It is often easy to forget just how dangerous it can be to drive, but after spending a decade working I see the results of this danger every day. Studies show that 28% of people involved in an auto accident sustain minor to moderate injuries. That is equivalent to over 1.6 million people per year! The studies show that about 6% – around 360,000 people – sustain severe or fatal. While most of these serious injuries are to the head, arms and torso, the lower body is also at risk to sustain a significant injury.
Although a femur injury is not common in most car accidents, it can be fractured or broken in severe crashes. The femur is the main bone in the leg that runs from the hip to the knee, and is one of the strongest bones in the human body. It is not easy to break, but car accidents are the number one cause, accounting for 90% of all adult fractured femurs. Due to the lower body being unprotected in a car, the femur is especially vulnerable in crashes that trap someone in a vehicle, or eject someone from a vehicle.
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When the femur is fractured, common symptoms may include severe pain, swelling and a limited range of motion. To determine the extent of the damage, a medical physician will likely take an x-ray of the upper leg. In certain cases, it may be possible to put the bone back into place using a spica cast, which reaches from the chest all the way down the injured leg. In more serious cases, a surgeon may need to realign the bone and stabilize the fracture using metal pins.