Working on Seattle personal injury cases for several years as an auto accident lawyer in Bellevue, Washington I know how extensive auto accident injuries can be, and bones you thought would be impossible to break in a car are routinely fractured. The thigh bone, or femur, is one of the biggest and strongest bones in the human body. To break the femur it takes a crushing amount of force such as what happens if a person is crushed by a heavy object, falls from an extreme height or goes through a severe auto accident. Because of the intense pressure it takes to break this strong bone, femur fractures are only seen in very serious auto accidents and are always accompanied by other horrible injuries.
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A femur fracture has symptoms typical for a broken bone; intense pain, bruising, swelling and an inability to support weight. Unlike other bone fractures the femur nearly always requires surgery to effectively heal. The type of surgery used depends upon the location and severity of the break. In cases where there is extensive soft tissue damage an external fixation surgery is performed. If the fracture occurs close to the hip or knee metal plates are necessary to re-attach the bone and make it heal properly. For most of femur fractures, however, intramedullary nailing is used which a metal rod is inserted through the center of the femur bone. The rod goes through the entire bone successfully connecting the splint portions together. The rod is secured into place with screws on each end and is left in the bone unless complications later arise which is rare. This surgery is very successful with a 1% failure rate.
Recovering from a femur fracture takes longer than most fractures, anywhere between six months to a year for a complete recovery.