Fractured Femur - Not healing after 10 months!

Hi Dr Mark,

I fractured my femur 10 months ago and had a rod inserted the day after it happened. There has been no signs of healing. 5 weeks ago I was taken in to have a new rod put in and they done an injectable bone graft. I had an xray yesterday and there is still no signs of healing. The doc is now saying that he may need to remove the top screws from the rod to let my bone move down the rod (which they also done with the first rod and it didn't seem to help) - is this normal. Whats even more annoying is that they have inserted the rod through my knee twice now! Unfortunately I don't have the xray to post.

I am only 24 and I am normally a "quick healer" this is really starting to annoy me. Is there any reason why this shouldn't heal quickly?



Without an X-ray I can't tell you much.


I had a situation almost identical to yours. In April of '06, I broke my femur about 8 inches up from my knee. They put a rod in through my knee with 2 screws at my knee and 1 screw a my hip. Sept. of '06 still not healed, so they took the 2 screws at my knee out. Still was not healing, but the end of the rod started scraping the under side of my kneecap. Then, Feb. of '07 they took the first rod and remaining screw out and put a bigger (thicker-10mm to 13mm) rod in with 1 screw at my knee and 2 screws at my hip. My femur healed up great, but the damage my knee sustained from the rod scraping got worse. I finally had to have my knee worked on in July of '08. My knee will never be 100%, but with rehab, weight training and mountain biking, it's a lot better. Check into the bigger rod or go see Dr. Mark. Back then, I sent him x-rays and he figured out in one night what my doctor couldn't after 10 months. Good luck.

rods inserted through the knee tear the heck out of the knee, and I don't do them in athletes. They work fine in old ladies.

I am currently trying to get copies of the xray. Once I do and if dr mark thinks there is an issue with anything I will go to bupa, I am now covered with them through my work.

My knee does click alot and I think that the rod is scrapping on the back of my knee which is also the reason why I can't bend my leg more than 100o.


Here are some xrays of of my femur now 3 and a half months after the second op with the bigger rod and injectable bone graft.

this is front view


and the side


This look like its healing ok dr mark?

OMG, the rod is sticking out of the bone into the knee!

I take it that's why I can't bend my knee properly? It has healed quite a bit since my last op. I can go to bupa and have this fixed or is it better to wait this out now that it's started to heal?

If you were my patient, or more importantly I installed that rod, and you came to the clinic this afternoon, I would revise the rod THIS evening!

And this is the Health Care System we are going to get here?

So you reckon I should go to bupa? Is the alignment bad or is it just the fact that the rod sticks out a bit?

The rod sticking out is more omnious than the alignment, which is of little or no consequence by comparison.

This is why rodding a femur up the knee is a terrble operation. If I was smart enough to have gone to law school, I would gather some cases and sue the manufacturers for billions. It would be better than titty implant cases.

I don't know where to go from here then. The doc has told me to put as much weight through it as seems comfortable. Is there any point in having the rod ripped back out through my knee and revised again? Surely that wouldn't have any bearing on the time it has taken to heal?

don't mean to go off topic...but Dr. Mark you made me spit tea all over my keyboard with your little old ladies and titty implant remarks...thanks needed that laugh.....

Dang, that really sucks to hear. I broke my femur 2 months ago, and they put a rod in through my hip. It took me about a month and a half for full range of motion. If you don't have that after 10 months, you are going to the wrong doctor. He never should have put it through your knee, and you should be healing a lot quicker than that.

I'm sorry to hear that man... that sucks...

Ok I'll put mine so you can see the difference. That thing is sticking out a lot. Your knee is going to be damage bad


Oh man thats terrible,I had mine through the knee I haven't had any real problems yet,should I expect some DR. Mark?

Not all folks get bad knee problems after this rod. THe number is near 30%. If you are ok, then you probably will stay ok. This means you were lucky.

I also broke my right femur over summer, september 30 2009, here it is december 2nd. Im still limping it aches terriable all the time. Doc says i should be further along i think i should be too. but the problem being is im a self pay patient and (i pay) but i cant help but think hes holdin back because i dont have insurance. I mean he left me in traction for three days. Im not sure how normal that is but two nites in a row the clamp that was atached to the screw in my tibia fell off leaving me in agonizing pain untill he got their in the middle of the nite to fix it. but he did put a rod in it threw my hip



My last checkup looked like this.



My son was 15 when this happened. He has had problems with his knee and hips every since. Should these rods be removed or how does that work with him still growing?

That rod needs to come out and a thicker one installed.

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