Body Part Spotlight - The Femur

The femur is the largest, longest, and strongest bone in the human body. It is the main weight-bearing bone in the body, which is why a fracture to the neck of shaft of the femur can have devastating effects on a persons mobility, not to mention other risk factors.

A fracture neck of femur is a common injury following a fall in older adults, and it has been found that up to 35% of people over 80 will die within one year of fracture. Fracture of the shaft of the femur are relatively rare, most often occurring as a result of a car accident.

The femur is highly vascular, meaning that it has a large blood supply. This accounts for why the bone is able to get as large as it does, but also why a fractured femur is a emergency.

Anthropologically, measurement of the femur can give a good approximation of a persons height using the following formula:

(1.880 X length of femur) + 32.010 = height in inches male
(1.945 X length of femur) + 28.679 = height in inches female

The femur, along with the acetabulum from a classic ball-and-socket joint. At the distal end of the femur, where it articulates with the tibia, a pivotal hinge joint is formed.

The following muscles originate in the femur:

vastus lateralis
greater trochanter
quadriceps tendon
vastus medialis
linea aspera
quadriceps tendon
vastus intermedius
antero-lateral femur
quadriceps tendon
biceps femoris short head
linea aspera
head of fibula
gastrocnemius medial head
proximal to medial condyle
achilles tendon to calcaneus
gastrocnemuis lateral head
proxmial to lateral condyle
achilles tendon to calcaneus
lateral femoral condyle
achilles tendon to calcaneus
lateral femoral condyle
posterior tibial surface

The following muscles insert in the femur:

gluteus maximusiliac crest, posterior superior iliac spine,
gluteal surface of ala of ilium, lumbar fascia, coccyx, sacrotuberal ligament
gluteal tuberosity, iliotibial tract
gluteus mediusgluteal surface of the ala of ilium, iliac crestgreater trochanter
glueteus minimusgluteal area on ala of iliumgreater trochanter
iliopsoastwelfth thoracic vertebra, all 5 lumbar vertebra,
and iliac fossa
lesser trochanter
piriformispelvic surface of sacrum, greater sciatic notchgreater trochanter
tensor fascia lataeiliac crestiliotibial tract
obturator internuspubic ramusgreater trochanter
obturator externusobturator foramentrochanteric fossa
quadratus femorisischial tuberosityintertrochanteric crest
gemelliischial spine and ischial tuberositytrochanteric fossa
pectineusiliopubic eminencepectineal line and linea aspera
adductor brevisinferior pubic ramuslinea aspera
adductor longussuperior pubic ramuslinea aspera
adductor magnusinferior pubic ramus and inferior ischial ramuslinea aspera and adductor tubercle of medial condyle
adductor minimusinferior pubic ramus and adductor magnuslinea aspera

As you can see, tons of muscles are attached to the femur, so it's not hard to see why is the strongest bone in the body.

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