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Function & Anatomy Of The Femur Bone

By Jayton Miller

Capable of withstanding forces of up to 6,000 pounds this bone is something you need to know about. The femur (thigh bone) is the strongest, heaviest, and longest bone inside of the human body. Making up about 25% of a person's height the femur is a phenom of development. Learn about the role this amazing bone plays in your body.

Contents:

Functions Of The Femur Bone:

Structure Of The Femur

Also known as the upper leg, hind leg, or thigh bone the femur is the bone above the knee attached to the hip joints. The main purpose of the femur as far as we currently understand it is to support the weight of the upper body, and to help with stability when walking.

Structure Of The Femur Bone:

Structure Of The Femur

What may seem like a relatively straight forward structure compared to other parts of the body, the femur is actually quite intricate and is usually divided into three parts:

  • The Upper/Proximal End - This part of the femur includes the head of the femur that is the "ball" that fits in the ball and socket joints of the hip. It includes the neck of the femur that connects the head to the rest of the femur, and the trochanters which are protrusions on the bone that allow for the attachment of muscles.
  • The Shaft - Mostly a smooth surface that is slightly concave on the back side. There is a small raised ridge on the back side known as the linea aspera.
  • The Lower/Distal End - This part of the knee has two femoral condyles that attach to the tibia and patella in the knee joint.

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Common Defects Of The Femur Bone:

Common Defects Of The Femur

Because the femur is so strong it is difficult to injure this bone compared to other bones in the body. The most common ways that people usually injure this bone is through car accidents. The most common types of breaks or fractures of the femur are:

  • Fracture of the femoral neck.
  • Shaft fracture.
  • Intertrochanteric fracture.

The femoral neck and intertrochanteric fractures are typically common in old people who "break a hip" whenever they fall. This is most common in older women as osteoporosis develops.

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Helpful Ways To Keep The Femur Bone Healthy:

Keep Your Femur's Healthy

  • Avoid Nutrient Deficiencies - One of the most common ways that hips become damaged is by brittle bones forming over time. Making sure that you get enough magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K is crucial in order to ensure that your bones stay string throughout the years to come.
  • Make sure to stay active - Physical activity is extremely important. As the old saying goes "if you don't use it, you lose it" and if you aren't at least somewhat active then your body has no reason to keep your bones strong because they aren't being used.
  • Check your medication - Talking to your doctor about the side effects of the medication you might be on could help you pinpoint where some problems might arise, and many times problems can arise in your bone health. Talking to your doctor about alternative medicines might be a good idea if you are concerned about your bone health.

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Conclusion:

The femur is an amazing bone as it is strongest, longest, and heaviest bone in the human body. Able to withstand thousands of pounds of force, this bone can only be broken due to brittle bones or supra physiological forces that are beyond our own power.

Citations

  • Abrahams, Peter. The Human Body: An Essential Guide To How The Body Works. Amber Books Ltd, 2021.