The femur is the only bone in the human thigh. Each leg has a femur. It’s the longest, heaviest and strongest bone in the body, running from the hip down to the knee. It consists of three parts. The proximal femur connects to the socket of the hip joint. Then, there is the long shaft of the bone. The third part, known as the distal part of the femur connects with the knee joint. Given the bone’s strength, femur fractures are high impact injuries. Considerable force and trauma are needed to fracture a femur. Femur fractures are extremely painful injuries that can keep an otherwise gainfully employed person out of work for an extended period of time. A femur fracture can even result in dangerous blood loss that can cause a victim to bleed to death.
According to The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, car accidents are the most common cause of femoral fractures. They occur as a result of extensive damage to the body and frame of a car with an impact usually occurring at the front end of the vehicle.
Signs and Symptoms of a Femoral Fracture:
The symptoms of a femur fracture are going to depend on what part of the bone was broken. Any femur fracture victim will suffer pain, swelling, discoloration and deformity of the leg. In some cases, the bone itself might even be protruding through the skin. The Northwell Health Orthopedic Institute reports that those who suffer a proximal femur fracture will suffer intense pain in the hip and groin along with swelling, discoloration, stiffness and loss of mobility. If the fracture is in the femoral shaft, victims can suffer the same level of pain in the middle of their thigh, be unable to put weight on the leg and possibly suffer a reduction in the length of the leg. With a supracondylar fracture of the femur near the knee, the victim might not be able to put pressure on the leg. There will also be swelling and bruising, and the leg might lock up and pop when moved.
Categories of Femoral Fractures:
Femur fractures are categorized by the type of fracture that a victim suffered. Here are the major categories listed by the Orthopedic Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
- Transverse: This is a straight-line fracture across the femur.
- Oblique: An oblique fracture is at an angle on the bone.
- Comminuted: With this type of fracture, the bone is broken into several distinct pieces, but they remain aligned.
- Displaced: The femur is broken into several pieces, but they are not aligned.
- Open or Compound: The bone or fragments of it might puncture the skin. There will also be damage to nearby muscles and tendons.
Open Reduction with Internal Fixation of a Femur Fracture:
If a person suffers a femur fracture and the bones are aligned, conservative treatment might in order. A cast and crutches may suffice. According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, if the bones have been moved, and they’re not in alignment, surgery is probably necessary. The process is known as open reduction with internal fixation. The bones are realigned in this procedure and then, they’re physically reconnected with special surgical plates, rods, screws, pins, wires or nails. The entire procedure could take two hours or longer. Most patients who undergo the procedure are hospitalized for two or three days.
Rehabilitation After Surgery:
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai advises that post-surgery rehab from femur fracture surgery typically takes from four to six months. Much depends on any damage done by the fracture. Mobilization along with strength, stabilization and mobility exercises as soon as possible after the surgery are extremely important. Gait and balance training are included in any rehabilitation program after femur fracture surgery. Prevention of falls in the future is a major concern, especially with the elderly.
Femur Fractures and Permanency:
It’s likely that a person who suffers a femur fracture and resulting surgery will experience residual symptoms of the fracture for life, especially if nerves and muscles were damaged. Bones can become misaligned, and surgical hardware can irritate already damaged muscles and tendons. According to the Canadian Journal of Surgery, a common complaint, even after a successful femur open reduction procedure is knee pain. Injury to knee ligaments can result in permanent pain and disability can be attributable to a femur fracture. On the damages issue, California law does provide for awarding compensation for any permanent disability and pain and suffering.
Compensation and Settlements for Femur Fractures in California:
The amount of compensation for a femur fracture will vary from case to case. The type of a fracture and its location must be considered along with how the victim has been affected physically, financially and emotionally. Any permanent disability and disfigurement along with pain and suffering must also be considered. Given the nature of a femur fracture, settlements and verdicts in cases are usually in the six figure range.45 All settlements and verdicts are also contingent on the strength of the liability case against the defendant. Here are a few settlement and verdict examples:
- $200,000 verdict in Alabama for a femur fracture requiring multiple surgeries after a head-on collision. This would appear to be on the lower end of verdicts.
- $400,000 settlement in Minnesota for a truck passenger after rollover accident fractured his femur. A rod implantation in his leg was necessary. The injury was determined to be permanent with atrophy of the thigh and loss of strength.
- $350,000 in New Jersey for a femur fracture suffered at an uncontrolled intersection. Implantation of a rod in the fractured leg was necessary to align the fracture.
- $200,000 settlement for a Texas motorcyclist in a disputed liability intersection crash requiring open reduction. $60,000 was paid by the defendant, and the balance was paid pursuant to the victim’s underinsured motorist coverage.
Broken Femur? Contact our California Car Accident Lawyer Today
A femur fracture is one of the most serious fractures that a person can suffer, especially if surgery is required. After the fracture of a femur as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, speak with a California car accident lawyer at Maison Law as soon as you can. Talk with us before you give any type of information to the opposing insurer. It’s only going to try to slant the facts of the case against you in order to save as much money as possible on your case. California law doesn’t require you to help that insurer defend its case against you.
We offer free consultations and case reviews, and we’re going to answer all of your questions too, including those that involve your legal options. Upon being retained to represent you, our goal will be to obtain the highest settlement or award that you deserve. Remember, don’t speak with that opposing insurance company until you speak with us. Contact a California car accident lawyer at Maison Law as soon as you can after being injured in any accident.