Femoral Fractures

What are femoral fractures, and how are they treated?

Femoral fractures are fractures that occur in the femur (or thigh bone). The femur is the largest and strongest bone in the body and therefore usually requires a high-impact collision for it to fracture.

A femur fracture may occur in older patients during a low-impact fall as the bone becomes weaker with age.

There are different types of femoral fractures according to the severity and where they occur. They are also classified by how the fracture breaks.

At OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, our orthopedic surgeons offer a range of treatment options for fractures in the femur according to where the fracture occurs. They also provide rehabilitation programs through physical therapy for you to get on your feet and be active again. 

What Are the Types of Femur Fractures?

There are four types of femoral fractures according to the severity:

Type 1: Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone. They are a common overuse injury, especially in high-impact sports. They usually occur in weight-bearing bones like the femur.

As the muscles get tired, they take less strain from the shocks in these sports and other activities. As a result, the bone takes up more of the impact, and the bone can crack over time.

Type 2: Severe Impaction Fractures

Impaction fractures occur when the two ends of the bone are forced toward each other by some trauma. The bone then breaks into multiple parts and is forced into each other.

Type 3: Partial Fractures

A partial fracture is when the bone breaks open but not all the way through. It is also known as an incomplete fracture. 

When the bone does break all the way through, it is referred to as a complete fracture. This could happen in one or more places. 

Type 4: Complete Displaced Fractures

A displaced fracture refers to the position of the bone after the break. If the bone breaks away from the proper position, it is referred to as a displaced fracture. 

So a fracture can be described as either a complete or incomplete displacement fracture.

Femoral Fractures According to Location

Femoral fractures can occur in four different places:

Femoral Head Fractures

These types of fractures are usually stressed fractures that are the cause of pain in the hip joint. They can occur more frequently on long-distance runners and others who participate in repetitive strenuous activities.

The Pipkin classification is as follows:

  • Type I: Femoral head fracture inferior to the fovea centralis
  • Type II: Fracture extended superior to the fovea centralis
  • Type III: Any femoral head fracture with an associated femoral neck fracture
  • Type IV: Any femoral head fracture with an associated acetabular fracture

Femoral Neck Fractures

Femoral neck fractures are the most common location of hip fractures.

Femoral Shaft Fractures

Femoral shaft fractures are more common in men after a high-energy impact or in elderly women after a low-energy fall. The bone can fracture in different ways.

Femoral Condyle Fractures

The fracture occurs on the femur close to the knee. It can sometimes happen after an ACL reconstruction. 

How Femoral Fractures Are Treated

Nearly all cases of femoral fractures require surgical treatment. However, there are many different ways that a surgeon may use to fix your fracture back in place for it to heal, such as:

External Fixation

Screws or pins are inserted into the bone and connected to a bar outside the leg to hold the broken bones together. This method is a quick and effective way to temporarily fix the bones in position.

Intramedullary Nailing

A custom-sized titanium rod is inserted through the bone canal of the femur holding the bone in its proper place. Screws are inserted at either end to hold the rod in place while the bone heals.

Internal Fixation

This method is often used when intramedullary nailing is not possible, such as when the fracture extends into the hip or knee joint. Plates and screws are used to hold the bone fragments in place until they heal.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Hip Specialist Today!

If you have or suspect a femoral fracture, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Hip Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you. Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Hip Specialists


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