What is a Leg Fracture?
A leg fracture is when one of the leg's bones breaks or cracks.
Causes of Leg Fracture
Causes of leg fractures include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Falls from a height
- Twisting force
- Loss of bone density or osteoporosis
Symptoms of Leg Fractures
The signs and symptoms of leg fractures include:
- Severe pain, which may worsen with movement
- Swelling and tenderness
- Deformity in the shape of your leg
- Inability to walk
- An abnormal alignment of your foot on the affected side
Diagnosis of Leg Fractures
Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history and perform a thorough physical examination to assess range of motion and any damage to the ligaments, blood flow, and stability. The following diagnostic tests may be performed for further evaluation of the injured leg.
- X-rays: During this study, high-energy electromagnetic beams are used to produce images of the bones.
- CT scan: A visualization using x-rays to produce images of any damage within the leg.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An imaging study that uses large a magnetic field and radio waves to detect any damage to the soft tissues.
Treatment for Leg Fracture
Leg fracture treatment depends upon the severity of the fracture and involves both non-surgical and surgical methods. These include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain and swelling
- Braces or casts that will immobilize the leg to promote healing
- Physical therapy to reduce stiffness and restore movement in the injured leg
You may need surgery to repair any damaged ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, or any adjacent structures.