Recovery of Children After High-Energy Femur Fractures

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Recovery of Children After High-Energy Femur Fractures

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Femur Fracture Attorney. It is not unusual for children to break bones such as wrists, arms, and even legs. When children suffer a femur fracture, a variety of causes should be considered because the cause dictates the severity of the fracture. A recent study looked at the recovery of children who had suffered a femur fracture following a high-energy femur fracture.

Motor Vehicle Accidents and Femur Fractures

Whenever someone gets behind the wheel of a car, there is a chance that the driver and passengers could wind up in an auto accident. While there are many types of car accidents, such as the t-bone or the head-on collision, certain types of accidents run the risk of causing serious personal injuries. One of the injuries that can develop is a femur fracture. For those who don’t know, the femur is a very thick bone that runs from the hip through the thigh and down to the knee. When someone rear-ends another vehicle, it is possible that the front of their vehicle could be collapsed. If someone has their legs extended as they are slamming on the brakes, it is easy for the force of the impact to be transmitted up through the leg and into the femur, leading to a femur fracture.

A Femur Fracture can Cause Complications

There are many different types of femur fractures and imaging can help locate the fracture in either the femoral head, neck, or shaft. In children, fractures of the femoral head and femoral neck have a high rate of complications. This type of extremity trauma can lead to long-term complications down the road, which is why these types of fractures in children must be studied. A paper that was published sought to analyze the children that had suffered these bone fractures and what their outcomes were in an effort to try and figure out which types of femur fractures led to long-term complications.

The Methods

Before examining the patients for trends, the researchers had to decide which patients would be ruled eligible for the study. First, the researchers looked through their databases to see which patients reliably followed up after receiving care. These patients had data that could be dependable when examined for the study. Because the study looked at children, they isolated the study population to patients who were younger than 17 years of age. The researchers also excluded patients who had had prior fractures in their youth and patients who had a chronic bone disease. These patients had variables which increased the likelihood that they would have complications down the road, skewing the results. The researchers looked at the location of the femur fractures in their eligible subjects and sought to understand how they fared down the road.

The Results

The researchers were able to include 32 patients in their study. The average age at the time of their femur fracture was about 12 years of age. Most patients followed up for at least three years after their repair (some of them surgical) and some followed up for as long as 21 years. Of the study population, only three patients were rated as having poor function with the vast majority having had good function. Most of the patients had no restrictions on their activities at all and could do whatever they wanted, including play sports. Of note, all of the patients with poor outcomes had the same type of fracture. This type of fracture was called the Delbet 1 fracture and is a focus in orthopedic medicine in children.

Delbet 1 Fracture

All of the patients who were rated as having a poor outcome in the study had a traumatic injury called the Delbet 1 Fracture. This type of fracture is a break through the femoral neck in children that passes through the epiphysis. This is a part of the bone that is important because there is a high rate of avascular necrosis with this injury. Avascular necrosis represents a loss of blood flow to this region of the bone. Without blood flow, the bone does not receive any oxygen. This leads to massive cell death in the bone, termed necrosis. Children often lose a significant degree of function in their leg, leading to a poor quality of life and significant restrictions on their daily activities.

The Importance of the Study

These results are important because they highlight the fact that the Delbet 1 fracture through the epiphysis of the femoral neck can lead to a high rate of avascular necrosis and can lead to poor outcomes in patients. With this knowledge, medical providers are on the lookout for these types of fractures, treat them more aggressively, and, hopefully, can improve the outcomes in their patients. Future studies may seek to examine how to prevent avascular necrosis in these patients to further improve the patient outcomes

Contact an Experienced Bone Fracture Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Femur Fracture Attorney. If you've been injured in an accident, call me for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400 or (800) 404-5400.

I am a Million Dollar Advocate for the California area.

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Image Attribution: Taken with permission from Wikimedia Commons via the GNU License 1.2, Free Documentation.

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