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Synonyms: femur, femoral bone
German: Femur

1 Definition

The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the human skeleton. It forms the basis of the thigh.

2 Structure

Most of the femur is created by the thigh (corpus femoris). It has a triangular base area in cross-section and, accordingly, exhibits three edges.

At the proximal end of the femur is the femoral head (caput femuris), which is mounted to the collum femoris neck, which is angled relative to the thigh axis at about 135°. The angle between the neck and the shaft is referred to as the collum-diaphyseal angle (CD-angle).

On the lateral end of the connection between the neck and the femoral shaft are two bony prominences, which are known as trochanters. The greater trochanter on the ventral side and the dorsally located lesser trochanter serve among other things as starting points for the thigh muscles. The same applies for the linea intertrochanterica, located between the two trochanters; the linea intertrochanterica connects the trochanters on the ventral side of the femur. On the dorsal side one finds a sharp bony ridge, the intertrochanteric crest crista intertrochanterica.

Along the dorsal femoral shaft runs the linea aspera, which serves as a fixture for almost all thigh adductors.

The caudal end of the femur is occupied by the two joint surfaces against the tibia, which are called the condylus lateralis and medialis. To its edges are attached smaller bone protrusions, the epichondylen. These include:

On the medial side, just above the epicondylus medialis, arises the tuberculum adductorium, which functions as a fixture for the musculus adductor magnus and limits the hiatus adductorius caudally.

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3 Development

During the course of the 7th embryonal week the appearance of a perichondral bone cuff is able to be observed in the body region. In the 10th fetal month an (endochondral) core is visible in the distal epiphysis (sign of maturity). The remaining bone cores occur in the first year of life in the head of the femur, in the 3rd life year in the greater trochanter, and by 11 to 12 years of age in the lesser trochanter. Epiphysal joint fusion occurs proximally earlier (between 17 and 19 years of age) than distally (19 to 20 years).

4 Clinical Notes

The femur is one of the most frequently fractured bones. The predilection point here is the femoral neck (femoral neck fracture). Since the femoral head is supplied by an arterial network located in the joint capsule, the supply to the head of the femur is at risk through an intracapsular fracture. Due to insufficient blood supply this can quickly lead to a necrosis, so that indication delivered is an early, most often surgical Intervention in the form of total end prosthesis or hemiarthroplasty.

The artery (arteria capitis femoris) located in the LCF ligamentum capitis femoris plays only a subordinate role in adults in terms of blood supply to the head of the femur, whereas it is essential for the child.

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