The femur or thighbone is the largest and strongest bone in the human body. Pediatric thighbone fractures can occur when your child falls hard on the ground and gets hit during sports, automobile accidents and child abuse. In a thighbone fracture, the broken bones may be aligned or displaced. The fracture can either be closed (with skin intact) or open (with the bone piercing out through the skin). Your child may experience severe pain, swelling, inability to stand and walk, and limited range-of-motion of the hip or knee.
Your child’s doctor will conduct a physical examination. An X-ray or CT scan may be recommended to locate the position and number of fractures, and determine if the growth plate is damaged. Femur fractures may be treated with nonsurgical or surgical methods.
Nonsurgical treatment involves stabilizing the bones so they can heal and fuse together. Braces, spica casting (cast applied from the chest, down the fractured leg) or traction (placing the leg in a weight system) may be applied to ensure that the bones are properly set in their normal position.
Surgery is recommended for complicated injuries. Your child’s surgeon aligns the broken bones and uses metal plates and screws to hold the fractured bones together in proper alignment. Your child may have to wear a cast for a few weeks until complete healing. An external fixator may be used in case of open injury to the skin and muscles.