Rehabilitation After Femur Fracture
The methods used to treat femur fractures can vary, and rehabilitation is always necessary after the initial treatment, to restore full movement and mobility to the ankle and help the patient return to all usual activities. After the thigh bone has healed from the initial treatment for the fracture, and patients can bear weight on the leg and joint, a physical therapy regimen is implemented to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. Without proper rehabilitation, complications such as chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, may cause difficulty walking and performing physical activities.
Nonsurgical Rehabilitation for Femur Fracture
If the femur fracture does not require surgery, it is often treated with a cast or removable brace, and patients are typically advised not to put any weight on the leg for about 8 weeks. A physical therapist will help the patient to walk safely using crutches or a walker, or other assistive device. Once the cast or brace has been removed and patients can begin moving their leg, physical therapy and home exercise are extremely important for a full recovery. Physical therapy treatments may include:
- Muscle strengthening exercises
- Gradual weight-bearing activities
- Range of motion exercises
- Balance training
Depending on the patient's physical job requirements or athletic activities, a physical therapist may create a tailored treatment plan. Recovery times vary for each patient, but most individuals can return to all normal activities within 4 to 6 months.
Rehabilitation After Femur Fracture Surgery
Rehabilitation after femur fracture surgery is often a slow and cautious process. After surgery, the leg is put in a cast or set in a brace, for about 8 weeks. A physical therapist will work the patient to make sure that he or she is using crutches safely. The patient may not be able to bear weight on the leg for up to 12 weeks. Initial physical therapy treatments may focus on controlling pain and swelling with the use of ice or electrical stimulation treatments. Massage may also be used to ease muscle pain. Physical therapy treatments focus on improving range of motion without putting excessive strain on the healing bone or ligaments. As the femur bone heals, muscle-stengthening exercises as well as range of motion exercises and balance training are may all be used to increase movement and mobility. Full recovery after femur fracture surgery may take up to 6 months.