Adult traumatic femoral shaft fractures: A review of the literature


  • Dim E. M.
  • Ugbeye M. E.
  • Ugwoegbulem O. A.


Adult, Traumatic, Femoral shaft, Fracture


Background: Fractures of the shaft of the femur are common. Injuries leading to femoral shaft fractures are equally common. The femur presents itself to these injuries more than any other bone in the body.
Methods: A review of the literature on epidemiological data, mechanism of injury, fracture classification and methods of treatment for adult traumatic femoral shaft fractures was done based on journal articles and on information from standard text books.
Results: The epidemiology, injury classifications and various treatment options are presented. The biology of fracture healing following various options of treatment is also presented. Femoral shaft fractures constitute over 50% of all femoral fractures and most of them occur in the middle third of the femur. The mean age of adults involved is about 35 years. More males than females are affected in a ratio that ranges from 1.5:1 to 2.5:1.
The majority of femoral shaft fractures are caused by road traffic injuries. Operative fixation is the gold standard for the treatment of adult femoral shaft fractures. The adult femoral shaft fracture may take 12-24 weeks to unite.
Conclusion: Most adult femoral shaft fractures are traumatic in origin. Operative reduction and fixation is practiced in most centres around the world, but few indications for non operative treatment are recognized.

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