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One way to classify fractures in the femur is by the location of the break. A femur fracture can occur at several places in this long bone, including:
• Proximal femur fracture (hip fracture): a break in the uppermost part of
thigh bone next to the hip joint.
• Femoral shaft fracture: a break in the bone shaft. This type of fracture is
very serious and almost always requires surgical correction.
• Supracondylar femur fracture: a break just above the knee joint. This type of fracture is an uncommon
break, especially in children.
• Distal femur fracture: a break in the top part of the knee joint. A distal femur fracture can extend into
the knee joint and disturb knee cartilage and growth plates. If the bone pierces through the skin (open fracture)
there is a high chance that there will be damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Learn more about common fractures in children.
A bone break happens when there’s more force applied to the bone than it can absorb. These breaks in bones can occur from falls, trauma or a direct blow.
Most childhood fractures result from:
• Falling, as from stairs or jungle gym
• Trauma (moderate to severe) that may happen in a car accident or while they’re participating in contact sports.
Femur fractures in infants (0-1 year old) are unusual, but can occur:
• In babies born with a condition that causes weak bones, such as osteogenesis imperfecta
• Following a very difficult delivery
• In cases of child abuse
Certain risk factors may also increase a child’s chances of breaking a femur.
• Pain or swelling in the thigh, possibly with bruising
• Difficulty moving the leg
• Inability to stand or walk
• Deformity (abnormal shape) of the leg
• In severe fractures, the bone may come through the skin and be visible.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”