The femur is the largest and strongest bone in the human body located in the thigh. When you suffer from a femur fracture, your diet is critical for optimal healing time. As with any broken bone, surgery and a cast may be necessary. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, three to six months is often required for a broken thighbone to heal 2. Any delay in healing may lead to further medical complications. Eating the correct foods and ensuring your body is in optimal nutritional shape is critical to avoiding future medical problems.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Calories and Protein
According to BetterBones.com, the first stage of healing when a fracture occurs includes extra energy 1. You receive energy by meeting or exceeding your daily caloric goals. Ensure you are eating all three meals with snacks in between. Discuss with your medical doctor the ideal number of calories you should be consuming; this may be as much as three times your usual amount immediately after your femur fracture. Extra protein is required for the body to begin rebuilding the fractured femur. Foods rich in protein include meat, dairy products and tofu. If you are a vegetarian, peanut butter, yogurt and cottage cheese contain high levels of protein.
- According to BetterBones.com, the first stage of healing when a fracture occurs includes extra energy 1.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Diet After Bone-Fracture Surgery
Dairy products not only provide high amounts of calories but also levels of vitamin D and calcium, creating stronger bones, especially after a fracture. Good sources of calcium include fortified juices and foods, dark green, leafy vegetables, and dairy products. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Ohio State University Medical Center also suggests receiving sunshine. Your body absorbs ultraviolet rays and transforms it into vitamin D. Foods high in vitamin D include mackerel, salmon and sardines.
- Dairy products not only provide high amounts of calories but also levels of vitamin D and calcium, creating stronger bones, especially after a fracture.
- Your body absorbs ultraviolet rays and transforms it into vitamin D. Foods high in vitamin D include mackerel, salmon and sardines.
High levels of vitamin C may decrease healing time when a femur or other bone fracture occurs. The vitamin promotes regrowth and repair of tissue in the body, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The water-soluble vitamin is also involved in creating cartilage in bones. Enjoy citrus fruits such as tangerines, oranges or grapefruit for breakfast. Vegetables high in vitamin C include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peppers and even cabbage. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C are light sensitive. Store them in a dark, cool place. When exposed to light for prolonged periods, the amount of vitamin C decreases.
- High levels of vitamin C may decrease healing time when a femur or other bone fracture occurs.
- Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C are light sensitive.
Dietary Supplements and Additional Tips
How to Heal a Fractured Bone
Consult with your medical doctor if you feel your diet is inadequate while your femur is healing. Not eating correctly delays bone healing time. While your fracture is healing, alcohol, caffeinated beverages and tobacco should be avoided, as these can delay healing time as well. Forms of tobacco include cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. Additional factors that may affect healing include osteoporosis, peripheral vascular disease and diabetes.
- Consult with your medical doctor if you feel your diet is inadequate while your femur is healing.
- While your fracture is healing, alcohol, caffeinated beverages and tobacco should be avoided, as these can delay healing time as well.
Diet After Bone-Fracture Surgery
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Nutrition & Pulled Muscles
- BetterBones.com: Fracture Prevention and Healing
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Thighbone (femure) Fracture
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Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.