Neck of Femur

Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 13 December 2020

Neck of Femur

The structure indicated is the neck of the femur.

The proximal femur consists of the following key features:

  • Head of femur: articulates with acetabulum. Facet for attachment of ligament of head.
  • Neck of femur: connects head to shaft
  • Greater trochanter: site of attachment for several muscles, including gluteus minimus and medius
  • Lesser trochanter: iliacus and psoas insert
  • Trochanteric fossa
  • Intertrochanteric line
  • Intertrochanteric crest
  • Quadrate tubercle

Fractures of the neck of femur are very common injuries which mainly occur in elderly females with osteoporotic bones. The classical clinical finding is that of an externally rotated shortened leg. A fractured neck of femur is classified as either intracapsular or extracapsular. The hip joint capsule inserts along the intertrochanteric line. A fracture distal to this line is therefore extracapsular, whereas a fracture proximal to this is intracapsular. The significance of this is that main blood supply to the femoral head is provided via blood vessels that travel within the capsule. An intracapsular neck of femur fracture therefore significantly comprises the vascular supply to the femoral head and increases the likelihood of avascular necrosis.

Learn more about the anatomy of the hip joint in this tutorial.