Broken leg overview
The leg consists of four bones the femur, the patella, the tibia, and the fibula. The femur is otherwise known as the thigh bone. The upper femur fits into the pelvis to form the hip joint. Often when describing a broken hip, it is the upper part of the femur that is broken. The patella sits in front of the knee joint. This kneecap suspends the ligaments from the thigh muscle and helps to add leverage for straightening out the leg. The tibia is also known as the shinbone and is found in the lower part of the leg along with the fibula which runs alongside the tibia below the knee.
Forces involved with broken legs
Due to the strength of the bones that form the leg, the forces required to break the bones are very large. The most common types of broken leg occur as a result of trauma, such as road traffic accidents.
Occasionally, repetitive overuse of the leg, such as the movements in distance running, can result in a broken leg which often manifests itself as a stress fracture.
Types of broken leg
Depending on the type of impact a broken leg can occur in several ways. A simple fracture is a break in the leg that does not pierce the skin. Symptoms include severe pain that becomes worse over time and with movement, swelling, bruising and an inability to bear weight. A simple fracture is the most common type of broken leg. An impacted fracture is often caused by falls. In this type of broken leg, one end of the bone is forced into the other. A spiral fracture is a break around the leg. This type of broken leg is often caused by the twisting effect of many sporting activities. Comminuted fractures, where a leg bone breaks into fragments, or compression fractures are the most common types of broken leg sustained in road traffic accidents due to the large forces involved.
We are experts in helping all of those who have sustained a broken leg. Please contact us to see how we can help you recover compensation and receive the correct levels of rehabilitation to make your recovery as quick as possible.
Broken leg repair process
A broken leg takes on average 12 weeks to repair. As with all injures the timescales for a broken leg to heal depends on the exact nature of the break along with other factors such as your age. There are four main stages that a broken leg goes through to heal. Firstly a haematoma is formed by the blood vessels in the bone. Secondly, a cartilage callus forms on the site of the haematoma to act as a splint. Thirdly, a bonus callus replaces the cartilage. Finally the bony callus forms a permanent patch on the site of the fracture.
Following a period of immobilisation, a programme of broken leg physiotherapy will be undertaken. This will restore both strength and range of movement to the leg that was broken.
Broken leg next steps
If you wish to see if you have an accident claim as a result of a broken leg, please contact us. Please also use the information on the pages below to find out more.