Femur: Definition and What it is

Medically and clinically reviewed by Jonathan Lee, MD and Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT

Femur Definition and Meaning

The femur, often referred to as the thigh bone, is the longest and strongest bone in the human body. It plays a key role in supporting your body weight and facilitating lower limb movements.

Anatomy of the Femur

The femur is a large bone in the upper leg that connects the hip joint to the knee joint. It consists of a proximal end, which is the ball of the hip joint, and a distal end, which forms the top of the knee joint.  

Function of the Femur

The femur is essential for maintaining an upright posture and enabling activities like walking, running, and jumping. It serves as an attachment point for numerous muscles that are crucial for mobility, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductor and gluteus muscles.

Various conditions can affect the femur, including:

  • Osteoarthritis: Hip arthritis, which affects the hip joint where the femur connects, can lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

  • Muscle Strains: Strains can occur when the muscles around the femur are overstretched or torn, causing hip and thigh pain and limited mobility in the thigh.

  • Tendinitis: This condition involves inflammation of the tendons surrounding the femur, leading to pain and tenderness near the joint.

  • Bursitis: Hip bursitis occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs near the femur, become inflamed, resulting in pain and swelling around the hip joint.

Femur Pain: A Hinge Health Perspective

The femur is very resilient and designed to recover from the kinds of issues that naturally can happen in the course of everyday activities or during exercise.

If you’re reluctant to move because you think you’ll cause more damage or injury to your thigh, knee, and hip, know this: Movement is often the fastest way to healing. As our Hinge Health care team says, movement is medicine. Movement helps rehab the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect to the femur by increasing blood flow, and gradually improving their strength and flexibility.

Physical therapy can aid in the treatment and recovery of many conditions that affect your thigh bone (femur) and related muscles and joints. A physical therapist (PT) can show you specific stretching and strengthening exercises for your thighs, hips, and knees that may help relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore function. You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you. 

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. 

Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.


  1. Chang, A., Breeland, G., & Hubbard, J. B. (2019, July 3). Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Femur. Nih.gov; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532982/ 

  2. Jackson, D. (2011). Femur. Physiopedia. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Femur 

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