Pediatric Femur Fractures

Mary C Kamienski
Orthopaedic Nursing 2020, 39 (2): 107-111
Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children. Orthopaedic trauma has led to more than 84,000 hospital admissions annually and costs nearly a billion dollars. Femoral diaphyseal fractures account for nearly 2% of all bony injuries in children and are the most common orthopaedic injury requiring hospitalization. These injuries occur at an annual rate of 19 per 100,000, with an associated cost of millions of dollars. Emergency department (ED) visits for musculoskeletal injuries account for 10%-15% of the 100 million annual visits to U.S. pediatric EDs. Treatment of femur fractures in children vary on the basis of the mechanism of injury, the patient's age, weight, the fracture pattern, family circumstances, and cost. Treatment ranges from noninvasive to invasive and includes traction, casting, internal fixation, and external fixation. Complications can include infection, delayed or malunion, leg length discrepancy, ossification, and refracture. Attention to pain control and anxiety management becomes a major focus for nursing. Pediatric femur fracture can have a devastating impact on the child and the family and requires monitoring for 12-24 months. This injury is significant and can be a life-changing event for the child and the entire family. A case study is used as an example of the extent of the problem with pediatric patients and highlights the long-term effect of this injury.

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