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Thighbone (Femur) Fracture

The femur or thigh bone is the longest and strongest bone in the body, connecting the hip to the knee. A femur fracture is a break in the femur. The distal femur is the lower part of the thigh bone which flares out like an upside-down funnel and its lower end is covered by a smooth, slippery articular cartilage that protects and cushions the bone during movement. Fracture of the distal femur may involve the cartilaginous surface of the knee as well and result in arthritis.

Types

  • Distal femur fracture: The distal femur ispart of the femur bone that flares out like the mouth of the funnel.A distal femur (top part of knee joint) fracture is a break inthighbone that occurs just above your knee joint.
  • Femoral shaft fracture: A femoral shaft fracture is a break that occurs anywhere along the femoral shaft,long, straight part of the femur.
  • Proximal femur fracture: A hip fracture or proximal femur fracture is a break in the proximal end of the thighbone near the hip.

Femur fractures may be caused by high energy injuries such as a fall from height or a motor vehicle accident. Patients with osteoporosis are more prone to femur fractures. In the elderly, even a simple fall from a standing position may result in a fracture as the bones tend to become weak and fragile with advancing age.

Femur fractures are typically treated with a variety of implants which include, screws, plates, and rods. In some cases, replacement of the fractured bone is required (called hemiarthroplasty). Hemiarthroplasty is typically utilized in patients who fracture the femoral neck which is a type of hip fracture by the socket of the hip joint.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • AANA: Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Louisiana Orthopaedic Association
  • North Oaks Health System