Symptoms and Signs of Broken Leg (Leg Fracture)

Doctor's Notes on Broken Leg (Leg Fracture)

A broken leg is a fracture, or break, of any of the four bones in the leg. The leg contains the thigh bone, the kneecap, and the two bones in the lower leg. It usually requires substantial force to break a leg bone. The most common cause of a broken leg is traumatic injury. Examples of such injuries include motor vehicle accidents, falls from a distance, and skiing injuries.

Signs and symptoms of a broken leg include severe pain that is worsened with movement, swelling, and misalignment or deformity of the leg. There may be shortening of the leg, twisting of the leg below the knee, or an abnormal angle to the leg. Other associated symptoms can include bleeding, bruising, and protrusion of bone fragments through the skin.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/8/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.