A fracture of the lower end of the femur is usually caused by a high energy trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, a fall from a height or a direct blow to the thigh. It can also occur with lower energy trauma such as a fall on an outstretched hand or twisting the femur while bearing weight.
The diagnosis of a fracture of the lower end of the femur is usually made by taking a medical history, performing a physical examination and ordering X-rays to confirm the presence of a fracture.
The differential diagnosis for a fracture of the lower end of the femur includes a hip fracture, an avulsion fracture, a stress fracture and a joint dislocation.
Treatment for a fracture of the lower end of the femur typically involves immobilization of the thigh in a cast or brace, followed by physical therapy to restore range of motion and strength. If surgery is required, the type of procedure will depend on the severity of the fracture.
The prognosis for a fracture of the lower end of the femur is generally good, as most patients can make a full recovery with proper treatment. However, complications such as infection, non-union or mal-union can occur and may require additional treatment.