Leg Fracture


A broken leg occurs when one of the bones in the leg breaks or fractures. The leg is made up of four bones: femur, patella, tibia, and fibula. In the event of a collision, such as a fall or a car accident, any of these bones may break. This condition is also known as leg fracture.

There are various kinds of breaks. The type is determined by the force required to break and the manner in which it breaks. They are classified as follows:

  • Comminuted: The bone breaks into three or more parts and there are pieces where the bone shattered.
  • Compression: The bone is crushed.
  • Greenstick: An incomplete break or the broken bone is not entirely divided. Greenstick fractures are more common in kids because their bones are softer and more flexible than an adult’s.
  • Oblique: The bone breaks diagonally.
  • Segmental: The bone is shattered into two parts and there is a “floating” portion of the bone in-between the fractured lines.
  • Spiral: The break spirals around the bone. This is common in a twisting injury.
  • Complex or open fracture: This occurs when the bone can be seen when it is broken, either because of a cut over the fracture or because the bone is protruding out through the skin.

Immediate diagnosis and treatment of a fractured leg are important for full recovery. A doctor may suggest various treatment methods, such as surgery, cast, or splint, depending on the location, type, and severity of the fracture.


Fractured legs that are severe are typically easily identifiable, particularly when the injury involves robust bones that are difficult to break, such as the femur. Nevertheless, this may not always be true for the tibia and fibula. A fracture in these bones might not be immediately noticeable.

The signs and symptoms of a broken leg varies for every individual. Toddlers and young children who break a leg might limp or stop walking. Generally, signs and symptoms include:

  • Intense pain in the injured area, which may intensify when moved or pressed.
  • Difficulty to walk.
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising around the area
  • Clearly visible malformation or shortening of the afflicted leg.

A fractured leg can be a medical emergency. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if any of the signs and symptoms are experienced. It is especially urgent in cases that a leg fracture occurs as a result of a high-impact trauma, such as a vehicle or motorbike collision. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to complications, including slow recovery.

In circumstances such as major accidents, the use of emergency medical services may be necessary. Thighbone fractures in extreme accidents are severe and may require special handling to protect the area from additional damage and to ensure a safe transfer to the emergency room.


A broken or fractured leg can occur as a result of:

  • Falls: Breaking the thighbone would require a significantly greater force than what is normally required since it is the strongest bone in the body. However, in most cases, even a simple fall might result in the fracture of one or both lower leg bones.
  • Motor vehicle accidents: Fractures may happen when the knees are trapped against the dashboard after an accident or when the car’s damage strikes the legs. During a motor or car accident, leg bones might break.
  • Sports-related trauma: Participating in contact sports can result in a broken leg. A fall or a direct blow, as well as stretching the leg beyond its normal limitations can be harmful.
  • Physical abuse: A damage caused by an abuse even before the child can walk can lead to a broken leg in a child.
  • Stress: Stress fractures are minuscule breaks that emerge in the weight-bearing bones of the human body, including the shinbone. These types of fractures are typically the result of repetitive force or overuse, such as running long distances. However, stress fractures can also arise due to regular usage of a bone that has been compromised by a condition such as osteoporosis.

Risk factors

Stress fractures are more likely in happen to people who have osteoporosis, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also common to people who engage in contact sports, such as hockey and football. These sports can cause direct strikes to the leg, resulting in a fracture.

Leg fractures can also happen to those involved in physical activities, such as running, basketball, ballet dancing, and marching. These activities can cause repetitive stress to the leg bones which can result to breakage.