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Femur vs. Humerus: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 21, 2024
The femur is the thigh bone, longest in the human body, while the humerus is the upper arm bone, connecting shoulder to elbow.

Key Differences

The femur, located in the thigh, is the longest and strongest bone in the human body, essential for bearing the body's weight. In contrast, the humerus, found in the upper arm, is shorter and connects the shoulder to the elbow, playing a key role in arm mobility.
Structurally, the femur has a thick, round head that fits into the hip socket, supporting leg movements. The humerus, however, has a ball-like head at one end that articulates with the shoulder blade, aiding in a wide range of arm movements.
In terms of function, the femur supports lower body weight and enables activities like walking and running. The humerus, meanwhile, facilitates upper body movements like lifting and throwing.
From an anatomical perspective, the femur is part of the lower limb skeletal structure. The humerus, on the other hand, forms an integral part of the upper limb skeleton.
Injuries to the femur often require significant medical intervention due to its critical role in weight bearing. Humerus fractures, while also serious, typically involve different treatment approaches owing to its location in the upper body.

Comparison Chart


Thigh bone
Upper arm bone


Longest bone in the human body
Shorter than femur


Weight bearing, walking, running
Arm movement, lifting, throwing

Anatomical Structure

Thick, round head fits into hip socket
Ball-like head articulates with shoulder

Injury Treatment

Requires significant intervention
Different treatment due to location

Femur and Humerus Definitions


The thigh bone in humans and other vertebrates.
The soccer player fractured his femur during the match.


The bone of the upper arm or forelimb.
He felt a sharp pain in his humerus after falling.


A bone critical for walking and weight-bearing.
Her femur healed well after the surgery.


Connects the shoulder to the elbow.
The x-ray revealed a crack in her humerus.


Part of the body's skeletal structure in the leg.
The dinosaur's femur was displayed in the museum.


Essential for upper body movements.
Lifting weights strengthens the muscles around the humerus.


The longest bone in the human body.
The radiologist pointed out the femur on the X-ray.


Plays a vital role in arm mobility.
The pitcher injured his humerus during the game.


Connects the hip to the knee joint.
The athlete's training focused on strengthening the muscles around the femur.


Part of the upper limb skeleton.
The anatomy class studied the structure of the humerus.


A bone of the leg situated between the pelvis and knee in humans. It is the largest and strongest bone in the body.


The long bone of the arm or forelimb, extending from the shoulder to the elbow.


A functionally similar bone in the leg or hind limb of other vertebrates. Also called thighbone.


(anatomy) The bone of the upper arm.


The thick, most muscular segment of the insect leg, situated between the trochanter and the tibia.


The bone of the brachium, or upper part of the arm or fore limb.


(anatomy) A thighbone.


Bone extending from the shoulder to the elbow


(entomology) The middle segment of the leg of an insect, between the trochanter and the tibia.


(arachnology) A segment of the leg of an arachnid.


The thigh bone; - it is the longest and thickest bone of the human skeleton, which extends from the pelvis to the knee.


The longest and thickest bone of the human skeleton; extends from the pelvis to the knee


Where is the humerus located?

The humerus is located in the upper arm, extending from the shoulder to the elbow.

How does the humerus contribute to movement?

The humerus is crucial for arm mobility, including lifting and throwing.

What are common injuries to the humerus?

Common humerus injuries include fractures and dislocations.

How does the femur's structure support its function?

The femur's thick and robust structure supports body weight and facilitates leg movements.

Can fractures occur in the femur?

Yes, femur fractures can occur, often requiring significant medical intervention.

What is the femur?

The femur is the thigh bone in humans and vertebrates, the longest and strongest bone in the body.

Is the femur part of the upper or lower body skeleton?

The femur is part of the lower body skeleton.

What is the length of the femur compared to other bones?

The femur is the longest bone in the human body.

What functions does the femur serve?

The femur supports weight bearing, walking, and running.

Does the humerus connect to any joints?

Yes, the humerus connects to the shoulder and elbow joints.

How is a broken humerus treated?

Treatment for a broken humerus may include casting, splinting, or surgery, depending on the severity.

What muscles interact with the humerus?

Several muscles, including the biceps and triceps, interact with the humerus.

How does age affect the femur?

Age can lead to a decrease in bone density and strength in the femur.

Can the humerus affect posture?

Yes, the condition of the humerus can influence upper body posture and alignment.

Can the humerus be replaced surgically?

Yes, in severe cases, humerus replacement surgery is an option.

Is the femur prone to specific diseases?

Osteoporosis and bone cancer can affect the femur, among other diseases.

Are femur fractures common in certain activities?

Femur fractures are more common in high-impact activities like sports and accidents.

What diagnostic tools are used for humerus injuries?

X-rays, MRI, and CT scans are commonly used to diagnose humerus injuries.

What role does the humerus play in the skeletal system?

The humerus is a key component of the upper limb skeletal structure, aiding in upper body movement.

How long does it take for a femur fracture to heal?

Healing time for a femur fracture varies but typically ranges from several weeks to months.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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