Font Size
A
A
A

Broken Leg (cont.)

Broken Leg Treatment

A broken bone in the leg requires medical treatment. Home-care consists of keeping the leg with the broken bone immobilized, elevated, and wrapped in an ice pack until medical help can be sought.

Broken Leg Self-Care at Home

If an injury occurs and a fracture is suspected, remember the following:

  • Immobilize the leg as much as possible until help arrives.
  • Rest. Try to keep from aggravating the injury.
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a pillowcase or towel to decrease swelling.
  • If possible, keep the leg elevated with pillows or cushions to decrease swelling.
  • Often with a broken leg, an operation is necessary. For this reason, do not let someone with a broken leg eat or drink anything until seen by the doctor.

Broken Leg Medical Treatment

The type and location of a break in a leg bone will determine what treatment is needed.

  • If the bones have become displaced or out of alignment, they will need to be put back into alignment. This procedure is called "reduction." In order to do this, the patient will be given medications for pain prior to the procedure.
  • An emergency doctor will be able to treat many types of fractures with a temporary plaster splint and will instruct the patient to follow up with an orthopedic doctor (bone specialist). However, fractures of the thighbone or the shinbone typically will need further care by an orthopedist as soon as possible. This may mean a cast or even an operation.
  • Bones are immobilized for healing by several methods.
    • A plaster splint or cast usually is often used.
    • When an operation is needed, pins, screws, and metal plates or wires are often used to hold together the broken ends of a bone.
    • For fractures in the middle part of the thighbone (femur) or the shinbone (tibia), a metal rod sometimes is placed down through the center of the bone. This is done in the operating room.
  • The doctor will also provide the patient with medicine for the pain.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/29/2016

Must Read Articles Related to Broken Leg

CT Scan (CAT Scan, Computerized Axial Tomography)
CT Scan What is a CT scan? Computerized tomography scans (CT scans) are important diagnostic tools for a variety of medical conditions. Some areas of the body frequentl...learn more >>
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanner that takes cross-sectional images of the body. It is used to evaluate tissues of the head, neck, chest, limbs, abd...learn more >>
Muscle Strain
Muscle Strain Muscle strain or muscle pull or even a musc...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Broken Leg:

Broken Leg - Symptoms

What type of leg fracture did you suffer?

Broken Leg - Causes

How do you break your leg?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Femur Injuries and Fractures »

The spectrum of femoral shaft fractures is wide and ranges from nondisplaced femoral stress fractures to fractures associated with severe comminution andsignificant soft-tissue injury.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary