Focused assessment for fractures

  1. First year, second semester nursing student here.. going to 3rd clinical on Med Surg floor tomorrow. We're learning about focused assessments. I am however confused on what I need to be looking for in my focused physical assessment for a femur fracture and why. Any help on what to look for and why? Thanks!!
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    About glanca3046

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 3


  3. by   Daytonite
    obviously, you assess the physical functioning of the affected extremity. it will be weak. assess circulation (pulses, capillary refill, pallor, look for tissue swelling, bruising and hematoma as the site of the break). assess for pain as the muscles around the break tend to spasm which is what is partially responsible for any of the dislocation or abnormal angulation of the limb you see. assess for cramping and restlessness. assess neuro function of the limb (sensation, any numbness or tingling). assess for deformity, shortening of the limb compared to the opposite limb, muscle spasm, and rom deficit. assess for any skin or tissue injury around the fracture area. if the fracture is the result of a fall (if this patient is elderly) assess for them being a fall risk.