Femoral Fracture

A femoral fracture is a break in the thigh bone, which is called the femur. It runs from the hip to the knee. It is the longest and strongest bone in the body. It usually requires a great deal of force to break the femur.

  • Causes

    A femoral fracture is usually caused by direct trauma to your femur. Trauma may be caused by:

    • Car, motorcycle, or pedestrian collisions
    • Falls
    • Blows
    • Severe twists
    • Gunshot wounds

    Femoral fractures may also be caused by low-impact trauma or spontaneous breaks from weakened bones.

  • Definition

    A femoral fracture is a break in the thigh bone, which is called the femur. It runs from the hip to the knee. It is the longest and strongest bone in the body. It usually requires a great deal of force to break the femur.

    Femoral Fractures
    Femur Fracture
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, physical activity, and how the injury happened. The injured area will also be examined.

    Imaging tests may include:

    • X-rays
    • CT scan
    • MRI

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of femoral fractures, take these steps:

    • Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.
    • Always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car.

    • Do
      weight-bearing
      and strengthening exercises
      regularly to build strong bones.
    • Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.

    To help reduce falling hazards at work and home, take these steps:

    • Clean spills and slippery areas right away
    • Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter
    • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower
    • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub
    • Put in handrails on both sides of stairways
    • Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls
    • Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your risk of femoral fracture include:

    • Advancing age
    • Osteoporosis

    • Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or
      absent
      menstrual cycles, or post-
      menopause
    • Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
    • Decreased muscle mass

    • Playing certain sports that may result in:

      • Spiral fractures—associated with collisions or falls from sports such as football or skiing
      • Stress fractures—associated with overuse or repetitive motion from sports such as distance running
    • Violence

  • Symptoms

    Femoral fracture may cause:

    • Immediate and severe pain
    • Swelling and bruising around the area of the break
    • Inability to walk or stand and/or limited range of motion of the knee or hip
    • Deformity of the injured leg, such as shortening or abnormal twisting

    Stress fractures occur slowly over time with repetitive motion. You may feel a dull ache rather than severe pain when you apply weight to your leg. Sometimes pain may be felt in your another part of your leg, such as your knee.

  • Treatment

    Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications or problems with your femur. Treatment will depend on how serious the fracture is, but may include: