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Femur

The femur or thigh bone is the longest (length), largest (volume) and strongest (mechanical ability to resist deformity) bone of the human body. It articulates with the acetabulum, the articular cup on the pelvis, superiorly, and with the tibia inferiorly. It forms part of the hip and part of the knee.


The anterior view of the femur.

Parallel structure by the same name exist in other complex animals, such as the bone inside a ham or a leg of lamb (http://www.lambchef.com/servcut).

The femur consists of a head and a neck proximally, an epiphysis (or shaft), and two condyles distally. It articulates with the pelvis (hipbone) at its superior end and with the tibia and patella[?] at its inferior end.

The femur's head forms a ball-and-socket joint at the hip. The condyles at the knee form a condylar joint.

Other proximal features of the bone include the greater trochanter and the lesser trochanter, two 'lump-like' structures that allow muscles to attach. Posteriorly the gluteal tuberosity is a rough surface that gluteus maximus[?] attaches to. Beneath this, the linea aspera runs down the back of the femur, which also provides an attachment for muscles.

The medial and lateral condyles on the distal end, are bumps that fit into corresponding condyles on the tibia. The gap between the two condyles is called the intercondylar fossa (or notch). Above the femoral condyles are the medial and lateral epicondyles, above these is the adductor tubercle.

Disease conditions

The neck of the femur is commonly fractured in elderly women, because of osteoporosis.



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