Do you know that the hardest bone in your body is ‘Femur’, also known as your thigh bone, and is really tough to break? The femur plays a significant role in weight-bearing and maintaining balance. Although it is the hardest bone in the body to break, under some circumstances femur may end up being fractured and can be really painful.
In this article, you can get complete details about the femur – the hardest bone in the body to break, along with its anatomy, function, types of fractures, associated medical conditions, and treatments.
The femur is your thigh bone. It is the longest and the strongest bone in your body. It plays an important part in your ability to stand and move. Your femur also supports many important muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Hardest Bone in the Body to Break
Without any doubt, medical sciences have claimed that the longest and strongest bone in your body is the thigh bone or femur.
Because it’s so strong, it usually takes a severe force or impacts like a fall or car accident to break your femur.
If you experience a fracture, you’ll likely need surgery to repair your bone and physical therapy to help you regain your strength and the ability to move. Your femur, like all bones, can also get affected by osteoporosis.
Location of Femur
Femur – the longest bone in the body, extends in both of your thighs, starting from your hip to your knees.
Functions of Femur
Your femur performs a number of crucial functions reported by doctors, such as:
- Supporting your body weight when you stand and move.
- Protecting the lower muscles of the leg.
- Keeping you steady as you walk.
- Establishing a connection between your hips, knees, and the rest of your body.
Femoral fractures and their types
Following are some of the different types of femoral fractures based on the severity and location in the body;
On the Basis of severity
Stress fractures in the bone are microscopic fractures. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, these fractures frequently occur from overuse, particularly in high-impact sports.
They typically occur in the weight-bearing bones of the body like the femur. The shock from sports and other activities puts a huge load on the muscles and they become fatigued. As a result, it eventually causes the bone to break.
Severe Impact Fractures
When a huge force pushes the two ends of the bones together, an impaction fracture results, according to the experts.
After that, the bone breaks into several pieces that are pressed against one another. This fracture is highly painful and immediate surgery is needed to restore the bone.
A partial fracture occurs when the bone breaks partially. It is also called an incomplete fracture. This might occur at any position of the femur bone and requires surgery.
A displaced fracture occurs when the pieces of the broken bone move far away from their normal position and a gap is formed, as reported by the Orthopedic Trauma Association. This fracture can be regarded as either complete or incomplete, depending on the degree of breakage of your bone.
On basis of location
Femoral Head Fractures
These fractures, which frequently stress fractures, are usually around the hip joint. Long-distance runners and people who engage in intense physical activity may experience femoral head fractures frequently.
Femoral Neck Fractures
Hip fractures most frequently occur near the femoral neck.
These are often brought on by high-energy injuries, such as a fall from a height or a car accident, or low-energy injuries, like a fall in weak aged patients. They are frequently accompanied by other serious injuries.
Femoral Shaft Fractures
The femoral shaft is the long, straight portion of the femur. The femoral shaft extends from the area below the hip to the knee.
A femoral shaft fracture occurs when any point along the length of the bone breaks. Almost always, this kind of fracture needs surgery to restore normal bone function.
Femoral Condyle Fractures
There is a ball-shaped structure at the end of the femur known as a femoral condyle which is divided into medial and lateral portions in each leg.
A fracture of the femoral condyle commonly results from a direct blow to the flexed knee while carrying weight. Usually, surgery is done to treat the fracture.
Treatments for Femoral Fractures
Below are mentioned three treatment methods to treat femoral fractures opted for by the doctors;
1. External Fixation
To hold the broken bones together, screws or pins are put into the bone and attached to a bar outside the leg. This procedure is a quick and efficient option to repair the fracture temporarily.
2. Intramedullary Nailing
The femur’s bone canal is used to insert a titanium rod that is specifically sized to hold the bone in place. To keep the rod in place while the bone heals, screws are placed at either end.
3. Internal Fixation
When intramedullary nailing (insertion of the metal rod to support the fractured bone) is not an option, such as when the fracture extends into the hip or knee joint, this technique is frequently performed.
The broken pieces of bone are held in place with plates and screws while the doctors mend them.
Medical Conditions associated with the Femur and their treatment
Osteoporosis is the decrease in bone mass and density particularly due to the lack of calcium. It weakens the bones like the femur, making them more susceptible to sudden and unexpected fractures.
Many people are unaware that they have osteoporosis until it causes a fracture. Women, people with a genetic predisposition to weak bones, and adults older than 50 years have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
Talk to your healthcare provider about a bone density screening test that can detect osteoporosis at an early stage.
- Exercise, vitamins, mineral supplements, and prescription drugs are all possible treatments for osteoporosis.
- Your healthcare professional will work with you to create a treatment strategy that is unique to you and your bone health.
2. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is the pain experienced around and under your kneecap (patella). It is also called ‘Runner’s or Jumper’s knee.
PFPS can be caused by many factors including overusing your knees to getting new shoes.
Some of the most common symptoms of PFPS include:
- Pain while bending your knee, including squatting or climbing stairs.
- Pain after sitting with your knees bent.
- Crackling or popping sounds in your knee when standing up or climbing stairs.
- Increase in pain with changes to your usual playing surface, sports equipment, or the intensity of activity.
- Simple interventions are frequently the first step in treating patellofemoral discomfort. Give your knee as much rest as you can. Avoid or alter activities like stair climbing, kneeling, and crouching that may make the pain worse.
- Use over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium as needed.
- Also, rehabilitation exercises, supportive braces, taping, icing, and knee-friendly sports are helpful in reducing the intensity of pain.
Your femur literally offers you a leg to stand on. The largest, sturdiest, and most significant bone in your body is this one. Your bones will remain strong as long as you take steps to improve your general health.
You can maintain your bone health by adhering to a healthy diet, exercise routine, and scheduling routine visits to your doctor. Ask your doctor about a bone density scan if you are over 50 or have a family history of osteoporosis. You may contact an orthopedic specialist through Marham to get the best medical experience.
1. Which broken bone is most painful?
The most painful bone fracture is that of the femur. Your femur, which extends from your hip to your knee, is the longest and sturdiest bone in your body. Given its significance, it should come as no surprise that breaking this bone is a very painful experience, especially considering the constant pressure that is applied to it.
2. Which is the easiest bone to break?
The bone which undergoes the most fractures is the clavicle, also called the collarbone. It is situated between the upper ribs and the shoulder blade. The collarbone is thin and set in such a way that it is susceptible to breaking in sports and automobile accidents.
3. Is fracture very painful?
Both bone fractures and bone bruising are excruciating injuries as they are brought on by a powerful force striking your body.