it’s essential that the best and most advanced care be administered.
Call us today at (855) 690-0565 to explore your medical options and to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians or specialists. West Medical is home to some of California’s leading medical professionals who can assist you personally and ensure that you receive the best care available.
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