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How much time does it take for femur fractures to heal?

Q: I am 33 years male, met with an road accident 5 months back. My right femur shaft gets communited fracture. I.M.nail has been fixed. During last checkup on 13/1/03, doctor told the bone union is delayed. Bone grafting is required and again I have to undergo one more surgery. Kindly advise me after bone grafting how much time it will take me to start walking without crutches. Weather bone grafting is must or we can wait for one more month. As my nature of job is to travel much. So how much time required for me to become normal. Looking for your reply at the earliest.

A:Femur fractures may take longer time to heal, especially when its a comminuted fracture. In cases of delayed union, bone grafting is a procedure, taking for granted that the nail is stable. Otherwise an exchange nailing (removal of the old nail and insertion of a larger one) may be indicated. If the nail is stable, bone grafting may help to heal the fracture. Bone graft taken minimum 6 to 8 weeks to incorporate. And for solid union, it might take even longer. There is no harm in waiting for a month, but if on serial radiographs, there is no evidence of progression of union, then waiting for a month will not necessarily help in union. However, if there is a gradual evidence of union, it may be worthwhile to wait for sometime. In that case, you may have to wait longer though. Once union is achieved you can get rid of supportive cane, though it is more of a comfort issue.


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