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Diseases & Conditions

Broken Leg

Broken LegCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatment

What is Broken Leg?

A broken leg is basically a crack or a break in one of your leg bones. It can be as straightforward as a hairline stress fracture. For complete healing, right kind of treatment is an absolute must.

Causes for a Broken Leg

There are three major bones in your leg, namely, the thighbone, the shinbone and the fibula. Of these three, thighbone is the strongest and longest bone. On the other hand, shinbone is the most commonly broken long bone that bears all the weight of your lower leg. Fibula is generally broken at the time of ankle injuries.

Find below some of the common causes of a broken leg.

  • Falling can cause shinbone and thighbone fracture. This is especially the case with kids.
  • If you suffer a motor vehicle accident, there is a strong possibility that you can break all your leg bones.
  • You can broke your leg if you are playing any contact sport and hyperextend your leg.
  • Stress fractures can also lead to a fracture. It occurs when you are involved in jumping and ballet dancing. Often, running long distances can also be a reason behind your stress fracture.

Medications for a Broken Leg

In order to minimize pain and inflammation of the fracture, your health care provider is going to prescribe you over the counter pain reliever like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. If your pain is beyond control, you should go for an opioid medication like codeine.

Prevention for a Broken Leg

Preventing a broken leg is not always possible but yes you can minimize risk by building bone strength and wearing right kind of athletic shoes. To build bone strength, you need to take calcium rich foods. It includes milk, cheese and yogurt.

Risk factors of a Broken Leg

Getting involved in few physical routines or having certain medical issues may put you at increased risk of a broken leg. Stress fractures quite a number of times occur because of continuous stress to the leg bones from physical routines like running, basketball and ballet dancing. Contact sports like hockey and football can also cause fracture. Stress fractures are quite common in individuals that are already suffering from a diabetes, decreased bone density, high-arched feet and rheumatoid arthritis. With a fracture, you are going to feel knee or ankle pain, bone infection, some sort of damage in blood vessel, arthritis and also your leg length is not going to be equal.

Symptoms of a Broken Leg

You will face no problem in identifying a broken thighbone but you are definitely going to face issues when it comes to shinbone and fibula. Some of the common symptoms of a broken leg are mentioned below:

  • Quite a bit of pain. It is going to increase with movement
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • You will not be able to walk properly

When to get a medical assistance

If you manage to identify any symptoms of a broken leg, it is advisable that you contact your health care provider immediately. Any delay in this regard can have a negative impact on the overall treatment routine. If your leg is fractured because of a high impact trauma, you will require emergency medical assistance. Thighbone fractures are also quite complicated and you need to protect the affected portion so that no more damage being done. On the basis of the complexity of the fracture, your health care provider may ask you to take the services of an orthopedic surgeon. X-rays can tell you clearly regarding the exact break location. In some cases, your health care provider may advice more detailed images with the help of a MRI.

Treatment for a Broken Leg

You will find variation in the broken leg treatment on the basis of break type. Treatment starts with the evaluation of your injury and there is a possibility that your health care provider may immobilize your leg with a splint. If you are suffering from a displaced fracture, it is the responsibility of your health care provider to manipulate the pieces back into the right kind of location. On the basis of swelling and pain you are experiencing, you may require a muscle relaxant. To implant internal fixation instruments like rods and plates, surgery is an absolute necessity. These internal fixation instruments are ideal for people that are suffering from multiple fractures or a displaced fracture.