The femur, or the thigh bone, is the longest and strongest bone in the human body. Connecting the hip to the knee, it plays a significant role in supporting an individual’s weight and facilitating movement.
Given its robust nature, breaking it requires significant force, often seen in car accidents.
The energy required for a femur fracture
Car accidents often involve high speeds and substantial force. When a femur fractures in such an event, it indicates the immense energy involved in the collision. This amount of energy does not just affect the femur. It often causes many injuries throughout the body, making treatment and recovery complex. There are approximately 250,000 femur fractures in the US each year.
Complications and health risks
A broken femur can lead to several complications. The bone’s sizable marrow can cause fat emboli, where fat molecules enter the bloodstream. These molecules can reach the lungs, brain or other vital areas. Moreover, with the femur’s proximity to major blood vessels, there is a risk of significant blood loss, leading to shock.
Extended recovery period
Rehabilitation from a femur fracture is not a quick process. Once doctors address the immediate risks, the healing process requires immobilization. This often requires the help of rods, plates or screws. Due to the bone’s weight-bearing nature, patients usually need help moving for several weeks or months. Physical therapy is a component of recovery. This therapy helps individuals regain strength, flexibility and mobility.
Challenges in returning to normalcy
Beyond the physical healing process, those with a femur break often face challenges returning to their routines. The extended period of immobilization can impact muscle strength and overall physical fitness. Daily activities, from walking to driving, become daunting tasks. Additionally, the memory of the traumatic injury can lead to apprehensions about getting back into a vehicle.
Femur breaks after car accidents highlight the severe nature of such collisions. The bone’s role in mobility and support, combined with the complications of a fracture, make this injury particularly concerning. Understanding the challenges of a femur fracture stresses the importance of safe driving habits.