Femoral Fracture

(Femur Fracture; Thigh Bone Fracture; Broken Leg)

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
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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.

Risk Factors

Older adults are at increased risk of femoral fracture. Factors that may increase your risk of femoral fracture include:
  • 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.

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