When my son was 17-years-old, he was involved in what can be best described as a youthful indiscretion. My son and his friends entered into a “tackle” football game. At that age, while being quite skillful and athletic, my son was about 6’4″ and weighed all of 135 pounds.
Of course at that age kids are fearless. They think they are indestructible. And, of course the participants, including my son, were not wearing any type of protection; they were wearing no padding of any kind.
The majority of the players were much heavier than my son. It was a tragedy waiting to happen.
Every parent dreads to hear the phone ring late at night when their children aren’t at home. Ours rang about midnight; it was a friend of our son advising us our son was on the way to the hospital. He thought it was a broken leg. Of course my wife and I left immediately.
Upon arriving at the emergency room we found we had actually beaten our son there. When he came in he was pale but didn’t seem to be in much pain. As it turned out he was in a mild case of shock.
My son had been checked prior to this injury for Marfan syndrome due to his build but the exam was negative.
As it turned out our son had a broken femur. Further it turned out that of the three main types of fractures he had what is known as a shaft fracture.
The femur is one of the longest and strongest bones in the body. Our son’s femur broke because he was tackled by a much heavier kid, (it turned out it was his best friend). The doctors also found he had a calcium deficiency. This aided in the femur giving way.
The femur was going to require surgery. However before that could be performed two things had to be accomplished. The leg had to be “set” and the leg had to have weights put on the ankles so it could straighten since the break put the leg in an awkward position.
When the leg was set our son was given mild anesthesia. The surgical staff had trouble awakening him from it; that was a very scary moment.
Three days later my son had surgery at which time the surgeons put a metal rod in the middle of the femur so it would finish growing straight and strong.
It took my son six months to fully recover. While the fracture of a femur is described as one of the most painful of injuries, to this day he says he felt little pain.
As we age all of us should be aware of a fractured femur. Why? As we age we lose calcium and many of us often develop osteoporosis. Further, as we age we often lose strength and are more prone to falling.
Playing football is an innocent activity. Hopefully this article is something you can share with someone in your family that may make them just a little more careful.
Whether you are young or old, a broken femur is to be avoided at all costs.
It extracts a huge price on your health.