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Femur Fracture Management

The femur is a rather extensive bone running in the upper part of the leg. This part of the leg can fracture due to trauma as a result of an injury.

The femur (or thighbone) can be fractured in several ways and most commonly occur as a result of an accident. This type of injury generally requires surgery, although the procedure will depend on the nature of the injury. For example, the femur may fracture close to the knee, in the midshaft of the femur or the component that makes up the hip joint. Open reduction and internal fixation is surgery to align the broken pieces of the femur to prevent instability and increase mobility. In some cases, external fixation is required, which involves the placement of pins and screws that are attached to a bar outside of the skin into the bones around the site of the fracture. This treatment is a temporary measure and is generally performed before surgery can be performed. Femur fractures in adults are almost always treated with surgery.

Internal fixation is a way of reconnecting the bones using screws, wires, rods and plates. Then, I surgically reattach these pieces to repair the fracture completely. For example, a break in the middle of the femur requires internal fixation surgery that involves placing a metal rod in that particular section of bone to stabilise the femur.

One of the most common procedures is intramedullary nailing, in which a metal rod is placed through a small incision into the marrow canal of the femur. The rod keeps the bones in position while they heal.

At some point, physical therapy needs to be made a priority to strengthen and improve the flexibility of the leg muscles. Performing these exercises promotes a full recovery and a faster return to mobility.


Osteoporosis is a degenerative illness affecting the health of your bones, causing them to become brittle and weak. High energy trauma like vehicle and motorcycle accidents will increase your risk of a femur fracture.

The time it takes for a complete recovery depends on the type of femoral fracture and the extent of surgery. Generally, the femoral bone takes four to six months to heal after surgical repair.

A femoral stress fracture occurs as a result of overuse which is common in most athletes. Microfractures typically arise from femoral shaft stress fractures due to extreme pressure on the trabecular bone. This is mostly in the femur neck region.


Tel 011 014 0505

Tel 011 014 0506


Address Johannesburg Surgical Hospital, 219 Beyers Naude Drive, Northcliff Randburg 2195

Address Life Wilgeheuwel Hospital, Block E Amplifier Road Radiokop 1724