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Broken Leg (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Some parts of the leg may be broken and still feel like a severe strain or sprain. This can often be the case of injuries around the ankle, or sometimes with the fibula (the little bone next to the shinbone).

Call your doctor if these conditions describe the patient's condition:

  • The person is not able to walk without a great amount of pain.
  • It hurts when the the bony parts of the leg are pressed on.
  • There is concern that the person may have a broken leg (even if you are unsure).

If you think you or someone else has a broken leg, go to an emergency department for further evaluation. If the person cannot walk, call 911 for an ambulance.

If the affected individual has had a surgery, or had a splint or cast placed on the injury previously, return to the hospital immediately if these problems develop:

  • Loss of muscle strength or numbness in the leg or foot. A certain amount of strength loss is common because of the pain of the fracture, but if there is a rapid development of numbness or worsening of strength, or a significant increase in pain unrelieved by your pain medication, these may be signs of a "compartment syndrome." Compartment syndrome occurs when swelling gets so severe within the leg that it cuts off blood flow to the leg. This can cause damage to muscles and nerves of the leg.
  • Redness, fever, increased swelling or pain, or drainage of pus from a surgical incision are all signs of possible wound infection.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2013

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Broken Leg - Symptoms

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