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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine your injured leg, checking for swelling, deformity, abrasions, bruising and tenderness. To help determine whether a sharp edge of broken bone has damaged your leg's blood vessels or nerves, the doctor also will feel the pulses along the length of your injured leg, will assess how you respond to touch and will check for normal muscle strength in your leg and foot. If the physical examination suggests that your leg's arteries or large veins may have been injured, the doctor will order specialized tests called Doppler studies to measure the leg's blood flow more precisely.

Your leg will be X-rayed to confirm the location and severity of your fracture, and to check for less-obvious fractures and dislocations in nearby joints.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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