Do you have pedestrian accident injuries like a broken femur? Despite the pain and trauma of this situation, you can take action to protect your future by learning about your legal rights.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what a broken femur is and the symptoms you may experience. We’ll also share insight into lifestyle changes, like disrupted sleep and a need for emotional support. Finally, we’ll provide guidance on pursuing your legal options.
What is a Broken Femur?
A broken femur is one of the most severe pedestrian accident injuries you can suffer. Also known as a femur shaft fracture or a fractured thigh bone, a broken femur occurs when the longest, heaviest, and strongest bone in your body takes a sudden impact. Your femur is located between your hip and knee and is a key structural skeletal bone.
Broken femurs are common in severe pedestrian accidents when vehicles slam into pedestrians and crush their legs. The vehicle’s occupants may also have broken femurs because their legs are stretched out in front of them at the moment of impact.
Broken femurs are generally subdivided into three medical categories depending on the details of the injury.
- Location: distal (near the knee), middle, or proximal (near the hip).
- Pattern: crosswise, middle, or lengthwise in the femoral shaft
- Tearing: involving skin and muscle tears over the bone
For example, imagine that you were struck by a car in a pedestrian crosswalk and the vehicle’s bumper hit both of your legs. The doctors explain that you have two distal crosswise femur shaft fractures with tearing. This means your thighbones were broken horizontally across the bone near your knees and you have wounds in the surrounding tissues.
How Painful is a Broken Femur?
A broken femur is almost always very painful until you receive adequate pain relief and treatment from medical experts. You may also deal with long-lasting pain for months or years after the accident.
Common broken femur symptoms include:
- Severe pain
- Pain when putting weight on your leg
- Inability to walk
- Bones breaking through the skin
- Internal and external bleeding
- Noticeably shattered pieces of bone under the skin
- Bruising and swelling in the thigh
- A leg that rests at an awkward angle
Your level of pain often depends on the type of fracture. If the car hit you with full-on force, you may have a severe form of a broken femur with multiple types of fractures.
- In comminuted fractures, the bones break into three or more pieces.
- In oblique fractures, there are angled-line breaks across the femur shaft.
- In open fractures, the bone pokes through a wound in the skin.
- In spiral fractures, twisting fractures encircle the femur shaft.
Open fractures are especially painful and usually take at least 3 to 6 months to heal. You could have painful tears in your tendons, ligaments, and muscles, with a higher risk of infection due to open wounds.
In addition to the physical pain of a broken femur, many people experience considerable mental and emotional anguish requiring psychological treatment. You may be eligible to collect pain and suffering damages for your pedestrian accident on top of the value of your medical bills and other losses.
How to Sleep With a Broken Femur
Did you know that your broken femur requires a special sleeping strategy? Your doctor may recommend a broken femur sleeping plan to prevent further damage and encourage healing.
Tips for sleeping with a broken femur:
- During the first two weeks, hire someone to provide trained in-home care.
- Sleep flat on your back.
- Elevate your broken femur above the level of your heart.
- Avoid placing weight on your femur or twisting it under your body.
- Prevent pressure and falling while climbing in and out of bed, relying on your in-home care worker to provide support when you wake up and go to sleep.
Can You Die From a Broken Femur?
Being a pedestrian is dangerous everywhere, including in California. Over the past decade, more than 7,500 California pedestrians died in road accidents and the state’s overall rate of pedestrian injuries is 25% higher than the national average.
Your risk of death from a broken femur depends largely on the circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injuries. Death doesn’t always occur instantaneously and sometimes arises due to the long-term effects of your femur damage. A landmark study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the mortality rate for distal femur fractures after 9.8 years was 38%.
The NIH also found that the older you are, the higher your risk of dying from a broken femur. Distal femur fractures and hip fractures bring a high risk of mortality in people over age 60 and the risk of death within 30 days is highest among people close to age 85.
Compensation for Your Pedestrian Accident Injuries
After your pedestrian accident, choose the right lawyer to support you in this next stage of your life. You’ll need legal expertise from someone who has extensive experience with California pedestrian accidents, including those with severe injuries like broken femurs.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our team truly cares about helping California’s injured pedestrians. We live, work, and walk right here in your community and understand the challenges pedestrians face around impatient and dangerous drivers.
Call 877-380-8852 today to request a free case evaluation about your pedestrian accident injuries.