The femur, located between the hip bone and the knee, is the longest, strongest bone in the body. A broken femur is painful and usually requires surgery to heal properly. Femur surgery, known as ORIF (Open Reduction, Internal Fixation) has proven to be very safe and effective. NYC podiatrists perform countless ORIF procedures each year.
When Does Someone Need Femur Surgery?
Femur surgery is usually necessary to stabilize a broken femur. You can break your femur in a fall or car accident. Symptoms of a femur fracture include bruising, swelling, severe pain, and inability to bear weight. Sometimes one leg will be shorter than the other if the bone is causing inappropriate bending at the fracture site. Even if the bone is not visible through the skin, do not rule out a fracture if you are experiencing the other symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately.
How Will My NYC Podiatrist Diagnose a Femur Fracture?
Some fractures can be diagnosed visually, but your doctor will perform an x-ray or CT scan to determine the exact location and extent of the break.
What Does Femur Surgery Include?
The most common femur surgery is ORIF, which stands for Open Reduction Internal Fixation.
Open reduction refers to a surgery in which the doctor places the bones back in place while the patient is under general anesthesia. This ensures that the bones heal together in the right place.
Internal Fixation is the part of the surgery where bones are secured in place using rods, plates, or screws. This keeps the bones from moving during the healing process.
The other option is an external fixation. In these cases, the podiatrist uses traction and stabilization outside of the body to hold the bones in place. Under general anesthesia, external rods are secured through the skin to the bone to provide temporary stability. This is reserved for limited cases where someone cannot have internal fixation placed right away.
What Should I Expect After Surgery?
The recovery after femur surgery can take several months. Here are four things to expect after your surgery.
- Pain Management
Talk to your doctor about pain management post-surgery. They will help you find the right medications to help control your pain during the recovery process.
- Physical Activity
You will be under strict mobility limitations during the first several months following surgery. Your NYC podiatrist will recommend starting physical therapy as soon as possible to assist in the healing process and help keep the leg muscles from atrophy.
- Daily Activities
After surgery, you will require assistance to move around at home. For the first several days you may not be able to bear any weight on the affected leg. Even after a few days, you will want to avoid stairs and plan to spend limited time standing and walking. As the weeks progress your doctor, physical therapist, and other healthcare providers will help you to continue to get stronger.
Consider making some adjustments in your home. Extra handrails, non-slip rugs and footwear, a bedside commode, and a bed or chair that is not too low, can make the recovery period easier and safer.
Invest in supportive footwear for after your surgery. Over time, you will be able to go back to wearing any kind of shoe (yes, you can even wear heels after a femur surgery), but be cautious until your doctor has declared you are fully healed. As always, choose shoes that support your feet well and don’t increase your risk of falling.
Contact a NYC podiatrist today
At Best Foot Doctor NY we offer compassionate, competent help for any injury. We offer four convenient locations, with offices throughout NYC in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Know your resources before you need them so that you can be confident you have the care that you need.