Knee > Fractured Thighbone

What is a Fractured Thighbone at the Knee?

The thighbone (femur), the largest bone in the body, connects the hip and the knee. The bottom section of the thighbone joins the knee and becomes part of the knee joint. When the bottom end of the thighbone is fractured where it meets the knee, it affects the use of the knee. A thighbone fracture does not actually occur in the knee. Because the fracture disrupts knee function and is so close to the knee joint, it is often classified as a knee fracture.


It takes a severe blow to fracture the thighbone where it meets the knee. In sports, it can happen in football and soccer collisions. However, the injury is most commonly seen as the result violent collisions such as car accidents. Elderly people are especially susceptible to thighbone fractures because of bone density loss and their vulnerability to falling.

Orthopedic Evaluation  

There usually are three parts to an orthopedic evaluation: medical history, a physical examination, and tests that your physician may order.


Your physician will likely ask you how you injured your knee, how it has been feeling since the injury, and if your knee has been previously injured. These questions can help determine if there may be other injuries around the area. Physicians also typically ask about other conditions, such as diabetes and allergies, and about medications currently being taken. You may also be asked about your physical and athletic goals - information that will help decide what treatment might be best for you.


A physician usually can diagnose a fractured thighbone by feeling around the area. Tenderness around the area may also indicate a fracture. Your physician likely will ask you to extend your knee, possibly after giving you a local anesthetic to eliminate pain, to help determine whether there may be additional injuries in and around your knee.


X-rays, taken from several angles, are the best way to determine the extent of a fractured thighbone. X-rays may also identify or rule out additional injuries. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT scan, commonly referred to as a CAT scan, may also be requested to see the details of the fracture.


   Imaging techniques

Closed Reduction and Casting
Closed Reduction and Bracing
Open Reduction and Internal Fixation

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