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Broken Leg

Broken Leg Causes

A broken leg results from fracture in any of the major bones of the leg, including the femur or thighbone, tibia or shinbone, and the fibula. Falls, significant trauma, sports injuries, child abuse, and overuse of limbs are some of the common factors that lead to a broken leg.

Broken Leg Definition

A broken leg is defined as a fracture or a crack in one of the leg bones. It is also alternatively known as a leg fracture.

Broken Leg Diagnosis

An X-ray is the most common diagnostic test available in determining a broken or fractured leg. In some cases, more-detailed imaging may be done through computerized tomography (CT) scans, bone scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Broken Leg Symptoms and Signs

A broken thighbone is immediately obvious; however, other fractures may have more subtle signs. In general, common symptoms of a broken leg include: severe pain which may worsen with movement; swelling; bruising; tenderness; obvious deformity or shortening of the affected leg; as well as limited range of motion or inability to walk.

Broken Leg Treatment

Initial treatment for a broken leg includes immobilizing the leg with a splint, walking cast, or long leg cast to allow the affected leg to heal. To manage pain and swelling, medications such as muscle relaxants, sedatives, and general anesthetic may be recommended. Surgery is almost invariable necessary to implant internal fixation devices like rods, plates, and screws to realign the bones during healing. In serious cases, an external fixation device, or a frame placed around the affected leg and attached to the broken bone with pins, may be recommended.

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