Thighbone > Treatments
Closed Reduction and Casting
If your fractured thighbone
is set without surgery and requires a cast, it is important
that you monitor your condition and take specific precautions
to protect the leg and speed recovery.
first concern is to monitor swelling for the first 48
hours while wearing your cast. If your swelling decreases
dramatically during this time, the cast may become too
loose. If swelling increases, your cast may become too
tight, and circulation can be dangerously cut off. In
both cases, you should contact your physician immediately.
will probably experience pain for the first few days
after you are casted. This pain can generally be adequately
controlled with the pain medication prescribed by your
physician. If the pain does not gradually decrease within
a few days, contact your physician.
rash or irritation around your cast may indicate poor
fit or sensitivity to the materials in the cast. If
you develop a skin irritation around your cast, contact
your physician immediately.
with most knee injuries, treat with R.I.C.E. (rest,
ice, compression, elevation). You may or may not be
able to put some weight on your leg, depending on your
physician's recommendation. Wrap ice into a well-sealed
plastic bag and drape around the cast at knee level
for 20 to 30 minutes, two or three times a day.
Patients with closed thighbone fractures typically
wear a cast for four to six weeks. Because your mobility
will be limited during this time, it is important that
you take special precautions.
your injured leg above heart allows gravity to help
reduce swelling and fluid accumulation. Place a stack
of pillows under your ankle while you are lying on your
you notice any wear or discomfort, contact your physician
as early as possible. In general, do not try to "grin
and bear it" if discomfort does not go away within
a few days.
Straight leg raising, which exercises the thigh muscles
(quadriceps), usually are recommended after one or two
days. To avoid complications, only your doctor should
remove the cast with a special vibrating cast saw. In
most cases, the cast is removed after four to six weeks.
to call the doctor after surgery
Once the pain and swelling associated
with a fractured thighbone have subsided, your physician
may recommend physical therapy to help strengthen the
muscles around your knee and improve your knee's range
of motion. Though everyone's rehabilitation program
is slightly different, physical therapy for a fractured
thighbone follows a general pattern. Range of motion
is extremely important. Movement may be painful at first,
but it is important to not allow the knee to stiffen.
Rehabilitation typically includes resistive exercises
- those involving weights - to keep the muscles around
your knee strong. You should eventually be able to resume
functional activities like stair climbing, single leg
support, swimming, and driving. You will be able to
begin more vigorous activities as your fracture heals
and your leg gets stronger.
strengthening exercises: Thighbone fracture
Once your fractured thighbone has
healed, building muscle strength around your knee can
help you avoid further injury. Contact sports and activities
increase your chances of re-injuring your knee. Many
of the exercises and activities that are popular for
fitness put stress on your knees. To prevent further
knee injuries it is important to learn knee-sparing
exercise techniques by dividing your activities into
Living - the average person takes between 12,000 and
15,000 steps a day, exerting a force between two and
five times your body weight on your knees. After a knee
injury, take it easy on your knees during the day whenever
possible to save them for activities and exercise. Avoid
stairs when there is an elevator, take the shortest
path when walking, and consider wearing athletic shoes
designed to absorb shock.
Strengthening/Conditioning - activities themselves are
not a substitute for conditioning. Adhere to the muscle
strengthening program you learned during your rehabilitation
program. The best strengthening programs are low-impact
and non-weight-bearing, like stationary bikes and certain
weightlifting programs, because they do not force the
knees to absorb excessive shock and take stress off
- your sport or activity of choice helps maintain mental
and physical well-being, but it is not a conditioning
program. Sports that require twisting and quick direction
changes put great strain on your knee, increasing your
chances of reinjury.
A discussion with your physician or physical therapist
can help determine the appropriate exercise program
and activity level for you.
A small amount of pain is normal during physical activity,
but if you feel so much pain in your knee to warrant
taking pain medication before an activity, you should
consider cutting back or stopping. Pain can also indicate
reinjury. Do not play through the pain after a fractured
thighbone - it may be a sign that your activity is putting
too much stress on your knee. If you are unsure of the
safety of an activity, discuss it with your physician.