The femur is the strongest and largest bone of the human skeleton. Read more about anatomy and function of the femur here!


The femur is the thigh bone - the longest, strongest and largest bone of the human skeleton. It consists of a strong center piece and is involved in the construction of a joint at both ends: At the upper end of the femur is connected via the hip joint to the pelvic bone, at the bottom of the knee joint with the tibia. Read everything important about the femur!

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  • What is the femur?

  • What is the function of the femur?

  • Where is the femur?

  • What problems can the femur cause?

What is the femur?

Femur is the medical term for the thighbone. He is a tubular bone and is divided into different sections:

At the upper end of the spherical sits Mounting head (Caput femoris) slightly angled on a long neck (Collum femoris), the femoral neck, The head together with the acetabulum of the pelvic bone forms the hip joint, which allows the movements of the leg. Depending on age and gender, the femoral neck forms a different angle (collum-diaphyseal angle) with the shaft: in the newborn and infant, the angle is up to 143 degrees. With age, it is smaller and in the adult is finally 120 to 130 degrees.

The femoral neck is thickened from top to bottom and flattened from front to back. This shape allows days of heavy loads - the real task of the femoral neck. It is similar to the boom of a crane that carries the weight of the body. The trabeculae inside then correspond to the struts of a crane. With age, part of these struts disappear, increasing the risk of fracturing a femoral neck fracture.

The strong centerpiece of the femur, the shaft (Corpus femoris), has on its back a reinforcing strip (Linea aspera) on. It serves as a starting point for various muscles. But above all, thanks to this reinforcing line, the femoral stem has a comparatively high stability with a small diameter.

At the top of the shaft sits on the outside and inside each a roundish Knochenhöcker: Outside is the big trochanter (Trochanter major) and inside the small rolling mound (T. minor). Both attach muscles (like the hip flexor). The large rolling hill is (as opposed to the small) clearly palpable from the outside.

At the lower end, the femur is widened into two rollers, which are cartilage-covered knurls (medial and lateral condyles). They form together with the tibia (tibia) the knee joint.

What is the function of the femur?

The femur is the strongest and longest bone in the body. Through its involvement in the hip joint and knee joint, the femur allows the leg to move against the torso and lower leg opposite the thigh.

Where is the femur?

The femur (thigh bone) connects the trunk with the lower leg. He articulates with both the pelvis and the tibia.

What problems can the femur cause?

The femur can break anywhere. Such fractures are most common in the femoral neck (femoral neck fracture) - especially in the elderly.

Osteoarthritis in the hip joint (coxarthrosis) also manifests itself mainly in older age. If the conservative treatment does not relieve the symptoms sufficiently, an artificial hip joint (hip joint prosthesis) is often used. In the case of arthrosis in the knee joint (gonarthrosis), a prosthesis can replace the destroyed joint in case of emergency.

The outside angle between femur and tibia at the knee joint is usually about 176 degrees. It is smaller in X-legs and larger in O-legs.

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