The Largest Bone in the Human Body

What's the largest bone in the human body?  

And the answer: femur.

Also known as the thighbone, the femur is the largest, longest, and strongest bone in the human body. The top of the bone forms a ball-and-socket joint with the hip bone and is held in place by ligaments.

Photo credit: public domain. 

The femur is the longest of all the long bones in your body (which also include the tibia, fibula, metatarsals, and more). But beyond that, it is also the strongest bone, and can withstand up to 30x your body weight. This means that the femur is not just the strongest bone – it knocks the other bones out of the park with its staggering average ability to support roughly 6,000 pounds of compressive force!

Naturally, the femur is a weight-bearing bone in your body. The femur and the tibia (shinbone) team up with the bones of the foot to hold the weight of the body, helping us fight against gravity. Interestingly, although it does help stabilize the lower leg muscles, the fibula (calf bone) isn’t weight-bearing like the femur and tibia.

Unlike many other bones in your extremities, your femur is actually oriented about 10-15 degrees away from a vertical line. This is because it meets your hip at an angle slightly off of that of the knee, so it must be oriented in a direction that supports weight while maintaining full motion. Because the female pelvis is typically wider than the male pelvis, females' femurs tend to sit at a larger angle.

Did you know?

The femur actually accounts for 1/4th of an individual's height!

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