Why Tony Hawk's Broken Femur Is More Serious Than You Think

Pro skater, CEO, father, husband, and self-proclaimed "food glutton," Tony Hawk, shared with the public on Tuesday, March 8, that he had suffered a severe bone injury the previous day. Now faced with a broken femur, TMZ reports that the injury resulted from a skateboarding accident.

Sharing an X-ray of the injury via Instagram, Hawk describes the challenges that lie ahead in the recovery process, writing, "Yesterday sucked. I broke my elbow 20 years ago and managed to make a full comeback; this recovery for a broken femur will be much harder because of its severity (and my age)." Despite these obstacles, Hawk credits his good mental health to skating and is adamant about skating until he is no longer physically able to. With this mindset, Hawk writes, "A broken leg – with plenty of hardware – will probably be the biggest test of that creed. I'll be back... maybe not at full capacity but I resigned to that notion years ago as I approached 'mid-life.'"

Earning the title of one of the world's top skateboarders by the time he turned 16, the severity of his injury leaves many wondering just how big of an impact it will have on Hawk's future ability to continue skating (via Biography).

A broken femur may never fully heal

Unlike other commonly broken bones such as the arm, the femur — connecting the hip and the knee — is the heaviest bone in the human body (via Cleveland Clinic). Because it would take an enormously large blow to break this strong bone, a broken femur is considered a severe medical injury requiring a long recovery process.

According to experts at the Cleveland Clinic, because the breakage can be severely painful, those with a broken femur struggle to place weight on the leg. Immediate surgical intervention is required within 48 hours or less after having incurred the injury, and additional treatment may involve using a leg splint to keep the bone in place. Pain management medication, in-home care, and ongoing physical therapy are also implemented throughout recovery — a process that can take up to 6 months post-surgery. 

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the bone will heal entirely. Even if the fracture heals, chronic pain can still be a long-term side effect of a broken femur.

Despite the obstacle, Hawk is dedicated to putting in the work needed for recovery. Through an Instagram post, he thanked his family and fans for their unwavering support throughout his career, writing, "I wouldn't be here without you. See you on the other side."