How much force does it take to snap the femur?

27 February 2011

Question

Exactly how much force does it take to snap the femur in half? That happened to me, and I heard the force needed is high.

Answer

We put this to Dr Ken Poole...

Ken - It's the problem and normally, it's thought of in terms of the amount of energy available in a fall, and it's a surprisingly little amount of the energy, about a fifth to a tenth of the amount of energy in a fall is enough to break that femur. With a hip fracture, there's such a thing as the perfect force. If you are unlucky and fall backwards and to the side, even if you're young, you can snap your femur.

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