Early rehabilitation following surgical fixation of a femoral shaft fracture

Mark V. Paterno, Michael T. Archdeacon, Kevin R. Ford, Doug Galvin, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. The purpose of this case report is to describe the outcome of a patient following fixation of a midshaft femur fracture and an evaluation-based, immediate-weight-bearing approach to rehabilitation. Case Description. The patient was a 28-year-old male manual laborer whose left femur was fractured in a head-on motor vehicle accident. The patient was treated with internal fixation of the left femur by use of an antegrade intramedullary nail. Following surgery, impairments in range of motion, knee extensor and hip abductor strength, and gait were observed. Intervention focused on immediate weight bearing and early progression of strengthening to address the observed impairments. Outcomes. All of the patient's impairments improved, and he was able to return to work as a manual laborer within 6 months. Discussion. Immediate weight bearing with early strengthening activities following surgical correction of a mid-shaft femur fracture may result in early resolution of impairments and functional limitations and decreased disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-572
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Femoral fractures
  • Gait training
  • Rehabilitation
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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