Your child has had an operation to repair a broken femur (thigh) bone. The femur is the largest bone in the body and is very important for weight bearing during walking, standing and running. The orthopaedic doctor inserted a rod or several pins inside the bone to help hold the broken ends in place while they heal. School age children who are still growing may have flexible rods. Older children may have rigid rods placed. The rods or pins may need to be removed in the operating room when your orthopaedic doctor has determined that sufficient healing has taken place.
If your child had flexible pins placed to fix the bone, he/she will not be able to put weight on the leg for about 2-3 weeks. It is important to arrange sleeping and bathroom facilities within easy reach for your child. If your child's bedroom is on the second floor, it is recommended that the bed be moved to the first floor and a bedside commode be purchased for easy use.
You will need to bring your child back to the orthopaedic doctor in order for him / her to see how well the bone is healing. X-rays will be taken to determine how healing is progressing. When the doctor has determined that enough new bone has formed to put weight on the leg, your child will have a physical therapist work with him/her to determine the best way for him/her to walk. Your child will initially need to use an assistive device, such as a walker or crutches for walking.
If a rigid rod is used to hold the fractured bone in place, your child may be able to walk with the aid of crutches or a walker and use enough weight on the injured leg to balance. A physical therapist will assist your child with learning the best way to walk. Usually a wheelchair will be needed for back-up, while some manage well without one. Each child and family circumstance is different. Everyone involved in your child's care will need you to help them understand your child's particular needs.