Diaphyseal Femur Fractures Clinical Presentation

Updated: Jun 29, 2020
  • Author: Bart Eastwood, DO; Chief Editor: William L Jaffe, MD  more...
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Presentation

History

The usual history of diaphyseal femur fractures is that of trauma. [34] If the history does not consist of trauma, one should suspect a pathologic bone condition. Clinically, the injury is most often apparent. Pain, swelling, shortening, and deformity are usually present in the region.

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Physical Examination

Because of the high association of other injuries, the advanced trauma life support (ATLS) protocol should be followed. As always, a neurovascular assessment should be completed, though this type of injury is rare with femoral-shaft fractures. Examination of the pelvis and hip is of great importance to investigate possible fracture or dislocation. A thorough examination of the knee also should be completed to detect any ligamentous or bony injury.

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Complications

Femoral-shaft fractures are usually easy to treat compared with the high-energy injuries associated with the fracture, in which complications tend to occur. Severe–to–life-threatening injuries often occur along with the femoral-shaft fracture. Death, fat embolism,deep venous thrombosis (DVT),pulmonary embolism, pneumonia development, multiorgan failure, long intensive care unit (ICU) stays, infection, hemorrhage, nerve palsies, rare compartment syndrome, nonunion, delayed union, and malunion may also occur as complications of a diaphyseal femur fracture.

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