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How to manage pain after a thigh fracture?

Q: My femur broke (multiple fractures) almost 10 months ago. The orthopaedic surgeon said it was smashed but put it all back together. After 3 months, the screws had to be removed because they were broken. I still have the nail and half of a broken screw embedded in the leg which the doctor said should not affect me. But my leg is giving me excruciating pain and I feel like a cripple with stairs being hard on me. The pain is mainly on my kneecap, hamstring and running up my leg which I have been told is my hip flexors (abductors). I am still not back at work and I am starting to get worried that I will have to live with pain. Will the pain subside and will I be able to do my old physically demanding job which I like or will I be forced to take an office job? The last X-ray 2 months ago showed that I have a bending of the rod and leg - could this be the cause of my delayed recovering. I go regularly to my doctor and physiotherapist. They keep giving me Tylenol 3s for pain because they are concerned about addiction and will not give me anything else. hat is the cause of my slow recovery; is this a permanent thing or is this all a part of the healing process?

A:I think you need to be clear on where exactly your pain is. If the pain is at the fracture site then there is a possibility that the fracture has not united. I would suspect this more if the screw has broken or probably has bent. It could also be as a result of low grade infection. If the pain is at the joint then it could be because of joint stiffness. You will have to be assessed both clinically and by X-rays. For this you have to be reviewed by an orthopaedic surgeon.


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