Femur Stress Fracture

Stress Fracture - Femur

A Femur stress fracture is a hairline fracture of the femur (thigh bone). Although quite rare it is caused by prolonged overuse. Pain may come on gradually as a dull ache, which intensifies if a bending force is applied to the femur.

Symptoms of a femoral stress fracture

  • Symptoms include a dull ache deep in the general area of the thigh.
  • There is likely to be pain when a bending force is applied to the femur. This is known as the hang test. The patient allows their thigh to hang over the edge of a bench or chair. A weight is then applied downwards onto the thigh. If pain is reproduced then the test is positive and it may be a femur stress fracture.
  • Symtpoms may also be referred into the knee.
  • An X-ray may or may not show up the stress fracture but a bone scan or MRI should give a more accurate diagnosis.

What is a stress fracture of the femur?

The femur bone is the long thigh bone. Prolonged overuse can cause a stress fracture. This is known as a femoral stress fracture. As with any bone, the Femur can also be fractured through one sudden force (see fractured femur).


Treatment

  • Rest is important, particularly resting from weight-bearing activities.
  • Maintain fitness by swimming or cycling.
  • Identification of any biomechanical problems such as overpronation which may have contributed to the stress on the femur.

How long will it take to heal?

  • Depending on the severity it should take 7 weeks from the time that the ‘hang test’ (over the edge of the chair) is not painful before a gradual return to sports specific training can begin.

Related articles

  • Thigh pain

    Here we explain the more common, and less common causes of thigh pain including front and back of the thigh, front of the hip, groin…

  • Thigh support

    The PRICE principles are the gold standard set for treating sports injuries. The acronym stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and should be…

  • Pelvic Avulsion Fracture

    A pelvic stress fracture is a hairline fracture of the pelvis bone. It is caused by repetitive impacts or forces, rather than one sudden impact…

  • Thigh strain

    A thigh strain or quadriceps strain is a tear in one of the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh. It is common in…

  • Thigh stretching

    Here we outline and explain thigh stretching exercises which are used in the rehabilitation of thigh exercises. The main muscles in the thigh are the…

Scroll to Top