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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My father broke his leg just above his knee. The surgery was a problem because he had had a knee replacement a few years before. The surgeon said that this limited what he could do to fix the break. Why is this?

Fractures of the femur (thigh bone) are not uncommon and can happen in people who have had total knee arthroplasties, or replacements. In anyone, when the bone breaks just above the knee, it can be complicated to repair, depending on how the bone broke (clean break, crush, shatter) and how close to the knee it broke. One method used to stabilize such a fracture is to use nails that are placed in the bone to stabilize it. However, when a patient has a prosthetic knee, it may not be able to accommodate the end of a nail or, as the nail is place in the bone, debris from the bone may go into the joint, causing problems. There are ways to fix the bone, but the approach may be a bit more complicated than if the knee was the original one.


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