Compound Femur Fracture: Treatment, Surgery, Recovery, Prevention, Coping
Compound femur fracture must be treated immediately to minimize the chances of infection. Infection interrupts with the healing process and in severe case even the limb may be required to surgically remove.
Treatment for Compound Femur Fracture
Antibiotics and Tetanus for Treating Compound Femur Fracture
As soon as the patient with compound femur fracture is brought to the emergency room, antibiotics are injected as the first measure. The type of antibiotic depends on the severity of injury. Tetanus shot is also given along with the antibiotics.
Injury Stabilization for Compound Femur Fracture
The doctors start with covering the compound femur fracture with sterile dressing and then properly aligning the fractured bone to prevent any further damage to the soft tissue. It is followed by the application of splint to avoid any movement until the surgery can be started.
Debridement and Irrigation for Compound Femur Fracture
To prevent any chances of infection, debridement and irrigation are required in compound femur fracture.
- In debridement for compound femur fracture. Initially the surgeon would try to get rid of any dirt or foreign materials to prevent any infection. The part of the skin and the tissues that are damaged in the injury are also removed completely. The exposed part of the bone is also carefully made free from contamination.
- Irrigation is necessary in compound femur fracture. Following debridement, saline solutions are used to clean and irrigate the wound.
Fracture Treatment in Compound Femur Fracture
In case of compound femur fracture, it is very important get the damaged bones in place to avoid any damage to the tissues. There are various internal and external methods available to fix the bone. All of these methods require surgery.
Surgery for Compound Femur Fracture
Compound femur fractures cannot be treated without surgical fixation of bone.
Internal fixation for Compound Femur Fracture: In the method of internal fixation of compound femur fracture the bones are first aligned into the right position and then fitted with special screws or by the use of metal plates fitted on the surface of the bones to hold them in place. In some cases rods may also be inserted through the bone marrow in the center of the bone to keep the bones aligned correctly. With the use of these methods, bones are held intact correctly.
Internal surgery cannot always be performed immediately as first of all injuries must be allowed to heal to proceed for the surgery safely. The doctor would ask you the following questions before proceeding to any internal fixation surgical methods for compound femur fracture.
- What is the level of toleration of the patient?
- What kind of treatment procedure is suitable keeping in mind the injuries and damage to soft tissues?
- What is best method with which bone can be stabilized?
External fixation for compound femur fracture: External fixation methods can also be used for compound femur fracture to hold the bones into place depending on the injury. In this method first the pins and screws are placed above and below the site of the fracture. Then these screws and pins are used to support the metal bar or bars that are placed outside the fractured bone after aligning them properly in place.
- Minor open fractures: If the injury is not very severe and is free from contamination then internal fixations methods are often suitable for compound femur fracture after the wound has been thoroughly debrided.
- Severe open fractures: In case of severe fractures for compound femur fracture, external fixation methods work best. Initially the bones are aligned in place and sufficient time is given to allow the wound to heal before proceeding with the surgery. In this case, orthopedic surgeon would need to close the wound with stitches following the debridement and external fixation.
Complex wounds in compound femur fracture: In some of the cases of compound femur fracture where too much of soft tissue is damaged, it is not possible to use stitches for closing the wound. One of the following methods is used in case of complex wounds depending on the loss of soft tissue.
- Local flap in compound femur fracture: In this case the some part of the muscle from the limb is rotated carefully to fill up some of the gap of the wound. It works just like the graft taken from another part of the body.
- Free flap in compound femur fracture: In this case the graft tissue used for filling up the wound is derived from some suitable part of the body like back or abdomen. This transfer of tissue needs special care and thus it is performed only under the supervision of a micro vascular surgeon to ensure good connection among the blood vessels and ensure proper blood circulation.
In case of complex wounds, the wound is often covered temporarily to minimize the chances of any infection and also help in healing of wound. Usually a semi permeable material is used as a cover over the wound until a proper closure procedure is implemented. Antibiotic beads are also used on the wound to provide high dose of antibiotics to the injury for preventing contamination.
Recovery Period/Healing Time for Compound Femur Fracture
The time for recovery or healing time for a compound femur fracture is not fixed as it depends on lots of factors like the severity of injury, type of method used for treatment etc... Even after proper healing it can take months before able to walk normally. Exercises are essential at the time of healing the fracture. In addition, workout helps a lot to restore regular muscular strengths, flexibility and joint type of motion. Your doctor will provide you with a rehabilitation exercise plan, or recommend physical therapy visits.
Prevention of Compound Femur Fracture
As compound femur fracture is a case of accident, it can happen with anyone at any time. Thus you cannot take any preventive measure for compound femur fracture other than maintaining strong bones and taking care of safety while driving. Take proper diet rich in calcium to keep your femur strong so that your body keeps moving.
Coping with Compound Femur Fracture
Coping with compound femur fracture is a challenging process. The injury of compound femur fracture is very severe are would take a lot of time to heal properly and recover from the damage. Even after the complete healing of the bones you will not have the same strength and flexibility in your femur bone to allow for brisk movements like running. You will not be able to walk for many days and thus it is necessary to keep yourself engaged even if you cannot move on your own. Share your problems with family and friends so that you do not feel lonely or depressed. Try to return to your return gradually and follow the instructions of your doctor very carefully.
Exercises for Compound Femur Fracture
You can start very low impact exercises especially the ones which involve movement of legs but only after your wounds and bone is healed completely. A proper physiotherapist can guide you towards the movements that are safe and helpful to return to your normal living as soon as possible. Exercises are essential to keep your body flexible and fit.
Yoga for Compound Femur Fracture
Yoga is another special form of exercise involving more control of breath and slow movements that help you gather strength and concentration. It can be very helpful for the patients of compound femur fracture but it is very important to discuss with your doctor if certain yoga styles are suitable and has to be practiced under a guidance of a teacher after the complete recovery from compound femur fracture.