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Broken Femur Recovery

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Old 07-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
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tfinvold HB User
Broken Femur Recovery

Ok so i broke my femur, ive had a couple of incidents one where i slipped on dirt and it slid my femur rod and loosened the screws about an inch back, that night i had a femur, but i was doing ok and by the next morning i was fine, infact a lot of pain had been released, and then i jammed it with probably about 60lbs of weight pressed on it or so it was sore but the rod has play in it, and I worry if this will cause a gap or mess up the bonding on my bone,

i feel tiny little cracks in and out of the bone theyre not painful, i havent had any real major pain i never used the pain meds they prescribed me since ive been out of the hospital, im getting an x-ray in a few days. Its not swelling but there does seem to be a good deal of calcium deposit its like a tennis ball in there and ive been taking magnesium supplements with food. I hear popping occasionally as I feel the rod slide around in my leg it feels awkward but not painful, I have good feeling on my foot so its not causing nerve damage

I would just like to hear suggestions as to whats going on. Activities are light, i support my leg upon lifting it into the shower, on the bed, car seat etc.

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Old 07-09-2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Broken Femur Recovery (couldnt find the appropriate section)


I think your bone is shifting on the rod.

I had a broken femur on one leg and a cut femur on the other, and rods used in each one. Bone does not have nerves inside of it, so not having pain feels great but it does not mean no damage was done. The leg should not be seeming to shift around the rod. It is excellent if you have it X-rayed to make sure the bone is in proper alignment. Bone has to be motionless against bone for it to knit together correctly.

It is imperative that you guard against falls and compromising your bone until you know for a fact the fracture is solid. If not, you are risking infection inside the bone, which is painless, but deadly. This is not to scare you but it's true, you risk losing the leg if you abuse it by not knowing better. I learned the hard way. Be glad you don't need a cast and don't have pain, but treat your leg as if you do have pain and be very careful with it until the x-ray proves it is completely solid.

Rods were used to secure my femur bones, both times. The first was a compound fracture in the right leg, and a rod was installed as it is the least invasive surgery. However, I felt the leg was slipping around the rod, and told the doctor who told me there is no way it could. eventually I was in pain and insisted the leg was twisting around the rod so they did an x-ray and the doctor came in white as a sheet. He had to admit my leg shifted around the rod, and that it had to come out and a plate was installed which secured the bone so it could remain stationary and grow into itself. After the bone healed the plate and screws were removed and the screw holes filled in with new bone quickly, and the femur was solid. The plate was removed so that the bone would have natural resiliency. I have had a plate for 30 years where my tibia was crushed so that it was missing bone, in the same accident. That bone has no flexibility at all because of the plate. But docotrs don't wnat to risk infection by removing it, so I'm stuck with it.

In my other leg, I allowed an elective surgery to shorten the femur two inches due to the large length lost in the broken leg. I was assured bone shortening was done many times, but after the fact I learned it was experimental surgery. That doctor wanted to use a rod where the section of bone was removed. I said no because it had not worked in the other leg. The doctor insisted that I should trust that he knew best so I gave in.

I woke from surgey with no pain, did not need pain med at all. I started light physical therapy and was able to walk with no cast or crutches. But in about two days I felt the bone move around the rod. This doctor also told me it was impossible for the bone to move around the rod. The bone never hurt, but my leg began to feel "strangled" or that's all I could think of to describe it. I became depressed and stopped eating, and the doctor had the bone x-rayed to prove the bone was secure. He too was white as a ghost as he told me my greatest fear: I had to undergo another surgery to do what I had insisted was the right thing, to insert a plate.

I understood why he wanted to use the rod. It is not so invasive and it is easily removed. But the first didn't work for me, and neither did the second. I had to have a plate put in, and after healed the plate removed. From this I developed osteomyalitis because my stamina had decreased, I was stressed, was not able to keep food down and unable to rest. Bone infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because there are no blood vessels in bone to carry in the antibiotics. I had to have the bone scraped out and left open to heal from inside out, and then the scar was revised. The doctor told I was facing 2-3 scrapings, gangrene eventually and amputation. (in my case, through prayer the infection in that femur was completely healed and there are x-rays that were done for unrelated reasons that prove it, but that is not the usual case.)

I just want you to know that it is very serious to not take a break and needed healing time seriously. The rod or plate is just to prevent the need of a cast and muscle atrophy that occurs from being in a cast. You still must guard your bone from twisting, etc so it can knit together. You should not hear or feel popping. Not even in your joints.

Magnesium CITRATE is the magnesium of choice as it is easily assimilated and will cause calcium to go into the bone, not into soft tissue. It can even cause calcium deposits to disolve and reassimilate into the bone
where it belongs.
Tree Frog
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Last edited by Tree Frog; 07-09-2010 at 10:19 PM.

Old 06-28-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2010
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ksugrad79 HB User
Re: Broken Femur Recovery (couldnt find the appropriate section)

So you had femur shortening surgery? It sounds like the best thing would be to wear a hip to toes cast for 4-6 weeks after surgery to prevent the rod from moving around. That's what I would want done if I had the surgery and it is something I am considering doing. My left leg is an inch and a half shorter than the right one as a result of a long ago car accident and I am sick to tears of having to wear a large lift on my left shoes. Insurance doesn't pay for the lifts and they run anywhere between $110 and $200. It gets to be ridiculously expensive just to buy a pair of shoes and I can only wear sturdy, clunky sensible shoes. I can't wear delicate feminine shoes so I have to dress casually for formal occasions because I can't wear dressy shoes. I get tired of being so limited in my shoe choices.

Hearing one person's experience is interesting and it doesn't sound too pleasant but I don't want to spend the rest of my days wearing nothing but clunky heavy shoes. I'm considering all of my options, naturally. I'm also leery of messing with my one good leg and causing it to have ongoing problems. I can't have my bad leg lengthened because I am too old. They generally won't do that for patients age 45 and older, and I am 54. I'm eager to hear other people's experiences before I decide whether this is a surgery that is in my future.

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