Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Femur Fracture Anatomy

To better understand a femur fracture, it helps to understand the anatomy of the femur.

The femur is the largest bone in the lower extremity. At the upper end of the femur is the hip joint with articulates with the pelvis. At the lower end of the femur is the knee joint.

The hip is a ball and socket joint between the head of the upper femur and the bony pelvis. The femoral head is the ball and the acetabulum of the pelvic bone is the socket. The hip joint is lined with cartilage. Cartilage is the smooth, gliding surface inside all joints. Joints are also lubricated with a substance known as synovial fluid.

The hip bursae are fluid-filled areas in the soft tissues around the hip joint where tendons and muscles pass over bony prominences. These fluid-filled sacs serve as a cushion between tendons and bone and lubricate the region with synovial fluid.

Anatomy examples:

  • The hip joint viewed from the front
  • The hip joint with the joint capsule open
  • The hip joint viewed from behind
  • Normal hip x-ray
  • The femur and pelvis

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Femur Fracture References
  1. Dominguez S, Liu P, Roberts C, Mandell M, Richman PB. Prevalence of traumatic hip and pelvic fractures in patients with suspected hip fracture and negative initial standard radiographs--a study of emergency department patients. Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;12(4):366-9. [15805330]
  2. Dubey A, Koval KJ, Zuckerman JD. Hip fracture epidemiology: a review. Am J Orthop. 1999 Sep;28(9):497-506. [10497856]
  3. Dubey A, Koval KJ, Zuckerman JD. Hip fracture prevention: a review. Am J Orthop. 1998 Jun;27(6):407-12. [9652882]
  4. Jackman JM. New techniques in hip fracture management. Mo Med. 2005 May-Jun;102(3):231-5. [15960047]
  5. Wehren LE, Magaziner J. Hip fracture: risk factors and outcomes. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2003 Sep;1(2):78-85. [16036069]
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