The femur is considered as the biggest and sturdiest bone in the body. The femur is the high bone which extends from the hip joint down to the knee joint. Since the femur is a sturdy bone, it typically requires great force to cause a femur fracture.
What are the causes of a femur fracture?
It is important to note that the femur is an extremely durable bone. In order for a femur fracture to occur, a substantial amount of force is applied or there is something wrong with the bone. Among individuals with normal bone strength, the usual causes of femur fractures include vehicular accidents and falling from a height.
Individuals might also have bone that is weakened by osteoporosis, infection or tumor. Take note that these conditions that can lead to pathologic femur fractures. One type of femoral fracture caused by the weakening of the bone is seen among individuals who are taking biphosphate medications for managing osteoporosis.
Categories of femur fractures
Proximal femur fractures
Proximal femur fractures or hip fracture typically involve the upper part of the thigh bone, adjacent to the hip joint. These fractures are further subdivided into various types of hip fractures.
Femoral shaft fracture
This type of femur fracture is considered as a severe injury that typically occurs in vehicular collisions and significant falls. The treatment for a femoral shaft fracture is surgery which involves insertion of a metal rod to the middle of the thigh bone which is called an intramedullary rod. This procedure reconnects the two ends of the bone and secured in place with screws both above and below the fracture.
Other treatment options for a femur fracture include the placement of a plate and screw or an external fixator. These are used if an intramedullary rod could not be used due to some reason.
Supracondylar femur fractures
When it comes to supracondylar femur fracture, it is an unusual injury to the femur right above the knee joint. This type of fracture often involves the cartilage surface of the knee joint, thus requiring treatment of the cartilage injury. Individuals with this type of fracture often face a high risk for developing knee arthritis later in life.
Supracondylar femur fractures are prevalent among individuals with severe osteoporosis and those who have undergone total knee replacement surgery. Among these individuals, the bone right above the knee joint might have weakened which makes it prone to fractures. In some circumstances, an individual can also sustain a supracondylar femur fracture after sustaining high-impact injuries. The treatment for this type of femur fracture tends to vary from one individual to another and might utilize a brace or cast, plate, external fixator, screws or an intramedullary rod. Take note that there are variations to these fractures that can affect the choice for fixation of the fracture.