Because the femur is one of the body’s strongest bones, fractures usually occur when you fall hard on a leg or experience a significant blow to the thigh bone in a car or sports-related accident. Conditions that weaken the bone, such as osteoporosis, can increase the likelihood of a femur fracture.
The thigh bone can break in a number of locations, including along the shaft (middle) of the bone and near the knee. It can also break in a clean line, at an angle, or shatter into pieces. In severe cases, the bone can break through the skin. Femur fractures result in severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and inability to walk. Physical deformity may also occur in some instances.
Physicians will conduct a physical exam of the leg and assess symptoms and medical history. Imaging tests, such as x-rays, will identify the exact location of the fracture.
Mild femur fractures can be treated with splints or casts and pain medications. However, most fractures will probably require surgery to manipulate the bones back into position. Physical therapy is also recommended to restore strength and range of motion.