Femoral Fractures

Overview

This condition is a break in the thigh bone, called the femur. A femoral fracture can occur anywhere along the bone, and can range from small cracks to a full break that allows the bone to separate.

Causes

The femur is the largest and strongest bone in the body, so it takes tremendous force to cause a fracture. The most common cause of a fracture is direct trauma to the leg from an automobile accident or a fall. Diseases that weaken the bone may also cause the bone to crack or break.

Types of Fractures

Femoral fractures usually fall into three categories. Proximal femoral fractures affect the upper portion of the bone, nearest the hip socket. Femoral shaft fractures occur along the shaft of the bone, and are usually the most severe. Supracondylar femur fractures occur around the knee joint and may involve the cartilage on the base of the femur in the knee joint.

Symptoms

Pain is usually the most common symptom. Most patients who experience a femoral fracture may also experience lack of mobility, bruising, swelling and a popping or locking sensation in the hip or knee, if the fracture is within one of these joints.

Treatment

Treatment options include surgery, immobilization of the leg in a brace or cast, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.

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