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What Is the Treatment for a Spiral Fracture of the Femur?

Treating a spiral fracture of the femur typically involves surgery to realign and stabilize the bone, often with rods or plates. Post-surgery, physical therapy is crucial for recovery, aiding in regaining strength and mobility. Each case is unique, so treatment plans may vary. Curious about the recovery journey and how to optimize healing? Dive deeper into the world of orthopedic rehabilitation with us.
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A spiral fracture of the femur occurs when the thigh bone, commonly known as the femur, is twisted in a helical motion, causing it to break. This type of fracture is most common in small children or elderly people, though this bone is usually very strong. The treatment will vary depending on the age and health of the person, as well as the severity of the injury. Some fractures may only require immobilization, while others may require surgery.

When someone suffers a femur spiral fracture, the leg needs to be immobilized immediately and the person with the injury needs to stay off the injured leg. If at all possible, the leg should be elevated to promote blood flow and reduce swelling, though this should only be done if the leg does not need to be moved much. Movement can worsen the injury as well as the pain the person will suffer. These injuries tend to be quite painful to begin with, so any excess movement should be avoided. An assessment of any other injuries will also be necessary, and the injured person should be transported to a hospital while moving the limb as little as possible.

Physical therapy will be required of patients suffering from a spiral fracture of the femur.
Physical therapy will be required of patients suffering from a spiral fracture of the femur.

A medical professional will then order an X-ray to determine the severity of the fracture. Less serious breaks may only require that the limb be immobilized in a cast and allowed to heal over the course of months. This recovery time will vary depending on the health and age of the injured person, and the muscles of the legs are likely to weaken during the healing process. Physical therapy will therefore be necessary after a cast is removed, and it should be done under the guidance of a health professional.

Treatment for a spiral fracture of the femur may include surgery.
Treatment for a spiral fracture of the femur may include surgery.

More serious instances of a spiral fracture of the femur will require surgical attention. A surgeon will access the bone by making an incision into the leg, and pins or plates will be used to hold the bone together. The surgeon will also address any soft tissue injuries incurred as a result of the fracture. During the healing process, the incision wound will need to be kept clean and dry to prevent infections that can become serious or life-threatening. The recovery time for an injury that requires surgery is likely to be fairly protracted and potentially painful.

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Discussion Comments

anon933474

My forty nine year old niece was standing at the sink when she she screamed and fell to the floor in agony. It turned out to be an instantaneous spiral fracture of the femur. How does this happen?

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    • Physical therapy will be required of patients suffering from a spiral fracture of the femur.
      By: g215
      Physical therapy will be required of patients suffering from a spiral fracture of the femur.
    • Treatment for a spiral fracture of the femur may include surgery.
      By: garagundi
      Treatment for a spiral fracture of the femur may include surgery.
    • A spiral fracture of the femur will require immobilization in a cast. The patient may also need medical equipment such as a walker for support until the injury has completely healed.
      By: Alexander Raths
      A spiral fracture of the femur will require immobilization in a cast. The patient may also need medical equipment such as a walker for support until the injury has completely healed.
    • A spiral fracture of the femur is common among the elderly.
      By: praisaeng
      A spiral fracture of the femur is common among the elderly.
    • The femur bone is usually quite strong, which is why spiral fractures are only common with children and the elderly.
      By: maya2008
      The femur bone is usually quite strong, which is why spiral fractures are only common with children and the elderly.