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Unfallchirurg. 2009 Jul;112(7):635-50; quiz 651. doi: 10.1007/s00113-009-1669-z.

[Fractures of the shaft of the femur].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Unfall- und Handchirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf.


The femur is the largest, longest and strongest bone in the human skeleton. Fractures of the shaft of the femur can result from high energy as well as low energy trauma and 30% of patients have multiple injuries. In the clinical diagnostic special attention must be paid to the peripheral neurovascular status as well as the possibility of a compartment syndrome. Fractures of the femur shaft are defined according to the AO classification. Treatment is as a rule operative, except for children up the end of 4 years old. Medullary nailing is nowadays the method of choice and the nails can be implanted in an anterograde or retrograde direction. The introduction of nails after boring out the medullar is associated with an increased healing rate in comparison to non-boring techniques. Various techniques are available for the often promising method of repositioning and the intraoperative controls. Plating is reserved only for special situations. External fixation is of great value in adults for temporary fixation of fractures of the femur shaft. Full weight bearing is possible immediately following the operation depending on the type of fracture and method of treatment. Uncomplicated fracture healing does not result in a reduction in the ability to work. Despite the generally good prognosis and improvement in design and technology of implants, fractures of the femur shaft still represent a special challenge for the treating casualty surgeon.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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